Canada-based Pinnacle Logistics Solutions is delivering wind turbine components, including 43 towers, to Western Canada on behalf of Siemens.
Each tower consists of approximately 14 loads, according to Sean Devries, principal and vice president of operations at Pinnacle. “Other than the Siemens product coming out of the sourcing locations in Asia, we were awarded the entire project scope,” he said. This included transporting over a thousand loads within a three-month window, which began in October 2020.
The events of last year caused significant disruption to the project scheduling. “When Covid hit, we started seeing production delays in Asia, which pushed out the schedule,” explained Devries. “And when the parts started arriving in the port of Vancouver in Washington [USA], the pandemic had caused labour conflicts and additional scheduling delays with other projects ahead of ours.”
Pinnacle took the decision to re-route the smaller cargoes to port of Longview, 50 miles (80.5 km) north. The towers and blades would then be barged upriver to Lewiston, Idaho (USA). This shift allowed Pinnacle to control the labour, and shortened the over-the-road mileage by half, while getting the team east of the Rocky Mountains during the often-challenging winter season.
The smaller components will travel roughly 1,300 km from the port of Longview to site – just south of Fort MacLeod (Alberta) – and the larger components will travel roughly 700 km from Lewiston to site.
Devries said that during this project, Pinnacle would have transported the largest blade that Siemens has moved in the Americas, and the second-largest blade to move in the Americas to date. “The route will also comprise a brand-new transportation corridor for wind components,” he added. “What seemed like a simple up-and-down-the-road job certainly became more than that. But we made the right decisions, and we trimmed more than six hundred miles off the trip with the barging solution. We no longer have to truck those components through mountains. And we will wrap up the job on time all the same.”