UTC’s heavy equipment division has coordinated the transport of 81 Sennebogen cranes from Bremerhaven, Germany to Charleston, South Carolina, USA.

UTC ships 81 cranes aboard Leo Leader

Source: UTC

The company chartered the ro-ro vessel Leo Leader, a coveted commodity in today’s market. The project required meticulous planning and coordination to ensure the 10,000 freight ton shipment could be transported and loaded safely. Multiple staging areas were set up dockside and positioned at the ready to complete the loading in one day.

Over 80 trucks transported the equipment to the port, a process that took time to plan due to the necessity of obtaining permits and setting up staging areas. UTC’s Bremen office was on hand to handle the complex and lengthy permitting process, as has been the case in Germany recently. 

Patrik Meyer, UTC manager – heavy equipment development, was onsite and directed the operation. He said: “The loading process presented unique challenges, with every piece of machinery requiring specific positioning on the vessel. UTC has moved volumes of Sennebogen machines over the years and was familiar with each model, aiding in the proper placement of the valuable cargo. Blueprints were sent ahead of time, allowing for exact planning to ensure each unit could manoeuvre moving on and off the vessel, always considering the safety of the crew and equipment.”

Leo Leader faced unexpected delays when it encountered a storm and two hurricanes, highlighting the complexities of managing transportation in the face of unpredictable weather. In addition, the cargo’s final destination changed after the paperwork was complete. This necessitated swiftly revising documents for 81 pieces of equipment to clear Customs.

UTC’s team scoped out the port before the vessel arrived in Charleston. The Sennebogen cargo, consisting of 79 assembled units, two unassembled units, and static cargo, was unloaded within the strict deadline. 

Unloading began at 7:00 AM. The port actioned two to three people to unhook the cargo and two to three to drive and guide the units off the vessel. Multiple teams worked with precision in shifts that proceeded until 10:00 PM when all the cargo had safely moved to staging areas. 

Hans Meyer, UTC chief operating office heavy equipment and specialised cargo , said: “The six-month planning process, attention to detail, and longstanding partnership with Sennebogen, the shipping lines, and the port all played pivotal roles in the operation’s success.”