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Allseas arranges novel project freight transhipment via Felixstowe

September 2 - Organising the transport from Scotland to South Korea of a heavy lift consignment measuring up to 7 metres in height required some detailed planning when a lengthy road trip from the point of manufacture in Aberdeen was never going to be an

To circumvent this, a special sea leg was added to the journey, and a unique transhipment operation took place at Felixstowe to load the consignment on an ocean going vessel for the month long voyage to Busan.

The cargo included cement house units and accessories for the offshore industry. Having been delivered under police escort to Aberdeen Harbour, the entire consignment was loaded onboard a chartered coastal barge, V. Ushakov, for the voyage down the UK's east coast to Felixstowe.

With single items up to 40 tonnes in weight and measuring 4 x 5 x 7 m the entire shipment amounted to 174 tonnes and well over 500 cu m.

In all, the consignment unloaded from the V. Ushakov and loaded onto the 9,310 teu Albert Maersk at Felixstowe included four large pieces of breakbulk, three 40 ft high cube containers, and two further pieces subsequently loaded to a 40 ft flatrack for the deepsea voyage.

The Port of Felixstowe is well known as a container transhipment hub, but this was the first coastal vessel to discharge breakbulk for onward shipping in many years, says Allseas.

Although best known as a container port, Felixstowe regularly handles project cargoes and heavy lifts, said David Gledhill, CEO of Hutchison Ports UK.

"We are continuing to expand the port which gives us greater flexibility to berth vessels, and with enhanced new handling equipment with up to 100 tonne lift quay crane capacity, the port is keen to develop more out-of-gauge and project business which has previously been routed via the continent," he said.

Mark Binge, Allseas Global Logistics commercial manager, said: "This is the first time such a transhipment has been handled via Felixstowe's deepwater berths. We needed an innovative solution for this task; not only did coastal shipping prove the perfect answer, but it also gave us the added bonus of being a 'green' solution, and making best use of waterborne transport."

Transhipping the load at Felixstowe proved a positive move both for Allseas and the port as normally this cargo would have been routed via Antwerp or Rotterdam. "We tried Felixstowe and they proved to be every bit as competent as the competition in handling this cargo," said Mark Binge. "We will be looking to do this type of operation again via Felixstowe."

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