November 28 - Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) claims to have become the first ro-ro shipping company to transport breakbulk cargo weighing over 92 tonnes from Japan to the USA.

Until recently, WWL explained that Japanese ports only allowed a maximum cargo weight of 92 tonnes including roll trailer.

Following negotiations with port authorities, this restriction was lifted to extend the benefits of ro-ro to customers with even heavier breakbulk cargoes, said the shipping company.

The first shipment involved the delivery of two generators, weighing 242 tonnes each, from the Japanese Port of Yokohama to Newport News in Virginia, USA.

The consignment arrived at Yokohama on a barge and was unloaded onto blocks and beams in the terminal, before being picked up by self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT) and driven onto the WWL ro-ro vessel Salome.

Once on board, the units were positioned on blocks and beams on the main deck and lashed down to ensure a safe voyage. The loading took just over six hours from start to finish, said WWL.

Since this was a new operation for the port, WWL explained that it required significant coordination and collaboration between various teams, including the local barge operator, port authorities and stevedores.