October 6 - Collaboration was the key when three GAC USA offices on the Gulf of Mexico worked together recently to deliver the goods onto a heavy lift ship.

Acting as broker for Marine Management Group , GAC Houston supervised the towage of the pipe-laying barge'Global Shawnee ' from Carlyss, Louisiana to Freeport , Texas with the GAC team at Lake Charles having made all the arrangements for sailing the tug and barge.

On arrival at Freeport, GAC operations manager Linda Hooser liaised with shippers and port authorities to oversee the loading of the barge onto the COSCO heavy lift ship Tai An Kou which would take it to its final destination, Dubai.

GAC had to overcome a number of challenges, including getting the barge to Freeport, which was stymied by a shortage of available tugs.

The next challenge was the load-out operations at the sinkhole inside the harbour at Freeport. The semi-submersible COSCO vessel anchored in the 19.8 m (65 ft) sinkhole, where it ballasted down in preparation for the loading of the barge.

Meanwhile, the GAC team was kept busy juggling traffic issues at the busy port, weather-related towage matters, timing, connections, barge listing, daylight restrictions, documentation and P&I approval.

Hooser says that teamwork was essential to bring all the elements of the job together with success: "There are so many aspects to such jobs that may not be obvious - and the fact it was completed so smoothly bears witness to the much-appreciated support and collaboration of GAC's teams at Houston, Lake Charles and Freeport."