July 7 - Welton Shipping recently executed an unusual task for the Genesee Brewery in Rochester, New York, completing the transportation by barge of 12 huge beer fermentation tanks 225 miles (362 km), from Waterford near Albany, to Rochester in New York S

The tanks, which were destined for the state's oldest brewery, were manufactured by Chinese Lehui Group. Each measures 55 ft (16.8 m) in length and 20 ft (6.1 m) in diameter, weigh 50,000 pounds (22.7 tonnes), and have a capacity of 2,000 barrels, the equivalent of 63,000 gallons (286,403 litres) of beer.

As the tanks were too large to ship from Waterford via rail or highway, Welton seized the opportunity to pair a 200-year transportation highway with the modernisation of New York state's oldest brewery, which is undergoing redevelopment costing USD49 million (GBP38 million).

Welton's vice president, Henry Hui scrutinised the route for over a year, deciding that using barges chartered from Coeymans Carver Company along the Erie Canal offered a cost-effective solution.

The alternative - bringing the tanks to Rochester in pieces to assemble on site, was deemed a too expensive process that could not guarantee the same quality that can be achieved in the factory. 

Following their manufacture in China, the tanks were transported directly from Shanghai to the Port of Albany on Chipolbrok's multipurpose vessel, Wladyslaw Orkan. On discharge from the barge in Rochester, the tanks still needed to be trucked another five miles (8 km) from the canal quayside to the brewery itself and Welton used heavy haulage vehicles supplied by Triple R Transportation for the final leg of the journey.

Hui added: "There were not many laydown areas around Rochester that could handle these consignments but we brought in a 600-tonne capacity crane from Clark Rigging to move the tanks from the barges to the trucks at Al's Maintenance yard in Rochester."

A further 12 small and medium tanks were also discharged to Port of Albany, and could be transported to the brewery by road as the loads were under 16 ft (4.8 m) high.

Welton Shipping is an independent, USA-based transportation and integrated logistics provider.