Heavylift / Breakbulk
Under pressure in Texas
The US logistician C.H. Robinson handled two heavylift transport tasks for customers in the energy sector recently. Both assignments required a rather exceptional effort by the firm’s specialist teams to make sure that the sensitive shipments reached their destinations on time.
The Texan metropolis of Houston is the pulsating heart of the US oil industry, with many of the sector’s numerous firms that operate from there particularly active in production in the Gulf of Mexico. The many suppliers to the oil and gas industry frequently not only serve the domestic market, but actually run global operations. They have benefited from the fact that the price of the Brent crude grade of oil has risen by approximately 40% over the past twelve months. This has made investment more attractive for oil firms again, which in turn results in them buying more Texan hardware.
Buggies seeking oil
The US logistician C.H. Robinson has also benefited from these developments, handling two major heavylift deliveries for energy companies this summer.
The first project was to transport five so-called vibrator buggies, deployed in the seismic search for oil. C.H. Robinson’s team was mandated to transport the vehicles from Houston to the Texan city of Freeport, on the Gulf of Mexico, from where they were headed for Kuwait. There was a delay, however, as some seismic system components were still missing – which put the transport managers under pressure, as customs clearance was planned for a 72-hour window. The transport experts had to put in a few extra hours to keep the buggies on track for dispatch to Kuwait in time.
Watch out – it might tip!
C.H. Robinson mastered another challenging situation when it transported a flare gas tip, a piece of equipment needed in oil refineries. The 10 t flare gas tip was hauled by road from Broken Arrow OK (USA) to the port of Houston without any problems. In Houston, however, project logistics manager Aaron Holloway noticed that the lifting instructions for the flare gas tip were incomplete. Carrying out the manoeuvre as detailed might have resulted in it tipping over.
Holloway thus consulted with the surveyor to devise a new solution, which saw the crew place a belly sling under the piece, and then use the forklift holes under the skid to lift the equipment and load it into the hold of the vessel. C.H. Robinson’s team was under a bit of time pressure to complete this task fast, as the ship was due to sail in three hours.
The specialists finished their innovative job on time, however, and the freight thus soon reached Singapore and thence the port of Kota Kinabalu, in the Malaysian state of Sabah. The 5 m flare gas tip completed the last leg of its journey overland.