Heavylift / Breakbulk

  • Transporting the test load took three nights.

18.08.2014 By: Christian Doepgen

Artikel Nummer: 6921

A well-prepared route

34 nations supply components to the Iter project, a nuclear fusion reactor in the Cadarache research centre (see page 22 of the Heavy­lift Special in ITJ 45-46 / 2013). A second three-night pilot shipment for Iter, with a 600 t test load, has now been successfully completed in the Marseille area. Klaus Schymke of the Hanau-based German entity Nuclear Cargo + Service told the ITJ about the operation.

Following a first pilot shipment, carried out in September 2013, a second one reached the Cadarache research centre in April, as training for the Iter project’s global procurement processes in southern France. Once again, a 600 t load measuring 19 m by 9 m width and 9 m height was transported a distance of 104 km. It was possible to reduce the transit time to three nights on this run. The heavylift division of the transport service provider Daher-HCS, based in Hanau (Germany), handled the heavy consignment.



Coordination and speed

The first pilot shipment with an identical weight and volume was initially carried out to confirm the load capacities of the bridges involved and the general efficiency of the route. Following its completion, the second test run primarily facilitated the efficient coordination of all parties involved, that is to say the authorities and the police, Iter itself and the logistics service provider’s transport management. Another aim was to achieve the fastest possible speed through the city.


44 parallel-coupled heavylift axle lines were used, each equipped with a 680 hp engine unit and driver’s cab at the front and rear. The 600 t pilot load consisted of 360 concrete blocks.


Between 2008 and 2011 the French public sector invested a total of EUR 110 million to prepare the route for the transportation of the experimental reactor’s components. The overland and inland canal option covers 104 km from the Mediterranean port of Fos-sur-Mer to Iter’s Cadarache site at Saint-Paul-lez-Durance, via the Canal de Caronte and the Port de la Pointe-de-Berre.


26 bridges have been rebuilt or strengthened, four bypasses created, 19 roundabouts upgraded, four level motorway crossings developed, 35 km of roads straightened and another 10 km specially rebuilt, amongst other things, to accommodate the heavylift shipments.


28 loads weighing more than 500 t

Following the successful second pilot run, the main phase of the project can now begin. A total of 212 heavy components, including 28 with a load weight of more than 500 t, will be transported on the route till 2019, when the reactor is due to be completed.       




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