Wind blades create logistical challenge in world’s largest non-containerised cargo operation

Three wind blades, each measuring 72.5 m long and weighing 21 tons, have become the world’s largest non-containerised cargo. The complex logistics involved in shipping them is likely to become a common challenge for port operators as ever larger wind-power installations spread around the world.

From the Port of Pecém in northern Brazil to the state of Santa Catarina, 2,000-plus nautical miles to the south, the blades were sent in two shipments, on March 25 and April 1. More than a month of planning was required to prepare for the transport.

A ship-to-shore crane was used to place four flat rack containers to serve as a base to support the blades as they were moved. For the transfer to the ship, two mobile port cranes were used. Two blades were loaded in just 55 minutes.

Aliança Navegação e Logística, which operates a cabotage line that passes through the port and is a member of the Hamburg Süd Group, was the carrier for the operation, using its vessels, the Bartolomeu Dias and Vicente Pinzon. Maersk Brazil’s Logistics and Services team provided logistics services.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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