DISCOVER Magazine #7

SAL Heavy Lift. The benefits of multiple vessel transport

Published in category: Harbour & Terminal

Christian Hoffmann Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications SAL Heavy Lift
Christian Hoffmann
Head of Marketing and Corporate
SAL Heavy Lift

The principal aim of Damen’s yards in China and Vietnam is to improve the production efficiency of a crucial part of the company’s portfolio – namely tugs and pontoons. This encompasses the entire production process as it progresses from hull fabrication through to outfitting, systems installation and commissioning. However, it is also a strategy that doesn’t stop once the vessels leave the yards. By calling on project cargo carriers like SAL Heavy Lift, Damen can optimise the delivery process too.

“We have worked with Damen for quite a few years now – transporting tugs, workboats and pontoons constructed in their Asian yards to Europe,” says Christian Hoffmann, Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications at SAL Heavy Lift. “In essence, this is a service that repositions Damen vessels to where the market requirements are.” The route taken is usually via the Suez Canal, but can also be around the Cape of Good Hope to reach Damen’s West African clients.

Hold loading

Looking back over the last three years of shipments, SAL Heavy Lift has transported almost 40 Damen vessels in three different voyages. The company has used their heavy lift vessels MV Lone and MV Svenja to take the bigger loads.

“These two vessels were a good match for Damen’s needs. They are the two biggest vessels in our fleet,” Christian continues. “If necessary, they can sail at speeds of up to 20 knots, meaning we can fit into tight schedules.”

When the aim of the game is to transport multiple vessels, the amount of space offered by these two heavy lift vessels is crucial.

With very large deck spaces, we can accommodate a large number of vessels. This is combined with large cargo holds below decks, which are especially suitable for stacking several Stan Pontoons.

Slings & cradles

The MV Lone and MV Svenja each have a combined lifting capacity of 2,000 tonnes; more than enough to lift and load tugs and pontoons. “We have technical supervisors and engineers onsite to create the lifting and stowage plan in close cooperation with Damen. And for the lift we make use of lifting lugs on the tugs and pontoons. Using a spreader beam is vital in order to achieve a straight and stable lift. Stowage of the tugs onboard is often performed making use of Damen’s own ship’s cradles.”

“The scheduling also requires effective coordination,” he adds. “For example, lifting up to twelve tugs on board comes with a certain schedule – there are a lot factors to take into account.”
It is during these loading procedures that you can see the benefits of the established working relationship between Damen and SAL Heavy Lift. “Because we know exactly what they want, we can adapt our solution accordingly. When we deliver according to Damen’s wishes and specifications, they have more time to concentrate on the project at hand.”

From keel-laying to final delivery; Damen’s drive to optimise the ship building process takes in each and every step along the way. These reduced costs are subsequently passed on to Damen’s own customers in the form of competitively priced vessels. “It’s about optimising costs and optimising time,” Christian concludes.

We are happy to have found a solution that works for Damen – and proud that we are providing an important link in their supply chain.

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