Last February, Traveller was booked to carry two brand-new harbour cranes from Antwerp, Belgium to Puerto Cortez, Honduras. Due to the large size of the cargo, the cranes fitted exactly on the vessel’s upper deck.
Since the under deck space was still available, the Atlantic Department of BigLift’s sister company Spliethoff could use this space for its regular steel trade to the Gulf of Mexico. In Antwerp, Traveller first loaded thousands of tonnes of steel products in her hold. Then her deck was prepared to receive the first of the two Gottwald harbour cranes. Once placed on deck, the first Gottwald had to be driven all the way forward to make sufficient space for the second Gottwald crane.
Highly skilled manoeuvring was required both from the ship’s crew operating the vessel’s cranes and the operator driving the cargo to its final stowage position.
Before the start of the loading operation, BigLift had already gone through some detailed preparations in the office, using its advanced 3D CAD system to ascertain that there would be sufficient space between the cargo and vessel’s cranes. The actual situation showed that the study had been accurate; With only centimetres to spare, the Gottwald jibs could be lowered onto their support frames.
Apart from the loading operation requiring skilful preparations and handling, the seafastening and actual seamanship are also important aspects of heavy lift transportation. As soon as Traveller left Antwerp she encountered severe weather conditions and the captain decided to seek shelter, waiting for the weather to improve.
Further winter storms were experienced en route to Honduras but BigLift’s unique lashing system once proved its effectiveness as ultimately, the cargo was safely delivered in Puerto Cortez.