Extraordinary loads require extraordinary attention

Extraordinary loads require extraordinary attention

The facts

In May 2020 DP Survey Group was approached by an industry leading underwriter covering the transport of a large autoclave.

The unit is unique in its kind, and designed by a Belgian engineering company who manufactured this exceptional craftmanship in-house.

The Russian client is a global top 3 producer of precious metals in the world.

The multi-year engineering and manufacturing process was successfully concluded in May and the final transport of the unit was organized to hand over the unit to the client.

Nicolas Denis

Written by Nicolas Denis Author

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The transport

With a gross weight of 1000mt, size over 50m long and a diameter of 6m, the steel pressure vessel is a true out of gauge item. The multimodal transportation from the production facility to the export terminal in the port of Antwerp requires ultra-careful planning, as well as involvement of SPMT transport and RoRo load-out onto an inland river barge, involving several (sub)contractors


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For this very precious cargo, all stakeholders involved rely heavily on DPS expertise and its outstanding track-record with this type of special cargo. Hence, in order to assist the underwriter in determining and controlling the risks involved with the move of the unit, DPS surveyors meticulously conducted a study of the preparations and calculations provided by the contractors.

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All data was carefully checked and cross-checked with our own calculations. Where needed, adjustments were recommended or clarifications requested to raise awareness and ensure that at every stage of the transport the relevant risks were evaluated and accounted for.

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The different technical aspects such as stability of trailers/barge, mooring/ballast arrangements, lifting plans and jacking operations were compared to industry standards and practices. Attendances during the different phases of transport were ensured to monitor and safeguard accurate execution of the planned operations. Every single detail was assessed. Zero room for error.

The outcome

Transport by road and inland waterways proceeded without noticeable incidents and a successful handover of the unit to the client occurred on board of the ocean going vessel at the port of Antwerp. Over a course of 3 days the unit was shipped from the factory and successfully loaded on board of the vessel bound for the client’s facilities in Russia.

Nicolas Denis

Written by Nicolas Denis Author