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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Cargo transhipment re-invented - lower handling costs and better for the environment.

+Jenny Ruffell Smith from my team recently attended a seminar hosted by the Nautical Institute.

Sea Transport spoke about a new concept for transhipment of cargo.


Costs of moving materials, such as iron ore, can be significantly increased if transport infrastructure and/or deep-water ports, are not located close to mine sties and easily accessible  Usually mining companies are faced with transporting materials long distances either by road or rail and frequently building an expensive terminal and jetty facility.

Transhipment allows smaller vessels with shallower drafts to transfer materials from a small harbour close to the mine site and then transfer to a oceangoing export vessel stationed offshore.

The latest innovation is the Floating Harbour Transhipper (FHT - pictured). A self-propelled feeder vessel berths in the FHT's aft well dock where the FHT unloads the feeder vessel and transfers materials to onboard stockpiles or straight to an ocean going vessel. 

Transhipment - Sea transport

The FHT can withstand 4m wave height, which reduces down-time, demurage and feeder damage. Also, due to the feeder and FHT both being enclosed, this ensures a dust free transshipment and dry cargo. Due to the shallow draft of the feeder, vessels can be used from very small ports eliminating the need for dredging sensitive areas, constructing large jetties and reducing port charges. It also eliminates the need for large sheds ashore for stockpiling. 

This method of transhipment also has potential to handle containers as well in remote ports.

Transhipment - Sea transport

This innovation new vessel would be very beneficial in Australia where millions of tons of raw materials are exported every year and much of it in an environmentally sensitive area and transported long distances by rail and road.

Great to see such innovative ideas gradually becoming reality.

All for now,

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