Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Freight And Logistics Spans Every Sector Of Industry

The Energy Market Demands Services at All Levels
Shipping News Feature

US – WORLDWIDE – Many of the worlds shipping groups, whose reputations and business empires have been built on a base of freight movements whether it be general cargo, bulk logistics or ocean containers, have recently been turning more and more to the expanding energy sector as illustrated by our January story about the most expensive ship ever built for the Maersk group.

Now the Crowley Maritime Corporation have issued details of their latest venture into the oil and gas sector with the news they will be introducing new double-hulled, combination deck cargo and tank barges into Alaska. Two vessels, the DBL 165-1 and 2, are expected to load their first cargoes of petroleum products in Bristol Bay this week and will begin making deliveries to customers along the Bering Sea coast soon afterward.

There is no local regulation demanding the more costly double hulled type of barge, unlike ocean going tankers, and Crowley point out they are the only company to operate such craft in the region having previously introduced the 180-1 to Alaska in 2005. The barges were specifically designed for the rigors of Western Alaska, with the highest priority given for the safety of the personnel and the environment and Crowley have been present in this section of the industry since 1953, today employing 650 staff in the state to cope with some of the most difficult conditions for logistics.

As opposed to the Maersk story Crowley are dealing in this instance with the other end of the petroleum supply chain, using the shallow drafted vessels for such operations as beach landings for the delivery of fuel and cargo to the remote communities of Western Alaska.

At the southern terminus of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline, Crowley provides tanker escort and docking services in the Prince William Sound for Alyeska Pipeline Service Company's Ship Escort/Response Vessel System, utilizing some of the most technologically advanced and powerful tugboats in the world. With a storage capacity of more than 39 million gallons, Crowley is strongly positioned as a leader in the Alaska fuel industry, providing transportation, distribution and sales of petroleum products to more than 280 communities across Alaska.

Crowley supports the energy industry on the North Slope with summer sealifts of large production modules and various marine transportation services, and in the winter supports oil field development with CATCO® all-terrain vehicles. These heavy-lift overland transport units have large bag tyres designed to work over the tundra without damaging the delicate Arctic ecosystem. Crowley also provides tanker assist and escort services at Tesoro Alaska Company's Nikiski refinery in Cook Inlet.

Commenting on the new arrivals Bob Cox, Crowley's vice president of petroleum distribution said:

"We are pleased and excited to announce the delivery and deployment of these barges. This exemplifies our commitment to moving petroleum and petroleum products efficiently and safely. Engineered with integrity, the DBL 165-1 and DBL 165-2 give Crowley the opportunity to better serve the Alaska market with the enhanced design features that are built into these vessels."

Photo: One of the new barges with (above) a Crowley built CATCO® all-terrain vehicle in action.