Sunday, March 11, 2012

New Freight Cooperation Makes Success a Stone Certainty

Four Operations Join Forces to Handle Giant Cargo
Shipping News Feature

INDIA - BELGIUM - GERMANY – So often in the past the Port of Antwerp has proved itself the place to operate from when out of gauge or project cargoes are to be transhipped with half of the 180 million tonnes it sees annually consisting of bulk or general cargo and the latest cooperation between leading freight specialists in different fields has proved the port’s worth once again. Shipment of stone from India into Europe is a traditional trade but usually conducted by and agency which needed to contact several companies in different countries, each with a speciality needed to move the giant blocks from consignor to final destination.

Now a new service has been launched by four companies, Stonetrans, Rickmers-Linie, Antwerp Breakbulk Agencies and DP World Breakbulk, to coordinate the shipping of rough blocks of granite and sandstone from India to Antwerp and beyond. The four partners, who are all highly qualified in their own fields of activity, will perform specific tasks in the new venture.

Rickmers-Linie, which recently upgraded its Indian service with the addition of new vessels in 2011, will take care of the ocean transport. Five new vessels have entered this service: the period chartered vessels Linde and Martin (built 2005) and Baltic Winter (built 2011) and Rickmers' own ships Rickmers Yokohama and Rickmers Tianjin. These two are 17,000 dwt multipurpose heavy-lift vessels built in China in 2011 each equipped with cranes having a combined lifting capacity of 300 tonnes.

The first two stone shipments were discharged from vessels earlier this year and with a managed fleet of over 120 vessels, Hamburg-based Rickmers-Linie is known as one of the world's leading specialists in the global transportation of break-bulk, heavy lift and project cargo by sea.

Antwerp Breakbulk Agencies will provide and coordinate the handling, storage and distribution in the port of Antwerp where on DP World Breakbulk's Quay 468, all the facilities to handle such giant pieces are available. Stonetrans will be responsible for all commercial activities including customs clearance, distribution, etc. Stonetrans, which has its headquarters in Neuss has over 30 years' experience in the trading and handling of rough blocks of granite and sandstone. The cooperative is aiming to move around 100,000 tonnes per annum under the auspices of the new arrangement.