Geodis Wilson will manage the transport of 16 lock gates, each weighing more than 4,000 tons, for the the expansion of the Panama Canal.
An initial vessel, carrying four of the gates will depart from Italy in February 2013 and will be followed by a further three shipments throughout the year. The project is scheduled for completion in December 2013. The new gates are part of the large-scale expansion plan by the Panama Canal Authority that is designed to double the capacity of the Panama Canal by 2014.
“Geodis Wilson’s role as a key transport provider in one of the world’s most demanding infrastructure projects underlines both, our outstanding competence in managing complex heavy-lift shipments and our significance in the global ocean freight sector”, comments Pierre Blayau, Chairman and CEO of Geodis Group.
The new lock chambers will enable post-Panamax containerships to transit the canal connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Post-Panamax ships are more than 360 meters long, 50 meters wide and have drafts of up to 15 meters.
A dedicated engineering team led by Geodis Wilson Italy’s Industrial Projects department has developed a unique lashing system to secure the gates safety during transport, which will be via semi-submersible vessels from Italy to Panama. In addition, the inland transport, loading and unloading operations will be coordinated by Geodis Wilson, in cooperation with Sarens NV and STX Pan Ocean.
Geodis Wilson’s Industrial Projects division has achieved an internationally recognized high status due to its innovative and sustainable approach to transportation solutions. Recently the company managed a record-breaking airfreight shipment of wind turbine blades from China to Scandinavia and also took a leading role in developing the first rail freight solution for similar blade deliveries within Europe.
Geodis Wilson, October 5, 2012; Image: STX Pan Ocean