What you should know about oversized shipments

What you should know about oversized shipments

What does “oversized cargo” mean?
Oversized cargo means non-standard parts and of big volume and weight, such as electrical transformers, power turbines, aviation hulls and even spare parts for plants which are components for technological and energetical projects.
The demand for these goods is closely related to industrial and economic development. Almost all major development projects require transport of cargos larger than conventional conveyances.
Transport of oversized cargo requires a non-standard approach regarding risk management in order to identify and prevent the occurrence of unpleasant events, which might delay the completion of projects. Goods from metallic structures, industrial machines and components used in the mining industry – which in general do not exceed 25 tones, but exceed standard parameters of road transportation– to metallurgical lines, transformers and turbines –which are mainly characterized by a great weight reported to their own volume and can be transported on road only by a multi-axle semitrailer– and up to specific structures such as hull sections for vessels with a high volume and weight that exceeds 70 tones, all of these require a very careful route planning.
One of the first actions for road transport is checking the capability of the vehicle to transport the cargo in good conditions. The next step is preparation and optimization of the transport route, which requires the checking of each road section to ensure sufficient width, necessary clearance under the bridges and gangways, obstacles or bumpy roads and/or weight restrictions on certain road sections.
Most of these cargos’ transportation is done by maritime routes, where risk of unwanted events occurrences appears up from the first stage of handling the goods on seaports. These seaports require not only an adequate infrastructure, but also high-qualified personal for such operations. Moreover, the safety of navigation for vessels that transport these goods, which, more often than not, due to the weight and/or volume of the cargo, are specialized ships or barges, must be considered.
These cargos can be represented by drilling platforms or bases for maritime wind turbines that can weight several thousand tons and be of hundreds of meters in length.

SOLAS Convention from 1974 provides that transport, stowage and lashing of goods on maritime routes be done according to CSM – Cargo Securing Manual and at a standard at least equal to the one issued by International Maritime Organization (IMO). Even so, unwanted events are not completely eliminated and causes of such events are mainly due to:
– Severe unfavorable weather conditions
– Incorrect assessment of various forces involved in the process
– Ignoring of relevant guidelines and recommendations in order to reduce costs
– lack of Time and/or personal required to finalize necessary processes before the vessel leaves the seaport
– Lack of resistance of the material used in lashing together with unbalanced loading and improper weight distribution

Therefore, in order to avoid unwanted events, risk management is one of the key problems during oversized cargo transportation. Risk assessment that influences oversized loadings needs to focus especially on technical, economic and social factors in order to determine negative impact in the transportation process. Assessment results allow identification of the necessary measures for reducing risks and for choosing the best transport strategy for these kinds of goods.
With over 10 years’ experience in Cargo Insurance, CertAsig underwriters identify and evaluate risks, offering clients support in managing and reducing those which can appear and the necessary insurance/cover for the concluding, in optimal conditions, of the proposed transport projects.

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