UK's largest forging press delivered to Sheffield Forgemasters

UK’s largest forging press delivered to Sheffield Forgemasters

Photo source: Sheffield Forgemasters

Moving project cargo from point A to point B often is a multimodal affair, but also often includes a number of companies joining forces. Such was the undertaking that saw the UK’s largest open die forging press for Sheffield Forgemasters travel from Japan to the United Kingdom. 

UK’s steel castings and forgings supplier, Sheffield Forgemasters saw the 8,000-tonne open die forging press sail 13,000 nautical miles from Hiagari Port in Japan to King George Dock in Hull, UK.

Sheffield Forgemasters leads a logistical masterclass

Craig Smith, import export manager at Sheffield Forgemasters, said, “This is one of our largest logistical projects to date, requiring the press to be decommissioned in Japan and all of its thousands of components sorted into 488 packages.

“The 13 largest items, half of which weigh more than 200 tonnes each with the heaviest at 255 tonnes, required a second vessel to be chartered to ship the components to Goole, beyond the Ouse bridge, for loading onto Allelys’ largest transport vehicles.

“The cargo took 14 days to load, 45 days to travel from Japan to Hull and 12 days to unload.”

The press which operates at 13,000 tonnes of pressure, was offloaded from MV Hanna, a 19,000 tonne heavy-lift cargo vessel, onto the Hull quay with 13 ultra-large components forwarded via barge to Goole, due to size and weight restrictions over the Ouse bridge.

Sheffield Forgemasters contracted the shipping requirements to Allseas Global Logistics and GB Shipping & Forwarding, who worked with specialist heavy-load haulier, Allelys to deliver the cargo from both docks to Sheffield with police escorting seven loads over 200 tonnes each.

Following the company’s acquisition by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) last year, there are plans to invest up to £400 million ($503.4 million) over the next decade to support defence-critical assets, including a new heavy forge line and building.

Finding the right fit

Commenting on the logistics puzzle, Jamie Slater, project development manager at Allseas Global Logistics noted that finding and chartering a heavy lift vessel which had the capacity to stow all the cargo under deck but had a narrow enough beam to enter the locks at Hull Docks, was the first major challenge. “Our chartering team worked for several months to find the right vessel available at the right time within the budget of the project,” Slater said.

Andy Wormald, project manager at Allseas Global Logistics, added, “This is a complex freight package to transport and ship, with many different multimodal aspects and the utilisation of various items of heavy lift equipment.

“We worked closely with Allelys to ensure that all of the press parts were handled with efficiency, regardless of size or weight and managed the journey by sea and overland to arrive safely in Sheffield.”

David Allely, managing director at Allelys, said, “We have provided transport for the whole Sheffield Forgemasters consignment to deliver the press components from Hull and Goole to Sheffield, using our 45 tonne ballasted tractor units and modular 24 axle trailers.

“Loading and unloading the barge required our Liebherr LG1550 lattice-boom crane, with lifting capacity of 550 tonnes, which in turn, required two other cranes to assemble it at the dockside.”

Priest Abnormal Load services also accompanied all of the large loads from the ports into Sheffield. The press will be housed in a proposed new building at Sheffield Forgemasters’ Brightside Lane site, with commissioning of the facility set to take place in 2025.

Author: Adnan Bajic

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