Rickmers Shanghai, fourth in a chain of nine new Superflex Heavy Multi-Purpose Container (MPC) sister vessels being built in China for Hamburg-based global project liner and heavy lift specialist Rickmers-Linie, has loaded a heavy-lift consignment at the port of Moji in Japan. The vessel, delivered in March 2003, is deployed in the company's newly inaugurated Round-The-World Pearl String Service
Rickmers Shanghai, whose gear has been designed and constructed for the lifting of heavy cargo and the performance of complex loading programs, reached Moji on July 22, 2003. The project cargo to be loaded consisted of 12 individual pieces, the main one being a platforming reactor, weighing 259 metric tons and measuring 57.0 x 4.26 x 4.7 m, for delivery to Valero Refining Company in New Jersey. The consignment also included a 24-ton vessel with dimensions of 9.7 x 2.45 x 3.00 m, as well as 10 wooden cases containing prefabricated process plant parts and technical equipment, the largest weighing 4.6 metric tons.
Due to the new high service standard provided by the Pearl String Service, which operates on a regular fortnightly schedule, the entire loading procedure as well as the cargo lashing was completed in the course of one day. The loading of the 12 pieces took five-and-a-half hours and the lashing operation was terminated in just three hours. Rickmers-Linie specializes in the bedding and seafastening of heavy units onboard the vessels through special lashing techniques.
Rickmers Shanghai and her sisterships have been designed primarily with project cargo in mind. The ships are self-sustained, fitted with four large cranes, the two heaviest of which can be twinned for a lifting capacity of up to 640 tons. The main hatches are 32m in length to allow long loads to be accommodated below deck. Meanwhile, adjustable tweendecks allow for variations in cargo height. The Pearl String Service provides
sailings every 14 days eastbound around the world linking Europe, Asia and North America. Through the Pearl String, Rickmers-Linie also offers connecting services from the US to Middle East and India via Europe.