Transhipper vessels are effectively floating ‘production lines’. The sophisticated machinery on board and continuous operations puts additional pressure on operators to ensure that there are no breakdowns and that the vessels operate safely.
They are the world’s only vessels that operate around the clock, 365 days a year. Owners need to ensure safety and maintenance are built into the design specifications of each ship, according to Corrado Cuccurullo, CEO of Shi.I.E.L.D.
“The potential cost of stoppages on a transhipper due to poor maintenance can cost millions of dollars as vessel schedules and deliveries can be affected when the supply chain stops,” said Cuccurullo.
From a safety perspective, a real problem on many transhippers is that there is poor ventilation on board. This affects crew accommodation living quarters and the performance of equipment in the engine room.
Primarily, transhippers handle coal which produces a great deal of dust in areas with high ambient temperature and humidity.
“It is very expensive to retrofit a transhipper once there are problems with the design which affects ventilation of the crew areas and engine room or if there is poor access to machinery for maintenance.
“We recommend that owners pay particular attention to design when purchasing these vessels, to avoid unnecessary and expensive breakdowns.”
Shi.E.L.D.’s model is to manage every aspect of the transhipper sector from design, overseeing construction as well as technical and crew management of operating vessels.
Cuccurollo and his team work with mining companies and importers of raw materials such as power stations and factories. Currently many of the producers and importers own the vessels and manage the technical and crewing in-house.