Contracts secured despite competitive climate

19th April 2013 By: Anine Kilian - Contributing Editor Online

Durban-based heavy-lifting and abnornal-load company Lovemore Bros transported a 65 t catamaran, the Ocean Diamond, to Durban harbour, where it was launched into the water last month.

The 24-m-long, 9.2-m-wide vessel has been renamed Le View. It can accommodate 200 people and was launched using a floating crane of State-owned freight logistics group Transnet. The vessel will be used as a floating restaurant and dance club.

“One of the challenges of moving the catamaran was when it lifted a few inches, owing to a weak bracket,” states Le View project manager David Klerck.

Meanwhile, the company also completed the installation of three carbon dioxide columns at chrome and chemicals plant Lanxess, in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), towards the end of last year.

“We provided the rigging ser- vices for a 34-m-long crane weigh- ing 35 t. The primary lifting crane was a 440 t capacity crane and the secondary lifting crane was a 120 t capacity crane,” says Love-more Bros MD Bruce Lovemore.

He adds that the company’s scope of work included the transportation of abnormally long towers from the manufacturer in Durban to the site in Newcastle.

“Once the three towers were all on site, we offloaded and rotated them into a vertical position and lifted them into their final position within the final structure,” Lovemore says.

Industry Challenges
Lovemore states that there are several challenges that plague the heavy-lifting and abnormal-load industry, one of which is the extreme costs incurred, owing to the late deliveries of abnormally large cargo to project sites.

“The cost of idle cranes and rigging crews at sites is enormous and can erode profits or lead to heavy losses. It is, therefore, important to have control over and forewarning of cargo coming in,” he says.

Lovemore adds that this does not necessarily mean that having on-site lifting and transporting facilities makes the coinciding of cargo and offloading at destination a simple task.

“There are major challenges facing abnormal-load transporters, such as severe delays caused by a lack of sufficient traffic-officer escorts,” he states, adding that this is further exacerbated by the constant changing of abnormal-load exemption criteria among the different provinces in South Africa.

“For example, an exemption granted for an abnormal load in KZN may not necessarily be granted in the Free State, which results in a different route being taken or the need for more expensive equipment, which eventually causes more delays that, in turn, impacts on delivery to a project,” Lovemore explains.

He adds that the fleet of vehicles and trailers equipped to handle heavy loads at Lovemore Bros are geared to transport cargo with large and abnormal weights, dimensions and extreme lengths.

“To cater to the varied abnormal loads that have to be transported on South Africa’s road network, a lot of thought and investment had to be ploughed into building an effective transport service.

“Over the years we have built our fleet to cater to the needs of diverse sectors, including the sugar, paper and mining and chemicals industries, as well as processing plants,” Lovemore says.

He adds that the company engages with the manufacturers and end-users in these industries to ensure that Lovemore Bros’ trailers and rigging staff stay abreast of the latest technologies and skills needed to transport and install these abnormal loads.

Lovemore further states that, when dealing with the shipping industry, weather and shipping variances can cause inevitable delays.

“Whether regarding imports or exports, delays will happen and can result in huge losses in demurrage and standing-time charges. “To mitigate this, Lovemore Bros has five large warehouses at various premises around Durban, which are accessible on an immediate ad hoc basis,” he adds.

Lovemore notes that the warehouses have machine-handling facilities, which not only handle the cargo but also destuff, store, sort and sequence it safely and cost effectively prior to delivery to site.

“We also have a specialised packaging service to deal with cargo repackaging, timber crating or even shrink-wrapping with corrosion-resistant foil.

“Our experience has taught us that preplanning of projects is essential. “We are able to amalgamate all factors of a project into a single entity so that nothing is dealt with in isolation,” he concludes.