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Increasing flexibility through
innovative initiatives


Article published January 2013.

Lauritzen Bulkers has increased the flexibility of its fleet with inventions such as grabs for handling cement. These grabs allow us to carry cement to destinations that lack the infrastructure to accommodate specialist cement carriers or large ships. The benefits are higher utilization for the fleet as well as cost savings for the client from the cargo arriving closer to its final destination, which also reduces transhipments and environmental impact.

Developing of dust-eliminating grabs

Lauritzen Bulkers is a significant provider of tonnage to the cement trade. Cement and clinker is a challenging cargo to load, transport and discharge. A substantial part of the cement business takes place in ports with limited infrastructure where the environment and the physical space available make loading and discharging a challenging task.

The greatest challenge relates to the generation of dust, which is a danger to the crew, the ship’s installations, port infrastructure and surroundings, and the cargoes of other ships. To address this, we developed special dust-eliminating grabs for cargo handling.

Loading ships to their full potential

The use of grabs also allows our crews to load ships to their maximum capacity without jeopardizing stability or inducing dangerous structural stresses. Cement has a low angle of repose, which means that it has an inherent tendency to form a cone when loaded by conveyors.

This gives rise to two problems. A cone can shift during the voyage, creating stability problems. Moreover, coning is an inefficient way of loading cargo because it leaves part of the holds empty. The use of grabs eliminates the risk of coning because the operator of the grabs distributes the cargo evenly in the hold.

Trained crew reduce risks

Our trained crews increase efficiency and reduce the risk of incorrect loading, accidents and cargo spillage while boosting efficiency in preparing and cleaning the hold and reducing the risk of improper maintenance of the grabs.

Our crews can also take instant action and apply their experience to repair the grabs which provide savings in terms of time, money and environmental damage. The presence of an experienced crew helps ensure an efficient flow of operations ashore as well.

Better utilization of port infrastructure

The use of grabs means maximum use can be made of available port capacity. The infrastructure available in many ports may pose limitations for loading and discharging cement. However, making use of the port capacity available is particularly important in the case of cement and cement clinker because they are low-value products. Transport costs can add up to a large part of the final value of the cargo.

Better utilization of port, infrastructure also means more cargo shipped with fewer vessels entering the port reducing waiting times for others.

Opportunities ahead Since 1884