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Oversize cargo transportation: Ice has moved

 

 Every year, more than 60,000 permits to transport oversize cargo are issued in the southern Baltic region. Due to the development of major energy projects, construction and modernization of plants, the number of this type of cargo is increasing; therefore all countries have made efforts the transport of oversize cargo to be smoother and faster.
 
Klaipeda Science and Technology Park (KSTP) has implemented the project “Oversize Baltic” together with eight partners from Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Sweden. This is an international project that aims at improving the conditions for transportation of oversize cargo in the southern Baltic region, to resolve administrative problems, to ensure the planning of smooth transportation, to draw the corridors for such transportation. The project lasted two years.
 
Logistics experts say that a common strategy is necessary for the oversize cargo to move smoothly. Each country has its oversize vehicles defined and regulated differently, thus it is not surprising that such movement of goods is very complicated because of bureaucratic obstacles.
 
 “The carriers of oversized goods face a lot of bureaucratic problems. Different countries have the carriage of such goods regulated irregularly, so on purpose to carry a load, for example, from Lithuania to Sweden, you have to set yourself that the formal procedure will take once or twice longer than the duration of the transportation of goods. When important projects are executed, each day of lingering might bring huge losses,”- said Nerijus Veikšas, the manager of the transport company “OTA”.
 
In order the bureaucratic obstacles to be the less, a common strategy focused specifically on the southern Baltic region has been worked out during the project Oversize Baltic. All the legal and infrastructural conditions were assessed, which might facilitate the movement of goods between Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Sweden.
 
“One of the objectives of the project “Oversize Baltic” is to draw corridors whereby oversize cargo would be able to move without any major obstacles. The corridors can facilitate the transportation of cargo, and contribute to the development of the Baltic region. Having arranged transportation system properly, wider opportunities for closer cooperation with Eastern countries would open, where a lot of grandiose projects could be implemented. Anticipation of transport corridors allows planning of road infrastructure more purposefully and more effectively. If possible directions of movement of oversized cargo are described clearly, roads may be applied to the transport of such cargo more effectively,”- said Roma Stubrienė, the director of KSTP.
 
The carriers of oversize cargo make no secret of the fact that it is difficult to access the information about the procedures for such goods in different countries. According to Gintautas Šiaškus, the manager of the freight company “Klaipėdos transekspedicija”, transportation of oversized and heavy cargo is regulated precious little, appropriate authorities interpret laws and requirements diversely and, as a result, a lot of planning-related concerns fall on the shoulders of carriers.
 
In order to minimize the problems of transportation planning for the carriers, a virtual information system for oversize vehicles OTIN was developed during the project “Oversize Baltic”. This system allows carriers to obtain necessary broad-brush information about the transportation in the southern Baltic region - it contains structured route maps, laws of different countries and permit issue procedures. Thus cargo carriers are more likely to speed up the processes, as searching for information has taken a lot of valuable time so far. How does OTIN system work? After having registered at the system, the carriers of oversize cargo receive all the necessary information about the existing laws governing the transportation of oversized cargo in a particular country, and learn what the possible routes are. Strategies, route maps of the countries from different southern Baltic regions and a detailed description of the required procedures are available in one place. This manual on oversized cargo transport allows you to work faster and more efficiently, since search and coordination of analogous information takes more time.
 
Joint trainings were also held for the carriers from different countries during the project - more than 60 businesses enterprises were involved in them. Carriers analyzed the existing problems together and offered solutions. Trainings have not only helped to share experience, but also made ​​it possible for entrepreneurs to find partners for underway projects. Technological potential for oversize cargo and security requirements were analyzed during the trainings, also the discussions on how such cargo could be shipped by Ro Ro ferries took place. Marketers offered suggestions how more of this type of cargo could be attracted to the region.
 
It is noted that the number of oversized cargo in the South Baltic region is growing. The main reason - significant energy projects are developing rapidly or are just about to be implemented. Since discussions about the need to build new nuclear power plants are still taking place in the region, the logistics professionals are already planning how to deliver the cargo necessary for the future construction smoothly.
 
The developers of the Visaginas nuclear power plant project which is planned to be built in Lithuania say that about 1,000 tons of heavy and very oversized cargo (more than 20 m long, 4-9 m in height and width) will be shipped during the building of a new nuclear power plant, in addition to the standard construction cargo being transported permanently. Such cargo has never been transported in Lithuania (up to now, the cargo of record size, which has been transported by roads in Lithuania, has been just over 500 tons).
 
“It is a very complex process that requires a very thorough planning. A special communication plan being prepared currently is intended to ensure the development of road infrastructure adjusted for the transportation of oversize cargo. Later, there will be a movement to the next stage - the preparation of the route. Thus, the preparation for the transportation of cargo for a new NPP started quite early, and is being implemented in series, for the transportation to run smoothly as soon as the time for the transportation of cargo comes,” - said the Logistics Manager of the company “Visaginas Nuclear Power Plant”.
 
It is necessary to create one strategy for the transportation of oversize cargo not only on purpose to have a smooth process of transportation, but also considering the development possibilities of the industrial zone. It seems likely that after the creation of the corridors for oversized cargo, arrangement of infrastructure and the abolition of all the bureaucratic obstacles, the establishment of the companies producing oversized devices in the southern Baltic region will be possible. There is no doubt that the region would be more attractive economically to potential investors.
 
After having structured the material on the transport corridors for the oversize cargo, the developers of “Oversize Baltic” project are planning to initiate a trial - pilot project, whereby aims for the integration of the Scandinavian and Baltic markets. Currently, the trip length of goods traffic may be as high as 25.25 meters in Scandinavia (e.g., Sweden), but the transportation of such length cargo has not been allowed in other countries so far. Therefore, experts are planning to test how such cargo would be able to move in our region via special corridors to the logistics centers.
 
The project was led by the Klaipeda Science and Technology Park, Lithuania was represented by the Klaipeda State Seaport Authority, Klaipeda Marine Research Center of NPPE, Poland was represented by Szczecin Marine University, Germany - The Federal Association of SMEs, and Wismar Business Technology and Design University. Swedish experience was shared by Blekinge Institute of Technology, Karlshamn Port, and the Swedish Road Administration. The project also involved 16 associated partners.
 
“Although the two-year-long project was completed, but the works will continue. Together with partners, we created strategies for the transportation of oversize cargo, analyzed the experiences of different countries and were looking for ways to facilitate the movement of such cargo. Now the ultimate task is waiting to be fulfilled – to make every effort so as this strategy to be implemented, and to ensure the plans not only to be on the paper but they would help to solve specific problems,”- R. Stubrienė summed up the project.
 

 

 
 

 Project Partners

       

Federal Association of SME's, Rostock

NPPE Klaipeda Shipping Research centre


                   

 

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