Power Moves

The longest blade ever to be exported from the U.S. highlights a recent series of wind power equipment transloads at Port NOLA

A 78-meter blade was transported by barge to the Port of New Orleans and transloaded to a Rickmers-Linie vessel by terminal operator Coastal Cargo July 14. The blade, manufactured in New Orleans by Blade Dynamics, is the longest blade ever to be manufactured in the United States and exported across the Atlantic Ocean.

The cargo was transported by barge from Blade Dynamics’ NASA Michoud Assembly Facility to the Port’s Louisiana Avenue Complex where it was transloaded to the Rickmers New Orleans. LV Shipping USA Inc. was the forwarder facilitating the shipment destined for the UK via Antwerp.

Blade Dynamics, with facilities in New Orleans and the United Kingdom, designs and manufactures wind turbine rotors. The blade is a prototype component for offshore wind farms.
“With the uniqueness and high profile of the shipment, it took a lot of teamwork and coordination, from all parties involved, for this blade to be a success on its journey towards its destination,” said Keri Guillory, LV Shipping USA Operations Manager.

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“Everything went smoothly according to plan. The key is having available berthing space for the vessel so cargo doesn’t have to wait, and Coastal Cargo is good about having available or immediate berthing,” said Robert Silsbee, Rickmers-Linie General Manager – Sales and Marketing. “There was also plenty of laydown space at the Port and Coastal Cargo had the right equipment to move a piece this size around.”

The Port of New Orleans’ premier connectivity via all six major railroads, the inland river system and the interstate highway system, positions the Port well for both inbound and outbound cargo of this type. Just weeks after the record wind power blade was exported from New Orleans, another Rickmers vessel, the Warnow Merkur, arrived at the Port carrying approximately 20,000 cubic meters of wind power equipment inbound for Iowa.  The shipment, consisting of blades, nacelles, hubs and accessories, originated at the North China Port of Taicang with a final destination of five distinct job sites throughout central and eastern Iowa. Fracht FWO Inc., a project cargo freight forwarder that utilizes the Port of New Orleans for a full spectrum of heavylift cargos, was the forwarder for the move.

“At the beginning the shipper was looking at Duluth, Minnesota, for discharge, but it was decided to discharge via New Orleans because of better overall transit times,” said Reinder Schilsky, Vice President of Project Development at Fracht FWO Inc.

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“New Orleans offers the great advantage of being able to help us with upriver projects, delivering heavylifts into the Midwest in the most economical way,” added Schilsky.


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About 20,000 cubic meters of wind power equipment arrived at the Port of New Orleans on the Rickmers Warnow Merkur. The cargo originated from China with a final destination of Iowa.



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