Masterclass door-to-door logistics by WPL

Elbeborg ships 13 onshore windturbines from Spain to the Netherlands

For decades, wind has been of particular significance for Wagenborg. Wind was used to sail all different corners of the world. But as the world changed, so did our relationship with the wind. In current times we no longer depend on the wind to transport our cargo. Instead, we now offer logistical solutions to those who do still depend on wind, for instance to generate sustainable energy.

Complete logistical service

Royal Wagenborg offers a complete logistical service to the wind industry. From transporting wind turbine components by vessel or pontoon to assembly and installation of onshore wind turbines and from 
storage and transhipment to offshore support and supply: no project or logistical challenge is off limits for Wagenborg.

Green Energy Services

This became apparent in April of this year when Wagenborg was approached by Michiel Oosterhaven (project manager) at Green Energy Services (GES) for the transportation of no less than thirteen 500kW onshore wind turbines from Bilbao to Harlingen. GES is a renowned wind turbine service- and maintenance company, but have yet limited experience in regard to new wind turbine logistics. For this purpose they sought to collaborate with a logistical party to relieve them of this. Wagenborg was asked to take on the complete logistical scope of this project: this included the inland transportation up to the port in Bilbao, local temporary storage, loading of the sea-going vessel, sea transport to Harlingen, unloading the sea-going vessel and local temporary storage and eventually the dispensation of the wind turbine components.


Collaboration Wave Shipping and Wagenborg

In order to facilitate the project, Wagenborg sought to collaborate closely with Wave Shipping. Wave Shipping is a combination of Wagenborg Shipping and Vertom, two international operators in surface transport. From the Spanish Tarragona and Madrid, Wave shipping acts as a shipping-agent and project forwarder in the Western Mediterranean (Spain, Portugal, South of France, the Italian west coast and Northern Africa from the Ivory Coast to Egypt). Wave Shipping’s part as trigger for subcontractors has been essential in the negotiation and supervision of local logistical parties. The full project implementation up to the loading in Bilbao was in the hands of Wave Shipping.

Made to fit

After the arrival of all 13 partial wind turbines in the port of Bilbao, it was important to make everything fit the sea-going vessel. The m.s. Elbeborg was the appointed type of vessel ideal for this project. This 11.000 DWT vessel is partially fitted with tween decks which allowed for the various wind turbine components to be loaded. Each wind turbine consisted of two tower segments, a hub, a nacelle and a cage carrying three rotor blades: a total of 65 components of variable size. It was a fair challenge for Siep Willemsen, one of Wagenborg’s cargo superintendents, to ensure the cargo was made to fit the vessel.

“It is not the first time for us to ship this type of cargo, so we know exactly how to arrange the cargo in the vessel. Of course we design everything on the computer first in order to have the plan at hand
when on location. During loading and unloading we’re always present to assess whether the cargo is loaded and secured according to plan
”, Siep says. 

After an equally flawless voyage, the Elbeborg was unloaded in Harlingen as planned. A textbook project where Wagenborg Projects & Logistics has once more proven its strength as a key figure.