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INDUSTRY FOCUSRAILFREIGHT


SRT Transportation Solutions, in response to changing market conditions, has restructured its business and will only handle project cargoes on a select basis.


interstate and county roads, especially as road infrastructure is deteriorating and bridges are downgraded. He agreed it is not really about the


weight. “Even the heaviest of project cargo can still stay within our allowable bridge maximums. Project cargoes are no more impactful to a bridge then regular freight traffic, mainly because you can use more axles to spread the load. It causes no more stress on a bridge than a locomotive going over it.”


Wind energy One growing sector in the outsize railfreight market is the delivery of components for wind farms. Labyak said that RICA will have a renewable energy component at its annual conference (in Florida during June) for the first time ever. “We can either pretend this change is not


going on, or we look at a way to get into that sector, with blades, turbines and towers all needing to be moved,” he said. “The same principles apply. A 215 ft (70 m) blade across three or four railcars requires as much best practice and new business practice as our traditional pieces.” Sutton said that BNSF Logistics is keen


to get more involved in renewable energy projects. “Moving a series of sets of blades on full unit train services is good business. Wind farms are getting larger so you could have 80-100 turbines going up at one time. That is a lot of components going into one area on a regular type of service.” He said the extension of the USA’s


production tariff credit for wind energy projects has been a main driver of construction activity, and therefore handling opportunities, over the course of the last few


www.heavyliftpfi.com


The limiting factor is likely to be width and height, rather than weight. It can be hard to move a single unit from the factory as parts are getting larger and larger. – Robert Sutton, BNSF Logistics


years. “We carry sets of blades point to point and if we can mix blades and towers and have a whole train taken up, that is even better. “Nacelles are getting heavier, towers have


more sections and blades are getting longer, so that suits railways. The cost of trucking would be high and you would have trouble finding the right equipment. We can use multiple railcars to span the load. “There are more challenges – they get


longer and heavier but part of what we do is to come up with creative solutions. We do a lot of engineering at the front end – lifting, securing plans, making sure, for instance, it can be offloaded and reloaded onto trucks for final delivery. We design and fabricate all


of our own fixtures that allow components to be fixed to railcars.”


Talking to customers For Taylor at Colossal Transport Solutions, whatever industry he is looking at, the important thing is to talk to customers and manufacturers about the dimensions of a component, preferably at the design stage. “The customer might send over the


concept and we look at it and maybe suggest that if they can get it down to a certain size, it would result in significant cost savings in terms of the move. This might not be worth it if they look at the whole picture. But at least they have information to make the best decision.” Nonetheless, the North American


market for OOG railfreight shipments is undeniably tough. The difficulties have been felt acutely by SRT Transportation Solutions, a Houston-based provider of heavy rail transport logistics management services that has been active in the market for 15 years. The group has decided to restructure its business. Effective April 4, 2019, SRT


Transportation Solutions confirmed that it would suspend indefinitely its transportation project management division. A representative from the company stated


that SRT Transportation Solutions has not gone out of business, adding that the move is in response to the evolution of market conditions and a shift in the transportation project management business landscape. Instead, the company will focus on


growing and enhancing its dedicated logistics management service offering, which will now offer project cargo handling on a select basis.


May/June 2019


HLPFI 69


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