Latest Posts

What’s the value of a specialist?

Aug 21 2015

Today in Dutch newspapers, Jan Pesie, the CEO and owner of the construction company who was responsible for the failed operation where two land cranes positioned on barges were supposed to install a bridge, acknowledge their mistakes and failure. In this project, a 187mt heavy bridge section was lifted by two hydraulic cranes, each positioned on a separate barge. During the operation, one of the cranes tipped over and dragged the whole combination down, falling on several houses. Jan Pesie...

Do you have the courage to learn?

Jun 26 2015

From time to time I’m reading interesting articles on LinkedIn or in news magazines related to our inspiring niche market of Heavy Lift & Project Cargo. As in most other markets the majority of the articles that I read are about how great it is to work on successful projects and how awesome people and companies are with offering their services and products. Very very often you’ll read an article about something that went wrong and if you’ll find one...

Generalist, specialist or specialized in everything.

Apr 07 2015

In May 2015 the annual Breakbulk expo in Antwerp will take place. When strolling around, sometimes you see a sign which states that a certain company is the best one could ever wish for.  Specialized in heavy-lift, specialized in project cargo, specialized in offshore, specialized in oil & gas, specialized in road transport, etc. When you take a closer look at these companies and take effort to contact them for specific information, mostly they can’t provide it. Suddenly, the right...

Assumptions

Mar 03 2015

In our classroom we receive several times a month experts from all over the world. Course members like CSI’s, surveyors or experts from shipping lines or insurance companies. In the beginning, some are a little uncertain, as they don’t know the competence or education level from the others and some can be very sure of themselves, even cocky. Others are waiting to come out of their shell until they get to know their fellow students. Because our course is very interactive, we...

Agreed Safety Percentage

Jan 29 2015

During our daily load-outs, we meet many different parties; shipping lines, supercargoes, surveyors, clients and insurance companies. All those parties have their own way of thinking, which is good of course. When a load- out occurs under ‘class’ regulations, another party will join the discussion. Having an opinion is very good, because communication should always be open and in the end and opinions should lead to results. A result of how the load-out should occur, under which restrictions, rules and...

Professional or substitute?

Jan 06 2015

Do you hire the Heavy-lift professional or his bulk experienced substitute? When sending people to the other end of the world for a supercargo or a survey job, the travelling costs are most of the time an issue for the client. Understandable. These days we have to look at every penny, dollar or euro in order to make some profit. Some clients start looking for locals abroad who can attend their load-outs and focus only on the expenses, instead of the quality...

Does the lack of expertise retain you from discovering new markets?

Dec 18 2014

Does the lack of expertise retain you from discovering new markets? Risk should not paralyze the zeal and enthusiasm of entrepreneurs or involved employees. They must be willing to take moderate risks when they believe there is a strong likelihood that they will succeed. For the entrepreneur, the brighter side of risk-taking is the possibility of success and increasing their wealth. Most dreams cannot come true unless some risks are taken. Especially in the insurance market, it’s very important to...

Cutting costs the right way?

Nov 25 2014

A friend of mine, let’s call him Joe, runs a successful survey company for quite some years now. He is always very busy with surveys for windmill cargo on board of ocean carriers. I met him recently and asked how the business was going. “Could be better. One of my clients cut 50% of my surveys because there haven’t been incidents lately. If necessary, I intervene the operations and guide the stevedores to make sure correct lifting gear is used in order...

Friction included or excluded in calculations?

Oct 02 2014

Friction is a magic word in transport engineering. For some companies it means saving money on lashing & securing. For another companies it means to create additional safety for the cargo. When is friction used? How is it used? We all know what the coefficient of friction will be when using steel on timber, or steel on steel etc. Some rubber mats manufacturers state they have mats which could create a coefficient of 0,8g. Amazing…No more lashing and securing for shear...

Safety Factor

Sep 09 2014

Using safety factors is getting out of hand. Companies use it to increase their safety in load-outs, or is it because they are not sure of themselves? When cargo is loaded onto a vessel according IMO Annex 13, acceleration factors will be taken from a table or calculated by using formulas. The achieved acceleration is always very high. This is done to have a single guideline for all sort of vessels. However, if you engineer the acceleration forces they are...