• ITVI.USA
    15,411.130
    -4.180
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.740
    -0.021
    -0.8%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.110
    0.000
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,375.870
    -11.650
    -0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,411.130
    -4.180
    0%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.740
    -0.021
    -0.8%
  • OTRI.USA
    21.110
    0.000
    0%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,375.870
    -11.650
    -0.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    3.300
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.140
    0.190
    6.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.590
    0.150
    10.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.330
    0.020
    0.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.170
    0.020
    0.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.080
    0.130
    3.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    125.000
    -1.000
    -0.8%
American ShipperShipping

BNSF Logistics harnesses new wind blade transport technology

Third-party logistics provider will soon be ready to deploy new technology that helps to reduce the handling of large, but fragile wind turbine blades.

   BNSF Logistics, a third-party logistics subsidiary of the BNSF Railway, has completed testing and will soon be ready to deploy new technology that helps to reduce the handling of large, but fragile wind turbine blades transported by ship, unloaded at port and placed on railcars for inland transport.
   The company joined Energo, an engineering firm in the wind energy sector, to develop the new transport fixtures (patents pending). 
   “The wind energy sector has depended on decade-old methods that are increasingly irrelevant as global sourcing and the size of blades increase,” said Ray Greer, president of BNSF Logistics, in a statement. 
   “Our universal fixtures for both ship and rail transport modernizes the wind logistics industry and will unshackle current logistics constraints facing the industry, getting the wind industry closer to that critical self-sustaining cost level,” he added.
   The company explained that its universal rail fixtures are designed to handle blades of all sizes, including those now exceeding 45 meters long. BNSF Logistics conducted multiple rail tests with the fixtures at the Port of Corpus Christi in Texas. 
   “The results showed a 35 percent improvement of clearance envelope making rail a viable mode choice for almost any North American destination,” the company said. “Subsequent longer route tests at speed demonstrated superior ride quality with less stress and G-forces borne by the blades when compared to current technologies.”
   For ocean transport, the fixtures allow for an increase in the number of blades that are carried per ship. Testing of blade stowage with the new fixtures was done at the Port of Houston. A land-based test of the ocean system showed the blade “nesting” capability. BSNF Logistics said the new system will “improve (vessel) stowage rates by a minimum of 25 percent over existing configurations.”
   The company expects to put the new wind blade transport fixtures into commercial use by the second quarter of 2015.

Chris Gillis

Located in the Washington, D.C. area, Chris Gillis primarily reports on regulatory and legislative topics that impact cross-border trade. He joined American Shipper in 1994, shortly after graduating from Mount St. Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Md., with a degree in international business and economics.

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