First Flat Rail Shipment out of the Philippines

Revolutionising over-sized cargo with innovative and unique loading systems, the Flat Rail is the growing solution for out-of-gauge cargo. Spanning the globe, port terminals are adopting this patented technology. Benefits of such technology omit the need for cargo to be loaded as breakbulk therefore, reducing cost, shipment time and opening up port destinations other than those served by transhipment services.

Subic Bay International Terminal Corporation (SBITC), the international trade gateway to northern and central Luzon in the Philippines is the latest terminal to get on-board. In collaboration with Bespoke Load Solutions, patented owner of the Flat Rail system, Peters & May worked with SBITC and yacht builder Asia Pacific Marine based in Subic to perform the carefully planned operation loading a brand-new catamaran on a CMA CGM vessel.

Chris Steibelt of Bespoke Load Solutions explains how the Flat Rail system works; “Flat Rail offers a simple and innovative solution that enables the shipping of out-of-gauge cargo with dimensions that exceed the specifications of 40-foot flat racks. The Flat Rail system consists of two beams which are secured to the flat rack with twist-locks. With lifting points at the end of each beam, the complete unit load can then be loaded using slings attached to the spreader of the container gantry crane. The system can safely accommodate payloads of up to 44 tons.”

Traditionally a catamaran of this size would require at least 6 flat racks loaded as breakbulk. This method is costly, requiring a large amount of vessel space and longer port stays. With the Flat Rail, the catamaran was loaded on to a single 40-foot flat rack. The process was undertaken in two moves – the yacht lifted from the sea to berth in order for the yacht to be lashed to the flat rack and Flat Rail; and then from berth to vessel.

Randy Iglesia, Operations Manager at SBITC commented on the shipment; “Bespoke Load Solutions and Peters & May made the operations simple and faster. The whole system works seamlessly with vessel operations. We're glad that we were the first to experience the Flat Rail system in the country. We have concrete plans to use it more inside the terminal.”

Shipping the 14.3-meter catamaran on behalf of the full-service yacht agent Asia Pacific Marine; SBITC chose Peters & May, alongside sister company Bespoke Load Solutions to manage the shipment bound for the Maldives. This shipment will be followed by 9 other new builds commissioned by an exclusive resort group operating in destinations across the world.

Previously, imports and exports of yachts into the Philippines would be discharged at nearby ports. SBITC is hopeful that the success of this project will pave the way for yachts to be transported using Philippine ports.

Contact our team to discuss the Flat Rail Solution and how it can be used to transport oversized or awkward cargo. 

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