Kestrel flying high with project cargo

05 July 2019

The challenge

Kestrel is a global shipping and logistics company with offices around the world and a diverse client base ranging from shippers and manufacturers to freight forwarders.

The firm provides bespoke shipping services with door-to-door capabilities, including chartering, customs documentation, liner agency representation and much more.

It has helped to move various types of project cargo, including wind turbine parts, large storage tanks, mining machinery and dairy processing equipment. Kestrel has even moved cargo for Peel Ports, shifting container gantry cranes from Liverpool to Greenock.

Wind turbines are rarely manufactured in the UK so are imported in volumes of up to 60 pieces.

One widely used model consists of 116-ft blades atop a 212-ft tower for a total height of 328 feet. Another model has 148-ft blades on a 262-ft tower, totalling 410 feet.

Handling such cargo safely and efficiently is a huge challenge for any port, requiring specialist facilities and skills.

The solution

Project cargo is heavily legislated with transport of abnormal loads by road – which includes restrictions of travel distance – so logistics providers have to work with the best located ports to get close to end destination.

Liverpool and Clydeport are ideal locations for project cargo, especially wind turbines, as they are close to industrial areas where our end clients are based. Liverpool’s direct link with the Manchester Ship Canal provides a great onward water route to help avoid road transport altogether.

Liverpool’s wider connections, for example at Ellesmere on the Mersey or Heysham in Lancashire, provide easy stopping-off points via short-sea shipping to other areas of the North West.

Our Clydeport facilities in Greenock and King George V provide suitable cranes for loading and discharging project cargo, unlike other ports where they would need to be brought in especially. The same is true of Liverpool.

All these ports also offer extensive open and covered storage space - vital when needing to set down large components. At Liverpool, there is now even more space due to a new train service we introduced which is helping us to manage storage and flows of cargo at the port.

Richard Platts, project and breakbulk specialist of North for Kestrel, said: “I’ve worked closely with Peel Ports over the years through Kestrel and other companies. During that time I’ve shipped cargo through a number of their ports. The facilities at Liverpool and Glasgow are particularly good for project cargo thanks to deep water and storage space. The team is also excellent, with a great attitude to customer service and friendly approach. They understand what we need so we all benefit from providing first-class service that allows us to meet our customer expectations.