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Convoy Logistics manages fuel cask cargo to Ukraine

Convoy Logistics, our members in Canada, recently tackled the tough task of shipping cargo to Ukraine amidst the current political turmoil.

The company has been involved with shipping various essential components to the Central Storage Facility for Spent Nuclear Fuel (CSFSF) in Ukraine on a door-to-door basis for several years.

The cargo for this project included a Spent Fuel Transfer Cask featuring dimensions of 6.10 (L) x 3.66 (W) x 3.18 m (H) with a forecasted weight of 108 MT, as well as ancillary cargo of 15 crates weighing 64 MT with a volume of 191 cbm.

However, at the time of loading and police inspection at the loading facility, the main unit was shown by state police-certified scales to weigh nearly 117 MT, which then required all OTR permits to be amended. The cargo was travelling as a superload and with the updated weights, the OTR permits needed to be quickly revised to meet the vessel charter.

With travel occurring over the holiday season there were many restrictions in place dictating acceptable times as to when the cargo could move. Due to careful planning the cargo was delivered to the port of loading – with time to spare – while waiting for the vessel charter at the beginning of the New Year.

Mid-January 2022, the cargo was loaded successfully for its journey to Chornomorsk, Ukraine (the port of discharge). Unfortunately, the political environment between Ukraine and Russia escalated during the voyage and the vessel owner declared Force Majeur, asserting the Black Sea as non-navigational.

Convoy Logistics was forced to stop at an alternative harbour in Mersin, Turkey, which the vessel owner had as one of its ports of discharge. They responded swiftly: arranging this emergency operation and dispatching their resident Turkish Field Specialist to Derince Port to ensure proper arrangements (crane and multi axle trailer equipment) were in place to receive all cargo – including the ancillary pieces – in less than 48 hrs.

“We managed to complete this emergency operation with the support and cooperation of local terminal operator, Safiport, and fellow PCN partners, Noatum Project Cargo.”

This valuable and important cargo required safe storage while in-transit; however, with the situation escalating in Ukraine, Turkish ports and warehouses were nearing capacity. Temporary, bonded storage within the port was arranged by Convoy Logistics to allow the cargo to remain in safe, cordoned-off areas of the terminal and associated terminal warehouse.