Om Projects, a division of Om Freight Forwarders Pvt Ltd, has graduated to the higher league of super-heavy ODC carriers. Very recently, Om Projects handled a single piece of over 1,000 tonnes at Mumbai Port for Afcons Infrastructure Ltd. The challenging consignment was moved from Belapur (in Navi Mumbai) to Mumbai Port. Discussing the achievement with Projectmonitor, Vishal Joshi, a senior official of Mumbai-based Om Freight Forwarders said that the consignment handled was a jack-up platform (length: 32.6m, width 21m and height 30m) with a total volume of 20,538 cu.m. and weighing 1,005 tonnes. The platform, called Maharani was meant for onward shipment to Sohar in Qatar where it will be deployed by Afcons for its projects there.
“We have so far handled project consignments of 300-400 tonnes and this achievement of 1,000 tonnes now puts us in a league of much bigger logistics companies,” an elated Joshi said. The achievement also sets a precedent of sorts for Mumbai Port Trust as it was for the first time that export cargo was loaded and import cargo was unloaded by the “float-on float off” technique on the same vessel. It may be mentioned that along with the “export” of Maharani, the activity also involved “import” of another jack-up platform Maharaja. The operation, involving total cargo volume of nearly 50,000 cu.m., was carried out at Mumbai Port anchorage over a period of 12 hours, the Om Freight official said.
It is also interesting to note that the Maharani jack-up platform also happens to be the biggest platform indigenously built. Although there are much bigger platforms in use—for instance by ONGC for its offshore activities—these are imported, an industry expert said.
Discussing the finer aspects of the consignment handling, Joshi said that several options like roll-on roll-off and lift-on lift-off could be used. However with the size and weight of the cargo, the float-on float-off method was the best suited. There was of course the option of dismantling and reassembling the consignment. However, this would have required a dry dock (for which there is a long wait period at Mumbai Port) and the entire process would have taken several weeks, Joshi explained.
Om Freight Forwarders Pvt Ltd has been providing integrated logistics solutions for over 45 years with its own offices in five continents. “We formed Om Projects five years ago to focus on project cargo logistics although the parent company always offered the service,” Joshi noted. The new outfit has executed a large number of projects for Essar Group, Reliance (ADAG), etc. Although majority of its clientele is from the private sector, Om has also worked for project-centric PSUs like Bharat Heavy Electricals, Engineers (India) Ltd, etc.