COSCO’s newest bulker transports cars outbound from China
COSCO Shipping’s newest bulk carrier departed China late last week on its maiden voyage to South America, but instead of the normal operations sailing empty outbound to get the pulp cargo, the company has come up with a novel application to transport new cars aboard bulk carriers. According to COSCO, the adaptations were developed during the construction of the vessel to make it multi-purpose and fill the shortage for vehicle transport vessels.
The 62,500 dwt vessel named COSCO Shipping Wisdom was built at China’s Dalian Shipyard as the fifteenth vessel in the class. She measures 662 feet in length with a 106-foot beam. Her six cargo holds which give the vessel hold capacity of 72,5000 cubic meters are outfitted with a dehumidification system to meet the strict quality requirements for pulp cargo during transportation.
The shipping company reports that modifications were made to the floor of the six holds to accommodate the feet for specially designed racks. The alterations do not affect the vessel’s loading capacity but permit them to place specially designed folding racks standing up to eight levels high into the holds on which cars will be loaded. The vessel can accommodate approximately 1,000 cars, which gives it a capacity similar to a smaller vehicle carrier. When the vessel reaches South America, the cars will be offloaded and the racks can then be folded and stowed so that vessel will load its normal pulp cargo for the return voyage.
COSCO reports that it has received strong demand for the new service and that it will permit them to increase the efficiency of the vessel which otherwise would have made the outbound voyage with no cargo. The company has signed agreements with major Chinese car manufacturers and plans to maintain outbound car transport as an ongoing service. They are also exploring fitting the racks to other vessels of the class.
The shipping line reports working with Dalian they were able to increase the efficiency of the ship and complete the construction despite the pandemic. In addition to the novel cargo arrangements, the COSCO Shipping Wisdom’s main and auxiliary engines are equipped with SCR systems, which meet the NOxTIERIII emission requirements. The ship was classed by the China Classification Society and also obtained additional notations such as smart ships and green ecological ships.
The delivery and naming ceremony for the new ship was conducted on August 10. She departed last Thursday, August 18 from the Taicang Port near Shanghai. She is bound for Valparaiso before proceeding to Lirquen where she will load the cargo of pulp for the return trip to China.