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NORDEN moves into port logistics

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Dry Bulk,

Through a complex operation to offload bulk salt, NORDEN is optimising the supply chain for its customer Empremar.

At a chemical plant in California, US, 30 000 t of salt is being offloaded from a bulk carrier onto a private terminal. The salt will be taken directly to the plant and used to make chlorine.

This shipment is one of eight per year that NORDEN will make for Chilean salt miner Empremar. While NORDEN has been shipping salt to the US for Empremar for 20 years, this is the first time it is managing the entire logistics operation of moving the salt from ship to shore.

“Usually our contracts for carrying bulk commodities are simple ‘Free in/Free out’ – which means our responsibilities end when the ship arrives at the berth for discharge,” explains Mark LaFrankie, Head of NORDEN’s Vancouver office.

“For Empremar we are handling all the port logistics too. This involves an intricate barging, heavy equipment, and labour operation, and timing it all to consistently meet the arrival of the ship coming from Chile. There’s a great deal of specialist knowledge involved.”

With no space at the terminal to bring in heavy equipment, NORDEN has partnered with a local barge company to carry bulldozers, clamshell buckets, re-fuel tanks, and gangways alongside the vessel to offload the salt.

A team of private heavy equipment operators have also been contracted to complete the offloading operation in about four or five days, working 12 hour shifts night and day.

Such port logistics and cargo handling services represent a critical new business area for NORDEN. “Our ambition is to be much more than just a standard freight service to our customers,” says Adam Nielsen, Head of Industrial Bulk. “We’re looking at new ways to optimise and decarbonise our customers’ supply chains; and we are actively looking for business where integrated solutions are required. We see it as an exciting new growth opportunity for NORDEN.”

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