Damen Shipyards and heavy-lift specialist BigLift Shipping have completed a major logistical feat. A single vessel has transported eleven Damen tugs from the shipbuilder’s yards in Vietnam and China to Europe.

While such voyages usually require six months to plan and organise, this one had less than two months to prepare and ensure that each stage was executed on time. The ship used to transport the eleven Damen tugs was BigLift’s Happy Star, a 156-metre heavy-lift vessel equipped with two heavy-lift mast cranes of 1100 mt each.

Eleven Damen tugs on BigLift's Happy Star
Eleven Damen tugs on BigLift’s Happy Star.

The Happy Star departed Halong Bay, Vietnam, for Europe on 4 April and arrived 38 days later at Vigo, Spain, to unload one vessel before continuing on to Rotterdam. It arrived there on 19 May to unload the remaining ten.

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Belivery by ship offers benefits

These mass deliveries do not take place often as it is rare that so many vessels are ready to be despatched at the same time. The last such event occurred in 2015 when Happy Star transported 22 vessels of various types on the same route. This brings advantages versus delivering vessels on their own hulls. These include having the vessels and their equipment arriving in pristine condition. The marine environment also benefits from having fewer emissions with just one ship, albeit a larger one, doing all the work.

‘At Damen we aim to provide our clients with a holistic service that includes not only building their boats, but also delivering them to where they are needed with the entire process managed by Damen experts,’ says Rimmert Berlijn, Damen Services’ heavy-lift coordinator. ‘This is all part of being a total maritime solutions provider. In addition, clients taking advantage of this service also enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that that their vessels are fully covered by Damen’s warranty programme right from the start.’

Sanne Wiegerink, commercial manager at BigLift, describes this voyage as a shining example of Dutch excellence: ‘The Happy Star, one of the Netherlands’ premier heavy-lift vessels, transporting tugs for a distinguished Dutch shipbuilder, ultimately serving various Dutch clients. We take immense pride in our contribution to this remarkable project.’

Pictures by Damen.

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