Thursday, October 4, 2012

Geodis Supports Expansion of the Panama Canal – Shipments of New Lock Gates

Paris, October 4th, 2012 - Geodis Wilson, the freight forwarding and heavy lift division of the Geodis Group has been awarded a $50 million contract by steel manufacturer Cimolai.  Geodis Wilson will manage the transport of 16 lock gates, each weighing more than 4,000 tons, for the expansion of the Panama Canal.

An initial vessel, carrying four of the gates will depart from Italy in February 2013 and will be followed by a further three shipments throughout the year. The project is scheduled for completion in December 2013. The new gates are part of the large-scale expansion plan by the Panama Canal Authority that is designed to double the capacity of the Panama Canal by 2014.

“Geodis Wilson’s role as a key transport provider in one of the world’s most demanding infrastructure projects underlines both, our outstanding competence in managing complex heavy-lift shipments and our significance in the global ocean freight sector”, comments Pierre Blayau, Chairman and CEO of Geodis Group.

The new lock chambers will enable post-Panamax containerships to transit the canal connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Post-Panamax ships are more than 360 meters long, 50 meters wide and have drafts of up to 15 meters.

A dedicated engineering team led by Geodis Wilson Italy’s Industrial Projects department has developed a unique lashing system to secure the gates safety during transport, which will be via semi-submersible vessels from Italy to Panama. In addition, the inland transport, loading and unloading operations will be coordinated by Geodis Wilson, in cooperation with Sarens NV and STX Pan Ocean.

Geodis Wilson’s Industrial Projects division has achieved an internationally recognized high status due to its innovative and sustainable approach to transportation solutions. Recently the company managed a record-breaking airfreight shipment of wind turbine blades from China to Scandinavia and also took a leading role in developing the first rail freight solution for similar blade deliveries within Europe.

Geodis: a global logistics provider

A global logistics provider and wholly-owned subsidiary of SNCF Group, Geodis is a European company with a worldwide scope, ranking number four in its field in Europe. The Group's ability to coordinate all or part of the logistics chain (air and sea freight forwarding, groupage, express, contract logistics, transport of part and full truck loads, reverse logistics, supply chain coordination and optimisation) enables it to support its customers in their strategic, geographical and technological developments, providing them with solutions tailored to optimising their material and information flows. Geodis offers a range of logistics services that meet the specific needs of each sector of the economy. Across a network covering 120 countries, the Group's 31,000 employees offer a wealth of multicultural experience, a genuine local service to their customers and outstanding flexibility. Geodis reported revenues of €6.9 billion in 2011.

About Geodis Wilson

Geodis Wilson is the freight forwarding division of Geodis. With its 7,300 employees in more than 50 countries and a revenue of 2,4 billion € in 2011, the company delivers integrated logistics solutions with a dedicated industry focus. Geodis Wilson runs also a dedicated specialist network for industrial projects, managing all kinds of oversized cargo operations worldwide.

About Cimolai

Cimolai is a major steel manufacturer headquartered in Italy and with productions facilities in a number of countries abroad. Cimolai is highly specialized in manufacturing bridges and viaducts, stadium constructions, industrial and civil buildings, military infrastructures, normal and special plate girders for the off-shores and ship building industries, stainless steel bulkheads for chemical tankers polygonal and cylindrical poles for telecommunication and power lines, pipes of great diameter and wall thickness and ship hulls. Cimolai was awarded the production of the Panama Canal lock gates by the Panama Canal Authority. The steel manufacturer is also developing a special opening and locking mechanism for the gates and manages the installation of the gates.