United Shipping Group launches specialized heavy transport service

United Shipping Group launches specialized heavy transport service

The Hua Yang Long loading the cutter suction dredger Willem van Rubroeck in Croatia. Photo credit: United Shipping Group.

United Shipping Group has created a new heavy transport service to tap into project sector demand, including moving cargoes for petrochemical plants, ports, and offshore wind projects. The new group member — United Heavy Transport (UHT) — will be based in Hamburg, and have an office in Houston, the heart of the US energy sector.

The addition of UHT to United Shipping Group’s suite of specialized heavy-lift carriers and companies will allow the company to use a variety of vessel types and capabilities, including heavy-lift vessels, module carriers, engineering services, and now the semi-submersibles operated by UHT.

“It's a value-added approach for the EPC [engineering, procurement, and construction] companies," Anthony Perez, UHT’s newly appointed regional director, Americas, told JOC.com. 

Hamburg-based United Shipping Group announced the formation of UHT on May 4. Perez, who spent 11 years with heavy transport carriers Boskalis and Dockwise, will head up the new Houston office. 

New semi-sub pending  

UHT will represent a fleet of five semi-submersible heavy transport vessels under a partnership agreement with China-based owner Guangzhou Salvage and commercial agent GS-Pango. Four of the ships are now operating and the fifth is under construction and due in early 2022, Perez said. The new ship will be an 82,000-dwt, open-stern open-bow semi-submersible, he said.  

UHT's services include dry transport of offshore rigs, fixed and floating production systems, dredging cargo and construction vessels, modular transportation of onshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, topside float-over installation, and offshore wind logistics management solutions, the company said. 

In addition to UHT, the United Shipping Group also includes United Heavy Lift, United Wind Logistics, and United Engineering Solutions. The company was established by Lars Rolner, former managing director of SAL Heavy Lift, in 2015. UHT will be led by managing director Andreas Rolner.

United Heavy Lift recently announced the appointment of Intermarine as its exclusive commercial agent in North America, headed by Rene Pedersen, director of chartering with Intermarine. Several ex-Intermarine executives have joined UHL's staff over the past few years. 

The group does not plan to compete in the project space based on company or fleet size, Andreas Rolner told JOC.com in a recent interview, and will remain relatively asset light. UHL sees itself “as an engineering company that offers logistics,” Rolner said. “We differentiate ourselves on the technical side; a niche within the niche.”    

Contact Janet Nodar at janet.nodar@ihsmarkit.com and follow her on Twitter: @janet_nodar.