Rotterdam expects record 50,000-tonne shipment of pig iron
Today a bulk carrier will be calling on the port of Rotterdam with a record shipment of pig iron: 50,000 tonnes, the company said in its press release. This marks the first time Carbones Holding GmbH, a major Austrian distributor of metal products, has put together and dispatched a shipment of this size in a single transport. This is one for the books! The pig iron will be stored by ZHD Stevedores before being distributed further throughout Europe.
What is pig iron actually? Pig iron, also known as crude iron, is iron that has been cast into ingots that measure approximately 10 cm by 10 cm. “They have a convex top, which means they look a bit like a cake that has just been taken out of the tin. Except they weigh 10 to 20 kilos a piece, which would be quite a heavy cake or bun,” says Dico Regoord, Sales Manager at ZHD Stevedores.
The Austrian metal products distributor Carbones Holding put together this record shipment of pig iron, which it will be supplying to clients across Europe.
Every year, Carbones trades about 2.2 million tonnes of metal products – mostly pig iron – serving some 400 clients in Europe. Pig iron is used as a raw material for steel, which is used to manufacture machinery, among other things. The automotive sector uses it for engine blocks, for example, for machines, trucks, cars and buses. But also exhaust pipes, brake discs and axles. The wind power sector uses pig iron for the towers that support the turbines’ rotor assemblies. Most pig iron is produced in Russia or Brazil. This particular shipment comes from Brazil and was mainly produced by the two well-known pig iron manufacturers Grupo AVG and Grupo PLANTAR. The shipment has a total value of around USD 25 million. Carbones has teamed up with a Swiss bank to finance the transport itself. Sebastian Brunner: “Shipping a large volume of dry bulk in one go – as we’re doing in this case – cuts costs. To the benefit of our clients.”
The pig iron is shipped from Rio de Janeiro by the MV Yuanping Sea. This sea-going vessel is 200 metres long and 32 wide and has a draught of 12 metres. The ship loaded its cargo in the port of Rio de Janeiro, departing there on 3 October.
After arriving off the coast of Hoek van Holland, the vessel will drop anchor and wait for a favourable tide. The ship will be guided by the Harbour Coordination Centre and the pilots to a set of reserved buoys in Botlek, where it will be secured by the linesmen. After this, it’s the turn of ZHD Stevedores, the stevedoring firm with local offices in Dordrecht and Moerdijk. The company’s floating cranes can also be found moving through the port of Rotterdam.