16 December 2020

Break Bulk and special cargo: LSCT successfully completes another delicate boarding operation

Handling operations to load the AW139 helicopter on the MSC Rania, deployed in the recently introduced INDUSA service, were successfully completed by the LSCT break bulk team.


On 8 December the LSCT break bulk team once again rose to the challenge as m/v MSC Rania sailed from La Spezia Container Terminal carrying a very valuable and delicate piece of cargo in her hold – an AW139 helicopter – destined to the port of Nhava Sheva, India.

With one of the finest and most versatile designs in the industry, the AW139 is no ordinary piece of machinery: passenger capacity up to 15 people, a wide range of cutting-edge technology and just about 3 tons in weight, making this helicopter very valuable cargo for LSCT to handle.

Following dedicated procedure, the team of break bulk engineers performed a preemptive handling assessment in order to plan operations to the lowest level of detail and avoid any issues.

Once placed and fastened onto a MAFI platform, the helicopter was carefully towed alongside Fornelli West quay where m/v MSC Rania was in the middle of ordinary container load and discharge activity. Using one of the mobile cranes available at the terminal, the AW139 was then lifted and gently placed in the ship hold, where a lashing team firmly secured the cargo onto dedicated flat racks. The shipment also involved various pieces of helicopter equipment, including blades, which were stuffed inside a container by terminal personnel and loaded onto the same ship.   

Operations were concluded following schedule and great satisfaction was expressed amongst all LSCT colleagues involved.

Alessandro Pellegri, Operations Manager at the terminal, commented how “…we are very pleased to have executed this task on time, with no risk for both our men, the ship’s crew and the helicopter of course. We are long acquainted to this kind of operations as LSCT teams regularly handle a wide range of break bulk cargo such as yachts, industrial machinery of any kind in excess of 100 tons, though no operation is never like any other. I wish to thank my team for always working with professionalism and dedication on these challenging operations.

M/v MSC Rania was unmoored from LSCT the same day at dusk, sailing eastbound to continue her rotation on the INDUSA service.

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