One of the continent’s foremost stevedore and marine terminal operators, Gulfstream Marine is making a name for itself in the specialised field of wind turbine transportation. caught up with company founderPES: Welcome to PES magazine. Firstly, can you give us a basic overview of Gulf Stream Marine (GSM) as a company and how it operates with regards to the wind energy industry in the US?
Jan Rietdijk: GSM first came across wind turbines in the late 90s when some of the general cargo liner services from Europe that we handled started bringing them into the Port of Houston for ultimate delivery into the Mid-West and California. At that time we were totally unprepared for the movement of these blades and tower sections, but because of the relatively small numbers involved that was not of great concern.
The handling of wind turbine components requires a custom approach involving specialized equipment and unique skill sets. Due to their size and being relatively fragile, it takes expertise and commitment to safely handle these individual components to ensure that no damage is done.
If any of this equipment at that time had to be moved further into the terminals (because of a lack of space shipside) we hired the trucks that were used to move them inland to accomplish this.
As the volume increased for us by 2004-2005 we found that this was too expensive and we acquired our own trailers. All of our trailers and spreader bars, etc., that we use are built at our own fabrication shop to our specifications that we have gathered over the years of moving this equipment.