Coordinated Hawaii Shipping Allows Construction of Complex, Multi-Component Project

Developer and Carrier Combine to Create Multifaceted Solution That Provides Seamless and Early Delivery of Eight Mega Wind Turbines


A Fortune 500 global power company needed to transport eight massive wind turbines from a laydown yard near Kalaeloa Barbers Point Harbor on the South Shore of Oahu to build a wind farm off the North Shore of Oahu. They were looking for partners that were experts in transportation with vast knowledge and experience executing these types of projects in a safe and expedited manner.

Anderson Trucking Service (ATS) provided guidance, expertise and a multifaceted transportation solution that required extensive coordination to complete the project seamlessly.

The Challenge

Shipping to Hawaii is different than shipping to the other 49 states. It starts with being 2,500 miles from anywhere and the challenges continue once there. There are delivery route obstacles, roadway and site accessibility issues and infrastructure interferences. Plus, everything needs to be approved by the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT).

Meticulous Planning to Ensure a Safe Delivery

Work on a wind project begins long before turbine installation takes place. In 2015, ATS’ experts in international and project shipping first learned of the Na Pua Makani project when three original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), two developers and two contractors came out to the market with requests for quotation (RFQs). This was the beginning of a multi-year process in which ATS coordinated with the OEMs, developers, numerous other subcontractors, as well as several municipal and state agencies on the project.

During the RFQ process, ATS needed to provide comprehensive proposals in order to package and provide the requested entry and all-inclusive quotation. Each ATS department was responsible for a variety of pricing components to ensure it appropriately satisfied the statement of work (SOW) in the RFQ.

In the early part of 2018, the developers had an approved power purchase agreement (PPA) with the state of Hawaii and the OEM, and the specific turbine type was finalized.

Midway through 2018, ATS was contracted to send a technical adviser to Hawaii to perform a comprehensive route survey and identify the challenges and remediation work required to ensure the safe delivery of components to the project site. The size of the turbine components made this process especially tedious and challenging, as these would be the largest loads ever transported on the island.

Map of route used by ATS International in HawaiiOver the next year, ATS advisers would make multiple trips to the island to gather precise measurements, pictures and drone footage of the port, laydown yard, highways and site roads. All of this data went into an extensive report, which played a critical role in the developer obtaining HDOT approval and permits to execute the required road modifications (including but not limited to widening turns, trimming trees and relocating several utility poles).

ATS’ technical experts also provided substantial oversight in the civil design of the site roads. The access roads directly leading from public highways were minimum maintenance dirt roads that required significant improvement to safely support the transports. Negotiations with landowners made this a lengthy process, requiring numerous re-designs. Still, our technical experts remained flexible and provided the developer with multiple options for safe transport of the turbine components to each pad-site location.

ATS was officially awarded the project in January of 2019 and immediately began preparing for execution.

Hands-On Training Sets the Customer up for Success

ATS International Training in MinnesotaHauling wind components is a highly complex job that requires extensive coordination. For this project, not only was a staging area for storing the oversized components necessary, but they also needed to be delivered just-in-time (JIT). Because there isn’t specialized wind equipment on the island, ATS had to send its own. And to ensure a safe and successful outcome, ATS hosted its Hawaii carrier partners at its headquarters in Minnesota for 10 days of hands-on training to teach them how to haul the specialized equipment needed for the components.

Without that training, “It would’ve been a very different story,” said Cassie Olsen, pricing analyst supervisor for ATS Projects. “It definitely contributed to the success of the overall project.”

During that time, the ATS team made several visits to Hawaii to further align their resources and service providers in preparation for the September start.

Along the way, as challenges presented themselves (e.g., equipment issues and schedule adjustments), ATS worked diligently with all parties involved to deliver the remaining balance of the components (nacelles, drive-trains, hubs, and blades) in a safe and expedited manner — meeting the customer’s deadline a day early with zero claims.

Behind-the-Scenes Collaboration Leads to a Safe and Early Arrival

shipping wind turbine in oahu hawaiiGiven the time zone difference between the U.S. mainland and Hawaii, it was imperative that ATS had multiple representatives on the island for both operational and commercial activities to ensure the right resources were available on-site throughout the duration of the project. This provided the customer with total peace of mind because they didn't need to worry about coordinating any of it.

The customer’s confidence allowed ATS teams to seamlessly collaborate behind the scenes. Project planners and resource allocation worked with project management and administration to ensure equipment was delivered to and from the ports of departure and arrival. In the end, the turbine components were delivered to the Na Pua Makani wind farm safely and ahead of schedule.

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About ATS

Finding a reliable Hawaii shipping partner isn’t as easy as it sounds. That’s why you need a Hawaii shipping partner with a proven track record in moving cargo in this lane to help you along the way. The ATS International team has over 100 years of combined experience and pairs customers with a single point of contact from start to finish, providing unique asset-based solutions for U.S. domestic offshore trade lanes and beyond. Learn more about ATS in this video