By Hemant Thakkar
Over Dimensional Cargo (ODC) offers good opportunities for shipping companies as they fetch good freight earnings, higher commission and premium. In India, however, the full potential of dealing in ODC has not been realised. Some of the major factors hindering the growth of ODC include lack of infrastructure, unavailability of special equipment for both import and export, extra effort and time required by shipping lines to calculate stowage, dimension, cost etc.
An ODC is a cargo where the length, breadth or height is more than the standard container dimension (20 ft, 40 ft, 45 ft, high cube, Reefer). There are specially designed containers or special equipment to carry the ODC. The cargo bigger than these special equipments is moved through specially designed vessels having 500-1,000 tons gears or break-bulk vessels.
The ODC generally consists of machineries, heavy-lifts, boilers, chemical filters, generators and storage tanks. From time to time, oil rigs are also moved, which comes under ODC. Persian Gulf, Europe and the Far East are the major markets for ODC.
Different types of special equipments or containers are used to move ODC, such as: * Open Top containers are used to carry glass items. * Flat Rack containers, which are of two types, namely flat and collapsible, are used to move big trailers, buses and similar ODC. A Flat Rack container can accommodate a maximum of 37 tons. * Flat Bed containers are utilised for carrying pipes and similar type of cargo. The maximum permissible weight is 37 tons.
The ODC generates good revenue because it occupies the total stack in a container vessel.
The containers are stacked one above the other and there can be several containers in a stack. When the containers carrying ODC are loaded on the vessel, no more containers can be stacked over these ODC containers, which are special equipments. Since...