The port operator Blomberg Stevedoring at Vaskiluoto in Vaasa has started up a new debagging line. The new line will significantly reduce the time needed for loading as bag contents need not be first emptied into a silo, but can instead be loaded directly into a waiting truck. The new process saves work and minimizes loss. Up to 30 tonnes of material can now be handled in an hour. The new line also minimizes loss; for plastic granulates the manufacturer promises that 99.9% of bag content will be removed.
At present, the new line is mainly used for plastic raw material that arrives at the port on pallets in 25 kg bags and is then delivered to the customer in bulk. Pallets are shipped twice weekly from continental Europe using a shortsea transport concept developed jointly by Blomberg Stevedoring and Backman-Trummer. The same concept can also be put to use in shipping virtually all kinds of unit goods.
Although bulk goods are mainly preferred in the transport and handling chain from factory to user, palletised goods in bags still offer several advantages. In contrast to bulk goods, the mode of transport can be chosen freely, thus reducing transport costs. The shortsea concept developed by Blomberg Stevedoring and Backman-Trummer is a good example of how a variety of transport modes can be used for palletised goods. Furthermore, interim storage does not cause problems and for manufacturers, bagging is often the only way to maintain continuous production in the process industry, where demand varies by season and silo capacity is limited.