Commercial discharge at Sunny Point signals new era.
For the first time in history, commercial cargo has been unloaded at the Cape Fear River facility.
Opening the Sunny Point, N.C., facility to commercial cargo is part of a new initiative of the Military Traffic Management Command. The commercial use will enhance the training of port personnel and earn money for the facility's operation.
"This mission has been successfully completed," said Maj. Gen. Kenneth L. Privratsky, Commander. "You can expect more commercial use to follow."
The first cargo, which arrived June 24 on the Giga Trans, presented unique challenges. The steam turbine generator, moved in two separate pieces, weighed more than 760,000 pounds.
Intermodal Terminal Inc., a logistics company based in Houston, Texas, searched for a port that could handle the offloading and transport of the oversized generator. The firm discovered the cargo was too large to fit between various train trestles and bridges along the rail routes from nearby Atlantic Ocean commercial ports.
The solution they found was the Military Traffic Management Command's Sunny Point facility. A pilot program allowing the U.S. Army to conduct commercial movements from the Carolina port was approved in April 2000.
"They said that Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point was the only solution to their problem," said Wayne Howard, a traffic management specialist at MTMC's Deployment Support Command, Fort Eustis Division.
"We had to closely scrutinize the request, re-evaluate the rail and wharf capability, and review in greater detail the mechanics of the operation from a safety perspective before we offered and provided a recommendation of approval to MTMC headquarters," said Howard.
"We did everything to determine the feasibility of handling an item of this size and weight. It presented the organizational staff with many challenges, but we preserved the challenges, and collectively, we were able to find answers to some difficult questions."
Stress tests on the wharf and rail lines assured Howard that the terminal would be able to handle the massive pieces of machinery.
"It was a challenge, but the two portions of a steam turbine generator were offloaded without a problem," said Steven Kerr, Cargo Operations Chief, at Sunny Point. "The ship arrived Sunday and the discharge began the next day."
The ship's crew and Stevedoring Services of America conducted the discharge.
The heavier section was discharged to a special highway trailer on the pier, then placed on a special 12-axle railcar. The smaller section was discharged directly from the ship to a 12-axle railcar on the pier.
With great care, the two steam turbine generator sections were transferred 12 miles via MTMC's rail line to nearby Leland. From there, CSX moved the heavy equipment to Hamlet, N.C.
The Sunny Point facility is operated by the 597th Transportation Group, on a 16,000-acre, Army-owned site. The facility, opened in 1955, is the key ammunition shipping point on the Atlantic Coast for the Department of Defense.
For more information, contact Wayne Howard at (757) 878-8543, at the Deployment Support Command's Terminal Operations Division.
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|Title Annotation:||Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point|
|Author:||McCaskill, Larry D.|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2001|
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