Inevitably, there comes a time in every parent's life when they are called upon by their progeny to explain the fundamentals of containerized transportation. For Telstar Logistics, that moment arrived about a week ago, when our junior executive (now age 3.75) asked about all the big metal boxes she's noticed aboard many of the big ships that sail in and out of San Francisco Bay.
Since it was Saturday, and we had nothing else planned, we piled into the fleet vehicle for a trip across the Bay, to the Port of Oakland, to watch the operation of a major container terminal first-hand. It was a very successful foray: We saw lots and lots of big metal boxes, of course, but also trains, and trucks, and ships, and giant cranes, and an assortment of weird machines. She enjoyed the tour, and we came away with a tidy collection of photos to show for the trip:
PHOTOS by Telstar Logistics
Telstar Logistics has always been a fan of Putzmeister. The company, based in Germany, is the world's leading manufacturer of mobile concrete pumping equipment used in the construction industry. That's very cool, but as an added bonus, the name Putzmeister is absolutely hilarious if know know a little bit of Yiddish. (We even bought a safety-orange Putzmeister t-shirt from the company's online store a few years ago.)
Schoolyard giggles aside, however, it turns out that a Putzmeister may be one of the most important pieces of equipment available to help bring Japan's Fukushima nuclear crisis under control -- both as firefighting apparatus and as a tool to build new concrete containment facilities.
The Charleson, South Carolina Post and Courier reports:
Only three truck-mounted pumps in the world rise high enough to hose water on the overheating, radioactive reactors in Japan. One of them, it turns out, was in Summerville [South Carolina].
That's why sometime this week a tractor-trailer rig with 10 axles will lumber its way down Interstate 26 hauling more than 80 tons of a device that looks like a huge, folded-up steel girder. The truck is bound for Atlanta, where it will be loaded on the largest cargo plane in the world, scheduled to be flown out Saturday.
It's not the first rescue work for this pump. The devices are built to pour concrete, and this one was bought by a Georgia company to pour concrete for casks at the mixed oxide fuel plant at the Savannah River Site in Barnwell. A shorter version of the pump by the same manufacturer poured concrete for the towers of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.
The pump extends to a length more than two-thirds of a football field, but can be folded up to about the length of most tractor-trailers. The problem is the weight. At 170,000 pounds, the rig is double the weight allowed over the road without special permits. [...]
The pump is one of two that will be flown to Japan aboard Russian-made Antonov AN-225 Mriya Super Heavy Transport planes, the world's largest aircraft.
The other pump is in California. The planes were designed to transport the Russian Space Shuttle, said [Putzmeister marketing services manager Kelly Blickle]. The rigs are being moved to pump water, but if a decision is made to encase a reactor in concrete -- similar to a method used in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster -- they could do that, too, she said.
Putzmeister, meet Antonov:
Turns out, even before the super-big pumps arrive, some smaller Putzmeisters are already hard at work in Japan:
You can see it in at work on the right side of this late-March aerial photo of the No. 4 reactor at Fukishima:
First came ineffective drops by helicopter, next was spraying from fire trucks. The situation was brought closer to control with the arrival of Hyper Rescue and Super Pump Truck from the Tokyo Fire Department, but it was an extra-large concrete pumping machine that has been most effective, particularly at unit 4 where steelwork obstructs spraying from the ground.
The machine already on-site is a Putzmeister 58, named after the length of its boom in metres, supplied to Tepco on the initiative of Hiroshi Suzuki, director of Putzmeister Japan. It is able to pump up to 120 cubic metres of seawater per hour with fairly high precision thanks to a flexible boom. In earlier phases of the Fukushima accident, the ability to control the pumps remotely was a great help in reducing radiation doses to workers.
The site will soon receive delivery of two 62 metre units that were available from a Putzmeister factory in Germany and as well as two 70 metre units from the USA.
This video shows the Putzmeister 58 in action at Fukushima:
HAT TIP: Lt. Diiulio
It can make 30+ knots. It has sleeping accommodations for more than 1000 people. And it can function as your own personal floating airport.
If you've ever fantasized about owning your own aircraft carrier -- or if you're dying to create your own real-life version of Snow Crash -- then you'll be glad to know that just two weeks after it was removed from military service, Britain's Royal Navy has put the HMS Ark Royal, an Invincible-class aircraft carrier, up for sale on the Ministry of Defense auction website.
The Daily Mail reports:
The sale follows that of its sister ship HMS Invincible, which was towed away last week to a scrapyard in Turkey after being sold on the same internet site.
Although the Ark Royal could also be sold for its scrap metal, other proposals for it include a commercial heliport in London as well as a base for special forces to provide security at next year's Olympic Games.
And a move could be made to turn it into a nightclub and school in China.
Bidders have until 10am on June 13 to put their tenders forward for the ship. No minimum price is given.
Happily, even if you can't afford to buy the Ark Royal outright, you can certainly enjoy the thrill and satisfaction of clicking the "Add to Wishlist" button on the MoD's eBay-style auction website:
PHOTO: Maritime Quest
While reporting our story about gourmet food trucks for the New York Times late last year, Telstar Logistics spent a lunch shift hanging out backstage with the crew that operates San Francisco's popular Chairman Bao truck. An instant hit with foodies from the moment it first hit the streets in early 2010, Chairman Bao serves Chinese-inspired fusion cuisine that is innovative, affordable, and extremely delicious.
The truck itself is a tasty mix of art and science. Wrapped in a distinctive graphic scheme that looks like a cross between a Chinese Cultural Revolution propaganda poster and a Shepard Fairey art project, Chairman Bao's bold graphics serve a practical purpose: They ensure that the vehicle always stand out, particularly at any one of the organized events in San Francisco where gourmet food trucks gather en masse to create a temporary street food marketplace.
Chairman Bao's success was something of an accident. The truck is operated by Mobi Munch, a San Francisco-based startup that hopes to put hundreds mobile food trucks on the streets nationwide. Mobi Munch won't staff the trucks; instead, it will rent them on a monthly basis to chefs and brick-and-mortar restaurant operators who want to explore the potential of what Josh Tang, the founder and CEO of Mobi Munch, calls “the mobile platform.”
Each Mobi Munch truck will function quite literally as a turnkey system, with a fully equipped kitchen and a pre-installed point-of-sale system connected via wireless networks to a central database. Mobi Munch created Chairman Bao as a proof-of-concept for the business, but it turned out that the truck's tasty and creative menu earned fans among Bay Area foodies.
As part of its plan to scale the gourmet food truck business, Mobi Munch partnered with Los Angeles-based food truck manufacturer AA Cater Trucks to build and distribute its trucks. “An AA truck is kind of like a Porsche 911,” Tang says. “It’s a vehicle that’s been around for 40 years, so it has real pedigree."
The difference, of course, is that it's unlikely anyone ever tried to cook 20 pounds of pork belly inside a 911. Yet during a recent lunchtime shift in San Francisco’s Soma district, Rachel Kier (shown at left, below) stood by griddle in side the Chairman Bao truck, doing just that. With nine years of prior restaurant and catering experience, Kier was unfazed by the transition to a truck. “It’s a lot like the restaurants where I’ve worked, and not much more crowded.” she says. “The pace is a lot quicker, but you have all the same equipment. Plus, you get a regular change of scene.”
San Francisco, meanwhile, gets a very interesting place to have lunch. Lots more pictures, in our Backstage with Chairman Bao photoset. Go full screen, grab a napkin, and enjoy:
Photos by Telstar Logistics
Last month, Danish shipping giant Maersk placed a giant order for a giant new class of container ships. When deliveries begin in 2013, Maersk's new Tripe-E Class vessels will be the largest ships in the world -- 1,400 feet (400 meters) from bow to stern. (For comparison's sake, America's newest aircraft carrier, the Nimitz-class USS George W. Bush, is 1092 feet long.)
Our friends at gCaptain tell the details:
Maersk Line has signed a contract with Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. to build 10 of the world’s largest and most efficient vessels, with an option for an additional 20 vessels. Scheduled for delivery between 2013 and 2015, they will entirely change the shipping industry’s understanding of size and efficiency.
Called the ‘Triple-E’ class for the three main purposes behind their creation — Economy of scale, Energy efficient and Environmentally improved — these new container vessels do not just set a new benchmark for size: they will surpass the current industry records for fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions per container moved held by the Emma Mærsk class vessels.
Four-hundred metres long, 59 metres wide and 73 metres high, the Triple-E is the largest vessel of any type on the water today. Its 18,000 TEU (twenty-foot container) capacity is 16 percent greater (2,500 containers) than today’s largest container vessel, Emma Mærsk.
The Triple-E will produce 20 percent less CO2 per container moved compared to Emma Mærsk and 50 percent less than the industry average on the Asia-Europe trade lane. In addition, it will consume approximately 35 percent less fuel per container than the 13,100 TEU vessels being delivered to other container shipping lines in the next few years, also for Asia-Europe service.
That last bit hints at an unfortunate caveat for North American ship-spotters: Maersk Triple-Es will only carry freight between Europe and Asia, as there is no port in the Americas with facilities that can accommodate the very big boats.
UPDATE: 21 March, 2011
Maersk has created a nice little microwebsite about the Triple-E series. Check it out if you want to learn more. (Thanks @creatino)
Photos: Maersk Group
Hat Tip: Stephen Woods
Telstar Logistics loves infrastructure. And if you're reading this Internet weblog, there's a good chance you're an infrastructuralist too. In a very literal way, infrastructure is the stuff that moves us, feeds us, shelters us, and allows us to live these lives that are so throoughly modern.
Document the structures of the built environment that symbolize contemporary life. Share the most impressive bridges, tunnels, airports, power plants, and other monuments to our ability to reshape and reconnect our world. This theme is a collaboration with Todd Lappin of Telstar Logistics.
Please share you most sexy infrastructure photos over at Pictory, but HURRY! The deadline for submissions is end-of-day Wednesday, March 2, 2011.
Telstar Logistics will help select the most sexy photos in the collection, and the best will be included in an upcoming photo feature on Pictory. But you can't get in if you don't submit your pics. So get 'em in fast.
Photos: From top, Oakland Bay Bridge by Ian Collins, Factory in New Mexico by Tim Melideo, Above San Francisco International Airport by Telstar Logistics.
Yesterday Boeing rolled out the first completed airframe of the 747-8 Intercontinental, a stretched and updated variant of the original jumbo jet.
With a “vibrant and dynamic” orange-red livery that customers in its all-important Asian markets associate with prosperity and success, Boeing rolled out the 747-8 Intercontinental passenger jet Sunday in a celebration attended by 10,000 employees and guests.
“This is a new airplane and we wanted a new livery,” Boeing Vice President and airplane production chief Pat Shanahan said as a curtain dropped revealing the 467-passenger jet. “We wanted to be seen as vibrant and dynamic.”
Although it is the third generation of what is probably the world’s most recognized jet, the 747-8 is the first time the four-engine aircraft has been stretched. It is now 250 ft. 2-in. long, – 18 ft. more than the 747 “classics” or 747-400, and carries 51 more passengers in a nominal three-class seating. Flight testing is expected to start in late March with FAA certification and first delivery in the fourth quarter.
For more than a decade, Boeing promoted various upgrades to the hugely successful 747-400 but made little headway with the business case until it could offer them with the 67,000 lb. thrust General Electric GEnx-2B67 engines, derived from engines developed for the 787. They are hung from a new 224-ft. 7 in. super-critical wing that includes new flaps, and fly-by-wire spoilers and ailerons. The aircraft also incorporates a larger empennage, new avionics and a 787-inspired interior.
That combination forms the backbone for Boeing’s claim that when it enters service early next year with Lufthansa German Airlines, the 747-8 will offer 16% better fuel economy than the -400 and a 12% advantage of seat-mile costs.
It's always a treat to see the world from the perspective of those who see it from an unusual perspective. We apologize for the tautology, but this explains why Telstar Logistics harbors such appreciation for workingfolk who head off to their jobs each day with a sense of pride in their hearts and a camera in their hands.
In 2010 I left Schneider National in February and signed on at Redding Lumber Transport. I proposed to my fiance on July 17th in Fort Bragg, CA on a beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I visited the Boeing Museum near Seattle, WA. I witnessed a fellow RLT Owner Operator's truck burn to the ground and my facination with trains reached a new level when I found out how to reach the abandoned snow tunnels on Donner pass. Take a look at the photos that I took this year, I'm sure you will enjoy them!
Oh, we did. And hopefully you will too:
Our agents on the waterfront conspired with our agent in the rigging to bring us a wonderful one-two combination of pictures.
The cruise ship Carnival Spendor just entered the big drydock in San Francisco, where she will undergo major repairs -- including an engine replacement. Ouch!
Remember the Carnival Spendor? That's the infamous ship that spent four days adrift last November after an onboard fire disabled her propulsion 200 miles south of San Diego. With 3299 passengers and 1167 crew trapped aboard, the US Navy diverted the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan to provision the stricken ship with food and supplies. (Fresh shrimp cocktails for the buffet? Delivered by the Gipper??)
All kidding aside, it was a bad scene.
But now it's time to make the ship new again. It will cost $56 million and take 4 to 6 weeks, but in the end the Carnival Splendor will get a new diesel engine and two alternators. The new motor arrived via a gigantic Antonov An-124 that landed on Saturday at San Francisco International Airport.
Happily, our friend SF Emperor was on hand to witness that scene:
No, these aren't segments of a new NASA rocket. But pretty soon, there's going to be a lot more Molson beer in the world.
Toronto's BlogTO explains why:
For the last few days, six giant beer vats have slowly plodded their wayt through the last 108 kilometres of a journey that started in Burgstadt, Germany and that will end sometime tonight or early tomorrow morning at the Molson Coors Brewery on Carlingview Drive [in Toronto, Canada]. The vats were originally supposed to arrive early today, but cold weather and difficulties with hydro wires that needed to be taken down to accommodate the over-sized vehicles have led to a slight delay.
Here are a few of the somewhat staggering statistics related to the journey:
- $24 million (cost for the tanks and the move)
- 40+ support vehicle convoy (police cars, utility vehicles)
- 35 police officers (to guide the trucks and control traffic)
- 250 traffic lights taken down and put back up
- 1600+ Hydro wires lifted or taken down to accommodate the vats)
- More than five and a half million bottles of beer can fit in the tanks
We love trucks. And we love yummy food. So it was really only a matter of time until Telstar Logistics turned our gaze toward the gourmet food truck phenomenon that's captivated foodies in major cities across America.
In an article in today's New York Times, Telstar Logistics Fleet Management Officer Todd Lappin described the transformation that is taking place among catering truck manufacturers as their traditional clientele of taco and hamburger vendors expands to include gourmet chefs who seek to serve exotic curbside cusine.
Chef Hugh Schick has cooked in some of the finest kitchens in the land. He took classes at the Culinary Institute of America, studied under Italian food expert Marcella Hazan and served as a private chef for the likes of the writer Christopher Hitchens and the venture capitalist David Cowan.
But when Mr. Schick and his business partner, Blake Tally, decided to open Le Truc, a San Francisco “bustaurant,” with a gourmet kitchen and dedicated seating area inside a converted school bus, the two quickly learned that the kitchens in food trucks are very different from their brick-and-mortar equivalents.
“It’s basically like buying a trailer home,” Mr. Schick said. “You get a kitchen that’s not designed by a chef, but by an engineer who’s simply trying to figure out where to make things fit.”
As Mr. Schick and other chefs seek to take more exotic foods like agedashi tofu and foie gras torchon to the streets and sidewalks of San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, they are demanding a host of upgrades to the traditional catering trucks, from teppanyaki grills to vertical chicken rotisseries.
And those who manufacture catering trucks are rushing to accommodate such special requests, which have rescued their industry from a recession-induced plunge in demand for the more traditional taco and hamburger trucks.
In a flattering twist, the Times opted to purchase the Telstar Logistics Multimedia Package, using our photos to accompany the article. But as a regular reader, you get exclusive access to our Greatest Hits collection of ALL the photos we took during our catering truck factory tours.
Join us for a trip to Los Angeles, where we tour AA Cater Truck, which built San Francsico's popular Chairman Bao food truck. We also explore Armenco, which built the innovative Le Truc "bustaurant." It's an interesting business that combines custom fabrication with killer cuisine -- and the results are delicious.
Salivate and enjoy:
Photos by Telstar Logistics
This is interesting. The Navy has decided to place a big order for a Littoral Combat Ships, a new class of high-speed warship desgined for use in near-shore waters. Even more interesting, the order will be split between two shipyards, each of which will use a different design. The Independence-class, shown at top, is an aluminum trimaran. The Freedom-class, shown beneath, is a semi-planing steel monohull. Both are designed to be fast, versatile, highly networked, and highly automated.
Navy officials said that if it exercises all of its options under the contracts, Lockheed Martin would assemble 10 of the coastal warships for $3.62 billion over six years and Austal USA, a unit of an Australian company, would build 10 for $3.52 billion.
The average price for the ships, including combat equipment furnished by the government and other costs, should be about $440 million, or well below a Congressional cap of $538 million per vessel, said Sean J. Stackley, the Navy’s assistant secretary for acquisition.
A week ago, Congress approved the Navy’s plan to use both shipyards instead of buying a smaller number of ships from one of them. The Navy said last month that the bids were surprisingly low and asked the companies to give Congress time to consider the change.
Naval warfare has shifted from the high seas to coastal areas in recent years, and the ships are supposed to be quick enough to run down small patrol craft and diesel submarines. They are highly automated, with crews of 75 people and equipment modules that can be swapped for different missions, like sweeping for mines or gathering intelligence.
But the companies’ designs are strikingly different. The Lockheed Martin ship, built in Marinette, Wis., has a steel hull, while the Austal model, built in Mobile, Ala., is an aluminum trimaran, a three-hulled vessel unlike any previous Navy design. Over the long term, the Navy hopes to buy 55 of the ships.
Oh, if big jets could talk...
This photo comes to us via Jim Ostrower's Flight Blogger, and it shows the scene inside a Lufthansa Technik hangar in Frankfurt, Germany last November, where two Airbus A380s had a chance encounter with one of the Boeing LCF Dreamlifters used to transport components of the Boeing 787. It's a lot of impressive hardware, all captured in one frame.
Image: Via Flight Blogger
Telstar Logistics gives hearty pat on the back to the team at Space X for completing their historic commercially launched orbital roundtrip spaceflight yesterday.