Over the previous decade, wind farms have become a significant source of carbon-free electricity.

You can find wind farms with their massive turbines scattered across the United States.

Wind power accounted for one of the largest shares of renewable global energy growth last year. As the demand in carbon-free energy increases, so does the demand for more wind turbines. Wind turbines can measure 330 feet or more. The turbines are getting heavier, the rotor blades are getting longer, and the tower components are larger as well.

Moving these wind turbines is no small feat and requires significant planning and a budget to match.

Our Pac-Van Louisiana branches helped in transporting 400 wind turbine blades by barge from New Orleans up the Mississippi River to Minnesota for a large wind farm that will be built in North Dakota over the next year.

Each blade can measure over 190 feet long and requires specific handling and transport.  The wind turbine blades were created abroad and transported to the United States via carrier ship. They will be housed at a terminal within the St. Bernard Port, Harbor & Terminal District and then will be loaded onto barges for transport up the Mississippi River.

Similar shipments have been transported by railcars and semi-trucks for inland moves across the United State. This form of transportation almost always has the potential for causing traffic delays and damage to the cargo. Using barges for most of the trip reduces or eliminates those impacts, offers significant transportation cost savings and avoids the task of meeting new, lower weight limitations on roads and bridges.

The container project will provide a total of 75 specialty barges to be used in the transportation the equipment. The barges are capable of transporting 6 turbines blades each.

Pac-Van will provide a total of 92 20’ shipping containers to a logistics company to help support the structure that will be responsible for holding the turbines in place during transportation. Containers will be stacked one on top of another on each corner of the barge. They will act as a structural component while providing enough height to raise the turbines above the barge walls.

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Pac-Van’s Houma and Lafayette branches have been working closely with the logistics company providing containers to meet the schedule set in place for delivery of the turbine blades. After the turbine blades have been delivered to Minnesota, they will then be transported to North Dakota by truck. A total of 30 Pac-Van containers will be returned to our Wisconsin branches and the rest will be brought back down the Mississippi River to our Houma and Lafayette branches.