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by Curtis Hand, images from ALMACO Group

This is the first instalment of what we hope will become a series of concise best practise advice from navies and their supplier in the perennial quest of “Getting It Right” – or, to be trendy, “GiR”.
If your company or ship’s crew has a best practise to share with readers, then please contact our publisher Stephen Elliott esq.

This instalment takes on-onboard the insights of  ALMACO Group’s Project Manager Tommi Virta.  ALMACO Group has completed a number of successful projects in fitting ships of all sizes and classes with amenities from kitchens to crew accommodations, with an increasing number of naval contracts in their portfolio.

This is what Tommi has for us today...
Logistics is so much more than just delivering material from A to B. While it seems relatively mundane, logistics plays a key role in whether a modernisation project is successful or not.

Logistics is an exciting part of a modernisation project. It doesn’t necessarily require such detailed efforts as design and purchasing often do, so it is easy to think about it as being a lower priority than other tasks even though it’s one of the most important aspects of any project. The general idea of logistics can be that we fill containers with materials and send them to the site phase in time, and then the site team will handle the rest. That kind of approach can be the start of an unwanted domino effect and eventually cause the project to fail, whereas well-planned logistics will make everyone’s life much easier.

Getting It Right: Five ways to ensure that project logistics goes well…
1. Time Buffer – Ensure that you are aware of all the risks related to the shipping route and reserve time buffer accordingly. These can be, for example, ice scenarios in winter, vessels omitting specific ports, etc.
2. Container Sizes – It can be challenging to lift 40-foot containers onboard modernisation dry docks, and they are often not allowed. Therefore any materials that will be lifted directly onboard will usually need to be shipped in 20-foot containers.
3. Warehousing – Smooth site logistics will require intermediate warehousing where containers are stripped before lifted onboard. That is the only way to ensure that we only have the pallets we need onboard. Even if the containers would be packed according to the installation plan, something will happen that changes the schedule. After that, the original installation plan is not valid anymore, and we end up with lots of material pallets in the work area that we don’t need. That will create congestion in an already limited space, and there is a risk that something will be damaged or lost.
4. Labelling – Correctly labelled pallets are much easier to find and organise.
5. Material tracking – The ultimate goal is to have the right material at the right place at the right time. In order to do that, we need to know where everything is at all times. For that, we need professional people with the correct tools.

Just a few examples of ALMACO Group’s navy customer references:

Canadian Navy – Full EPC contract for the Living Quarter / Superstructure; built in Finland and transported for hull integration to Davie Shipyard in Canada. Included steel background systems, cabins, public areas, galley, provision stores, wheelhouse and technical spaces (image right).


Saudi Navy – SAWARI I – Supplied galleys (image left).




French Navy – JACQUES CHEVALLIER – FLOTLOG – Supply and installation of cold stores, galleys, and laundry areas for the FLOTLOG fleet supply vessels of the “Jacques Chevallier” class as a visual turnkey project including supply and installation (image right).