From the very first point of contact, WWL’s knowledge and expertise in all aspects of the pricing, booking, handling, receiving, loading and shipment of the tram have been first class.

In June, the WWL Break bulk team in Southampton, England, received a phone call from the FedEx office in Manchester regarding a special delivery of a tram to Americas West Coast. Destination: San Francisco.

But it wasn’t just any old tram. It was the Blackpool Tram, No. 233 (the so-called boat tram), a piece of history on wheels. Built in 1934 to ferry residents and tourists around the famous resort town on the northwest coast of England, it is one of only 12 ever manufactured.

Just a few of the original trams remain and this one had been bought by the Market Street Railway, a nonprofit preservation organisation in San Francisco. The tram would be used, alongside many other historic streetcars from around the world, on a preserved stretch of tracks that run through the city.

Part of the tram’s roof was removed for transport by road, using a trailer specially modified with rails. At Southampton, the tram was seamlessly winched and rolled from the trucking company’s trailer bed on to WWL’s specially made 18 metre mafi roll-trailer with integral rails.

Once rolled and loaded on to the WWL vessel MV Carmen, the tram was lashed, secured and chocked for below deck transportation to Port Hueneme, California. On arrival the loading process was simply repeated in reverse, allowing safe delivery to the streets of San Francisco.

“From the very first point of contact, WWL’s knowledge and expertise in all aspects of the pricing, booking, handling, receiving, loading and shipment of the tram have been first class. Everyone involved in this project has had complete confidence and reassurance,” says Simon Craddock, Ocean Product Manager at FedEx.


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