The LCTC M/V Fedora, with a length of 227.8 metres, would have been unable to make this port call in the past as the maximum length overall allowed (LOA) in Hiroshima port was previously limited to 200 metres. Nevertheless, WWL was able to get these restrictions lifted after negotiations with local pilots and close cooperation with the local operator.
From a practical aspect, the WWL Japan operations team had to change the way cargo was loaded onto the vessel. They realised that a conventional stern ramp operation would not be feasible with LCTCs, due to the limited berth length in Hiroshima. Thus, they proposed a centre ramp operation. The Pilot Association evaluated this proposal and accepted by using an additional tug boat.
The first LCTC call marked the practical test. As no inefficiencies or difficulties were experienced, nominating and sending LCTCs to the port of Hiroshima again have been cleared.
By being able to use LCTC vessels in export trades from Japan, WWL can now offer a more attractive service to customers through a larger capacity and flexibility in vessel allocation.