Safe and Secured


During one of my vendor shop visits, I saw this one of the many vessels getting ready to be shipped and transported to Korea. The purpose of my visit is to witness the hydrotest of some other vessels. The vessel being packed is a relatively small vertical vessel with approx. 2 m. dia and 2.5m T/T length. But during its preparation, I noticed something was missing……. where’s the shipping/transportation saddle?

The shipping/transportation saddle is a temporary saddle where a vessel is placed and secured before shipping. This is typically made of wood. It is designed to withstand any foreseeable transportation loads and prevent damage to the vessel during transit. The vessel will be strapped on the saddle, and the saddle will bolted to the transport base/crate.

When asked for the transportation saddle, I was advised that the team have agreed to proceed without it due to schedule delays. Making one for each will take a couple of days to complete, they said and that these needs to get out of the shop and make it to the airport ready for air freight in 4 hours time. So I went back to the vendor’s office and wait while other vessels are being prepared for hydrotesting.

By 5pm, hydrotesting is done. The other vessels has gone out of the shop to the airport and I get to go home.

When I came to the office the next day, I received an email from our project team that some vessels have not been accepted by the logistics team in the airport due to the sustained damages of the crate during transport last night and deemed not fit for air freight. Immediately that vessel came to my mind. I was instructed to go inspect and take some photos and liaise with the vendor.

Apparently, the vessel rolled inside and damaged the crate during transport. It has not been properly secured. The vessel did not make the air freight that day and get delayed for 2-weeks. The vendor has to do a shipping saddle and pack it all again properly at their expense. Fortunately, the vessel was not damaged.

vessel position during transportation

Vessel position during transportation


nozzle protruded out of the crate during transport

This nozzle protruded out of the crate during transport. This side of the crate has been removed already when we arrived


Lessons I learned from this is to follow proper packing/preparation procedure and load out checklist where available. The inspector who signed should ensure that these have been considered and complied with.

After the incident, every single vessel has been provided with a shipping saddle before transportation, and yes the vessel welding seams are not painted yet, if you have noticed. :D. Just a side note, this vessel has been hydrotested and final touch up of the paint will be done at site. Normally vessels are not painted especially on the weld seams until after the hydrotest. Depending on the Client requirement/preference(on this instance, schedule is also a factor), you can proceed with hydrotest with paint on it except for the welding seams. Anyway, this can have its own topic of discussion.


single vessel hydrotested


I hope you’ve learned something from this or at least have been aware for similar situations to be prevented. Do you have any lessons learned you wanted to share with the community? We would love to hear your stories and challenges that you have faced and how we can learn from it. Even a simple one is fine. Drop a mail to should you have anything you would like to share.

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