“Our best storehouse”
Every year, some 270 ships call in at the port of Uddevalla, which handles more than a million tonnes of cargo, the equivalent of over 25,000 long-distance lorries. The large port area was once the site of the extensive Uddevalla shipyard, and virtually any goods, apart from liquid bulk cargo, are handled here – including cars, timber, paper and, of course, containers. The port serves as a hub for transshipment between water, road and rail transport. A regular freight train service for containers and trailers runs between the port and the city of Gothenburg every day.
TEXT: EVERT BLOMKVIST | PHOTO: THOMAS HARRYSSON
The latest addition to the 40,000 square metres of storage space available at the port is a hall supplied by Borga. This impressive building, which offers 6,000 square metres of completely free space, stands out with its attractive blue facade and fulfils its purpose excellently and in line with the customer’s requirements.
“When we issued the call for bids, all I did was provide a basic description,” explains Johan Eriksson, Technical Manager for Uddevalla Hamnterminal AB, a municipally owned company.
“We started out with the length, width, ceiling height, doors and so on. Then the project was developed in collaboration with the bidders. I had a huge Excel document in which I entered and compared various details of the designs and prices offered by the bidders. I did the same thing with different guarantees for details and other such elements. By the time we drew up the contract with Borga, we were very clear about how we wanted the hall to look.”
Borga was able to meet all of the customer’s specific requirements thanks to the flexibility of its design process.
The roof projections and snow protection systems, for example, were designed to provide protection against the weather during loading and ensure that pallets can be unloaded quickly under cover before going on to be sorted and transported into the premises. The customer was also insistent that the structure should be able to withstand extremely high loads of snow.
“During the particularly snowy winters we had a few years ago, there were several instances where halls collapsed under the snow, both here at the port and in the surrounding areas. We kept shovelling the snow away to avoid any further incidents and it was really terrifying to send staff up onto the roof when it was already sagging under the strain.”
It turned out that the cost of upgrading the roof was more or less the same as the cost of shovelling snow off it just once.
“Now we don’t need to worry about the snow anymore,” says Johan, adding that the roof paint was scratched to shreds from shovelling off the snow that had frozen onto it.
Another rather unusual feature for a Borga hall is the columns supporting the roof structure, which are perfectly straight and the same width from the floor to the roof trusses.
“Borga normally uses posts which taper towards the bottom, so the hall leans inwards slightly on the inside.”
The posts normally used create more floor space, but Johan wanted to minimise the risk of accidents happening when the truck drivers are stacking up pallets.
“After all, the floor is the first place where truck drivers look to see where they are going,” he explains.
Aside from price, the flexibility and adaptability of Borga’s design and planning work were decisive factors when it came to considering the bids.
“I must say I’m certainly impressed by how well the whole building process has gone,” says Johan.
“Right from our first contact with Borga through to the final inspection, everything went incredibly smoothly. Of course, Borga was only awarded the general contract for the construction work, while I outsourced the landscaping and electrical work to other providers. But the construction meetings went so well that, on the whole, I could just sit back and let the contractors take care of everything.
All in all, I am really pleased with the quality of the finished building. It’s our best storehouse.”
|Facts about Uddevalla Hamnterminal AB
Uddevalla Hamnterminal AB is a municipally owned port operator which handles a million tonnes of goods a year, the equivalent of over 25,000 long-distance lorries. Its 70 full-time employees organise the unloading, loading and transshipment of both general and bulk cargo. Around 270 ships call in at the port each year and a regular freight train service runs between the port of Uddevalla and Gothenburg every day. The company’s turnover is over SEK 80 million.