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Anything But Typical In Norfolk - News - Details

Anything But Typical In Norfolk

The shipment was big. It was heavy. But, most concerning, was that it was radioactive.

Radioactive material accounts for a very small portion of all dangerous material shipped each year – only 1% in the U.S., the world’s largest producer of nuclear power.1 However, just last month, Miller Transfer was trusted to haul a 13’ x 12’ x 11.5’ piece of radioactive equipment – weighing 186,243 lbs – from a secure shipyard in Hampton Roads, Virginia, to New York state. While this complex heavy haul was anything but typical, the experienced team at the Miller Transfer Norfolk Terminal successfully met the challenge. And much more.

Led by our local terminal manager, a 25-year industry veteran, the Miller Transfer team first developed a highly comprehensive plan. One that included:

• Configuring the necessary specialized equipment
• Physically surveying the route
• Procuring escorts and police escorts
• Assigning a team of skilled drivers

All of which was necessary to safely haul the hazardous cargo over 500 long miles and across state lines. While the team also had to obtain a variety of required permits, Miller Transfer has an in-house permit department that works directly with governing authorities in all 50 states. This was particularly beneficial as this heavy haul required longer permit lead times prior to movement. In fact, three – yes, three – permit reorders were required before the shipment’s final movement due to circumstances beyond our control.

When radioactive materials are transported, it is essential that radiation exposure is avoided among the personnel and the general public along the transport route. Therefore, the designated Miller Transfer trailer had to be newly inspected and certified by the Department of Transportation (DOT). This Level VI inspection, a higher and stricter inspection standard adopted and intended for use only on select shipments of radioactive material, included a swab test for traces of radioactive contamination.

The project challenges didn’t end there, though. When the container went to load on January 10, our driver noticed a potential packaging problem that needed to be checked. Therefore, the freight had to be removed from the trailer and re-inspected for radioactive leaks. During this time, Miller Transfer had to leave equipment at the facility, as well as have a driver on call for any necessary moves. Once the trailer was swabbed and container issues corrected, the load was ready for final movement on February 13.

This customer initially selected Miller Transfer for our competitive pricing and special equipment offering, yet it soon learned of the company’s true value. Throughout the load’s progress, Miller Transfer’s experienced team kept the customer up to date. Step by step. Mile by mile.

1 Transport of Radioactive Materials; http://www.world-nuclear.org