Logistics for space

BLG LOGISTICS has successfully loaded the first upper stage of ARIANE 6

Photo©: ArianeGroup/Hill Media

The proverbial rocket science met the world's oldest maritime propulsion system, the sail, at the quay in Neustädter Hafen. The first flight model of the Ariane 6 upper stage was loaded onto the innovative hybrid ship Canopée by BLG specialists.

BLG LOGISTICS is a long-standing partner of ArianeGroup: "We have been loading the finished rocket components in Neustädter Hafen for many years," reports Matthias Magnor, Member of the Board of Management and COO of the BLG Group. Despite the long-standing partnership, this type of loading remains exciting even for BLG's experts: the fact that the valuable freight being loaded here will one day be launched into space is something special, even for the experienced colleagues at Neustädter Hafen.

At Neustädter Hafen in Bremen, BLG handles around 1,400,000 tonnes of general and heavy cargo per year across 1,000,000 square metres. "Neustädter Hafen offers everything that is needed for loading heavy cargo: heavy equipment, experienced employees and an excellent infrastructure.  Here at the quay, we connect the world with Bremen and Bremen with the world - and now also with outer space," says Magnor.

The loading was actually planned a day earlier. However, the weather conditions on Monday morning prevented the safe loading of the valuable cargo. Nevertheless, numerous invited guests gathered in Neustadt harbour on Monday: Bremen's Mayor Andreas Bovenschulte, the Senator for Economics, Ports and Transformation Kristina Vogt, the CEO of Ariane Group GmbH Pierre Godart and the CEO of the German Aerospace Centre Prof. Dr Anke Kaysser-Pyzalla as well as Dr Walther Pelzer, Head of the Space Agency at DLR. In the evening, the wind died down, and the loading could take place as planned.

Shared passion for sustainable innovation
In October 2023, the Canopée arrived in Neustadt harbour for the first time to take parts of the Ariane 6 launcher on board. The Canopée, which is intended to transport Ariane 6, is the first industrial hybrid ship that is also powered by wind energy. In addition to the two diesel engines, the Canopée has four sails, which should reduce average annual fuel consumption by 30 percent. A clear signal for more sustainability in shipping: "This symbiosis of space exploration and environmentally friendly technology is not only visionary; it is also a very strong sign that we can integrate sustainable principles into all areas of our lives," emphasizes Matthias Magnor. "We not only have a long-standing business relationship with ArianeGroup, but also a shared passion for innovation and green logistics," emphasizes BLG COO Matthias Magnor.


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