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New Zealand firm weighs in on AC35 pack-up

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Weighing solution: Greg Fahey, right, CEO of Bison, delivering a set of Bison C-Jacks to Andy Nottage, second right, Emirates Team New Zealand logistics and base manager, and other members of the New Zealand team (Photograph supplied)

The curtain is about to fall on the 35th America’s Cup and preparations are under way for the next phase — the packing up and shipping out of the tools, equipment and temporary facilities used by the teams and organisers.

With that in mind, a company from New Zealand is providing portable container weigh scales to Emirates Team New Zealand and the America’s Cup Event Authority.

Much of the equipment used by the teams will be shipped out in containers that need to be accurately weighed to meet road and bridge weight restrictions, and for verification purposes when loaded onto freight transport ships.

Bison, a technology company based in Dunedin, has developed a number of portable devices that allow grounded containers and containers on chassis to be weighed on the spot.

As an example, its C-Jacks launched two years ago are being used by a number of organisations, including Nasa, the US Army and Virgin Galactic.

Bison is an official supplier of Emirates Team New Zealand, which used the company’s technology to weigh more than 60 container loads of tools and equipment that it needed to bring to Bermuda.

When the America’s Cup racing concludes, either today or tomorrow, the New Zealand team’s containers will require repacking for outward shipping. Each one will need to be weighed to ensure it meets transportation regulations.

But rather than have to divert containers to off-site weighing facilities, or try to weigh each individual item as it is placed in the containers, the New Zealand team will use Bison’s portable container scales to weigh full containers on location.

And the technology has caught the attention of the ACEA, which is responsible for logistics, shipping, imports, exports, container movements and support services required for the delivery of the America’s Cup.

Greg Fahey, chief executive officer of Bison, said: “It was a bonus to have the ACEA call on us this week to ask for a portable container weighing solution of their own. A new set of scales will be winging its way to Bermuda immediately.”

About 120 container loads of stands, equipment and other cargo will be shipped out of Bermuda at the end of the regatta. This will be undertaken by the ACEA, which confirmed it would use the scales order to record each container’s VGM, or verified gross mass, for onward shipping.

Each of the six syndicate racing teams will have their separate requirements. Bison said the British and French teams might also use the ACEA’s scales to weigh containers.

Mr Fahey said the America’s Cup was “an amazing showcase of Kiwi innovation”, and added that Bison was “proud to be delivering a smart new solution on the logistics side”.

On location: a set of Bison C-Jacks, a portable solution for weighing shipping containers. The New Zealand company has provided weigh scales to Emirates Team New Zealand and the America’s Cup Event Authority