IFLN News 2015
From Burns Harbor to Linz
The complex inter-modal shipment had to be completed in eight weeks, and over the Christmas holidays.
As previously reported in the December 2014 edition of the IFLN Newsletter, Falcon International of Canada and Austria based BTG Spedition & Logistik continue to successfully collaborate on complex shipments. Illustrating just how good and worthwhile inter-member cooperation has been, their newest project comes in the form of more than 600 tons of steel plates.
The heavy cargo was moved on behalf of BTG's client, Siemens Austria, from Burns Harbor, Indiana, in the U.S., to Linz in Austria. "The difficult task," Patrick Legault, Falcon's president explained, "was to coordinate between BTG, the shipper Arcelor Mittal, specific loading and unloaded of the containers in Chicago and Antwerp, and the barge operator to make sure that all the steel arrived on time and safely at the destination."
The complex shipment, which was undertaken between late December 2014 and February this year, required movements by rail, road, river barge and ocean to move the steel plates, some of which weighed as much as 24 tons. Falcon was responsible for the pick-up of the cargo at Burns Harbor, the steel plates driven on flatbed tri-axle trucks to a Chicago packing facility for loading into standard 20 foot containers and shipment by rail from Chicago to the Port of Norfolk.
From there, they were shipped to Antwerp, where BTG took over. Thomas Hafner, vice president air and ocean freight at BTG, filled in the details, "Our part was to unload the containers in Antwerp, stow and mark the bundles by color and (oversee) the loading onto barge. The barge transport up to Linz went very well and we arrived almost exactly on time at the terminal, where the goods were unloaded."
BTG also oversaw the delivery to final destination, acting under the instructions of the consignee. "Within the space of just a single week, we delivered the whole shipment of about 37 truckloads," Hafner said.
Moreover, the whole complex shipment from origin to destination had to be completed in a total of eight weeks, Legault pointed out. "And during the Christmas holidays!" Nevertheless, and despite poor weather in Chicago, on the U.S. East Coast and in the Atlantic, port and rail congestion, and a shortage in truck availability, all obstacles were overcome and the delivery was made on time.
The steel plates were moved by truck, road, river and sea from the U.S. to Antwerp and then loaded on to a barge destined for Austria.
This is the fourth project on which Falcon and BTG Austria have collaborated on in just the past year. "Our cooperation has been excellent," Legault said. "On both sides, we share accurate information, and we exchange ideas for routing and rates to find the most cost-efficient solution.
"I believe that working very closely with our partners is key," Legault continued. "Sharing ideas and experiences to achieve long-term profitable business relationships is our goal. At Falcon, we work with reliable IFLN members and select carefully the partners we will do business with. It is our hope that we can continue to work with other IFLN members in the same way as we do with BTG Austria."
Hafner at BTG is equally positive about the value of the two forwarders' cooperation. "We (Siemens and BTG Austria) were very happy about Falcon’s performance and for all the work done on the U.S. side. As BTG Austria, we had no fear of this project being at risk; we trusted the Falcon team 100 percent," he said.
And, Hafner added, "I'm absolutely sure that this won’t be the last project we handle together with Falcon."
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