IFLN News 2017

Tripartite Transatlantic Collaboration Meets Tight Delivery Schedule

   Earlier this year, three IFLN Network members – Falcon International Canada, FMS Switzerland and UCOMAR Belgium – collaborated successfully on the transatlantic shipment of an outsize, super-heavy piece of cargo. In fact, the compressor – which weighed 61.5-tons and had a total volume of 241.71 cubic meters – had to be moved door-to-door from Zurich to New Iberia, Louisiana, USA for the construction of one of the world’s largest oil rigs.

 In addition to the challenges posed by the dimensions of the cargo, there was also the time-critical nature of the shipment since the customer, MAN Diesel & Turbo Schweiz AG, required the compressor to be on-site in America in the shortest time possible.

Falcon transported the freight from Port of Houston to New Iberia, LA, USA.

   Fr. Meyer’s Sohn (FMS) Switzerland handled the European end of the door-to-door operation, which involved trucking the freight from Zurich to Basel Rhine Port, before barging the freight from there to the Port of Antwerp.

   Fellow IFLN cargo agent, Antwerp-headquartered UCOMAR, handled the transfer of the piece by gantry crane from barge onto mafi trailer, which was afterwards used to bring the unit alongside the container ship as well as additional parts that were shipped in containers on the same vessel.

   UCOMAR booked the sea freight with CMA CGM because this shipping line offers a particularly short sailing time that could accommodate the customer’s challenging time constraints. The cargo was carried as break bulk to further expedite the shipping time.

This large piece was moved by two cranes from barge onto mafi trailer.

   From Antwerp, the ship sailed to Houston, where the shipment was unloaded and then, driven on a 10-axle truck to final delivery in New Iberia, all under the watchful care of the third of the IFLN forwarders, Montreal-based Falcon International. Falcon coordinated the offloading, which involved a direct discharge from vessel to truck for a fast but safe delivery to the consignee Shell's operations site. Police troopers and utility trucks were even waiting at state lines to further facilitate the smooth transport of the cargo to its final destination.

   Explains Alexandre van Gent, a project specialist at Falcon International: “The scope of work for this project was door-to-door [but] we had to get the BGC1 compressor to the site as soon as possible or risk holding up assembly on-site. Another challenge was to coordinate the pre-clearance for the cargo, as it had to be discharged directly onto the truck for immediate delivery.”

   However, van Gent observes: “With the combined effort of UCOMAR, FMS and Falcon, we were able to coordinate and execute the trucking at origin, loading at Antwerp, unloading at Houston, and delivery to New Iberia, LA—all without delay or setbacks. Working with a group of very knowledgeable people allowed us to predict and mitigate unforeseen issues and complication, as well as to plan for the worst.”

   UCOMAR project manager Erik Wullaert points to “excellent planning and coordination” from all three forwarders. Working at short notice, a complex shipment was organised and overseen from door-to-door in due time.”

   And FMS’s deputy managing director and head of project logistics & transport, Oliver Hoz, is also delighted with the speed and efficiency with which the whole process was carried out. “We arranged all the logistics within the IFLN Network, so there was close cooperation and teamwork between FMS, UCOMAR and Falcon.”

   “The logistical challenge was not a big problem,” Hoz continues, “but the main difficulty was the tight delivery schedule, as there was only a few weeks to the nominated delivery date. We had to follow lots of instructions on how to move, handle, deliver and lift, and we fulfilled all the requirements in the best possible way. We managed the perfect logistics, and we delivered before the final delivery date. Hoz concludes: “The cooperation between all the parties involved was of a very high and professional level. All of us did a great job to reach the goal and the final customers were certainly happy.”


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