IFLN News 2018

Time-Critical Trans-Atlantic Transport

Key Cargo, Medical cargo waiting for shipment

UK-based Key Cargo recently handled, in collaboration with fellow IFLN member forwarders Aries Global Logistics and Airlog Group, a large air freight project of 24 crates (of total capacity 45 cubic meters) of medical apparatus for one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies – AstraZeneca. The cargo was moved between San Francisco on the West Coast of the US (the apparatus coming from a company called Labcyte based in San Jose, California) to Gothenburg, Sweden between late June and late July this year.

“All of Labcyte’s shipments from the US into Europe are managed by the company’s UK office,” explains Colin Jeffries, Key Cargo’s air/ocean import manager, “with Key Cargo having been appointed to handle all its traffic into Europe.” Labcyte first made Key Cargo aware of the need for the move in June, and the IFLN member forwarder was soon on the case.

Jeffries recalls Key Cargo’s quick decision to ask for the assistance of Aries Global Logistics and Airlog with the move. “We have used Aries for many years on all of our US business, Aries having handled many shipments for this shipper on our behalf over the past 12 months. We also recently used Airlog, Stockholm and Airlog, Denmark for a smaller consignment and found them very efficient, so when this shipment to Gothenburg came up we had no hesitation in turning to their Gothenburg office.”

A very time-sensitive shipment, the cargo had to be met by a team of engineers flown specially from the UK to Sweden to assist with installation (these Labcyte engineers are trained both to install the apparatus at its final destination and ensure that it is working correctly). With a height of over 2.5 meters, these crates could not be transported in the bellyhold of passenger aircraft, but finding a route from San Francisco to Gothenburg in the timescale required was “a challenge our teams were only too happy to help overcome,” Jeffries says.

In fact, a Cargolux B747 freighter was chosen to move the outsize cargo, with a routing of San Francisco – Luxembourg – Copenhagen – Gothenburg.

The intention was for the consignment to be delivered as one load, but the airline was forced to split the shipment due to space constraints. “With the persistence of Key Cargo, Aries and Airlog staff, however, a solution was agreed with the airline, and the freight arrived in Gothenburg on time, intact and to the delight of the team ready to install it,” says Jeffries.

Marie Pettersson, who organises and oversees air freight shipments for Airlog Group from the forwarder’s Gothenburg office, takes up the story. “We handled the shipment upon arrival in Gothenburg and co-ordination with the consignee. We also had constant communication with the airline and its trucking company to ensure timely arrival at the consignee’s final destination.”

Warren McArthur, a US-based vice president with Aries Global Logistics, recalls receiving the original request from Jeffries – the stipulation at that point being that the shipment had to be moved as a single consignment.

“By early July, capacity on Cargolux had been booked, and pick-up of the cargo was arranged out of Aries’ San Francisco warehouse very shortly after for transport out of San Francisco Airport. Five days later, the cargo had arrived safe and sound in Gothenburg,” he remembers.

IFLN Members Collaboration

Key Cargo has worked with a large number of their IFLN colleague forwarders over the years on various shipments (including ITC in Germany, Egetra in France, Integra in Spain, Prima SA in Switzerland and Broekman Logistics in Poland), but mostly on a smaller scale. “This shipment was the largest to date handled by the cargo agent,” Jeffries confirms, “and without the help and support of fellow IFLN members we would not have had the global presence to handle this business. We look forward to the next project!”

Similarly, Pettersson recalls past collaboration with its partners on this particular shipment. “We have an ongoing and valued co-operation with Key Cargo, Aries and several other IFLN members, who all offer a number of advantages,” she says. In terms of this particular shipment: “It all went very well, with excellent communication [between the IFLN forwarders], which is critical in a case like this. We are always interested in increasing this collaboration with our valued partners,” Pettersson concludes.


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