IFLN News 2021

AML Keeps a Cool Head

OOG on crane, dockside

 Antwerp, Belgium-headquartered Antwerp Metal Logistics (AML), a member of the IFLN Global Projects network, has helped handle the very challenging shipment of an industrial cold box weighing some 175 tons between the UAE and Belgium. It measured over 35m in length and was more than 6.7m wide and 6m high.

AML was asked to help out by a longstanding project freight forwarder partner. The freight was loaded onto a chartered, geared vessel near its point of origin in the UAE, then AML handled the unloading of the equipment from the vessel onto a pontoon/barge when it reached Europe; all the lashing and securing on beams and stools required; and the land-based delivery by a double-lined, 18-axle self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) to the cold box’s installation site at one of the biggest chemical plants in Belgium.

Bjorn Van Marsenille, AML’s business development manager, recalls that the cargo agent was approached to see if it could develop a transport solution for the shipment some months before the move was to actually take place. It did just that, although plans had to subsequently be amended many times due to changes in the timings required, as well as changes to the dimensions and weight of the cargo to be shipped.

Nevertheless, “We got our game plan together and it was approved by all parties involved,” he says. AML’s preparations involved such measures as a lifting plan, a lashing plan, the preparation of the required permits, calculation of the SPMT configuration that would be required, and readiness of the various beams and stools that would be required for the move.

Van Marsenille explains that all the unloading and loading undertaken had to be carried out under inch-perfect conditions, while the drive to the destination site was also a challenging task, given the narrow turns and height limitations of the route.

“Every aspect of the move was planned, organized and affected by our specialized crew,” he says. While last-minute changes were required – a not unusual feature of project cargo moves – AML could meet all newly arising challenges thanks to its wide-ranging experience of such out-of-gauge shipping.

While more than capable of handling regular, smaller consignments, such project cargo transport as that of the cool box is very much “our specialty”, Van Marsenille observes. “This is where we differ from other forwarders: we like to be challenged with things that others describe as ‘impossible’. And this is not limited to the Antwerp region, we can handle these shipments globally.”

OOG on transporter

OOG cargo on crane, ship and barge


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