Air freight for commercial shipping component

Usually if something is big, heavy and needs to be shipped a considerable distance it will be forwarded using sea freight, but there are exceptions where air freight is more cost effective.


It's about understanding the wider project needs

When the dredger MV Macuti, owned by the Mozambique government, came into dry dock for maintenance it started a very expensive parking meter. A dredger is a type of boat which is specially equipped with a tool (called a dredge), that sucks, excavates or scrapes materials, debris and matter from the sea bed, estuary or port entrance. The propulsion propellers on a dredger need enough power to manoeuvre with high precision whilst under tremendous load. As with any ship, they need dry dock maintenance to ensure they operate efficiently and safely. It was when dredger MV Macuti was in dry dock for routine maintenance with Dormac Marine Engineering, it was discovered that the propulsion unit was beyond repair. This started the clock ticking as a new nozzle unit, the housing around the propellor, was needed from a specialist manufacturer. Kort Propulsion were awarded the contract for the critical part. With an anticipated 8 weeks from start to finish to manufacture the replacement part, the dry dock bill was growing. The need for an accelerated form of logistics to deliver the critical replacement part was now the priority.


Complex logistics from Romania to Durban

With the order received, fabrication was started and Spatial Global were contacted by Kort Propulsion to begin the logistical planning. The manufacturing of the propulsion nozzle unit was in Ovidiu, Constanța County, Northern Dobruja, Romania. This port side location would normally be ideal for sea freight, but with the escalating cost of the dry dock the fastest route was by road and air freight. The nozzle unit was taken to Budapest, Hungary, by road where it was flown by air freight to Doha International Airport, Qatar. Here the freight was transferred to another aircraft and flown to Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, the busiest airport on the continent of Africa. From here it was transferred to road freight and finally delivered to the dry dock in the Port of Durban, commonly called Durban Harbour, the largest and busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa.


“The nature of our business means from time to time we need to react very quickly to our customer’s needs. The destinations of the units we manufacture could be anywhere in the world, which is we rely on Spatial Global as our logistics partner. This project was incredibly time sensitive, and I don’t believe there could have been any element that could have been completed faster. The most exposure to risk with this type of project is always crossing boarders, customs and I’m pleased to say everything went to plan.”

Dave Parsons Managing Director, Kort Propulsion Co Limited


7 Days door to door

The timescales were the critical factor, and everything from the customs documentation to the road and air freight was managed by Spatial Global. Timings were coordinated so the road freight and onward journey was synchronised with the fabricators of the critical spare, so no time was wasted. As with all project cargo, good communication and planning is the key to success. Everything ran like clockwork and the cost of dry dock was kept to a minimum.

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