How Karl Gross organizes the transport of an overhead crane through the jungle and across the Andes

Ocean FreightHow Karl Gross organizes the transport of an overhead crane through the jungle and across the Andes

Project cargo logistics at challenging locations: In South America, we develop international logistics solutions for the mining industry and infrastructure projects.

South America encompasses almost 18 million square meters. Natural landscapes, mountain chains, rainforests and natural resources make it an extraordinary continent. As experienced project cargo logistics specialist, we develop international transport solutions within South America. And that is not always easy. Our best-practice example shows why. It takes us through the jungle to the coast, across the Pacific Ocean and the Andes – with an oversized overhead crane and a tight time schedule.

"The accessibility of the pick-up locations and of the places of delivery sometimes brings along challenges", Tobias Oberg, General Manager at Karl Gross in Chile, says. In few cases South America has good direct connections between the single countries that can be used for the transportation of project cargo. Although the infrastructure in the coastal regions and in the metropolitan areas is quite well developed, that is often not true for the infrastructure in the hinterlands.

"For door-to-door deliveries, out-of-the-box-thinking is often required, especially for the pre-carriage and on carriage – and they have to be well thought through – as our example shows."

One special focus of our team in Chile is organizing project cargo logistics solutions – e.g. for the mining industry or for infrastructure projects.

An example: tight time schedule and dimensions far beyond the usual

"We received the order to organize a transport related to an infrastructure project in Chile. Our task: to organize the pick-up of an overhead crane at one construction site and its transport to another. There are three main reasons why we well remember this order:
first, the tight schedule. Secondly, for the main carriage – the ocean journey – we were dependent on a breakbulk vessel service due to the oversized dimensions of the cargo – and these vessels are rather rare on this specific transport route in South America. Thirdly, the pre-carriage had to go through the South American jungle and the on-forwarding needed to take the cargo across the Andes - a challenging job", Tobias Oberg, says.

The multimodal transport included the road haulage to the port of loading, ocean freight transportation to Chile, and road haulage from the port of discharge to the final place of delivery – again using special extendible trailers. “Some of the transport sections on the road were very challenging. The cargo had to be carried to altitudes of up to 3,000 meters – on narrow roads in the Andes. The road transports were escorted by the police. Entire route sections were completely closed for regular traffic.”

Lengths of up to 30 meters, widths over five meters – and a total shipment volume of several thousand freight tons. Even though the crane was dismantled, the single cargo pieces of the overhead crane were still significantly oversized.

Part charter of breakbulk vessel

"For the main carriage, only a shipment via a partly chartered breakbulk vessel came into question. Looking at the tight schedule, however, it was also clear that all transport steps in the supply chain had to fit perfectly together. Thanks to a detailed planning and close project supervision, we were able to ensure that all parts of the overhead crane reached their final place of delivery on time."

Our German-Chilean team is specialized in developing tailor-made project cargo logistics solutions and is familiar with the logistical challenges in South America. While not all orders include such a volume and such special tasks as outlined in our example, it illustrates,  quite well how challenging project cargo logistics can be in South America.

Related articles