Project Cargo Logistics with a Minimum of Advance Information

Project LogisticsProject Cargo Logistics with a Minimum of Advance Information

Philipp Küffner
Philipp KüffnerDeputy Branch Manager

“This was a challenging order with many uncertainties”, says Philipp Küffner when talking about a project cargo shipment performed by Karl Gross Bremen.

Karl Gross was ordered to develop a transport concept for shipping the production lines of a shut down factory.

“All machinery and technical production equipment was still assembled and at its place in the production facilities. Dismantling of the production lines was planned for but we could not receive exact information on the measurements or weights the single freight pieces would have when ready for shipping“, says Philipp Küffner.

What added particularly to the challenge was that cost-efficiency aspects were in focus in particular – as is often the case when shipping used machinery and equipment.

How did Karl Gross cope with these uncertainties?

As a first step, we took the measurements of all machinery and equipment which was to be shipped to get a first rough idea of the dimensions the freight pieces might possibly have”, Philipp Küffner says. "And as there was a strong focus on shipping costs, we took on close communication with the company ordered to perform the dismantling.”

Goal was to find out how far the single items could be dismantled – at best and theoretically. While oversize and overweight cargo generally is the ‘bread and butter business’ of Karl Gross’ project cargo specialists, in this particular case they wanted to avoid having more oversize pieces than absolutely necessary. "Under cost-efficiency aspects, we aimed at having as many parts as possible carried to the port of loading without the need of extra transport permits, for example”, Philipp Küffner says.

„Under cost-efficiency aspects, we aimed at having as many parts as possible carried to the port of loading without the need of extra transport permits, for example.”

"We needed to cope with having the final measurements of each freight piece on short notice – for example one to two days prior to truck loading."

So far so good. But it turned out that it would show in the course of the dismantling process only and on a case by case basis to which extend this would actually be feasible. “We needed to cope with having the final measurements of each freight piece on short notice – for example one to two days prior to truck loading”, Philipp Küffner recalls. "So we needed to react flexibly and organize for flatbed trailer trucks if the pieces turned out to have oversize.“

And what about the weights?!

“That was another interesting challenge”, Philipp Küffner says. Karl Gross’ project cargo specialists knew that the single freight pieces would not ne overweight. Still, flexibility was key. “We could not determine the actual weight per freight piece until truck loading. So we had to make ad hoc decisions regarding which piece was to be loaded onto which truck and how it would be secured for road carriage", Philipp Küffner says.

Even used machinery needs protection

Organizing for seaworthy packing and stowage for ocean freight shipping was also part of Karl Gross‘ job. „We could have a good portion of the cargo stuffed in standard containers”, Philipp Küffner says. “For the oversized pieces, we used open top containers and flat racks."

"The challenge in this part of the job was to find a suitable way for seaworthy packing for the oog-pieces. We were to keeps costs really as low as possible. That’s very understandable because the cargo was used machinery, not brand new one, but still we needed to ensure appropriate cargo protection.”

But that was not the only challenge the machines ages had ready for Karl Gross’ project shipping team.

In supporting in drawing up the cargo’s export documents, they faced another one: "Here, we had to do some ‚detective work‘“, Philipp Küffner says. What for? Supplier’s declarations! "When older machinery is to be exported, it is not uncommon that the manufacturing company of a machine does not exist anymore, for example, because they have been bought by another one. But a bit of research paid off and we received all documents necessary.“

A special order – not only from a logistics point of view

“Each project cargo shipment has its own challenges. That is what makes this logistics sector so interesting to me”, Philipp Küffner says.

But this shipment had another special component: “We shipped the equipment out of a former old-established Bremen factory. This was in a way emotionally touching. To see how an era ends is just sad – for the people who used to work in the factory and also for us locals and employees of another Bremen-based old-established business.”


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