Sunday, December 15, 2013

Military Cargo Can Be a Minefield for Project Freight Forwarding Agents

Armed Forces Ride Shotgun on Trip to Port
Shipping News Feature

UK – MALAYSIA – Military cargo can be more than a nuisance to a freight forwarder at the best of times with many shipping lines having restrictions or simply being unlicensed for its carriage. The sensitivity which surrounds the numerous conflicts ongoing throughout the world and the ongoing animosity or outright hostility between various states makes consular and customs procedures ever more difficult but when the equipment in question is an out of gauge piece like the tactical refuelling tanker in our photograph the physical problems alone demand the attention of a specialist project forwarding agent.

Tuscor Lloyds’ Martyn Blackburn has a military background and was therefore the natural choice when the company won the job of ensuring the consignment safely and securely made the journey from the UK to Penang within both the scheduled time and budget. As the cargo was military and also a tactical refuelling tank, this had to be driven and escorted by members of the British Armed Forces up to the departure port of Felixstowe.

The size and weight of the tanker required the cargo to be split and the tank/truck sections were loaded onto individual 40ft flat rack containers and, once the cargo arrived at the port of Felixstowe, its lashing was checked and confirmed as safe/secure for ocean transport to Malaysia. The 23 tonne cargo was then lifted using a heavy lift crane and loaded/secured to the vessel. The overall trip took a total of thirty eight days, from leaving the manufacturers plant in Stafford until arriving safely at the port in Penang, where it was safely offloaded.