Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Project Freight Forwarding Group Passes Wembley Gates to Chile

(and Doesn't Drop the Ball)
Shipping News Feature

UK – CHILE – When the royal tunnel gates from the original Wembley Stadium went up for auction in November 2011, few would have predicted that the successful bid would come from a museum in Chile, although given the South American continent’s passion for the game perhaps not, and indeed successful it was, leaving freight forwarding and project logistics group Anglo Pacific with the task of safely shipping the gates to capital Santiago. Terry Horsnell, Anglo Pacific's Fine Art Consultant, commented:

“I genuinely love a challenge and 16 foot square gates don’t get more challenging. The gates were stored up in a yard in Kettering and just getting them out, vertical to remove and then horizontal to travel, was a mission, particularly as overhead telephone and power cables come into play. We then had to liaise with the authorities to get the necessary wide load permits for the evening road trip from Kettering to Anglo Pacific’s warehouses in London, which are thankfully well-equipped to receive large and heavy items.

“For the Atlantic crossing, the gates were too large for containers so had to be packaged in timber casing, lifted with specialist equipment and shipped as conventional below-deck cargo. A shipment like this only comes four or five times a year, a recent comparable was a 16 foot high Salvador Dalí statue we transported to Singapore, and it’s great fun to fine-tune all the logistical intricacies.”

Dating back to 1923, the timber gates took centre stage during London’s second Olympics in 1948 when the teams used them for access to the ground. Old Wembley closed in October 2000 and the iconic twin towers demolished in 2003 with the gates days away from the same fate. Fortunately registered charity the Brooking Trust (the architectural heritage society, not Sir Trevor) was able to whisk them to safe storage at Greenwich University. Sold by Sotheby’s at auction in London, the gates achieved a figure of £5,785 - within the auctioneer’s predicted range - and were amongst nine lots that included a round window from the iconic twin towers and lights from the royal box. Hernán García, Executive Director of Chile’s Museo de la Moda, said:

“This is the first time we’ve worked with Anglo Pacific but, given the dimensions, delicacy, incalculable historic significance and value of the gates, we had to work with a reliable specialist. Thankfully the auction house was able to recommend Anglo Pacific and so far so good – the attention to detail and customer care has been excellent. The gates haven’t yet arrived but, given our experience so far, we expect only the best results.”

The old Wembley gates should reach Santiago by 24 March and will form part of the Museo de la Moda’s main project, a collection of pieces related to football, tennis and other sports. They hope to convey the history of sport around the world through clothing, accessories and other related items such as these impressive gates.

Photo: The gates being crated prior to shipment.