Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Some Freight Forwarders and Abnormal Load Haulage Operators Get All the Glamour

Specialist Transport is Where One Sees the Exotic Side of Shipping - and the Risk
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – There are certain aspects of the logistics market that appeal so much more than the general run of the mill, bread and butter jobs from which most shipping and supply chain professionals make their living. Somehow the world of the project freight forwarder or the abnormal load road haulage specialist always holds a touch of romance for many in the industry.

A case in point are those companies which earn their money from the glamorous world of international boat transport. Part of the appeal comes from knowing that one is moving a consignment with an extremely high value yet is often a most complex weight and shape combination that is also extremely delicate.

Our photograph shows one of the latest shipments by Hampshire headquartered specialists Peters and May, a company which probably moves more high value racing and leisure craft than any other English firm. The picture is of the Miraggio, a 40 metre superyacht fresh out of refit and loaded on a semisubmersible vessel in Hong Kong for the easiest discharge one can imagine in Turkey where Peters and May will take her off to spend the summer season in the Eastern Mediterranean.

This type of movement is ideal as damage is far less likely to occur to the shrink wrapped yacht, but is necessarily a technique usually reserved for the highest value and largest of craft due to the cost of sending a dedicated, specialist carrying vessel.

Not that it’s all life in the fast lane, to maintain standards a company such as Peters and May has to have a presence in all the centres globally where sailing tends to be a way of life rather than an occasional sport. The cost of boat transport may be high but so are the overheads, and, as with the rest of logistics, one is only as good as the last job – the difference being is if one of these superyachts or a craft belonging to the national sailing team was to suffer damage or delay – the cost to the carrier in reputation would be infinitely greater than if it were a ‘run of the mill’ shipment.

And that of course is probably why we find these big, awkward and very expensive consignments so fascinating.