To support an urgent facility start-up, deugro USA, deugro Air Chartering and deugro Thailand successfully delivered 37 pipe spools from Thailand to the USA.
Nine charter flights were performed to transport the urgent components with a total volume of 213 metric tons (1,628 cubic meters). deugro’s scope of work encompassed the multi-modal door-to-door transportation by various aircraft types and truck–trailer configurations from a production facility in eastern Thailand to the facility in the USA.
Due to the critical schedule, deugro designed a complex air charter solution ensuring the shortest transit time. It allowed for choosing the airports of origin and destination as close as possible to the supplier and the plant site, while the flight schedules could be flexibly coordinated with the manufacturing plans. To meet all project requirements, deugro deployed an international team of air charter, project and transport engineering experts.
Normally, such cargo would be shipped by ocean freight, or via expedited direct charter ocean freight in urgent cases. Expedited ocean freight was considered, but ultimately only the mode of transportation via air freight could meet the date needed for the cargo to be on site. The urgency of this project was measured in hours and days, tipping the scale to prioritize the fastest possible delivery, and to do so against a backdrop of several challenges.
“With scarce capacities on the heavy lift air charter market caused by the war in the Ukraine, the biggest challenge was locating and securing aircraft that could not only be available at the right place at the right time, but which also allowed for loading the oversized equipment with extremely odd dimensions and complex shapes, with lengths of up to 36.6 meters, widths of up to 5.5 meters and heights of up to 4.4 meters. At the same time, the cargo’s requirements had to match the varying available aircraft types, loading equipment and airport capacities. For this purpose, deugro provided tailored packaging solutions, designed various safe and efficient loading concepts and sourced additional loading equipment,” said Pavel Kuznetsov, Head of Air Chartering, deugro.
Besides the critical transportation of the cargo by aircraft, a variety of further preparations was essential to ensure the timely and smooth deliveries of the replacement components from the factory in Rayong Province to U-Tapao Airport, and then from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, USA to the facility after arrival. This applied in particular to the extra-long spools with lengths of more than 36 meters, which together with the truck–trailer configurations used, resulted in total lengths of up to over 45 meters. To safely move and load these oversized components, appropriate loading and transport equipment had to be sourced and mobilized. This included 80-metric-ton mobile cranes, main-deck loaders and various truck–trailer configurations.
“To transport all components to U-Tapao airport according to schedule, and to ensure on-time loading of each aircraft and avoid delays, precise planning and preparation were essential. These included detailed road surveys and obstacle removals, timely organization of all required permits, including gate passes and appropriate approvals for smooth entry of cargo, cranes and trailers into the airport, as well as the organization of police escorts. Through our close communication with the equipment manufacturer, in many meetings the cargo pickup was coordinated simultaneously, so that all operations could be successfully executed according to the strict schedule,” said Kumphol Chatthong, Deputy General Manager, deugro Thailand.
“Thanks to the many years of experience of our teams, our long-standing strategic relationships with the airlines, as well as the excellent cooperation with the client, dteq Transport Engineering Solutions, the airlines and all partners involved, all urgently needed components were delivered safely, as quickly as possible and on budget, reducing costly downtime to a minimum,” said Gert Jensen, Senior Vice President Operations, deugro USA.
“Without question, the air freight campaign was a success. deugro has a strategic advantage in having a dedicated air charter team, which has true expertise of the market. deugro, too, had local knowledge and expertise pertaining to airport selection and the sourcing of equipment and labor required on the ground to support the loadings. deugro was transparent throughout the entire planning and operational phase—working with us as a partner instead of merely a subcontractor. Costs throughout the project were monitored and mitigated whenever possible. Success for this project can be measured by the fact that the cargo arrived on or before the site requirements and did so without any damage or safety incidents,” remarked the client.