International Export Packers were presented with a problem – to deliver time sensitive freight from Lincoln to Chatham Ontario. Straightforward enough for the guys here at IEP and the International Logistics Centre group.
This was an out of gauge item with a weight approaching 40, 000 kilos. Time sensitivity was tested when the end users’ factory was forced to close, unable to accept the new equipment that was due to be fitted by British Engineers.
Production was to be halted and with every day that passed we were at risk of late delivery penalties for the UK exporter. We had to deliver the cargo, time wasn’t on our side and neither was the weather.
The IEP team hermetically cased and packed several items in the clients site. The spanner in the works was the weather in Canada and their consequent restrictions on road travelling due to the Spring thaw for heavy freight moving from the main port of Montreal. To gage the severity of the weather, even the Niagra Falls froze. See more impressive images at http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/gallery/2015/feb/20/niagara-falls-frozen-gallery.
The thaw meant the freight was at risk of being stuck in Montreal port for over two months. There simply was not time for this. The freight included a turbine which, despite being packed in hermetically sealed foil, made us cautious of it being left in temperatures as low as minus 26 degrees.
This was the problem. With the advantage of being part of the International Logistics Centre group, we were able to come up with a solution…
IEP and Trade Freight offered to our UK client, an alternative shipping solution, to use an ice breaking ship to travel all the way down the St Lawrence River to a smaller port called Hamilton, which being further south from Montreal, meant it didn’t have the same Spring Thaw Road restrictions, mainly used for handling steel.
The ice breaking vessel meant moving the freight via Antwerp and ensuring that we were first on the vessel to leave Europe for the journey across the Atlantic before making the difficult journey to the port of Hamilton.
The conclusion – The UK engineers had the freight on site, in time for the factory refit and in perfect condition. All thanks to the great analytically minded team here at IEP and the International Logistics group.
Here you can see the Federal Hunter, the vessel we used to break the ice to navigate and conquer against the Canadian road restrictions.