ATLANTA—August 4, 2020 – Dachser USA, a subsidiary of global logistics provider Dachser, announced today that, in collaboration with Dachser Mexico and Dachser Brazil, 138 tons of oversized automotive manufacturing machinery were successfully transported from Jundai, Brazil to Silao, Mexico. Dachser USA was introduced to this highly complex project when its customer, a top-tier automotive supplier, approached them with “Are you up for a challenge?”
“As an innovative logistics solutions provider, Dachser regularly guides our customers through complex logistics challenges, including those that require a collaboration with our global Dachser partners. But there are certain projects—especially complicated heavy lift projects– that present unique challenges, offering an opportunity to stretch our innovative thinking. I can confidently say that transporting this automotive manufacturing equipment was one of those opportunities,” said Guido Gries, Managing Director, Dachser Americas.
Turning to Dachser for its project cargo expertise and strong connections throughout Latin America, the customer needed to transport an oversized compressor machine, which alone weighed 125 tons, as well as an additional 14 pieces of varying sizes of accessories from Jundiai, Brazil to Silao, Mexico aiming for arrival in early May.
Moving cargo from Brazil requires innovative solutions to unique challenges
One of the initial challenges was that the equipment to be shipped was located in an active factory in Jundiai, Brazil, and it was situated within an 18-foot concrete pit. Dachser Brazil called upon one of its local partners, a lift-equipment specialist, to facilitate in orchestrating the complex lift of the unit out of the concrete. Upon removal from the pit, the machinery needed to be disassembled into 14 pieces of varying size, totaling 138 tons.
The intricacies of removing the machinery from the plant in Brazil would impact the final timing of the final shipment arrival date.
From the plant, the heavy lift cargo moved via multiaxel platform trailer through the streets of Brazil following pre-approved routes toward the Port of Santos. Due to COVID-19, there were no police escorts and the cargo could only move during the hours of 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. The 98-mile trip from Jundiai to the Port of Santos took seven days.
“There are a lot of factors to consider when planning the movement of this type of project cargo, but we knew from the onset that the most critical element to successful and on-time transport was communication. There were numerous parties involved in this project, from permit providers to brokers to local authorities as well as the ocean carrier and our road transport partners. We understood that keeping everyone updated and fully engaged was key to smooth execution,” said João Caldana, Managing Director of Dachser Brazil.
Ocean Transport Considerations, Challenges and Solutions
Both Ro-Ro and Break Bulk services were considered, but following a thorough analysis of cost, transit time and, most importantly, the safe transport of the cargo, Dachser concluded that a Bulk Break solution would be the optimal approach, providing the shipper flexibility in loading, storage and unloading, while maintaining efficiency to meet the cost and shipment deadlines.
CMA-CGM was selected for the sea portion of the transport, which, given the timeline, presented its own set of obstacles requiring innovative solutions. Working with CMA-CGM, the Dachser Brazil team needed to determine which type of ocean vessel would be most appropriate for shipping and storing the bulky equipment. Ultimately, it was determined that the most efficient and timely option was to secure a containership. CMA-CGM agreed to store the cargo in the belly of the ship on flat rack containers and a custom-built platform that would protect the integrity of the equipment and distribute the cargo weight evenly.
Prior to arrival at the Port of Santos Brazil, the Dachser Brazil team was charged with developing a solution to load the heavy cargo without conflicting with the Gantry cranes at the terminal. The team arranged for a Floating Crane, a mobile crane that is situated in the water on a barge, which enabled the crew to load on the opposite side of the ship, avoiding the Gantry cranes. This required good weather and precise disbursement of the weight throughout the lifting process.
Arrival at Port of Veracruz, Mexico – more challenges and solutions
The cargo was at sea for 30 days, arriving on Sunday, May 3rd, which was the end of a Mexican holiday weekend. The Dachser Mexico team’s well-orchestrated plans ensured the holiday did not slow down the process. The cargo was offloaded directly from the ship to a Modular truck that was waiting alongside the vessel for the oversized cargo. Customs clearance occurred the following day.
Similar to the road transport challenges in Brazil, the emergence of COVID-19 added extra layers of precaution as the cargo moved from the port to the manufacturing facility. While the pre-approved routes along country roads were cleared for the oversized load, the road transport schedule was impacted by some temporary road closures, specific travel hours and lack of local law enforcement escorts. The 436-mile trip from the Port of Veracruz to the customer’s plant in Silao took three days.
Upon arriving at its final destination, the heavy lift cargo was offloaded from the truck with three carefully positioned cranes.
“Being able to successfully execute a project of this magnitude—especially in the midst of a global pandemic– is a great accomplishment and a testament to Dachser’s commitment to meeting our customer’s needs no matter how challenging,” said Edgardo Hamon, Managing Director, Dachser Mexico. “What’s more, it illustrates how well the different countries within the Dachser family collaborate and work together to achieve what may seem like the unachievable.”