Thursday, 18 July 2013

Road Traffic Signs

We recently were involved in moving some road traffic signs from Tansley in Derbyshire to Oslo, Norway. These were Solar Powered Colour mobile variable message sign which are used as mobile road signs.

This was challenging because of the fragile nature of the cargo due to the solar panels and intricate engineering. The fact that it was on wheels also added to the complexity and a great deal of care was put into place to ensure it was loaded properly. As this was a groupage type shipment a transhipment was involved and we had to follow very clear instructions to ensure they were taken off the truck and reloaded back onto the trailer sufficiently.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Mackenzie Thorpe Sculpture from the UK to the USA

Mackenzie Thorpe Sculpture

This we feel, is one of the most prestigious contracts we have been awarded because we were shipping an exclusive piece of art as opposed to our normal fare of industrial equipment. We’re quite proud to have been asked to do this one to be honest particularly because of the local interest in working for a Middlesbrough-born artist!

One of Bernie’s old friends Brian Goodall owns Artsbank, an art gallery in Saltburn (our home town just outside of Middlesbrough). One afternoon, Bernie was having a coffee in a local coffee shop in Saltburn when Brian happened to be sat nearby having a meeting of his own with, among others, internationally renowned Middlesbrough-born Mackenzie Thorpe.

Bernie couldn’t help overhearing a conversation they were having when it came to light that they were having concerns over how to move a large sculpture for a commission they had been given for a children’s hospital in Oklahoma. As this is something that he had a lot of experience to draw on, he mentioned that he may be able to help. He was promptly asked to sit down and was then happily quizzed over the logistical needs that shipping a large sculpture from the UK over to a site in the USA would demand.

We delivered this in late 2010 and is now in place in the Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center in Oklahoma:

Johnson Partners | Freight Forwarding | Mackenzie Thorpe Sculpture

You can read more about this on our website:

MPI Offshore shipments to China from Norway, UK and the rest of the world

MPI (Resolution Shipping)

This project was a watershed moment for Johnson Partners Ltd. Up until this point, we had undertaken several small-scale projects but this project was a large, extensive project that brought our experience to another level completely. It called on all of Bernie’s skills and expertise to organise and manage.

This project began in February 2010 and continued into early 2011 and involved an unprecedented amount of planning and co-ordination between suppliers, hauliers, shipping lines and all parties involved to ensure that deliveries were made with the optimum ability to hit the tight deadlines as described in further detail below.

Johnson Partners Ltd | MPI Offshore Vessel

2 new build ships
The client had commissioned the new build of 2 jack up vessels (Adventure and Discovery) for operations in the renewable energy market. Although the vessels were built in China, a significant amount of the equipment for the vessels was built in mainland Europe and Scandinavia and had to be shipped out to the shipyard in Qidong near Shanghai. The client had commitments to the shipyard to have the equipment in position to an agreed time frame and from a chartering point of view for the completion of the vessels.

One of the vessels had charterers waiting for the completion so the cost implication of being late, was a major financial issue. As a result of these commitments and the possible financial penalties for being late, the client was reluctant to leave the shipping of the equipment to the suppliers. They wanted complete control of the shipping and needed a freight forwarder to co-ordinate the delivery of the equipment so that they weren’t relying on a third-party. Ian Wright, the New Build Manager for the project approached Bernie to oversee this role. Our brief, apart from moving the equipment to China, was to work with the client and take an active role in the progressing, expediting and liaison with the suppliers. The main overriding objectives were to establish the importance and urgency of equipment as it became available for shipment and to ensure the most suitable modes of shipment and routings were used.

Cargo was shipped from various points in Scandinavia, UK and the European continent and on a number of occasions arrangements had to be made to collect cargo by road vehicles and to arrange safe and secure loading and lashing at off-site premises. There have been numerous shipments over a period of about 18 months of all types of equipment that go into building a ship!!!

The main out of gauge cargo included:

6 engines per vessel manufactured by Rolls Royce
Each engine was 7 x 2.3 x 3m, 40 tonnes shipment was on heavy tested flat racks.
Shipment was from Bergen in Norway on normal container vessels. The recognised way to do this would be as a breakbulk shipment as this would generally be more cost-effective to do it this way. However, the transit times for normal container vessels are shorter and also the transit times do tend to be less unpredictable than breakbulk routings where the port rotation is more subject to change. This is why the client preferred to send these on normal container vessels.

There were 6 Azimuth Thrusters (a type of propeller for manoeuvring the vessel into position) for each vessel, manufactured by Rolls Royce in Helsinki, Finland. The sizes varied from 3.3 x 3.1 x 3.4m to 5 x 4 x 3.6m with weights of around 31 tonnes each. Again, because of delivery commitments, we shipped these on heavy tested flat racks and on standard container vessels.

1 x 50 tonne crane per vessel manufactured by Liebherr in the UK.
Shipment was made by a combination of Break Bulk, Flat racks (out of gauge on L, W & Ht) and standard containers. In order to meet the deadlines required, each crane was shipped on a standard container vessel.

The Electrical Switchgear was manufactured in Poland.

Whilst the second shipment was on schedule and moved in 4 x 40’ GP containers with a weight of 25 tonnes, the first shipment was running behind schedule so the client decided to airfreight the whole consignment. This of course is a lot of equipment to airfreight and extra provisions were required to send this on a freighter rather than a passenger flight because of the weights involved.

Italian Petrochemical Deliveries

Italian Petrochemical Deliveries

We have done a lot of work to and from Italy for a major local tube stockholder. They had several high-profile contracts in Italy with multinational oil and gas companies.

This entailed urgent work to Sicily where we were given strict delivery parameters such as delivery only being accepted on flat bed trailers. We were able to transfer cargo onto flats for even the groupage service to save costs.

As with any work for clients in the petrochemical industry it was a pre-requisite that all of these jobs were monitored through to completion with great diligence.

Kazakhstan / Russia by road

Kazakhstan / Russia by road

We have done numerous shipments for other North East based engineering companies to areas such as Kazakhstan and Russia.

For one customer, we did a shipment to Perm in Russia (check the map, it is a long way and a lot of it over poor roads!!). The shipment comprised 9 flat-bed loads of special fabricated steel work for a newbuild power station. Each load was 4.1 metres wide.

This would be regarded as ‘very wide’ under normal circumstances for moving equipment a short distance in the UK but to go such a long distance and through areas that would rarely have abnormal loads travelling through made it a particularly complicated job to plan and operate. 

A great deal of pre-planning was put into the job including extensive discussions with the client and the carriers. The loads went by ferry from UK to Finland and then overland in convoy. The regulations in Russia are daunting and unpredictable and the escorts needed to be well prepared for any eventuality…!!

For another company who had a major contract in Kazakhstan to provide cranage and heavy lifting, we helped transport a lot of the equipment in curtain siders and flat beds with some of the cargo out of gauge.  This again required a great deal of planning particularly in dealing with the border crossings.

Vanguard 2001 Turkey project

Vanguard 2001 Turkey project

Out of gauge machinery from the UK to Turkey on flat racks.
Vanguard 2001 are a machine dismantling company and although Vanguard were our customer on this venture, their client was Thyssen Krupp who were building a new factory in Turkey.

They transferred a number of machines from several UK locations to the new factory.

The shipments were done on a combination of overwidth flat racks and standard containers. These were made over several months.

We work closely with Vanguard 2001, a Gateshead based company, on the majority of their shipments but this particular job was one of note.

Drilling Rigs

Drilling Rigs

This involved a customer who put a foothold down in the Civil Engineering Piling market as the UK agency for BAUER Maschinen GmbH in Germany.

Initially our involvement was only around small shipments of spares, this developed as they grew in the UK into regular movements of various Drilling Rigs, all shapes and sizes.

The services we have provided include all the logistical support needed to ensure the rigs arrived in good time for the deadlines they had to meet on major construction sites in the UK, Jersey and Ireland.

It also included numerous shipments to and from Bauer headquarters in Southern Germany. The drilling rigs were often out of gauge and overweight for standard transportation purposes (15-18m long, 3-4m wide, 50-100 tonnes)