Final dischrge at Port Timaru NZ    

Careful planning and management was the key to a complex project for TetraPak involving the movement of evaporators with their associated ducting and condensers to the South Island New Zealand. Originating in Bulgaria (Europe) the new milk dryer equipment was for Synlait at its Dunsandel dairy processor plant in Canterbury south of Timaru.

There were 22 loads in total. These were of various lengths and ranged in weight from 17 to 70 tonnes. The original plan was to ship everything in one go from the Bulgarian port of Burgas straight to Timaru and truck it to the two plants from there. However, manufacturing constraints meant it was easier for the shipment to be broken into two and carried across Europe by truck to the port in Bremerhaven, Germany, and be shipped to New Zealand from there.

The challenging loads were the 16 evaporators, which were loaded one per truck. Fourteen of these were around 22 x 2.5 x 2.5 metres, and weighing about 18 tonnes each. The largest was 20 x 4.4 x 4 metres and weighed 70 tonnes. There were also six other trucks carrying equipment as part of the job. An additional six, 40-foot containers of equipment was shipped directly to Timaru from Burgas.

The route from the manufacturing plant to the port in Germany was a trip of about eight to nine days, depending on the weight and dimension of the load. It crossed five countries – Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria and Germany – each with their own permitting rules and regulations.

Global Transport’s London agent had a good connection with an agent in Bulgaria and he sourced local truckers for the job and was on site to ensure the loading was done correctly. They used Romanian and Bulgarian truckers because, as locals, they had better access to permits. That being said, permits for the larger loads took up to 17 days to source. Once the trucks reached the port in Germany, Global Transport had a surveyor on site there to supervise the transfer of the loads from the road trailers to Mafi trailers (specialised roll trailers to facilitate the equipment being transferred at the ports), lashed properly and loaded onto the ship.

The Global Transport team was very hands on throughout the whole job to ensure there was no damage to any of the equipment at any stage of the journey. Richard was waiting in Auckland for the ships to arrive – the loads ended up travelling on four different ships as the fabricator was having difficulty keeping up with production and the costs of having cargo sitting on the port in Bremerhaven was prohibitive. Once the evaporators and other equipment reached Auckland, Global Transport arranged to move them to Canterbury. The biggest evaporator, however, waited at the Ports of Auckland for a short while for a ship from China headed to Timaru.

The logistics of getting the equipment out of Bulgaria was complex was challenging, with weight restraints creating difficulties. However, all the equipment was delivered either on time or ahead of the planned schedule for the Plants construction programme.

There were four key factors that impacted on efficiently completing the project:

  1. Ports – they went with Bremerhaven as it offered more flexibility with choices of vessels
  2. Permits – the timeframes they were effective and varied from country to country
  3. Weather – it was winter in Europe!!
  4. Space available on the ship – and having hands-on people at the load out and ports to ensure the loads were lifted correctly, lashed properly and landed safely. It was imperative there was no damage to the equipment at all times.

This transport project took three months in total, and was completed in January 2016.

 Road Transport from Bulgaria to shipside  
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