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Rail Rolling Stock To Sierra Leone

Industry Vertical: Mining & Infrastructure
Mode of Transportation: Ocean Freight Charter
Load: Iron Ore Rail Wagons
Location: China to Sierra Leone

The client

A leading minerals company developing a world-class iron ore deposit and its associated rail and port infrastructure in Sierra Leone.

The challenge

Airland was tasked with shipping 600 rail wagons and 20 flat wagons from their point of production in China to an iron ore development in Sierra Leone. The wagons were required to transport iron ore from mine site to port and were critical to the ongoing development and operation of the deposit.

Delivering solutions

Airland quickly assembled a dedicated project management team with specialist mining skills to deliver the following solution:

  • Immediate deployment to Asia of two Airland team members to take operational control, coordinate freight schedules between wagon suppliers and vessel owners, and oversee loading activities.
  • Commissioning of five dedicated vessel charters to carry a total of 110,000cbm of rail wagons.
  • Coordination with supplier of appropriate ocean freight packaging to reduce risk of any damage to wagons during transportation.
  • Mobilisation to Sierra Leone of a West African Project Manager and Port Captain to oversee unloading activities and final delivery to the customer.
  • Coordination and unloading of cargo to an offshore barge to avoid port congestion and potential high risk of large demurrage costs.
  • Engagement of independent maritime surveyors to report on the actions undertaken by suppliers, loading teams, ships’ agents and customs officials to ensure the client’s expectations were exceeded.
  • Development of bespoke operating procedures and systems tailored to the client’s operations.

Delivering results

On time

  • 110,000cbm of project cargo shipped on schedule.
  • Negotiation of full vessel charters to secure dedicated client shipments, eradicated unnecessary stopovers and the potential for delays caused by outside cargo.
  • Vessel laycan deadline achieved through deployment of project managers at point of collection and point of delivery.
  • Coordination of an alternate offshore barge unloading protocol ensured delivery ran to schedule.

On budget

  • Full vessel charters were engaged to ensure first in and first out handling, enabling the client to meet tight production deadlines and corresponding financial targets.
  • Provision of real time information (inclusive of cargo handling requirements) provided a competitive advantage in mitigating the chance of possible cargo damage and time delays.
  • Efficient scheduling and delivery of cargo enabled the client to commence construction as planned.

Beyond expectations

  • Direct accountability for cargo handling through engagement of independent maritime surveyors to ensure quality control and mitigation of risks.
  • Continuous communication between our project team, the client and suppliers to identify potential issues and define a robust loading schedule.
  • Full end-to-end cargo visibility throughout entire project lifecycle including: real time tracking of vessel location, consolidation of daily and weekly reports, provision of comprehensive load dossier (inclusive of safe lifting points and photographs of tie down points) and independent maritime survey reports.

Airland continues to provide comprehensive logistics solutions to this client and coordinates, supervises and ships mining equipment globally to Sierra Leone to ensure seamless operations.

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