Tasked with transporting a tamper in three sections from Switzerland to the Roy Hill mining project located in Western Australia, Patrik Eckert, Special Services and Projects for ITS, knew just who to call.
Having worked with Paris-based WWL Account Manager Patrick Mead on similar projects, ITS looked to Mead’s expertise and diligence. The trust that Eckert had in him meant that WWL oversaw the loading of the three pieces of cargo onto the vessel.
“It’s not that common at all that staff from the shipping line come out to the vessel to supervise the operation,” Eckert says.
“WWL are operational people and absolute professionals in this kind of transport, so we had complete confidence in Patrick and his team,” he adds. “It’s not always just the price that counts. We know that they will look after us and our cargo, ensuring loading is done properly.”
The 105-tonne tamper was separated into two 23-metre-long (80-tonne) and 14-metre-long (25-tonne) loads, accompanied by the 18-metre-long (38-tonne) R21 ballast regulator.
Transported by road from the factory in Switzerland and then on a Rhine barge from Basel to Zeebrugge, the WWL team was well prepared for its arrival at the port.
Receiving detailed specifications and photographs of the cargo ahead of time, forwarded from a factory visit by Eckert, the cargo was craned onto one 22-metre (72-foot-long) roll trailer and a pair of 62-foot-long (19-metre) trailers, before being loaded on board the vessel. The whole process went without a hitch.
“With a strict deadline for the units to reach Fremantle, one of the greatest challenges was ensuring that the right vessel was in place, on the right route for the units to reach ITS’s customer in time,” Eckert says.
With the tamper expected in Fremantle in early May, it may be the end of the line for that particular piece of equipment, but after a seamless loading and transport operation the working relationship between ITS and WWL is likely to continue strong.
"Last year I was in Australia supervising the arrival of equipment, so I know just how important it is to get it right,” Eckert says. "We’re been very pleased with the operational work WWL has performed for us.”
For ITS the challenge will go on, beginning with moving the machines some 1,600 kilometres north to Port Hedland and then offloading them at the site.