The Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma is a workhorse helicopter used by military, maritime safety, and offshore oil & gas clients all around the world. 

Freight forwarder AGS Cargo facilitated the door-to-door transportation of three Eurocopters from South to North America. Brand new helicopters such as these are valued at approximately $25m, hence the project had “a lot of eyes on it” according to Bruno Rodrigues at AGS Cargo. 

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The freight forwarder turned to Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean (WW Ocean) for the ocean transportation from Santos to Galveston, Texas, because of trust gained from years of successful projects. “We know how to connect the knowledge and experience of WW Ocean with clients and their unique cargo,” Rodrigues explains.

Managing risk above all else

The transportation of the helicopters from the shipper’s facility at Rio de Janeiro to the Port of Santos took almost a week to be completed. The lashings had to be checked regularly to avoid accidents on the road, while the speed limitation contributed to the extended lead time. 

Read more: Greeting flying cargo 

At the port, the WW Ocean team calculated the angle of the ramp and the distance from the floor to the tailboom of the helicopters. Due to these calculations, and WW Ocean’s experience with similar shipments, it was decided to load the helicopters last to keep the ramp at a minimum angle. 

“The client knows how to fly helicopters, but it’s our responsibility as the freight forwarder to guide them through the risk factors of transporting these delicate machines,” Rodrigues says.

Cost is not always the primary factor for such complex operations, Rodrigues explains. “As a professional logistics operator, our role is to show the customer where they can and cannot reduce transportation costs.” 

The three helicopters were successfully loaded onto the vessel Torrens for the liner service to Galveston, Texas. The ocean voyage from Santos to Galveson takes 15 days.

WW Ocean’s South America to North America service sails three times a month. See the detailed trade map