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GAC delivers massive metal press for Volvo Cars

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    13 November 2014

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Experts rise to the challenge of complex project logistics task

Sweden, 13 November 2014 - When Volvo Car Corporation needed a 1,000+ tonne metal press delivered to its works in Olofström, Sweden, from Kaiserslautern in Germany, they posed a complex challenge for GAC’s Project Logistics experts.

Three big pieces of the press were trucked from Kaiserslauten to the Rheine river port of Ludwigshafen. From there, the cargo was loaded onto a barge for a three-day river trip to reach Rotterdam in Holland. There, the parts were reunited with other segments of the press that had travelled overland to the port.

In Rotterdam, the barge tied up alongside the coastal feeder vessel ‘Theseus’ and the pieces were lifted up and into the coaster’s hold, joining the parts that had come by truck. While all this was happening, a separate convoy was trucking 20 containers of press parts up through Germany to the port of Hamburg for loading on to another feeder vessel.

Challenges
The size and weight of the press parts meant lots of planning and placement challenges for Group Project Logistics Director, Per Thornblom. Stabilising and lashing heavy cargo is both an art and a science, whether it’s going into a hold or on to a heavy-lift trailor.

"The bigger pieces needed a lot of attention," says Thornblom. "We used lots of hardwood blocks to support the loads and then had to work out the right bracing and lashing to hold them all together for the journeys by road, barge and ship.

"There was a huge amount of planning needed to connect all the dots in this project. Our timings were on target, which means we did our planning well and we didn’t have any unexpected delays along the routes we chose for the shipments."
It took three weeks to get all the pieces from Kaiserslauten firstly to the Swedish port of Karlshamn and then by truck (again) to Olofström.

World leaders
"Volvo cars are known worldwide for their safety and reliability," says Thornblom. "GAC’s task was to deliver that same level of safety and reliability throughout the project. It’s all about attention to detail, something that both Volvo and GAC are known for."

The press now stands in Olofström awaiting reassembly and activation. Soon it’ll be forming metal for those famous cars.

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