LONDON: A pioneering trans-global transport operation, successfully completed by emergency logistics specialist Evolution Time Critical, has delivered a significant production timing advantage to a major vehicle manufacturer.
Body panel press tooling was brought into Britain from China by air, cutting delivery time by three weeks compared to traditional sea freight and, as a result, eliminating any threat of a costly vehicle launch delay.
“This project has been a huge undertaking for Evolution Time Critical, with on-time delivery the culmination of months of meticulous planning,” says Evolution managing director, Brad Brennan.
“Even for a company with our depth of expertise, the combination of the sheer physical scale of the shipment and the intricacies of scheduling brought new challenges.”
With a total shipment weight of 200 tonnes, and each of the body panel pressing stamps and dies weighing in excess of 20 tonnes, Evolution Time Critical chartered two Antonov An-124 aircraft – the world’s highest gross weight production cargo plane – and a Boeing 747F to handle the freight.
“There are only 22 Antonovs of this type in operation, and for this project - one of the largest air shipments ever for a vehicle manufacturer - we required two, as well as a fully-laden Boeing 747F,” says Brennan.
“The identification and utilisation of these aircraft was central to the successful delivery of this vital tooling and the only way to meet the manufacturer’s time-sensitive needs.”
The latest in a series of similar, smaller-scale operations by Evolution Time Critical to move automotive tooling globally within the last 18 months, Brennan believes the successful delivery will increase vehicle manufacturers’ confidence in undertaking such large projects in the future: “Globalised automotive production strategies are becoming increasingly reliant on the ability of OEMs and Tier suppliers to demonstrate sufficient agility to move production across continents at short notice, without jeopardising supply chain integrity,” he explains.