deugro delivers three urgent air charters from Italy to Saudi Arabia

Each of the first two flights from Italy to Saudi Arabia included three packages. The third flight carried three packages loaded in Milan and four more packages loaded at Ostend-Bruges Airport.

Loading operations at Milan Malpensa Airport,Italy

Loading operations at Milan Malpensa Airport,Italy 

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In just seven days, deugro, a highly specialized freight forwarder with a strong focus on turnkey logistics solutions for industrial projects, successfully delivered 13 plant components to Saudi Arabia through three consecutive AN-124-100 air charter flights from Italy and Belgium.

The client contacted deugro Netherlands after a production line shutdown at a Saudi petrochemical plant. The project was completed in record time in close cooperation between the teams of deugro Italy, deugro Saudi Arabia, and deugro Air Chartering.

The time-critical cargo units comprised heat exchange equipment totalling 811 cubic meters and weighing 252,216 kilograms, as well as convection modules measuring 1,100 x 310 x 340 centimeters and weighing 54,500 kilograms.

Loading operations at Ostend Bruges Airport Belgium

While the main scope of the shipment, heat exchanger modules, was picked up from a supplier in Italy near Milan, the plant operator requested on short notice another delivery of a fan casing from another supplier in the Netherlands as an additional scope, which was added during a stopover at Ostend-Bruges Airport in Belgium.

“Due to the critical schedule, an air charter solution was selected to provide the shortest transit time. This allowed for choosing the airports of origin and destination as close as possible to the supplier locations and the plant site, and the schedule of the flights could be planned in accordance with the manufacturing schedules,” said Joost Maranus, Senior Project Coordinator, deugro (Netherlands).

The first two flights from Italy to Saudi Arabia each contained three packages with a total weight of 86.81 and 71.50 metric tons respectively. The third flight contained three packages with a total weight of 67.50 metric tons, which were loaded in Milan, and an additional four packages weighing 26.41 metric tons, loaded at Ostend-Bruges Airport.

Owing to the size of the heat exchanger modules, they could only be delivered by Antonov aircraft. Nevertheless, with the commencement of the military crisis in Ukraine, which had a significant influence on the heavy lift market and resulted in the loss of the AN-225 aircraft, the main issue was securing the requisite aircraft on time.

“Thanks to deugro’s long-standing strategic relationship with the carriers, and despite the severe shortage of these aircraft in the view of the military conflict in Ukraine, we were able to successfully lock in the aircraft for the required dates of transportation,” said Pavel Kuznetsov, Head of Air Chartering, deugro.

Apart from securing the aircraft, the deugro team overcame various technical obstacles to assure safe transportation. As an AN-124-cargo 100's hold is not fully pressurized, the deugro team worked closely with the suppliers' engineers to ensure that the in-flight cargo hold conditions, including temperature and pressure change rates, were appropriate for the modules to be transported. Additionally, numerous modules were too heavy to be lifted using the AN-124-on-board 100's crane, demanding the use of the carrier's special loading ramps and external mobile cranes, which deugro provided on time at the origin and destination airports.

Upon arrival at King Fahd International Airport in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, the individual flights were quickly unloaded, taking an average of three to five hours per aircraft. Through early and close coordination and cooperation with the plant operator, the airport authorities, and the appointed ground-handling agent, the local deugro Saudi Arabia team ensured a smooth and timely entry of the cranes and trailers into the airport upon arrival of all three charters. This avoided delays in unloading and ensured the subsequent 100-kilometer on-carriage and delivery of the cargo to the construction site according to the agreed schedule.

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