Case Study: Geodis Wilson on behalf of Husab Mine

Geodis Wilson on behalf of Husab Mine

Oct 2014 to March 2015 | Project duration: 6 months

Logistics Support Services was retained by our client, Geodis Wilson, in order to arrange the transportation of six large consignments of equipment for delivery to Swakop Uranium’s Husab Mine. Logistics Support Services is the agent for Geodis Wilson (South Africa) in Namibia, and as such was commissioned to act as agents for the transportation of the mining equipment which had been manufactured by Tenova Minerals for the construction of the vast Husab Mine project just outside Swakopmund. This specialised equipment was to be implemented specifically for the water treatment plant at the Husab Mine.

The equipment consisted of five shipments over the course of a five month period, comprising 104 break bulk pieces in total consisting of Connecting Handlers, Spreader Beams, Mixer Tanks and Settler Tanks. LSS was not only responsible for carrying out the transportation of the goods, but also the handling of goods at the port, the discharge operation at Namport and the final delivery to Husab Mine.

In total, five operations were carried out:

  1. 5 Oct 2014 Vessel: MV Golden Karoo 19 break bulk pieces Discharge: 08:00 – 14:00
  2. 12 Nov 2014 Vessel: Pride Sky 19 break bulk pieces Discharge: 08:30 – 15:30
  3. 01 Dec 2014 Vessel: Blue Master 12 break bulk pieces Discharge 21:25 – 03:00
  4. 13 Dec 2014 Vessel: Red Cedar 18 break bulk pieces Discharge 01:00 – 08:30
  5. 14 Feb 2014 Vessel: Pride Sky 36 break bulk pieces Discharge 10.50 – 17.30

For each discharge operation, Namport’s cranes were used to offload the cargo at the port. Unfortunately the freight could not be staged at Namport because of insufficient space, so each consignment was offloaded directly onto trucks which LSS had organised through IT Cargo, which was then stored at IT Cargo’s staging area, 5km from port, prior to delivery to Husab Mine.

Each consignment was then delivered via road on Flatbed and Link trucks supplied by IT Cargo, via normal and abnormal loads. Since the delivery site was 70km from port, the normal loads took approximately two hours and the abnormal loads took approximately five hours per consignment.

Due to the abnormal size of the freight, i.e. the width, police escorts as well as abnormal escorts accompanied the abnormal loads to the delivery site. This proved to be the most challenging part of the project, because under Namibian regulations abnormal loads are only permitted to be transported during weekdays from 07:00 to 17:00. In addition, abnormal and traffic escorts need to be booked 3 days in advance, and permits need to be applied for which are only valid for 2 days. Challenges arose particularly if the break bulk vessel was delayed at the port, thereby requiring changes to these arrangements, and new permits etc., at the last moment.

Similarly, as Swakop Uranium was responsible for offloading the cargo at the delivery site, they needed to be informed one week prior to delivery in order that they could make preparations at the site at Husab Mine, and delays at the port inevitably caused challenges with regards to timing.

In addition, it was a requirement from the client that a surveyor be present at every stage of each shipment, and as such, LSS arranged for a surveyor from Binnacle Marine Consultancy to be present at each discharge and delivery to site, and for a full report to be generated at the conclusion of each consignment. Five reports were therefore provided in total, and as value add, LSS provided the first report free of charge to our client.
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