Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Not All Project Freight Forwarding Shipments are Out of Gauge

(But Some May Risk Being Out of Tune)
Shipping News Feature

RUSSIA – NETHERLANDS – CHINA – Mention project freight forwarding and you are likely to conjure up the image of huge, unwieldy, out of gauge pieces of cargo being manoeuvred into position or aboard ship or low loader but, truth be told, some of the most difficult shipments are smaller but come with special risks and requirements. Such was the case when logistics group ACEX took on the task of moving the precious instruments belonging to the Royal Dutch Symphony Orchestra around the globe.

ACEX is based in Russia and has a network of agents in the old Soviet bloc countries and beyond and at last month’s 21st storage, transport and logistics exhibition, STL-2014, Head of Airfreight at the Moscow headquartered group, Alexandra Chagina, got to tell delegates and visitors about the particular problems the company and its overseas agents faced in transporting the instruments.

Musical instruments of the Concertgebouw, the Royal Dutch Symphony Orchestra established in 1888 are unique, instruments belonging to the Orchestra include a 1713 Stradivari violin valued at €1.5 million, an 1867 Guarneri violin €1.4 million and a half million Euro Roger’s violoncello made in 1696. With such a manifest any agent would be entitled to worry but the documentation and restrictions required to transfer this particular cargo between countries is frightening enough by itself.

With instruments of this antiquity temperature and humidity levels must be maintained and monitored at all times, security guards likewise have to escort the consignment on a continuous rota. ATA Carnets are required to be completed, processed and all conditions adhered to right through the shipment process whilst understandably those artists who play or own the precious pieces want to be present at loading and passes for Sheremetyevo International airport had to be obtained to allow them to contribute.

ACEX has partners in 200 countries worldwide beside its own ten European offices and made use of its agents in the Netherlands and China to ensure the entire world tour went off successfully.