Johnson Partners was awarded a project forwarding contract, for the shipping of two
60 tonne generators to Shanghai, China. The generators were assembled in Cannock, West Midlands with engines
manufactured in the United States and specialist container shells transported from Italy.
Johnson Partners organised shipment of the containers by road from Italy and
collected the out of gauge engines at Liverpool on arrival from the USA, both were delivered to Cannock for
the assembly. The completed Generators were shipped by seafreight to Shanghai via Felixstowe.
Receiving the out of gauge cargo at Liverpool and arranging delivery into Cannock, each engine was nearly 7m
long and weighed 24 tonnes. Johnson Partners attended two pre-shipment meetings with the client’s
engineering and commercial teams, and the arrival of the engines, delivery and offloading at the premises
for assemble went ahead on schedule without any issues.
The manufacture of the specialist containers however was delayed and this put significant time pressures on
the final delivery. It was therefore necessary to bring in each container separately as soon as they were
ready and special measures needed to be taken to avoid European driving holiday bans over an Easter weekend.
Each container weighed 28 tonnes and measured 10m x 4m x 4m and to accommodate the maximum height allowed on
the continent the trailers had to be very low to the ground. Access issues at the final destination were
overcome by routing the trailers to a local heavy haulage yard before transhipping the containers to UK
trailers that were higher from the ground.
Once assembly and export paperwork had been completed, Johnson Partners arranged a lifting crew to load both
containers and ancillary equipment onto special low loaders bound for Felixstowe. Special arrangements were
made with the shipping line, MSC, to seafreight as break bulk cargo loaded over 4 x 40’ flat racks and the
shipment arrived safely and on time.
Johnson Partners was commissioned to move a large sculpture by UK artist Mackenzie
Thorpe from the South of England for shipment to Oklahoma, USA.
This was one of the most illustrious contracts we have been awarded because of the prestige of this one-off
piece of art and presented a different set of challenges to our traditional industrial shipments.
We’re very proud to have been asked to do this project, especially because of the local interest in working
for a Middlesbrough born artist.
The sculpture was created in the South of England and when completed was over three metres in height.
Although it was actually shipped in a standard container it was a piece of Art and had to be treated as
Particular attention had to be paid to the way in which the sculpture was built to enable it to be broken
down for shipment in the container.
Time was not the critical issue on this shipment, it was more important to ensure it arrived in Oklahoma
The sculpture is now in place at the Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Centre in Oklahoma, USA.
As a result of the success of this project we have now developed a long running relationship with Mackenzie
Thorpe handling more regular standard shipments.
Johnson Partners was appointed project forwarder for this shipment for Tees
Components Ltd, which had won a prestigious multimillion pound contract to develop and manufacture a Tees
White Gill Thruster for a Korean oceanographic research ship – one of only a handful of large scale, high
tech vessels in the world.
The high value Bow Thruster, also used on military vessels and ferries, allows the
research ship to turn 360 degrees with precision with the minimum disturbance to the water, important when
conducting oceanographic study.
Johnson Partners arranged the transport of the out of gauge Bow Thruster which measured 4.8m long, 3.22m
wide and 3.3m high and weighed 28 tonnes, along with associated miscellaneous items, by road to Felixstowe
and then the shipping to Busan Port in South Korea.
After protracted discussions with Tees Components Ltd about the urgency and transit times, Johnson Partners
arranged the shipment on the fastest transit route to Korea for the urgently needed thruster and associated
Johnson Partners arranged the road transportation – via a trusted local haulier – of the out of gauge
thruster, and additional items (packed into a standard container) from Tees Components’ site at North
Skelton, which were lifted by crane onto a flatbed truck on November 14.
Once the assignment arrived at Felixstowe, Johnson Partner arranged for the high value Bow Thruster to be
securely lashed to a flat rack for the 29-day ship journey – along with the miscellaneous items – to Busan
Johnson Partners was commissioned to coordinate all parties involved in delivering
equipment for the new build of two jack-up vessels, Adventure and Discovery, for the installation of
offshore wind farms.
This large scale project required the delivery of components and equipment from mainland Europe and
Scandinavia to a shipyard in Qidong, near Shanghai where the vessels were built. The project was completed
on schedule in 18 months.
Johnson Partners synchronised hauliers and shipping lines, as well as expediting and liaising with
suppliers. One of the vessels had charterers waiting for it on completion which would have had a huge cost
implication if delayed and this placed strict deadlines on the team.
To ensure deadlines were met we sent out of gauge cargo via normal container vessels, instead of as break
bulk shipment, as the transit times are shorter and more predictable. Cargo was coordinated from across the
European continent and on a number of occasions arrangements had to be made to collect cargo by road and to
arrange safe and secure loading and lashing at off-site premises.
The main out of gauge cargo included 12 engines manufactured by Rolls Royce. Each engine weighed 40 tonnes
and was shipped on heavy tested flat racks.
There were 6 Azimuth Thrusters (a type of propeller for manoeuvring the vessel into position) for each
vessel, manufactured by Rolls Royce in Helsinki, Finland and each weighing 31 tonnes.
The containment also included a 50 tonne crane for each vessel manufactured by Liebherr in the UK. Shipment
was made by a combination of Break Bulk, Flat racks (out of gauge on L, W & Ht) and standard containers.
Poland manufactured Electrical Switchgear was also contained in the cargo.
Johnson Partners was contracted by Lauda Technology Ltd to co-ordinate the
forwarding of newly fabricated hot oil modules.
The modules were manufactured in a sequence designed for installation on site and
special consideration had to be given to the maximum dimensions for road shipment for each of the
Johnson Partners worked alongside the project fabricator to provide an optimum approach to transporting out
of gauge modules and related ancillary equipment from the East to the West coast of Northern England.
We arranged and attended site visits at both the manufacturing site and the end user delivery point to
establish the types of vehicle suitable and to arrange access to both sites.
We liaised with both the client and the carrier to ensure delivery schedules were achievable and devised the
route for vehicles to take.
Because of space restrictions deliveries had to be co-ordinated carefully in relation to the build programme
and craneage for offloading.
Johnson Partners was appointed by Cordell Group to move a training skid from
Middlesbrough to be installed at the National Training Institute in Muscat, Oman.
The 3-Phase Separator Simulation Plant includes specific process and instrument diagram & functional
specification support, associated with BP Offshore facilities.
Working with the lead design engineer the the skid was shipped as three modules each 5.2m long x 3.04m wide
x 2.78m high and loaded onto 1 x 40’ flat rack and 1 x 20’ flatrack.
We advised and guided the client through manufacture in relation to shipping matters to minimise costs
relative to manufacturing sizes.
We attended site visits several times during manufacture to agree the optimum method of preparing the
modules for shipment.
Johnson Partners took care of all shipping matters including packing, working with specialists to carry out
the lashing and securing for safe seafreight shipment.
We then liaised with our agent in Oman to navigate import customs requirement and arrange an on time
delivery to site.
In the summer of 2020, we were invited to quote an out of gauge project cargo shipment. The enquiry was based on delivery to the Port Talbot steelworks in South Wales. We were recommended to the client because of our experience and expertise in handling complex shipments like this. After a few initial budget enquiries, we were asked to re-visit the quotation for a shipment due to ship in Spring 2021.
Our client was an agent in China who asked us to handle the shipment on arrival into the UK, clear customs and deliver it to the end customer, Tata Steel. The cargo was 380+ tonnes of sinter cars, sinter cooler trays and accessories. The sinter cars were over ten tonnes each, and the sinter cooler trays were 335cm wide.
Due to freight volume, some heavy pieces and the abnormal load aspect, this cargo was less suitable for sending in shipping containers, so the agent explored different transport methods.
Whilst they were able to cost different shipping options from China, they required our help to ascertain the costs for each shipping option once it arrived in the UK. We contacted three different ports to get the handling costs for each option and got comparative delivery costs from each port to Port Talbot.
We explored conventional / breakbulk cargo options, contacting ports and stevedores to get labour and crane costs. Eventually, the client found that there were better sailings for roro services into Bristol Port. By quoting this method, we won the order and were able to ship as described below.
Once the cargo had sailed from China, we contacted the shipping line in the UK and began to plan for when it arrived in the UK. Our agent explained that the cargo had been loaded onto a car carrier using mafi trailers and then forklifted onto the vessel's deck. We also arranged the customs clearance as a pre-entry in time for the vessel to arrive.
Our haulier, whom we have worked with for many years, put together a load plan to load four trailers a day over five days. We contacted Tata Steel and asked what important information was required and arranged the offloading with them.
By preparing as much as possible before the vessel arriving, we eliminated numerous potential problems. The vessel arrived on Friday 23rd April, and the port spent the afternoon taking the cargo off the vessel on mafi trailers, where they were stored on the quay, ready for collection. As we were well prepared, we could start loading from the quay on the next working day, Monday 26th April. The port used forklifts to load onto flatbed trailers, with several of the loads being transported as over-width cargo.
Over the next few days, we stayed in contact with the quay, the haulier and the delivery point to control the collections and deliveries. The port and the delivery site were most accommodating and this helped us achieve the planned timescale with ease. We ended up managing to get some trailers back to the port on the same day to pick up extra loads, which meant we only had one load left to deliver by the Friday, ahead of schedule.
For a relatively complex shipment, this went through with minimal issues, and all parties were happy with how smoothly it all went.
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