Meeting the project shipping challenge

Despite the global supply chain disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, our project forwarding teams are finding ways to keep their project cargo moving. We get the lowdown from our joint venture partner, Fracht

Like many operation personnel, Metro and Fracht’s project logistics teams are primarily working from home and working tirelessly to organise (or reorganise) project movements.

Dealing with delayed manufacturing schedules and chaotic trade lanes, shifting cargo to new routes or transport modes.

“The challenge is finding solutions for active projects in a rapidly changing environment, that looks a little different every day.” said Benjamin Liewald, EVP for projects.

Some fabricators are not completing project cargo on schedule, which means our teams must expedite transport, finding new vessels or possibly new routing that will still enable them to deliver cargo on time.

Another complication is that ocean capacity has been tight out of China. In normal times, there are five or six multipurpose/heavy-lift (MPV/HL) tramp and liner ships calling at Chinese ports every week, but during China’s COVID-19 shutdown there were only one or two per week.

“Now China is coming back, but Europe is affected. The real consequences are still to be seen” as COVID-19 becomes an international crisis rather than one specific to China, Benjamin said.

“We are chartering airplanes daily,”

Reiner Weiderkehr, CEO with Fracht’s Houston office, gave a US perspective. “We are chartering airplanes daily, Essentially running an air charter service, with one regular flight running weekly between the US and Europe and another carrying cargo from China to Europe weekly. “

Overall, “what I see is how important our employees are,” Wiederkehr said, as they scramble to solve problems and find emergency solutions, often in mere hours.”