Heavylift / Breakbulk
Bridging the river Amur
Livo Logistics and Topline Express Logistics teamed up to mutually support each other in northeastern China recently, where ten cranes had to cross the border from China into Russia. An unseasonable winter storm in spring was a boon rather than a bane.
Teamwork is naturally a key factor for success in the logistics industry too, as the Chinese enterprise Topline Express Logistics (Tel) once again found out during a project cargo assignment earlier this year. The firm had been mandated to transport ten crane elements from the northeastern Chinese province of Heilongjiang to a building site in the southeastern Russian oblast of Amur.
This task meant the consignments had to cross the Amur border river between the two countries. Tel soon found out that the task at hand was more difficult than it had originally envisaged. The river Amur was still frozen in March, as is usually the case, and ferry services weren’t operating yet. The local authorities install a temporary floating steel bridge every year for people and goods to cross the waterway.
Bridge closed, freight blocked
Measures established to combat the outbreak of the illness Covid-19 had led to the traffic on this crossing being heavily restricted, however. Only lorries carrying goods needed for every-day life were allowed to cross the border. People weren’t allowed across at all, so in the worst case the logistics company’s employees may not have been allowed to return to China. The fact that the crane components concerned weighed no less than 45 t each, close to the bridge’s carrying capacity, presented another problem.
Tel thus put the shipments in interim storage for several days, as it had no partner on hand who was in a position to actually deliver the goods to their final destination at the building site.
A helpful cold snap
Luckily the Italian firm Livo Logistics, which opened a Chinese branch recently, was at hand. The two logisticians collaborated to find a solution. Their first move was to study the weather forecast, which revealed that a storm and a cold spell were due – which positively influences the bridge’s capacity. Negotiations with the authorities resulted in permission to use the bridge, as well as transfer employees.
Careful transport planning then saw the ten cranes delivered to Russia at the beginning of April. Tel president Martin Zhao was pleased that “the right people in the right place at the right time made the impossible possible for us!”