January 29th, 2013

Fairmacs Multiline's excellent trommel adventure


We all have stories about shipments that feel like nightmares at the moment, but then again, if we didn’t have those what stories would we tell to each other and be proud of the job well done? Mr. Ashok Kumar Chawdhary , branch manager for Fairmacs Multiline in Singapore, tells this is his story.


Fairmacs Multiline is a Singapore based XLProjects group member specializing in OOG and Heavy Haul shipments. Their head office is located in Chennai, India.

When they secured the movement of several trommel screens, they had no idea where this adventure will lead them. Their original involvement was a fairly simple move, ship the screens from the Indian manufacturer via Kolkata port to Jurong Port in Singapore then turn it over to a warehouse for further transportation to Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico.   At 8m x 5.86m x 5.86m weighing at 26 tons, this is not a necessarily small piece. And Fairmacs Multiline had four of these to move.

After wrestling through the muddy roads in India and a jaunt across the Indian ocean, they got the shipment to Jurong Port using a breakbulk carrier. That is when the fun started…


The original forwarder had backed away from the move due to under quoting the rates so the shipper asked Fairmacs Multiline if they could handle it all the way to Lazaro Cardenas. Of course, there is no direct scheduled sailing between the ports, only inducement available. As the rate for that option was over the roof excessive they decided to look for another route. Maersk could take it from the PSA terminal, which was across the island from Jurong Porg, but over the road transfer was out of question in Singapore due to the height of the screens. Besides, that would have made the move way too easy…


The only alternative Fairmacs Multiline had was to move the whole lot to Port Klang, Malaysia, via another breakbulk vessel then transload it to 40’ flat racks and ship the consignment with Maersk to Mexico. This option was the long way to go but the cost was only 25% of the inducement quotation. Thin non-traditional option saved Fairmacs Multiline a boatload of money (no pun intended!). After loading the flat racks in Port Klang one of the trommels was lost due to a computer error. The loading operations in Malaysia had assigned wrong number and location to the cargo.


Searching all over for the missing flat rack at 0300 hrs was not really what they were looking for, and on the top of that the customs clearance was not completed either. If the shipment missed the 0800 hrs scheduled sailing, the next departure was 22 days and USD 1400 per day trailer storage and demurrage away!


Without the collective effort of the Maersk captain and the director of the port this loading would have not happened in time so this is a great example what can be done if there is a will. The sailing was delayed until all documentation cleared and it finally left Port Klang at 11am.


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