Flying a helicopter from Canada to the Port of Galveston is a job for professionals. But, hauling a helicopter by road also calls for professionals. And, this is what Schenker of Canada agreed to do late last year when a specialized team, together with a specialized trucking company, were able to complete the job within eight-days; in time to get the machine loaded aboard a ship bound for Peru.
The $6.5-million, 9,700 lb. Eurocopter Super Puma ultimately had to travel from Langley, British Columbia to Lima, Peru, a distance of roughly 5,000-miles as the crow flies.
“We decided to move the Super Puma helicopter by road to Galveston where Wallenius Wilhelmsen was waiting with a ro-ro vessel to take it on to Peru,” recalls Thomas Joly, DB Schenker’s Aerospace Business Development Manager for Latin America. “And we only had eight days to do it. Timing was critical.”
“But it wasn’t that easy,” adds Calvin Sam, Projects and Oil / Gas – Canada, Schenker of Canada Limited.
“On the Super Puma, the distance from the outside edges of the rear landing wheels is 128.2 inches. The standard width of a North American trailer is typically 102 inches wide – too narrow for the helicopter.”
To solve this problem the team chose a double drop trombone chassis trailer and attached the helicopter to a template, which was then attached to the truck to take the chopper from Langley to Galveston.
Calvin told AJOT the helicopter was destined to its new owner Servicios Aéreos de Los Andes SAC, Lima, Peru, for use in the mining and oil and gas industries as well as providing medical and corporate transportation services.
“Our job was to get it to the Port of Callao,” he said. Callao is Peru’s major seaport located West of Lima on the Pacific Ocean.
The helicopter was attached to a jig that was custom made to stretch across the width of the trailer, wide enough to accommodate the Super Puma.
Calvin said the additional width did not create a problem during the trip, however permits had to be obtained and travel was sometimes limited to times other than “prime drive times.”
“We put a team on the truck,” he said, “Meaning there were two drivers so they were able to drive the maximum number of hours available.
During the trip DB Schenker’s proprietary Aeroparts Tracking System, unique in the industry, coupled with the truckers’ on-board GPS gave the logistics team hourly reports of the load’s location and progress. In turn, they provided Servicios Aéreos de los Andes with regular status reports.
“The tracking was very transparent and accurate,” said Gustavo Soto, Head of International Purchasing with Servicios Aéreos de los Andes in a statement. “Timing, visibility and great customer service made the move a lot less stressful for all of us.”
Marine Cargo Surveyors inspected the shipment at every transition point to ensure the $6.5-million helicopter was not damaged. DB Schenker helped with customs clearances as well, taking care of all of the paperwork to smooth the process.