Tight Deadlines & Fast Planning

Featured image showing the UTC Overseas logistics crew use a heavy-lift vessel at Port of Houston to load cranes for transport.


UTC's Heavy Equipment experts move cranes and equipment of all sizes and weights around the globe.

A long-time customer appealed to the group for help with an urgent need to transport cranes, vehicles, and related cargo to the Bahamas in an unusually tight time frame. When challenges present themselves, UTC professionals are always ready to jump into action.

Cranes, trucks, trailers, & light towers

All the above and their related equipment needed to be shipped to the Nassau Cruise Port in Nassau, Bahamas, for use in redevelopment efforts at the site. Construction that began in 2019 is slated to transform the port and waterfront into an event and entertainment venue and act as a catalyst for development of the downtown area. When additional equipment was urgently needed at the site, the client's routine transportation plans escalated.

When planning goes into hyperdrive

Ideally, there is time allotted for advanced planning when shipping large equipment, but sometimes the customer's schedule does not allow for months of preparations. That is when planning goes into hyperdrive. Under these types of circumstances, pulling the pieces together requires a strong partner network, diligent oversight, and constant follow-up.

Breakbulk & out-of-gauge cargo

The job began with the cargo being picked up in Houston, Texas, USA. The shipment contained breakbulk, oversized, overweight pieces, as well as vehicles carrying fuel and oil. Loading took two days at the port, and the vessel was on the water for six days. Step-Deck trailers, flatbeds, and Sprinter vans were used to transfer the cargo to the port and ready it for loading. In all, there were over 1400 MT of freight with some components measuring taller than 13'.

The tight deadline set by the customer presented several challenges.

The shipment was only awarded two weeks before the scheduled sailing, so arrangements had to ramp up, and planning, which can take months, was compressed into days. Trucking, port handling, customs, documentation, and permits had to move at warp speed. With the support of UTC offices in Wilmington, Savannah, and Houston, UTC's Heavy Equipment Group worked diligently to accomplish all the necessary tasks within this tight timeframe. It was all hands on deck as round-the-clock communications ensued to prepare the cargo and documentation for transport.

A strong partner network was valuable in arranging proper trucking on short notice.

Port handling had to be executed at a fast pace. Customs clearance was challenging since every vehicle was required to have specific paperwork presented in person at the port customs office, allowing enough time for processing.

While transferring equipment between the yard and the port, it was discovered that machine dimensions provided by the customer did not match those on the paperwork. The documentation had to be revised, and the physical cargo compared with the documentary cargo at the port during loading. All dimensions were double-checked to be sure everything was recorded accurately. COVID-19 was very much a threat during execution, and protocols were observed at all times to ensure port and UTC personnel were safe. A port change in Nassau became necessary when the original terminal selected would not work 24 hours which was critical to meet the customer's deadline.

UTC's team pulled through and delivered on time, just as the customer knew they would.

Patrik Meyer, product and trade lane development for UTC, recounted the process. "With the limited timeframe that we were given, this routine move escalated into a challenging process. Coordinating inland transport, sea freight, origin/destination port loading and unloading, including customs clearance, in less than two weeks, put us to the test. This operation was only possible with the strong collaboration and communication of UTC's professionals in the Wilmington, Savannah, and Houston offices. We did not have a single delay in the process from start to finish, even with the challenges we faced."

UTC's Heavy Equipment experts are ready to coordinate your next big move.