U-Freight brings power to the people of Chad with Astral’s help

U-Freight Astral Aviation
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U-Freight Holland, the Dutch subsidiary of the Hong Kong-based freight forwarding and logistics company, worked with Astral Aviation to successfully move an urgent multimodal shipment of electricity power cables from Europe to Africa.

The 16 rolls of transmission cables were required urgently in Chad, where the country’s power utility, National Electricity Company (SNE) is rehabilitating generating assets to help improve supply.

U-Freight was contracted by Dutch transport group, Van der Vlist on behalf of its client SwitchGear Company, to expedite the shipment from Paris-Vatry airport direct to N’Djamena International airport, after they had been trucked from Greece on four separate vehicles.

SwitchGear Company has achieved a good position in this market thanks to projects supported by Flanders investment and trade, U-Freight says.

With time of the essence, and limited cost-effective air charter options available, U-Freight worked with an air charter broker to secure dedicated space on board an Astral Aviation B747-400 freighter.

After U-Freight undertook all Customs clearance and freight facilitation operations, the 16 reels, which each weighed five tonnes and collectively amounted to around 16 km of cable, were carefully loaded at Paris-Vatry under the watchful eye of the company’s loadmasters, before the dedicated charter aircraft took off for N’Djamena International Airport.

Simon Wong, U-Freight Group chief executive officer says that in its initial briefing, the client emphasised the urgency of this delivery, which precluded the sea freight option.

Wong explains: “Dedicated air charters can be extremely expensive and we had to reject offers from some airlines that we approached. Thankfully, we found a good partner in Astral Aviation, which offered an option that was much more reasonable and cost-effective in the opinion of ourselves and our client.

“When a client calls on us to deliver heavy or over-dimensional cargoes, it knows that it can rely upon U-Freight to provide the logistics support to expedite delivery to the project site – whether that is a set of cable reels, or an entire power generation facility,” Wong adds.

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