Imperial Logistics moves giant mining machines in largest project of its kind

28 February 2018

Imperial Logistics’ specialist capabilities and close collaboration with a long-standing client ensured the success of one of the most challenging transport projects ever undertaken by the supply chain and logistics leader.

“Imperial Logistics recently completed the testing cross-border transport of two Magra thickeners from client Magra Process Engineering’s manufacturing plant in Vereeniging to Kwekwe in Zimbabwe,” reports Johan Truter, CEO of Imperial Managed Solutions.

Magra thickeners are used in the mining industry. Each unit weighs just under 30 tonnes and is 11m long and 6m in diameter. This was the largest project of its kind ever undertaken by Imperial Logistics. “What made it unique and especially challenging was the tonnage of the load combined with the abnormal metric dimensions of these single units,” Truter expands. “It is an incredible feat to complete such an intricate project; but we have never been afraid of a challenge and credit is due to a large team of people who worked tirelessly to pull this off successfully.”

Truter reveals that plans to move “these giants” started in August 2017. “Meticulous analysis and route planning were required to avoid cargo damage along the way. Police escorts and abnormal permits had to be arranged, and Eskom and Telkom were alerted to lift power and telephone lines 35 days before D-day.”

On the day of departure, the Magra thickeners were loaded onto trailers with two cranes; a process that Truter says took about four hours per Magra to complete. “Once on the road, the vehicles travelled a maximum of eight hours per day at a speed of no more than 50 km/h, always escorted by a police vehicle. The load travelled through Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo before crossing into Zimbabwe. It was a 12-day journey of more than 1 000km.”

Imperial Logistics’ vast experience and expertise in this specialised field, as well as a close working relationship with its client, ensured the project’s successful completion. Since July 2015, the company has transported more than 100 out-of-gauge loads for Magra, ranging from 20-tonnes to more than 40-tonnes of equipment. Looking ahead, Truter says that this year they will be moving another four Magra thickeners, as well as abnormal construction units for an exothermic smelting plant in Zimbabwe.

“Our partnership with Magra and the specialised capabilities that we are honing means we are well placed to serve other clients on similar projects in future,” Truter concludes.

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