Last month, the Van der Vlist team started on a big project for our trusted client, Volvo. Phase one involved 500 machines being handled and transported from the port of Antwerp to Van der Vlist Moerdijk, Schelluinen and Groot-Ammers within 16 business days. By using barges, 150 fewer truck transports were needed. This way, Van der Vlist ensured bigger efficiency, fewer emissions, and a smaller impact on traffic. Phase two entails making technical modifications based on customer demand.
For the transport of all 500 machines, Van der Vlist handled all aspects: customs, coordinating loading and unloading, storage, and transport to and between the Van der Vlist locations. For this project, all machines came to Antwerp by seagoing vessel. From there, RoRo barges to Moerdijk shipped 150 of them. For this leg of the journey, the Van der Vlist team put a protective layer on the ship decks to protect them from potential damage from the machine’s tracks. Using waterways instead of road transport reduced CO2 emissions by a significant amount, approximately 40%. After unloading from the barges, the 150 machines were stored on our Moerdijk terminal. Thereafter, they will be picked up “Just in Time” by our Van der Vlist trucks to be brought to our technical team in Groot-Ammers.
350 of the units were moved by road. Approximately 100 went to Groot-Ammers by truck directly and the remaining 250 machines were brought by truck to Schelluinen. All machines were allocated to our storage facilities at the various Van der Vlist locations within the required timeframe.
Phase two: technical services
The next step of this project is to modify the machines based on the specifications of the buyers, for example, assembling machine arms, booms, and hydraulic functions and building optional systems (e.g. central lubrication and GPS systems). Right now, the Van der Vlist team is working on the machines from the first barge, and some have left the workshop already to go to their new workplace.
The work process has been adapted due to the large inbound volume of units, this is because machines are not all stored at one location. Instead of the mechanic getting the machine themselves, there is a small team that takes care of bringing the right machines to the right location at the right time. This team also takes care of terrain management, CMR handling, booking machines into the system and assigning them to the correct location. This way, all remaining technical personnel can put all their time into the assembly and modifications.
Van der Vlist is flexible and likes to think in terms of solutions. If something doesn’t work one way, there will always be other ways our team can solve a particular problem. With this approach, Van der Vlist has the power to help Volvo take care of the many machines destined for the European market, and to help the ports with emptying terminals rapidly, while continuing to work flexibly and efficiently to be able to ensure the correct machines are ready at the right time.
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