LONDON, UK: January, 2019. Antonov Airlines has delivered 70 tonnes of mining equipment using an AN-124-100 aircraft from East Midlands Airport (EMA), UK to Franceville Airport, Gabon in just nine days.
Ground staff at EMA used the airline’s purpose-built ramp positioned at an angle of only three degrees to load two tracked crushing machines using remote control.
“The project turn-around was only nine days and in that timeframe, we managed to deliver a cost-effective solution by securing special permission for landing in Gabon’s second city Franceville, which is 600 kilometres closer to the mine than the capital, Libreville,” said airline Commercial manager Paul Bingley.
“We only required one flight for this project as the hold length of the [aircraft] measures in at just over 36 metres, making it the perfect fit for two vehicles which are18.68 metres in length,” added Chris Grigentin, Bolloré Logistics, director of Industrial Projects France.
In November last year Bolloré opened a new logistics hub in Lastourville, Gabon, two and a half hours by truck from Franceville. Connected to the national railway, the new facility stores and carries processed wood in containers to the country’s Owendo container terminal, a distance of 557 kilometres. With an area of 14,000 sq. mt. the hub can handle 4,500 TEUs per year and will streamline the timber shipment process for the four main forestry companies in the country.
During Q1 2019, Bolloré will also open a new administrative office providing Customs services to clear containers in Lastourville rather than Libreville. The company expects to increase overall shipment productivity between 15-20 percent as a result.