Project – importation of a food process plant ex Millicent, South Australia


  • (Natures Choice (Pty) Ltd)

Cargo – 1035 m3 / 221 ton comprising

  • 24 x 40’
  • 23 x 40’ HC and 1 x 40’ OT out of gauge

Paccon’s scope – Paccon was contracted to arrange movement from ex works Millicent to door Durban, including; transport ex works, sea-freight, import clearance formalities and delivery to consignee door.

This was a very difficult project as the client had purchased the plant at auction considering what they saw to be a bargain but without giving much thought to the logistical implications and cost of moving an entire plant. When it came time to arrange the shipping, their usual forwarding agents were not able to assist. The shipping and distribution manager then got hold of Paccon as he knew we were involved in project work and that we had contacts in Australia. The client despatched an engineer to Millicent some 420 kms inland from the nearest port, Adelaide, to dismantle the plant and pack containers. After his assessment of the plant we were asked to source a variety of flatrack and open top equipment, not because of any out of gauge dimensions but because he saw that as the easy option for packing.

As is often the case, special equipment is not readily available at the location where you need it. So after a couple of weeks of canvassing every single container carrier offering services between Australia and South Africa and considering ro-ro, breakbulk and part charter options, we determined that the only way to ship the plant was to use high-cube containers but with some rigging assistance for packing of containers being sourced from the local community.

Being so far from the port of shipment and operating on a tight budget, we had to get maximum utilisation of our transport and so set about planning round-tripping of trucks using side-lifter trailers. After the first 4 empty containers had been delivered to site, the next 4 loads took in more empties and took out the previous 4 containers which were now packed and in this way limited the number of dead-leg journeys. We continued in this manner until all had been uplifted. One large piece of equipment had to be taken to an engineering shop in Melbourne for refurbishment prior export to SA and also had to be shipped in an open top as it was out of gauge. Fortunately by this time our nominated carrier had an open top available.