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DACHSER South Africa moves mega mining components across continents

DACHSER South Africa is known for an innovative approach to logistics. A partnership with a project engineering company that provides transformers to the mining sector, once again highlights the company’s commitment to finding streamlined solutions for the most challenging logistics requirements.
DACHSER South Africa moves mega mining components across continents

Transformers are crucial ‘mega-components’ that function at the heart of a mine’s power or load centre, enabling continued energy transformation to operate the mine’s bulk machinery. While the transformer itself is imported from Europe, the transformer casing, which protects the transformer during operations, is manufactured and fitted locally in Gauteng. Once the casing has been fitted, the transformer is tested at a separate facility prior to being dispatched to its destination mine.

The client required a logistics partner that could manage the complex logistics process of transporting 105 transformers, of three different weights ranging from 1 400kg per piece to 8 000kg per piece, from origin in Germany to final destination at a coal mine in Zambia.

According to Detlev Duve, Managing Director of DACHSER South Africa, his company was more than ready to tackle a project such as this. He says, “DACHSER South Africa is well-placed to take on highly complex logistics challenges given our in-house specialist knowledge and a well-established global and African network of partners.”


The challenge of logistics lies in providing a streamlined process within a specific timeframe

As well as being able to handle the complexity of multiple stops before destination, DACHSER South Africa was also required to provide expert packing and loading knowledge to maintain the integrity of the transformers and their casings during transportation. This includes the temporary removal of protruding parts which are reassembled by the client at destination.

The challenge of logistics lies in providing a streamlined process within a specific timeframe. Duve says, “To guarantee an excellent and timeous service requires a dedicated team of multi-talented personnel that are the links in an unbreakable chain from start to finish. This includes DACHSER’s ocean imports team and customs department that ensures the shipment from Germany to South Africa goes smoothly. Next in the chain is our highly experienced local logistics department that handles the loading and movement of the transformers from arrival at customs, to casing fitment in Gauteng, and then to the testbed facility in the Limpopo Province. The final link in the chain is DACHSER South Africa’s road freight exports department that oversees transportation from Limpopo Province to Zambia.”

Currently, 29 transformers are being prepared for transportation, with 12 already in the process of delivery. The transformers are secured on flat rack containers and delivered in a convoy of two at a time via super links to the mine in Zambia. Duve says that a 3 to 4-day transit time is anticipated from South Africa to Zambia. “With timeframes like this, there is no room for delay. This means that planning for all scenarios is absolutely key. DACHSER South Africa ensures that all documentation is prepared appropriately and completely. Our staff are knowledgeable in all processes and are equipped with all the necessary information.”

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