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Dachser SA delivers high tech Rosenbauer fire trucks to South Africa’s airports

Austria-based Rosenbauer supplies tailor-made, state of-the-art technology to airports throughout the globe. Sophisticated project logistics are essential for this purpose and DACHSER ensures that Panther fire-fighting vehicles reach their global destinations from Rosenbauer production bases in Austria and the USA. Since 2008, over 2,000 fire trucks have been successfully shipped to their designated homes. In a first for the South African business, DACHSER South Africa recently delivered a total order of 10 units of Rosenbauer 6 x 6 and 8 x 8 Panther firefighting vehicles for Rosenbauer’s client ACSA to major airports nationwide.
Dachser SA delivers high tech Rosenbauer fire trucks to South Africa’s airports

The variety of vehicles shipped by Rosenbauer is vast: it ranges from chassis and bodies to deployment-ready fire trucks, assembled precisely to customer specifications. The Panther powerhouse can accelerate from 0 to 80 kph within 25 seconds or less. It can still unleash the full force of its firefighting power, even when at full throttle. The roof and front water nozzles are designed to deliver a peak flow volume of up to 10,000 liters per minute and a throwing reach of 90 meters, putting incredible power and technology in the hands of firefighters when they need it most.

The movement of these huge fire engines offers its own challenges, and Dachser has proven to be globally excellent in this regard. The shipping aspect is a comprehensive project business that involves many specific, special tasks and regulations. These vehicles arrived in South Africa via the DACHSER logisticians based in Hörsching, Austria, close to the Rosenbauer Company head office is in the Upper Austrian town of Leonding. “We are constantly facing new challenges when it comes to customized and specialized models of six to 32 tons,” explains DACHSER logistician Peter Windhager. Under these conditions, he and his project planners anticipate an approximately two- to four-week “preliminary notice period,” just to be able to reserve the proper ship capacities, obtain the special driving permits, and organize the flatbed trailers as well as drivers.

Either on the back of a flatbed truck or—if possible—on their own four wheels, these fire engines are are sent to ports at Bremerhaven, Hamburg, or Antwerp. A portion of the freight vehicles get on what are known as “RoRo boats” (roll-on, roll-off ) to their countries of destination. If such basic shipping is impossible, then the fire trucks are either hoisted by crane into the belly of a “break bulk” ship or loaded onto so-called “flat-rack containers”—the kind with no sidewalls and no roof—and then onto container ships.

The vehicles arrived in South Africa in the ports of Durban and Port Elizabeth. “As soon as the vehicles were driven off in Durban and Port Elizabeth it took about week to clear customs and have the Panther vehicles delivered to their respective destinations. Professional drivers with special permits were hired to move the vehicles. The project went very well with no real challenges,” says Detlev Duve, Managing Director of Dachser South Africa. “We’re proud to have been part of bringing these formidable machines to South Africa.”

“There’s a global demand for Rosenbauer fire trucks: in Trinidad and Tobago as in the Solomon Islands; in China, Africa, or Australia—in essence, anywhere there is an airport,” explains Gerhard Wierer, Head of Logistics and Purchasing at Rosenbauer. He adds that the industry is continuing to grow, especially in countries with high security needs and in emerging markets like South Africa with intensified infrastructural investments. “We believe our prospects are excellent in the international project business.”

Andreas Zeller, Sales Manager for Saudi Arabia at Rosenbauer, describes what is expected of the logistics provider. “In this process, DACHSER has proven to be a logistics partner who acts proactively, but who also is actively aiding in cost optimization. A high degree of flexibility is required, along with adherence to schedules—especially when conducting customs clearance, settling penalty claims, or accommodating ever-changing legal provisions.”


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