Air cargo transportation is associated with speed, safety, and delivery deadlines of "yesterday." Goods shipped by air usually have high costs but relatively small dimensions. However, there are exceptions.
For one client, the AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG international corporate group delivered a passenger car by air from the city of Togliatti, the capital of the Russian automobile industry, to the Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Anton Sejchasov, Head of AsstrA Air Freight Division, shares his thoughts on this project.
Anton, how often do requests for such transportation projects come in?
Not often. They’re more common for auto parts. There is significant demand from our clients for urgent delivery services for cargo that must arrive “just in time.” But this air cargo does not usually consist of cars. Therefore, this project seemed ambitious from the very start.
What is unique about transporting such non-standard cargo? Can you tell us how a car can "fly"?
As per the agreement with the client, the cargo was delivered from door to door. Therefore, in order for the car to take off, first of all the cargo was delivered from the manufacturer's factory in Tolyatti to Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport by road. Next, the AsstrA team unloaded the car from the truck on the terminal ramp, where the carrier's Unit Load Device (ULD) is located.
The ULD is made from R7-grade metal. As soon as the car has stopped at the ULD, the cargo was overloaded and sent on to the destination airport.
After loading on the ULD, for reasons of safety and security, the cargo was dragged by slings to the R7 platform through special connectors at the ends of the platform.
Then the ramp descended from the level of the truck body to ground level in the terminal receiving area. After the platform’s rollers reached the ground, the cargo was automatically rolled into the terminal.
Next, a mobile platform was adjusted and used to load the cargo into the aircraft.
Was handling the cargo documentation a challenge?
For our clients, the AsstrA team prepares all necessary documents and invoices on a daily basis. Since the car was class-9 hazardous cargo, AsstrA Aviation Department experts issued a dangerous cargo declaration. The preparatory stages took two days, which was in line with the client’s scheduling requirements.