22 November 2012 – GAC UK & GAC Seaforth have overcome challenges to complete the successful delivery of a complex collection of cargo to Lake Tanganyika, Burundi, to support Surestream Petroleum (UK)’s explorations in Africa.
Independent oil exploration company Surestream Petroleum Ltd, headquartered in Reading, UK, contacted energy sector specialists GAC UK for help with shipping 60 tons of cargo to their seismic operations base on Lake Tanganyika, located to the west of Tanzania and also bordered by Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. The shipment comprised fabricated steel sections, stores, tools, chemicals, high value seismic equipment and a 10m chase boat. GAC was also appointed as the main agent to air-freight stores to Burundi and for a high-priority task to and from Malawi.
Kevin O’Shea, GAC UK’s National Manager of Specialised Services, said the first task was to gather all the freight at the company’s Ipswich warehouse from different suppliers around the UK. Then, after assessing the various delivery options, the main consignment was sent in containers by sea to Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania, where GAC-Seaforth took over to transport the cargo by road to Bujumbura, with selected items sent by air direct to their final destination.
STOP-START The initial delivery timeline for the project was six months, but there were unforeseen local delays.
Kevin O’Shea says: “When it came to light that the dangerous goods in the shipment had not been packed or labelled at origin in accordance with regulations, we had to work fast to remedy the situation. We worked tirelessly with the client to get all the goods ready at very short notice.
“Because of the diverse nature of the cargo, the goods were covered by various export licenses which made the booking and documentation processes much more complex than usual, but GAC’s expertise in these things made short work of it all. Clear communication was vital, so the GAC UK team made sure that Surestream got regular updates and that any questions were answered promptly.”
HIGH MAINTENANCE A Surestream spokesperson says: “Due to circumstances outside our control, we were quite a challenging customer and we have at all times been grateful for GAC UK’s support and responsive communications. GAC UK was selected initially based on cost. However, customer confidence adds value. They delivered on our Burundi Project, despite the complications and date changes. Throughout the project, GAC UK coordinated the passage of information from various sources and that has been a real source of customer confidence. We look forward to continuing to do business with GAC UK in the future.”
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