Priority Freight transports two-tonne replacement part for life-saving medical machinery over 7,000 miles in just 48 hours

  • A hospital in Namibia experienced problems when the only scanner on-site broke down and urgently needed a new part from the spares facility in the Netherlands
  • Priority Freight arranged all the necessary documentation, outbound and inbound clearance, additional irregular weight and dimension transport, first and last mile delivery and intercontinental air uplift for delivery within 48 hours
  • After successful delivery of the machine and tooling, it was operational the next working day, helping to save lives

Priority Freight is an expert in providing the fastest, most cost-effective and reliable time-critical logistics solutions – with an industry-leading reaction time of under 15 minutes and an on-time delivery rate of 99.6%.

A global manufacturer and maintenance provider of medical scanners called on Priority Freight’s reliable and cost-effective services to deliver a replacement part from the Netherlands to Namibia within 48 hours.

The hospital faced problems when the only scanner on-site suffered a rare breakdown. Despite repeated visits from local engineers, the only way to resolve the issue was to have a large ‘arm’ (which makes up the top of the machine) shipped from the EU spares facility in the Netherlands, over 7,000 miles away.

Since a breakdown on such an important machine is so unusual, Priority Freight knew they had to do whatever was needed to get the part to the hospital in Namibia via the fastest, most cost-effective and reliable method. Usually, ‘next flight out’ (NFO) shipments are used for small, emergency cargo and, due to the COVID pandemic, NFOs were hard to coordinate for many forwarders because of the lack of flights and irregular routes. Adding extra complication, the arm weighed around two tonnes and measured almost five meters in length. However, Priority Freight was able to secure NFO transport for the part, even with its unconventional size.

By negotiating with the airline in both Amsterdam and Frankfurt, and preparing for customs clearance in Namibia ahead of time, Priority Freight’s Heathrow team ensured the unit and the equipment needed for offload into the hospital travelled through customs at each airport without delay. Due to the medical importance of the diagnostic machinery, the situation in Namibia was quickly escalated to national government level.

Priority Freight arranged all the necessary documentation, outbound and inbound clearance, additional irregular weight and dimension transport, first and last mile delivery and intercontinental air uplift for delivery within 48 hours. It was just days between the initial call coming in and the replacement arm and associated tooling arriving at the hospital. Engineers were able to have the scanner back in action on the same day as delivery. The broken part was loaded back into the purpose-built crate, and Priority Freight shipped it back to the manufacturer in the UK for analysis.

The manufacturer’s VP happened to be conducting her daily video call with the hospital when the truck arrived at the hospital with the new arm on board. The moment was even caught in the background of the video call. She commented, “Thanks so much to Priority Freight for meeting all the deadlines on this project – despite the added complexity caused by the pandemic and restrictions around available routes. This would not have been possible without your team’s expertise. A big thanks to the Priority Freight team”.

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