Cuba – unusual destination for project cargo

a. hartrodt ships printing press plant from Hamburg to Mariel.

Against the trend of declining imports from Cuba, a. hartrodt is currently organizing the transport of a plant to the Caribbean island for a Southern German printing press manufacturer. Experts from a. hartrodt manage the shipment of a disassembled printing press from Hamburg to Mariel. The port-to-port transport includes packaging and container stowage. Epolog supports a. hartrodt with export packaging and logistics. "I have been working in the forwarding business for 35 years, but this is only the second shipment to Cuba," says Gerd Illing, Regional General Manager Projects at a. hartrodt in Hamburg.

Printing press plant shipped in three lots

The shipment of the printing press plant to Cuba is planned in three lots. "At the end of March, six high-cube containers and one open-top container with small parts will be loaded in Hamburg," reports Illing. Five weeks later, the ship will land in Mariel, 40 kilometers west of the Cuban capital Havana. The complete cargo is to be in Cuba by the end of May.

Blank sailings have an effect

"For production reasons, the load is spread over three lots," explains Illing. Lot number two will go on two ships at the beginning of April. Due to the effects of the coronavirus around the Chinese New Year and the IMO 2020 regulations in force since January 2020, carriers are increasingly suspending departures (blank sailings) on some trade lanes. "Securing loading capacities is therefore our top priority in order to meet the requirements of our customers," says Illing.

With up to 30 tons of project cargo per ship, this is a "rather small consignment" for a. hartrodt, according to Illing. The parts do not always fit into open-top containers: "Four hoppers have to be shipped on flatracks because they are too wide for the roof opening of open-top containers," he explains. The cargo is protected by tarpaulins.

According to Germany Trade & Invest, machinery is the most important German export good to Cuba. However, delivery volumes are declining due to the government's austerity program and tougher US sanctions.

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