Florian Blanfort is in charge of machine transportation at the Haulotte factory in Le Creusot. Every year, his department ships more than 2,000 machines worldwide in complete safety thanks to a network of partner carriers.
From the Creusot factory, what are the shipping methods for the machines?
We use several types of transport depending on the destination of the machines. For shipments within Europe, they leave by road on trucks equipped with a load carrier. For shipments further afield, the machines are shipped by boat. The most giant and most oversized machines are loaded onto RORO Roll-on/Roll-out ships, a large ferry type. The other machines are shipped in containers.
What are the main instructions you give to the transporter?
We have been working for about ten years with the Cayons transport company based in Chalon-sur-Saône. They are specialists in exceptional transport. The drivers are used to secure non-standard parts and have a CACES license (the international equivalent is the “PAL CARD”) for aerial work platforms. And they know the Haulotte machines well. This knowledge ensures us a guarantee of professionalism, safety, and quality. In terms of security, we have no right to make mistakes. We do not take any risk on the securing, and at the slightest doubt, we will not load the truck. We take care of the stowage. We check the car’s condition, load the machine, position it on the carrier and adjust the load distribution with the driver. Everything is checked before departure.
How do you prepare the machines that leave by container?
The container ships three types of machines: the HS15 and 18 E scissor lifts and the HA20LE PRO and HA20RTJ PRO lifts. They require specific preparation. For the scissor lifts, it is necessary to fold the safety guards and strap the platform. We can put two HS15, and 18 E scissor lifts in a container. The HA20LE PRO and HA20RTJ PRO machines are more comprehensive than the containers. So, we have to turn the four wheels to make them fit. We also have to activate an option in the Activ’Screen to prevent the boom from unfolding and then strap the boom. We can only put one HA20 machine per container.
How do you organize the transport of machines that cannot be shipped by container?
For oversized machines, such as the HA41RTJ PRO, HT43RTJ PRO, we load them onto tank carrier, and they are taken to a shipping company in the ports of Le Havre, Antwerp, Zeebrugge, or Marseille. The dockers load them on RORO-type vessels, a large multi-story ferry, and then ship to the destination countries.
What is your relationship with the carriers?
We have been working with the same carriers, forwarders, and shipping companies for many years. These partnerships allow us to evolve together, to be flexible and reactive. If there is an urgent shipment for a customer or a subsidiary, we can obtain transport slots quickly. And the carriers are attentive to the need to upgrade their equipment. Our trucking company has designed specific tarps for tank carriers. This allows us to deliver machines that are protected from the weather. And their tractors all meet the latest Euro 6 environmental standards.