Tetris XXL - Thrill for MBS logistics professional

On 12 February, the phone rings at Oliver Hamacher, the air freight manager at MBS in Cologne.

Tetris XXL – Nervenkitzel für MBS Logistikprofi

On the other end: the project manager of a well-known company, who informs him that he has to deliver a huge machine installation in Beijing by the end of May. “There was an order volume of 40.5 million euros involved. The first delivery was to have flown out of Europe at the end of April, the second by 31 May. That’s when the blood pressure rises,” says Oliver Hamacher, air freight manager and employed at MBS Logistics since 2008. The 49-year-old can already see from the packing list: This is not a job like any other. “It quickly became clear that after handling the first delivery, at the end of April, we would need a full charter for the second, at the end of May.

On 30 April, the client gives the okay to book a full charter. At the beginning of May an airline is found. Then the confirmation of the plane and the firm booking on 10.05. A Boeing 747-800 of “Air Bridge” has to bring the cargo safely from Lyon airport to Beijing on 30 May. “Especially the last week before departure was incredibly nerve-wracking, as we were still missing a lot of information on the final size and weights of various packages at that point,” says Oliver Hamacher. “Everything just had to work and fit and be organised through to the last point and centimetre.”

The delivery of the 54 boxes takes place in time. And so, in the 21st calendar week between Whit Tuesday, 25 May, and Thursday, 27 May, twelve trucks with a total weight of 88,005 kilos, each with two drivers from three different locations in Germany and France, set off for the French customs office near Grenoble. It was a tight squeeze, considering that parts of the plant had only been completed in this very calendar week. After customs clearance, the delivery is made to Lyon airport. In the early evening of 28 May, the last truck arrives at Lyon airport. Immediately, the ground handling begins – the unloading of the trucks and the fine-tuning.

“The WFS people were super professional and also the loadmasters from “Air Bridge”, who came to Lyon from Paris for this loading, did a fantastic job,” says Hamacher. “When the last truck arrived, my pulse went down for the first time after days of tension. I knew: from now on I can’t do anything. I had done my best up to this point, now the responsibility lay with others.”

With loading material, there are 93,775 kilos that have to be loaded into the jumbo. Until 10 p.m. on this 29 May, every last detail is planned. Nothing must go wrong. “It was a Tetris game XXL,” Hamacher laughs. 14 hours later, the jumbo lands in Lyon. From here it is to go to Beijing as quickly as possible. There it is Sunday, 30 May, 12 o’clock. The last package is loaded at 2.29 pm. At 15.10 the jumbo takes off.

“Side cargo door closed, everything inside, an incredible relief and a great feeling,” says Hamacher. Will his nerves stand up to a similar job again? “Absolutely. Anytime!”

You can find the video of the loading of the plane with the QR code or under the link: https://youtu.be/oWQUrYt-rnc

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Oliver Hamacher


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