How We Helped NASA Land in Norway
Through AGS's government affairs representative, we recently submitted and won a bid to handle a very large NASA shipment of three loose pieces and two NASA-owned ocean containers, transporting it from NASA's Wallops Island, Virginia facility to the Andoya Rocket Range in Andenes, Norway. The shipment included one launcher boom, weighing 39,998 pounds (54'x12'x12'6"), one launcher base weighing 16,000 pounds, (10'x6'x4') and one launcher pedestal weighing 21,000 pounds. The two full ocean containers carried various ground support equipment. NASA wasn't sure we could handle this shipment since it was a time-sensitive delivery with only a 31-day window. We assured NASA that we would do "whatever it takes" to deliver on schedule.
Since this was an oversized shipment that needed to be transported together, we used one of our specialized carriers for the inland portion, which required special road permits to proceed from Virginia and Maryland. For the ocean portion, we used one of the major container lines for the port to door movement. The logistics and distance would make this a very difficult shipment, but we knew that with the right communication and coordination, we could complete it within the 31-day time frame.
Day 1, the loading began. The full containers were loaded and dispatched. The launcher boom became a problem since NASA had added additional hardware to it, thereby increasing the weight by several thousand pounds. We had to change the road permits so we could legally move the shipment to the port; NASA quickly gave us the letter we needed to re-file and get the amended permits approved. The launcher boom was ready to be moved.
On day 4, the complete shipment was loaded onto the ship, and the AGS agent sent documentation overseas for customs clearance and handling. The ETA in Gothenburg Sweden was 20 days away. We tracked the shipment on-line and gave NASA complete updates. The shipment arrived as scheduled, was offloaded and placed on vehicles to move it to the destination. We sent an AGS rep to meet with our agent, Sky Transport, in Gothenburg and observe the off-loading. Everything went very smoothly. The AGS rep then proceeded to Ardennes, Norway to meet the shipment's arrival. Sky Forwarding had retained the services of a crane company to arrange the off-loading at Ardennes.
This large, complex shipment arrived on day 31 and was off-loaded and delivered intact. Needless to say, our accomplishment was very much appreciated by NASA.
By demonstrating that AGS had the means and dedication to do "Whatever It Takes" to successfully handle project shipments of this magnitude, we expect to continue serving NASA's logistical needs on other projects.