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CASE STUDY

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Shipping Radioactive Waste for Disposal to the UK From Kiribati in the Central Pacific

The Challenge:-
Shipping waste of any kind is a challenge within itself. But when you add a few factors to ‘the mix’ such as; the goods are Radioactive, packed inside an ISO Container the size of a small car and the other minor issue (Note: I use the word minor sarcastically!), that the goods are on a desert island in the Central Pacific – and you have really got what the industry would regard as a challenge! After numerous failed attempts to move the described consignment over a period of almost two years, Hazmat Logistics™ were contacted via the Safety and Ecology Corporation whose head office is in Tennessee, United States of America with this dilemma. Immediately, a quotation was offered and the cogs were in motion to get the consignment uplifted safely to its destination. The first problem to be solved was physically getting the ISO container off the Island. As straight forward as it may seem, many factors had to be taken into account. It was brought to the attention of our operations team initially that apart from there being a nine hour time difference, Kiribati is made up of several uninhabited coral ‘atolls’ which surround the main island of Tarawa, lo and behold the consignment was on Christmas Island a tiny atoll approximately 1600 Miles to the east of Tarawa. It was then discovered that the only international airport was in South Tarawa, with only two airlines servicing Bonriki International Airport. These Airlines were the state owned Air Kiribati and Fijis National carrier, Air Pacific. Air Kiribati were not an option as they didn’t have the license required or trained staff to accept, check and load dangerous goods on their aircraft. This left Air Pacific. Although they were able to accept Class 7 goods for carriage, they did not operate an aircraft that would accommodate the size of the ISO Container so it was back to square one. Continental Airlines flew into the nearby Island of Guam, but again the problem was getting the shipment from Christmas Island to Guam.

The Solution:-

Although Hazmat Logistics™ do not have an office in the Central Pacific, we were still aware of an airline based in Los Angeles, USA that were regularly flying supplies in and out of Christmas Island from Hawaii’s Honolulu International Airport on a twice weekly basis. Therefore, the owner of the charter was contacted and without further delay the freight was booked to return to Hawaii from Christmas Island on that evenings’ flight. Once the cargo arrived in Hawaii, it was transferred under customs bond onto a Freighter Aircraft that flew the consignment directly to Los Angeles International Airport. Once in Los Angeles, domestic transportation was arranged from the West to the East coast of the USA (utilizing Rail Freight services) where it was accepted in Newark and onforwarded via cargo aircraft to London Stansted Airport, UK.

The Results:-
From start to finish, the cargo had been successfully uplifted from its point of origin and shipped via the USA into the United Kingdom, where the material was safely decommissioned. Efficiency, safety and compliance was guaranteed, and that’s exactly what the customer got. Needless to say that after handling this rather complex, but delicate consignment, Hazmat Logistics™ began to make a name within the Radio-Nuclear Industry as a competent and safe supplier of such specialist shipping services.