ACL get a lift from successful Chinook shipment

05 September 2019

The challenge

ACL is a leader in transatlantic shipping, with other connections and routes to global locations. It has the world’s largest conro vessels (hybrid of container / roll-on roll-off) that transport RORO, LOLO, breakbulk and automotive cargoes.

ACL recently won a contract to import seven Chinook helicopters on behalf of Boeing Defence UK, with the ultimate customer being the UK Ministry of Defence. The shipment was part of a project to move 12 Chinooks in total.

The solution

ACL has used the Port of Liverpool since 1969 and so has an in-depth knowledge of what it has to offer, as well as long-standing relationships with the team there.

Crucial to winning the contract was a site visit that ACL organised for Boeing Defence UK at the Port of Liverpool. This showcased the facilities and what both ACL and Peel Ports could do to help.

Each helicopter was towed on at Baltimore and taken across the Atlantic one at a time. After discharge to quay at Liverpool, the helicopters were taken to the railhead where they were made flight-worthy, before taking off from the port and flying directly to RAF Odiham.

To facilitate this, Boeing Defence UK set up a workshop for its team of engineers on the Port of Liverpool site.

Overall, the project took about 3 months to complete.

Lee Chapman, UK Terminals Manager at ACL said: “Security matters with every cargo but clearly it’s even more crucial with defence equipment and high value assets such as these helicopters. The Port of Liverpool is able to provide us and our clients with the confidence we need that precious loads will be securely cared for. That relies on staff having the understanding of special cargo requirements and the right facilities. The Peel Ports team can offer that plus the access to major transport routes essential for outsized loads.