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AMI charter trebles Australian yogurt production
Air Menzies International (AMI) ’ the world’s largest trade-only airfreight and express wholesaler ’ has assisted its customer Forwarding Direct and their agent Heppner in a charter to move 24,700 kgs of food machinery from Courville-sur-Eure, France, to South Dandenong, 60km south east of Melbourne Airport.The machinery ’ part of an AUS$30 million investment program in Victoria-based Bead Foods by its new parent Chobani ’ will be used to triple yogurt production capacity for both Chobani Greek Yogurt and Gippsland Dairy to 30,000 tonnes a year in Australia. The expansion has created 50 new jobs and, with the plant now operational, Chobani Greek Yogurt is being produced in Australia and is available nationwide. Chobani’s high use of milk (three times the amount in regular yogurt) is also predicted to create additional long-term business for local dairy suppliers.
Working with its customer Forwarding Direct, and supported by sister company Menzies Aviation Cargo (which provides ground handling in Melbourne), AMI coordinated flight clearance and handled local formalities on arrival. It then arranged offloading, road transport from Melbourne Airport to the installation site, and unloading by mobile crane.
The cargo, valued at AUS$4.3 million, was shipped in six crates; the largest measured 11.85m x 2.47m x 3.04m and weighed 16,700kgs. Due to the size of this piece, AMI had to arrange its road transportation using an extending low-loader, necessitating oversize load permits and the filing of a pre-designated route plan.
The cargo was flown from Vatry in France to Melbourne on an IL76 of Jordanian operator JIAC, chartered through Air Charter Services of London. The flight stopped en route for re-fuelling in Colombo, Sri Lanka and Perth, Western Australia.
On hand to oversee offloading in Melbourne was AMI’s General Manager - Victoria, Peter Logan, whose previous experience in cargo handling with sister company Menzies Aviation Cargo proved very useful. Says Logan: ‘The load was a very tight fit, with only a few inches to spare. Winching the cargo from its transit position on the aircraft onto the hi-loader took around 2 hours to ensure that the load and the aircraft would not be damaged.
‘Although AMI has been regularly involved in arranging aid charters to and from Australia, this was an unusual job calling for special handling and minute attention to detail. Thanks to the airport authority and everyone else involved, it all went off very smoothly. As this project has demonstrated, AMI is well positioned to continue to handle this kind of traffic when required.’
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