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How we transport escalators to the city center of Copenhagen

By Johan Ignell, February 1, 2018

Lift and escalator manufacturer, KONE, is installing their products on subway stations all over Copenhagen, Denmark. In order to do that, they needed a complete transport solution from their factory in China to the construction sites at the subway stations in Copenhagen. In this blog article, I will describe how Greencarrier Freight Services help them deliver their escalators in a customised and reliable way.  

KONE – leading company in the lift and escalator industry

Since 1910, KONE has been providing lifts, escalators and automatic building doors to customers around the world. They are headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, but have Research and Development centers, productions sites and distributors globally. With their solutions and added services of maintenance and modernisation, they want to improve the flow of urban life. Furthermore, KONE is taking their environmental responsibility very seriously. Both by offering customers eco-efficient solutions and by reducing the environmental impacts of their own operations.

Heavy and large goods that require synchronised operations

Greencarrier Freight Services is managing KONE’s import of goods from Shanghai to the Nordic and Baltic countries. This particular case involves an ongoing project where KONE is providing the subway stations in Copenhagen, Denmark, with escalators. The escalators are manufactured in KONE’s production site in Kunshan, China, near Shanghai. KONE needed a complete transport solution from Kunshan to Copenhagen that could handle large and heavy items, city center deliveries and variations in order volumes. Furthermore, a big scale project like this one involves several operations to be synchronised. For example, since KONE has an installation team waiting for the escalators at the subway station, it is essential that the deliveries are reliable.

Last mile delivery with customised trailers in narrow streets

KONE was in need of a transport solution with “last mile delivery”, from the factory in China to the construction sites at the subway stations in Denmark. Since 2015, that has been a part of how Greencarrier Freight Services helps KONE transport their products. Our solution starts by picking-up the escalators at KONE’s factory in Kunshan and bring the containers to the terminal in the busiest container port in the world – Port of Shanghai. The containers are then shipped to Copenhagen. We are handling the customs clearance and the arrival notice of the shipments. When the cargo arrives at the destination port, we coordinate with KONE’s operators who are unloading the containers and store the escalators in a warehouse. The next step for us is to deliver required items from the warehouse to the specific subway station.

The subway stations are located in the heart of Copenhagen and the project is running daytime during weekdays. This means that it is often very crowded and hard to get around in the city. Therefore, we transport the up to ten meters long escalators using customised trailers that can easily maneuver in narrow streets. When Greencarrier Freight Services arrive at the construction site the escalators are lifted off the trailers with mobile cranes handled by KONE’s installations teams.

The most important part of the solution, for us, is the truck delivery of escalator parts from Frihavnen to the individual construction sites consisting of 17 Metro stations. At the construction sites, a crew of riggers and tower- or mobile crane operators are dependent on on-time deliveries to avoid waiting time and to secure a smooth flow of crane operations as other activities are taking place on the sites as well. These requirements have caused some challenges due to issues at the transport company being used as well as the traffic situation in Copenhagen,” says Leif Isaksson, Sourcing & Logistics Manager at KONE.

Local presence and tight communication makes for a smooth supply chain

Greencarrier Freight Services has a local presence in both Denmark and China, which enables tight communication with KONE’s local representatives. It also means that we have local knowledge and contacts, which is especially important for the transport in Copenhagen. We know the city well and can therefore plan and make the most efficient choices that facilitate the process. The result is a reliable delivery of the escalators that synchronises with the other parts of the supply chain. There is also a sustainability aspect of this. Better planning makes for more efficient transports, and ultimately, decreased emissions. We always make use of the trailers full capacity to minimise the number of transports.

Greencarrier Freight Services is very supportive to our logistics process with fast responses to our requests and professional and competent people with a very positive and collaborative approach. Even when key persons are on holiday the process is taken over by substitutes at Greencarrier with the same approach. From working together earlier on around 40 container shipments a year we are now working with nearly 200 containers as well as handling the shipped goods for the Metro project. This has today lead to weekly and sometimes even daily communication with Greencarrier Freight Services,“ says Leif Isaksson, Sourcing & Logistics Manager at KONE.

For us, at Greencarrier Freight Services, having a close dialogue with our customers is key. This way, expectations are clear and we can deliver solutions that meet the needs of reliability, quality, sustainability and cost-efficiency.

If you have any questions regarding this case, feel free to contact me. For more information about our solutions, please visit Greencarrier Freight Services’ website, our Knowledge Center or social media channels.

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Johan Ignell
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