TSI recently faced a challenge with industrial transport when a client imported a heat exchanger from France. Unfortunately, TSI Central Station was not contracted to handle the shipping segment of this sensitive industrial item’s global transit to South Africa. As the unit was being offloaded by the 3rd party it was heavily damaged and TSI staff, arriving to collect the heat exchanger for the overland portion of the journey to the client, were instead engaged to arrange its return to France for emergency repairs.
Needless to say this sort of incident can and does cost our clients critical time and money, which is why TSI Central Station offers a complete logistics solution over both land and sea. However, clients do contract with 3rd parties under certain circumstances and we often advise caution on these occasions. Few South African entities are sufficiently familiar with the high tech or sensitive nature of some kinds of cargo, in this case the heavy, industrial heat exchanger unit.
This is a device employed to transfer heat between two or more fluids. Meaning that heat exchangers are used to facilitate both cooling and heating processes. The fluids can be separated by a solid wall to prevent mixing or they may be in direct contact with one another. The units are widely used in:
- Environmental heating
- Air conditioning
- Power stations
- Chemical plants
- Petrochemical plants
- Sewage treatment
And, of course, in the classic internal combustion engine. There are several types of heat exchangers, including shell, tube, plate and more. Needless to say, the inner workings of the internal mechanisms can be upset by any substantial, concussive force – such as being mishandled and falling a distance onto solid concrete.
When items as complex as this one are ordered they’re often not fabricated within South Africa or the client simply prefers to trust to an international manufacturer with a longer track record of manufacturing reliability. Parts and relevant repair/maintenance expertise are also often in limited supply still within the country. All of this is to say that the care and handling of such items are of utmost importance, because should anything go wrong during delivery there is no easy, swift or cheap solution.
In this case TSI took control, reloaded the heat exchanger and sent it back to France for repairs, when it returns we will collect it and deliver it to the client. As we often look overseas to trusted brands with proven track records for certain products, the same is required when selecting your transport logistics company. Unfortunately in this case it was a costly and painful reminder of that fact.