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It Takes Two: Shipping Two Private Jets Overseas in Record Time – DB Schenker

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It’s not often that you see two complete airplanes being loaded onto a single cargo aircraft and sent off on an overseas flight, but that’s exactly what happened when DB Schenker Americas recently shipped two complete private jets to Miami in record time.

Jumping into gear when a global aerospace manufacturer encountered challenges when trying to ship its jets via ocean freight, the logistics provider worked with Antonov Airlines to close the gap between Brazil and Miami.

The aerospace company called DB Schenker on a Monday morning for help. Within five days, the jets were dismantled, packed into six separate crates, and sent to Miami via Antonov Airlines. This all happened within a one-week timeframe, during which time the global logistics provider issued a quote, was awarded the project, secured the Antonov aircraft, packed the two airplanes for shipping, and moved them via air to Miami.

Meeting Tight Timeframes

For this project, DB Schenker also secured all of the necessary permits and made special accommodations for the 15-meter-long airplane wing sections and two 12-meter fuselage sections.

“We worked with the customer’s engineering team for an entire day, studying exactly how to move the wings in the most efficient, damage-free manner,” said Alvaro Zanella, DB Schenker Brazil’s Airfreight Business Development and Operations Manager. “We also secured the special forklift and crane that could support this type of shipment.” Permits that usually take 1-2 weeks to obtain were secured within a day-and-a-half.

Once on the ground in Viracopos, Brazil, the Antonov jets were completely loaded and ready to fly within seven hours. Concurrently, DB Schenker’s U.S. aerospace team in Miami was preparing for their arrival, securing the necessary unloading equipment, arranging for U.S. customs clearance, and bracing for a fast unloading process.

The cargo was dismantled into consignments with dimensions that met the AN-124-100 aircraft specifications filling six wooden crates. To handle the dimensions of the cargo, Antonov Airlines designed and manufactured special loading equipment and used it in conjunction with two external cranes and forklifts to ensure safe, efficient loading and unloading of the cargo.

Strong Logistics Alliances

Over the last 30 years, Antonov Airlines has been involved with transporting other modes of transport, including racing yachts for the America’s Cup, helicopters, and even maglev trains for metro systems. The company operates seven AN-124-100 aircraft with up to 120-tonnes payloads – two with a payload up to 150 tonnes, the largest turboprop-powered aircraft AN-22 with a payload up to 60 tonnes, as well as the 250-tonnes payload AN-225 “Mriya,” the largest cargo aircraft in the world.

“Thanks to the expertise of our in-house engineers, strong communication channels with the customer, and the flexibility of both parties on the solutions for cargo transportation,” said Ivan Bozhko, Commercial Executive, Antonov Airlines, “we were able to plan and deliver this cargo within the tight deadline to the highest safety standards.”

Asked whether the airplane transport project presented unique challenges for DB Schenker Americas, Zanella said the logistics provider has conquered difficult requirements and beat short timelines in the past, but nothing quite like this.

“We’ve done some special charters before on short notice, but this request was definitely unique,” he explained. “We’ve never quoted such a major undertaking one day, received the approval two days later, and then made everything happen over the next four days. The lessons learned from this project have prepared us for the next one, when it comes along.”

A Major Success

The project was a major success and the customer was extremely happy with the fast timeline and quality work provided by DB Schenker. Zanella said that while the short timeline created unique constraints for the logistics provider, DB Schenker is well-versed in how to manage complex, intricate movement of high-value goods around the world.

The aerospace company has since assigned DB Schenker two additional projects, neither of which were put out to bid. “They’re counting on us to manage another big operation, and are confident that DB Schenker is the right logistics partner for these and other freight movements,” said Zanella. “That’s a definite testament to our capabilities as a reliable, flexible logistics partner.”

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