Handling hazardous goods from the UK to Finland

By Hanna Sillanpää, 1 March 2017

A while ago, we faced quite a transport challenge at Greencarrier Freight Services. We were asked to plan and handle the transport of hazardous goods from the UK to a research and technology centre in Finland. There were many things to consider before taking on the challenge, but we decided it was possible!

An unusual, and somewhat nerve-wracking, transport challenge

We do transport hazardous goods at Greencarrier Freight Services, but transporting radioactive material is not exactly a day-to-day. But when we were contacted by a customer in England that needed help to plan and handle the transport of hazardous goods from the UK to Finland, we wanted to look into the possibilities and help. The fact that it was a matter of radioactive material made the transport somewhat nerve-wracking. But luckily, everything went really well!

Planning and handling the transport of radioactive material

We started planning for the transport months beforehand, deciding on which airport was the most convenient for receiving the hazardous goods. Together with the customer, we arranged for a charter plane to transport the goods from the UK to the airport in Finland. It had to be a charter plane as the commercial airlines had strict rules for transporting this type of radioactive material depending on factors such as radioactivity levels, country and airplane regulations.

When the plane arrived at the airport in Finland, we were ready to receive the goods. The radioactive material was kept in a large cylinder tank container. The cylinder tank container had to be unloaded from the charter plane with a forklift. It was then loaded onto a truck that transported the goods all the way from the airport to the end destination. After the radioactive material had been transported to the research and technology centre, we were also responsible for getting the empty cylinder tank container back to the UK again.

The challenges of transporting hazardous goods

When transporting hazardous goods, there are many things to consider. Hazardous goods need special handling throughout the entire transport. A reliable and well-planned logistics flow and careful handling and transportation of the goods are crucial. Knowledge and experience are extremely important as a minor mistake may end in disaster. The truck driver, as well as everyone else in involved in the transport, needs to be educated and trained in how to handle hazardous goods. For special transports, like this one, you need to be on the alert and have the ability to solve possible problems along the way.

It is also important that the truck driver has got all the permits and documentation in order for the transport. When our charter plane arrived with the radioactive material at the airport in Finland, TRAFI (the Finnish Transport Safety Agency) was there to do an unannounced inspection. TRAFI develops the safety of Finland’s transport system, promotes environmentally friendly transport solutions, and is responsible for transport system regulatory duties. As we had everything in order, they didn’t have any complaints at all, and ended up wishing us a nice day!

A wide range of air freight solutions for every customer need

To sum it up, the entire transport of the radioactive material went just as planned – from receiving and reloading to transporting and delivering at the end destination – and the other way around! We usually only get these types of requests every couple of years or so. But we are always willing to look into the possibilities and help our customers if we can!

Different customers have different needs, and at Greencarrier Freight Services, we provide a wide range of air freight solutions including on-demand service with the next departure flight, an economical alternative for less sensitive cargo, charters for larger cargo or special transport, and worldwide express flights for rush goods. If you would like to know more about our transport solutions, contact me for more details, I am happy to help.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog article. Please, share it on social media if you did, and feel free to leave any questions in the comment field below!

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