Travelling the Ocean in Style

Lip balm, sun cream and hand cream are needed for the maiden voyage of a cruise ship to Antarctica. A dangerous goods check, the unscheduled rebooking by the forwarder and the unforeseen delay of the ship cause the last-minute delivery at the ship's last stop in Europe.

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StyleVision is a global supplier and producer of premium hotel cosmetics and individual hotel accessories. The focus is on high-quality cosmetic products for luxury hotels, airlines, and cruise ships. An important customer of the owner-managed company is a large, international cruise line. For the commissioning and maiden voyage of a new ship, 220 cartons with a total of 2,280 kg of lip balm, sun lotion, and hand cream were needed for the guests. Due to the tight time schedule and the departure of the cruise ship, which could not be postponed, the delivery on time was unavoidable.

An LCL delivery from Hong Kong (Yantian) to Sorvik (Norway) to VARD Shipyard was requested. The first stage was to be by sea freight from Hong Kong to Hamburg with subsequent customs clearance. After arrival in Hamburg, it would have continued by express transport to Solvik, where the goods, which were European after customs clearance, would have had to be cleared again before being consumed on board the cruise ship. However, as Norway is a party to the Convention on a Common Transit Procedure, the transport could be handled by T1, even though Norway is not an EU member state.

The departure in Hong Kong was already delayed because, according to the manufacturer, the sun lotion contains triethanolamines, which are dangerous goods. To avoid damage of any kind, these goods must be transported under certain conditions and specially packed. Some carriers also exclude the transport of dangerous goods completely or only allow small quantities. Whether the goods are dangerous goods or not is checked by the carrier after booking the shipment and the subsequent transmission of the contents of all goods.

In this case, the check showed that the percentage of triethanolamine was too low to classify the sun lotion as dangerous goods. Despite the positive result and the resulting less complicated carriage of the goods, the inspection meant that the original schedule could not be obtained. Instead, the carrier arbitrarily booked the shipment on a different schedule whose ETA was 8 days behind the original date. This meant that the scheduled arrival in Norway was no longer realistic and while the ship was still on its way, an alternative was sought. The IFB team was in constant contact with the customer and the recipient of the goods.

Due to the fixed departures and the great relevance of the comparatively small products, we are very grateful for the great commitment shown by our partner IFB in this difficult matter. Without the flexibility of the entire team and the solution-oriented approach, the cruise guests might not have been able to experience the icy Antarctic so carefree.

Jens Sklebitz, CEO StyleVision

The only possible option to get the goods onto the cruise ship on time was to deliver them to Amsterdam, the last stop in Europe before the ship set sail on its maiden voyage through Antarctica. The goods would have arrived in Hamburg with sufficient lead time and would have been transported from there to Amsterdam on time.

Thanks to ship tracking, the IFB team had a constant overview of the ship's arrival and also saw how it was continuously delayed. The planned arrival on the 10th of the month became the 26th. However, the goods had to be delivered by noon on the 30th so that they could still be taken along. In order to meet this deadline, IFB was in close contact with its own Hamburg warehouse, which was responsible for unloading the consolidated container and accepting the goods.

The container in question was prioritised and so it came about that the container was unloaded on the 28th and unpacked in Hamburg on the 29th. Still in the evening, the goods were collected by express service with delivery directly to the quay of the cruise ship in Amsterdam, where they arrived on time.