Delivery of containers to Bideford, England with hurdles

Almost all our containers go from the factory by ship to Rotterdam and then by truck to Deventer. Our logistics partner De Roos takes them out of the ISO container, in which they are transported, and then performs a kind of pre-assembly. On a project, they depart again from Deventer to the location in the Netherlands or elsewhere in Europe where they are expected.

For shipments to England, however, this is a pricey exercise. The total price would then be about € 5000 higher for the customer, reason enough to adjust the route. For our customer Tarka Storage, we were able to divert one ISO container full of our containers from an ongoing shipment from Asia to Southampton. From there, the container was transported to the intended location in Bideford, Devon and delivered there.

Remote coaching
Our policy is that someone from USC is always present during a delivery. After all, the customer invests a substantial amount of money and therefore expects perfect delivery. Unfortunately, the quarantine rules had just been changed in England in early December, so we could not be on site in time. Therefore, we chose to supervise the delivery remotely. Unfortunately, that did not go as planned. A container had been damaged during the transport or unloading process. Also, the assembly process was not entirely clear to the customer. As a result, minor annoyances piled up and we ended up not being able to speak of a satisfied customer. At such a time, there is only one way left to solve all the problems. On to England, then.

Since the rules had become a little more relaxed in the meantime, we still managed to visit Devon on January 25. I flew via Bristol, and then traveled further by car. Bristol, a city in the southwest of England has a population of nearly 460,000 and is known for its industrial engineering, which is still proudly referenced. In the 19th century, this resulted in the Clifton Bridge, a magnificent monumental suspension bridge that is still a symbol of this city.
The Great Britain, the first steamship to complete the trip to the Americas in less than two weeks without sails, was also conceived here. Both inventions came from the mind of engineer Isambard Brunel, whose name references can still be found in the city today.

From Bristol, it is about a 3-hour drive to Devon. Gradually the roads become quieter and the landscape emptier. Tarka Storage itself is based in Bideford, a town with (they say) the most beautiful beaches in England, and I can vouch for that. Along the coast are many authentic hotels and because of the high cliffs, most of them offer a beautiful view of the Irish Sea.

Arrived in Devon
In Devon, I received a very warm welcome from Ewan Butler, owner of Tarka Storage. In a short time, Ewan has built a beautiful park, with excellent occupancy rates. The latter caused some stress, as customers were pretty much waiting next to him during construction. So the full supply has now been rented. Ewan, along with his wife, also owns an indoor play paradise, which is located in the nearby shopping center. This activity is perfect to combine with the storage park.

Based on Ewan’s experience, we’ve done some work on preparation. Covid is not yet out of this world, and so it is likely that unexpected obstacles will continue to arise. We will therefore be sending a manual with photos and videos in advance from now on, so that the future owner or his crew will be better prepared for what awaits them.

Maarten Streppel

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