Transporting fully loaded trailers by boat across the Bass Strait is a challenge only few in the transport game take on. Twice as wide as the English Channel, the strait is renowned for a rough swell, and will put any make of transport equipment to the acid test. Tasman Logistics’ and Krueger accepted the dare.
You don’t have to be a seasoned sailor to know that the Bass Strait is notoriously rough, with many ships lost at sea since the advent of commercial shipping. While it is safe to cross the channel today, the journey itself is still as tough as ever – especially when shipping a fully loaded trailer or two.
To ensure the crossing will be as smooth as possible, Tasman Logistics’ Trans Bass division solely focuses on freight deliveries between Tasmania and Melbourne. “In this division, we mainly use curtain-sided trailers, and Krueger Transport Equipment is our brand of choice,” says Craig Morris, Managing Director of Tasman Logistics, revealing that the company’s load restraint curtains have proved to be a real asset when at sea.
“Since the goods have to be secured tight given the unevenness of the Bass Strait Sea, we benefit greatly from Krueger’s load restraint curtain system,” he explains. “The system uses lightweight, high strength materials with carbon fibre sections integrated into the curtain structure and is accompanied by side load restraints, which negates the use of slide gates. The quality of the curtains you get from Krueger will always do the job and are robust and flexible enough to handle the freight on board.”
Recently, the company purchased 10 units of 45-foot (13.7 metre) tri-axle curtain-siders, all built for the Trans Bass freight forwarding division and equipped with the tried and true load restraint curtain technology as a safety net for the sea voyage.
“The trailers have been specifically designed to service our clients in the timber, packaging, construction, recycling and retail industry,” Craig says. “Our main clients are mostly from the retail industry and need a lot of freight shipped on a daily basis. As a transport business, we need to react to that demand and add equipment at short notice Given the tight schedule, it was only fitting Krueger doesn’t have too much lead time to process an order, it’s all very straight forward. That’s why they make up approximately 90 per cent of our Trans Bass fleet.”
Currently, all 10 of the new Krueger curtainsiders are shuttling between Tasmania and Melbourne on a Monday to Friday schedule, using the Spirit of Tasmania ferry service. “The Krueger gear is a great help in maintaining a professional transport service under trying conditions. At Tasman Logistics, we are happy to have such reliable suppliers,” Craig adds.
Formed in 2002, Melbourne-based Tasman Logistics specialises in container cartage, container packing and unpacking warehouse distribution. The company has four main divisions, including a wharf container service, a sea service and rail freight division operating between Melbourne and Perth, as well the Trans Bass freight forwarding division connecting Victoria and Tasmania.
“The company was formed in 2002 and began with just two men, two mobile phones and one office,” Craig reveals.
“Just over 10 years down the track, Tasman Logistics is now a $30 million business employing over 100 people across three states.”
Currently, Tasman Logistics operates more than 100 trailers, including curtain-siders, flat tops, side loaders and drop decks, as well as B-double skel combinations – most of which built by Krueger. According to Craig, he that is because of the brand’s reliability and competitive pricing. “It really comes down simple semantics – Krueger equipment has always performed to task and provided the best value for money, and that’s why we choose them again and again,” he says.
As a result, chances are that more loadrestraint rated Krueger equipment will soon join the Trans Bass fleet. Right now, however, Craig says it’s all about timing and market demand. “Our policy at Tasman Logistics is to properly evaluate how the units respond in the heat of transport before we make any additional purchasing decisions,” he says.
“Depending on the workload, whenever we win a new project we’ll always hire equipment for it. If that equipment is consistently performing over a 12-month period, we will consider adding those trailers permanently. Thus far, that method has worked out well for everyone.”