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The Logistics Challenges In Transporting The Dragline Excavators

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The logistics management is an act of managing the supply chain which involves the transfer of goods as well as services from the point of origin to the point of destination in order to meet the aspirations of customers through a holistic act of planning the strategic moves in order to control the movement. In today’s world, where the interdependencies of one person over another, one country over another has been increasing by leaps and bounds, this branch of science is an aspiring field to oversee delivery of supply and goods over a long range of distance. The logistics support is a vital branch of our armed forces, the supply of ammunition & goods over to the borders as well as to the soldiers fighting off-shore defines the margin of winning & defeat, a force having a healthy logistics supply is a hard nut to crack.

Logistics management term was first introduced to highlight the military efforts in world wars. The studies have defined Logistics as the process by which the factors like procuring, movement, storing, and inventories whether finished or otherwise are managed in such a way so that the organizational profits are maximized and the competitiveness of the organization is improved. The role of the logistics system is the satisfaction of the customers.


Other studies mentioned that logistics can impact the delivery time of the product to the customer. It is essential that the customer receives the product at the right place, and right time. The purpose of the research study is to discuss about the new large thermal coal mine. The research will focus on the key challenges that the mine faces in terms of the logistics and the preparation of the report is made to discuss about the challenges of the logistics company and the complexities

In the 21st century, logistics has been widely used in transferring the technical know-how & other innovations which are being developed in some other countries and are transferred over huge distances. The logistics specialist is person involves in planning and executing the cumbersome journey of huge machines being delivered thousands of mile away from their point of origin. The following the few basics of Logistics movement:-

  • Reliable Vendor to choose with effective transportation mechanism.
  • Selecting the precise route of movement which ensures hassle free delivery.
  • Mode of deliver method should be effective.
  • Collaborating with Transnational department with maximum support of software & IT resources.

Being a mining company which requires Six Caterpillar CAT 8200 dragline excavators to be moved to assembly site of Alpha, Queensland is a big challenge. Draglines are basically used in surface mining and weigh between 2000 to 13000 metric tonnes. Therefore challenges in relation to its transportation to the actual site cannot be undermined (Heavyequipment, n.d). Draglines are basically used to reduce the burden on the coal mines that have higher life. The overburden is reduced and the cost per tonne is also lower when the draglines are used. However, it is critical to note that building a dragline is a time consuming process while clients keep looking for viable options during the period.

Relocation of draglines is one of the viable options that clients in mining industry have. Relocation is however easier said than done. This requires a comprehensive planning and strategizing so that the draglines are moved effectively. To move it via road it requires use of interconnected trailers. These trailers are mostly self propelled, and are remote controlled by operator. There are also other options that are used to transfer the draglines from one place to another. The logistics in the particular research is from the Point of Origin, which is US to the Final Destination, which is the Alpha region in Central Western Queensland. Therefore the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, 1991 becomes applicable in the case.



Mining industry has become a thrust area where logistics management works efficiently to deliver mega machines involved in various process of mining. The process of transporting the Draglines from the U.S. to Australia involves an operation choosing the best transportation vendor & effective route to ensure the timely delivery of goods to the workplace. Preliminary logistics inventory involved in transferring the Draglines requires following are some basic aspects:-

Cost Reduction

The selection of transporting the Dragline manufactured by the CATTERPILLAR involves minimizing the cost associated with transporting the heavy machines all the way from U.S. to point of destination. The transportation will involve a mix of Roadways and waterways, with a prime focus on which waterway route should be used to minimize the time delay and cost associated with it.

Capital Reduction


This step involves the direct shipment of goods to the point of destination, thus minimizing the storage of goods at a certain warehouse. The in-bound inventory should as prepared which reduces the capital load on logistics movement, moreover if warehousing to be done, public warehouse should be opted in place of private.

The overall logistics movement which is to be followed by a detailed report covering the following 3 heads of Strategic, Planning & Operations involves the answers to the following subheads.


Figure 1Logistics Movement Know-How


The following operations requires a holistic approach which involves “cost trade-offs” in order to ensure the timely delivery of the goods to the workplace. These challenges requires a collaboration & multi-tasking of various transnational organisations as well as American & Australian port authorities, the rules and regulations involved with transporting by waterway, etc. An initial inventory done by the logistics department is as follows:-


Processing: - This is the first step of any logistics movement, involves packaging of the Dragline as a whole or parts by parts. This is done at the manufacturer end responsible for the delivery of goods by Shipment.

Transportation: - This step is the most crucial among all as it involves the transportation of heavy duty dragline by shipping them in large containers. Once the goods are processed and packaged, the size and capacity of containers used for shipment is decided based upon the decision made by the manufacturer considering the clear width, clear height & clear length of Drag line. Following Containers can be used based upon the suitability with the manufacturer’s model of purchase:-

Open Top Container: It comes with a convertible top, to be used for material of any height.

Cargo Storage Roll Tanker: - If the Dragline is coming in assembly of parts, this container offers special set of containers used primarily for assembly of parts to be further transported to site.

Special Purpose Containers: - they are the ones best suited for the job, made with custom sizes, and are appropriate to handle a large volume of Dragline.

various types of containers

Figure 2 Various Types of Containers

Source: Logistics & Transport Engineering

Sea Freight: - Based upon the selection of above listed containers to be used for shipment, the cost of shipment as well as the provision of warehousing is to be finalized. The “world Baggage & Packages” Basic shipment route can be followed through the Atlantic Ocean, till the port of Alpha.

Warehouse: - The storage of shipment at major ports is an additional requirement. Sometimes, due to bad weather, the cargo has to be unloaded from ship, to be stored into warehouse, can be an additional cost factor which is to be minimized.


Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services (AQIS) requirements: - This is the special set of laws framed up by the Australian government in order to protect the environment of the country which is unique in many ways. Currently AQIS is run by Department of Agriculture, responsible for the inspection of pests, goods and human against any disease or virus alien to the environment. In fact, Australia has the strictest Quarantine laws than any were in the world. There are set of Australia’s Quarantine Standards which requires clearance from port authorities, the set of rules given under, “Quarantine Proclamation 1998, Part 2” has to follow. The laws govern the entry into the port, Landing, and quarantine stations. The AQIS recommends taking use of services offered by custom brokers in order to ease the legal process.


  1. Alpha Coal Project, 2012, Environment Impact Assessment Report, Available from:Waratahcoal, Accessed on 11 August 2014.
  1. Christopher, M. 2005, Logistics and supply chain management: creating value-adding networks, Prentice Hall, 3rd edition.
  1. Couriel, n.d, Logistics-Basic Concepts & Characteristics, Available from: Adameurope , Accessed on 11 August 2014.
  1. Department of Agriculture, Logistics Information & Custom Center, Government of Australia.
  1. Heavyequipment, n.d, Earthmoving & Mining, Retrieved from: Heavyequipment, Accessed on 11 August 2014.
  1. Lambert, D M & Stock, J R, 2001, Strategic Logistics Management, Mcgraw-Hill, 4th
  1. Logistics Management, n.d., Definition, Available from: Techopedia, Accessed on 11 August 2014.
  1. Murphy, P., and Wood, D. 2010, Contemporary Logistics - International Version, London Pearson Education, 10th Edition.
  1. What is Sea Freight, n.d., Available from: Baggage, Accessed on 11 August 2014.
  1. Serroukh, Y, 2012, Logistics & Transportation Engineering, Available from: Slideshare, Accessed on 11 August 2014.

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