The right fit!

DHL Freight provides individual and reliable solutions for highly complex logistics chain in aeronautics. Modern aeroplanes are a complex puzzle consisting of millions of parts. During the assembly process, the logistics experts of a European aviation manufacturer like Airbus have to play their part, as they need to provide each individual puzzle piece at just the right time so that the production process runs flawlessly. And this of course also includes the suppliers and their transport partners. For example, STELIA Aerospace, a global company with 6,300 employees, which is headquartered in Toulouse, France, produces large parts of the structure for the front section of the fuselage. Metal panels, which not only have to be of high strength but also as light as possible, are produced in a factory in St. Nazaire. And these components are then processed further at different locations throughout Europe to eventually be routed to Meaulte, in the French region of Picardy, 600 km to the north-east. To master this route is not such an easy task, as the parts cannot simply be lashed onto a normal lorry or trailer due to their large dimensions. And on top of that, the plane noses can not be allowed to move or be bent in any way. But DHL Freight France came up with just the right solution. It consists of a special semi-trailer with a rail system inside individually constructed for the job. The aircraft panels can be slipped into it without any major problems and are thus secured against shock for the entire journey. And that’s not all: The available space around the parts makes it possible to load additional freight in order to reduce transportation costs. “A few years ago STELIA Aerospace came up to us and asked us whether DHL Freight France could propose a solution for the transport of the body parts. In addition, they also wanted to be able to carry further loads at the same time. So we constructed a corresponding trailer according to the specifications and dimensions requested by STELIA Aerospace. Both we and the customer are highly satisfied with the result,” explains Corinne Bougeant, Global Sector Head of Aerospace at DHL Freight France. The individual parts are then put together in Meaulte to form the fuselage noses, which can then take to the sky for the first time. Not by themselves, but in Airbus’s own giant Beluga aircraft that takes them to the final assembly line in Toulouse.

Author: [:en]Kai Ortmann[:]

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