Transport to Australia
The transport of the solar car and material has always been a very important part in the preparation for the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. This year we got a lot of help from our sponsor DHL Global Forwarding.
First we planned ahead together with DHL and already sent a lot of our material by boat in June. On the boat we put stuff like our camping gear, extra pc’s and some working gear. The reason why we did this is quite simple: To reduce the amount of material that we sent by plane later on. You may wonder why we ship our car by plane. This is because of the time frame. A boat shipment takes a long time. It took our boat two months to get to Australia. If we would lose our car for such a long period, we would have lost a lot of precious time. That is why we sent our car by plane.
Before we could send everything by plane we had to clean every piece we wanted to ship. Australia has a really strict policy on what can be imported. If it contains the smallest bit of dirt or dust, your shipment could be held back for days or even week. It took us two days to clean everything and pack it up in our boxes, delivered by Schoeller Allibert. Our plane shipment consisted out of 1 large car box and four boxes on top that carried all our material.
Untreated wood is one of the many things that can’t enter Australia. That is why flight cases you can see on the picture below are made by World Pack and consist out of specially treated wood that is made for shipping to all parts of the world.
When shipping by plane a second problem arises: the batteries. Batteries are really hard to transport by plane. Not the small ones you have in your cellphone or laptop, but the large number of Lithium Ion batteries we put in the Punch One while driving. It is considered as ‘Danger Goods’. Hazgo was our sponsor to arrange everything for the Danger Goods. They did a lot of paperwork for us and made sure no problems would arise when our battery packs were shipped.
After packing everything we drove off to DHL to hand over the shipment. Before everything could leave in Belgium we already had to pass a first border control. We had to open up the boxes and let a dog search for unwanted items (as shown below). Off course no problems occurred and the shipment was ready for transport.
The plane didn’t fly all the way to Darwin but instead landed in Sydney. Because of the size of the plane we couldn’t directly land in Darwin and had to choose to fly to Sydney and then transport everything by truck to Darwin. We made sure that everything that was sent earlier, would also be in Sydney when the car would arrive. This meant that only one truck had to drive our stuff up to Darwin, in stead of 2.
The car arrived here on Saturday the 19th of September together with everything we need to finish the car. When the truck arrived here we had a crane to unload the boxes from the truck. Luckily everything went very smooth and no problems occurred.
After the race everything will be sent back by boat. Because we don’t have a tight time schedule anymore we have the time to send it by boat. A second reason is the cost. The cost for sending our stuff back by boat is a lot smaller than sending it back by plane.
We would like to thank DHL for their support in getting everything safely to Australia.