Toll aircraft

How do you transport 121 tonnes of copper industrial equipment from South Africa to Australia? You call Toll, which is what BHP Billiton did to ensure the job was done as quickly as possible.

The Challenge

Producing 200,000 tonnes of copper annually, the Olympic Dam site north of Adelaide has the world’s fourth largest remaining copper deposit, fifth largest gold and largest uranium deposits, and also significant quantities of silver.

When an incident at the site brought forward the shutdown of the copper flash smelter, speed was of the essence to to help get things up and running again.

BHP Billiton in Adelaide called on Toll to manage the transportation and logistics of the upgraded equipment from the factory door in South Africa to Adelaide airport.


The Solution

After a site meeting with key stakeholders, a logistics plan was quickly drawn up for the movement of the equipment and steps were taken to minimise import duty costs with multiple tariff concession applications lodged.

Toll’s Project Manager in South Africa arranged for the first consignment, 17 crates totalling 23 tonnes, to travel the 150 kilometres from Middelburg to O R Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg on tri-axle trailers. Under supervision, the freight was loaded aboard a commercial Qantas flight while the team in Australia took charge of documentation and landside agreements at the destination.

At a massive 98tonnes, the second shipment was carried on three link loads from Middelburg. In view of the tonnage, an air charter was called for. Toll’s Project Manager negotiated for the use of a dedicated Boeing 747-200 freighter from Europe and with server weather threatening the project, made it an imperative to turn the aircraft round quickly ensuring on time delivery for BHP Billiton at destination.

The Results

On arrival in Australia, Toll’s ground handling services were put to work immediately highlighting the end-to-end capabilities of the Toll Group network.

The customer was delighted with the result. The Smelter Superintendent, BHP Billiton Olympic Dam said, “Toll came highly recommended. Upon enquiry they assessed our needs accurately, mobilising national and international resources to manage a highly complex shipment. Faced with daunting challenges including the recall of aircraft into maintenance and severe weather conditions, Toll sailed through and delivered. Client interaction and outstanding communication underpinned their excellent service”.

Contact details

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