Particulars of national transports

By Aleksandr Panin
Podmoscovie Correspondent
April 5, 2013
***edited

When I was on my way to watch loading of the components of the future ELECTROSTAL press onto trucks, that had just been delivered to the Northern port of Moscow, and their further on-carriage up to the destination I already knew in advance, that that would be an exclusive. Participants of the event kindly agreed to shed the light and show-&-tell much about how to deliver enormous steel casting parts weighing nearly four tanks each through the public roads, joints, over bridges and overpasses. As it turned out, it was not technical solutions that challenged the project but the procedure of getting of the required transport permits from the respective state bodies.

Northern port of Moscow was covered with snow. Some huge roundish component parts could still be seen though the gloaming light of the evening. They are placed on a flooring, installed onto massive steel pedestals. They are stored at a spacious outdoor storage area and covered with tarpaulin. It looks like gigantic irregular-shaped steel barrels. There are some wooden plates fixed on them claiming “Made in Germany”. Destination is also mentioned - Electrostal, OJSC. The weight ranges from 200 to 230 tons. Totally five pieces. If you do not know that this is a press, one may think that you are on the secret territory of some military warehouse, and you are looking at some arms. In fact parts of this equipment indeed has some bearing on the country’s defensibility. This new ELECTROSTAL press was planned to produce items to be applied in future to assemble aircraft gas-turbine engines. Only few enterprises in the world produce such an advance technology items. And now new facilities is opened in Moscow area of Russia. On February 26, Russia’s prime minister Dmitry Medvedev held a meeting devoted to development of the national aircraft industry.
- We must bring down our dependence on imported materials and components. We must strive for 100% localization of our production, - Dmitry Medvedev stated.
So here what they do. ELECTROSTAL pondered over this issue long before prime minister’s thesis. Parts of the expected press were manufactured in Germany a year ago. The producer was ready to send his own specialists on an assignment to assemble the parts. But that’s where the shoe pinches: how to deliver an overdimensional cargo to Russia? To be more exact, how to deliver it to the plant facilities, an installation area. Situation of an inland haulage over Germany and further sea transport up to Moscow seemed to be clear. Goods were delivered from the works to one of the European sea ports. Then goods were shipped over Baltic Sea, with further transportation over Volga-Don channel and the canal named after Moscow. This route led to the Northern river port of Russia’s capital. No difficulties were faced during that stage however. Transport through the legs of the route was performed as planned. Neither customs formalities added problems, although one cannot say it was an easy task to do. The carriage was nearly bogged down during the Russian leg of the transport, while transshipment of goods onto trucks and their haulage through local roads. CJSC DAKOTRANS, the Russian forwarder assumed the whole procedure of transport in Russia. The company has a wide experience in the sphere of complicated large-dimensioned cargoes both in Russia and abroad. It was INSPEZKOM, the transport company [hired by CJSC DAKOTRANS] directly responsible for the carriage from the Northern river port of Moscow to Electrostal plant facilities. Foreseeing possible red tape, an application to the Federal state authority TSENTRAVTOMAGISTARL, that keeps the respective route on their books was filed last year in May. Originally haulage was intended to be started from Schelkovskoe highway in Moscow region, with further transportation via Balashiha, Gorkovskoe highway, Nosovihinskoe highway, leading to the destination in Electrostal. In Moscow the route ran basically through MKAD [Moscow beltway]. And it took two weeks only for Moscow to coordinate such a carriage as similiar transports are considered to be regular for the capital. However the situation has changed in Moscow region and problems occurred. TSENTRAVTOMAGISTRAL did not make any haste issuing permits.

And then another more complicated option was offered. Then the whole route lay through Gorkovskoe highway. With all this going on, it would have been required to build a temporary technological passage across a railway lines on the 16th km of the highway, for the computation revealed that an existing overpass would have withstood the load of the vehicle. On the 40th km of the highway some prt of the roadbed had to be deepened for nearly half a meter to drive under the railway overpass. For the construction of the passage over railway lines, as turned out, would have been too expensive, the route had to be changed once again. From then on route covered Scholkovskoe highay, Balashiha, Gorkovskoyy highway. Though civil works still were required. Shalovka river bridge had to reinforced.
Everything might have been done smoothly, but the Administration of Balashiha that was a part of the route utterly opposed to issue the permits. All pending city problems, that could not have been settled for years, as well as irrational fears, assumptions, force-majeure, and finally simply negative emotions, were lumped together. Based on it, the Administration tried to have a compensation for any possible damage to the city infrastructure, apart from that indemnity that had been provided for. Whilst adjustments were carrying on, goods were shipped to Moscow in order to have time before river navigation’s closure. The cargo reached Norther port of Moscow Груз прибыл в Северный речной last October. At that time Mr. Evgeniy Shilnikov, ELECTROSTAL’s General Director thought that goods might be transported during New Year holidays when traffic flows were low, hence, when carriage would create minimal road difficulties. But he could not even imagine that the 1st part of machinery would be transported to the plant in February only. By then total number of approvals kept on rising. Thus, it was required to get the approval of each municipality en-route. In Balashiha alone it was required to get an approval from the owners of the traffic light junctions, advertising boards, railway approach lines, city power network, ROSTELEKOM, all other communication owners. The traffic arrangement project was elaborated. The roadbed en-route was tested by a specific laboratory with a positive conclusion as a result.
But even having all the required documents and vouchers allowing to transport goods from the port to the destination, a personal interference of the Ministry of investments and innovations [of Moscow region] chief was still required.

All the while the plant was unable to install the equipment, hence could not start production of high-technology items, so needed for the national aircraft industry. Furthermore, additional rent paid for detention of the special lifting machinery and placed in the plant’s facilities to perform installation of the unique equipment, exceeded the amount of RUR 40 million. And those expenses could not be claimed to any one, for neither plant, nor the carrier were guilty of such an extreme number of permits and official papers to be obtained.
At present all parts of the machinery are at ELECTROSTAL, where it is being installed and prepared to be run. It almost nine months from the beginning of the agreement procedure up to transport the last huge “elephant”. The terms might be defined as mystical.
So how the same problems are solved in other countries? DAKOTRANS and INSPEZKOM deliver goods not only over Russia. Some years ago an order for a complex delivery of special cargo from Finland was received. The column of 5 meter diameter weighing totally 150 tons had to be hauled for 300 kms up to a sea port. The price of the transport was determined as EUR 30 000. What a Finnish carrier would need is to apply for the permit to the respective bodies and pay a well-defined tax.
To speed up the same transports of a complicated machinery in Russia regulations are required, with a well-defined actions plan of all parties involved. And if everything is done in accordance with the regulations, a transport permit shall be obtained automatically. This is a standard for a railway transport. Although there is no such procedure for the road traffic. Therefore, each project institute has its own algorithm of bridges (as well as other structures’ capacity) bearing capacity calculation. Hence, each directorate and each owner of the road is obliged to act at h own discretion. Technically, the instruction exists, and according to it, a carrier has to file the documents, while representatives of the respective road [one their own] must determine the route of the carriage (in case of overdimensional cargo - within a month) and calculate civil preparatory works in full. Then, according to the instruction, road authorities issue an invoice for a carrier, submitting the route an terms of its passage through. That’s how it should be ideally. But in fact it is impossible to work under this scheme, at least due to fact the roads have no the respective division that would have technical ability to perform this work. The experts should be doing this, but there are extremely few of them among personnel.
An operation of delivery of the heavy-weight cargo to ELECTROSTAL has benn completed.

ORIGIN
By Aleksandr Panin (PODMOSKOVIE. 05.04.2013)
Автор: Александр Панин (Газета «Подмосковье» от 5.04.2013)