National Group ‘port-to-pit’ approach drives mining service

National Group managing director Mark Ackroyd says the adoption of a port-to-pit approach has been pivotal to the company’s success.

The company is unusual for a contractor in the mining industry as it delivers its equipment in Australia and internationally through the use of in-house subsidiary companies rather than outsourcing its logistics.

“With mining often being undertaken in remote locations which are difficult to access, we regularly face the challenge of transporting from their source to their final destination, cost-effectively, timely and safely,” Ackroyd said.

“The complexities of transport logistics are often misunderstood and cannot be underestimated.”

These companies include the domestic-focused National Heavy Haulage (NHH) and international-focused International Global Logistics (IGL).

NHH transports heavy mining equipment – such as haul truck components – to remote locations across Australia. The sheer size and weight of some of these components means that preparing them for transportation is an endeavour requiring considerable preparation.

A good example of this was NHH’s delivery of five ultra-class Liebherr T 282 C dump trucks via prime movers to BHP’s Peak Downs mine in Central Queensland.

The dump truck components were so heavy that two prime movers were attached together to pull the load while a third pushed from the rear to ensure safety. The operation also required a police escort.

“The trucks are some of the largest in the world and have an empty vehicle weight of more than 260 tonnes so when you put that into perspective, they each weigh more than 130 standard cars, ”Ackroyd explained.

“This is not your everyday type of haul, so to manage and deliver a haul of this size is a testament to the professionalism of our team.”

IGL provides international transportation services of heavy equipment and cargo across the world.

The company works closely with NHH to ensure timely deliveries to ports and overseas on tight schedules.

IGL recently loaded six Komatsu 830E dump trucks on one vessel, which required the 140-tonne trucks to be lifted into the hold from overhead using two cranes.

This loading can often take place in harsh conditions with rain and strong winds, adding to the importance of getting the details right.

Dean Sterling, IGL general manager, said it was important the company maintained a strong relationship with cargo owners, vessel planners and captains when loading large, heavy and expensive equipment onto the ships.

“Having the timing and planning right from the get go for our port-to-pit approach is essential and this is what we strive to exceed,” Sterling said.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.