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  February 29th, 2024 | Written by

GEODIS Executes Complex Air Cargo Transport Operation in Colombia Using Antonov AN-124 Aircraft

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GEODIS, a prominent global logistics provider, has successfully completed a challenging air cargo transport operation in Colombia utilizing the Antonov AN-124, the largest cargo aircraft in the world. The project involved transporting oversized thermocompressors over 13 flights spanning seven days, delivering urgently needed freight for a key client in the southeast region of Colombia.

Initially planned for road transport via the La Orquídea Bridge in Boyacá, the collapse of the bridge in August 2023 necessitated a rapid shift in strategy by GEODIS. The company swiftly devised an alternative solution to transport the oversized cargo via air, ensuring the project’s completion within the required timeframe.

This monumental undertaking required meticulous planning and coordination between GEODIS and Antonov, considering the unique dimensions and weight characteristics of the cargo. Despite challenges posed by the limited availability of the Antonov AN-124 amidst the Russia-Ukraine conflict, GEODIS successfully secured the necessary aircraft to execute the operation.

Carlos Palacios, Manager Director of GEODIS in Colombia, emphasized the collaborative effort involved in overcoming the complexities of the project. Through coordination with Antonov, the Colombian Air Force, and various airports, including Barranquilla and Apiay, GEODIS ensured the successful transportation of essential materials across the country.

The operation involved careful evaluation of technical conditions at selected airports to accommodate the Antonov AN-124. Cargo preparation in Cartagena, transportation to Barranquilla by land, and subsequent airlifting by the Antonov AN-124 were seamlessly coordinated to ensure smooth execution.

To optimize payload and accommodate the maximum payload accepted by the Antonov AN-124, adjustments were made to flight plans and cargo load. GEODIS and Antonov collaborated closely to facilitate the safe transportation of the oversized cargo across 12 domestic flights, implementing various measures such as removing crates, adjusting lashing points, and modifying aircraft configurations.

Palacios highlighted the project as a significant achievement for the GEODIS team in Colombia, underscoring the importance of flexibility and expertise in overcoming challenges and delivering exceptional air cargo solutions for clients.