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Thursday, February 19, 2015

ODC ~ Boeing 747 transported by road along British motorway

Marine Cargo Insurance is all about insuring cargo in transit from place to place and specific emphasis is on the way the goods are carried, handled, moved, the mode, packing, stowage and other aspects.  Containers by their standardisation eased space and brought in a revolution.  Yet there could always be cargo much bigger than the regular size, not suitable for container, would not fit inside vehicles, would extrude and are disproportionate in size.  As you travel on road and happen to see a big cargo on a truck, the first thought is to slightly get out of the way !

Over Dimensional Consignment (ODC) is a shipment system that is normally bigger than standard container in length, breadth and height. It requires special arrangement to properly place/stow such cargo on the vehicle which generally would be low bed mullti-axle trailers.  ODC could consist of Bridge sections,  beams), Transformers, heavy machineries, Boilers, Gas turbines, Storage tanks, Heavy structure,  Windmill components (Blades, tower) and sometimes vehicles, train coaches, boats and more.

It requires some expertise and lot of careful planning to transport such ODC.  When the value is very high, they would conduct pre-transportation survey to observe overhead wires, narrow lanes, bridges and like to check whether the ODC could comfortably traverse the path without hassle.  Logistics offers multiple challenge to the handlers, and for Insurers it poses newer challenges – of trying to understand the risk exposure.   Though there may not be identical definitions, in someways Overdrawn cargo is defined based on weight and dimension. “In dimension terms, anything above 40 feet length, with 8.25 feet height, and 8.25 feet width would be considered OD cargo.  

Insurers do not have standard definition on what they consider as ‘ODC’ but when declared so, would impose specific warranties and restrictions in carriage.  A well identified cargo, methodically transported with route survey being done is a better risk for the Insurers.  The details of the transportation arrangement and the contracted terms of carriage would be of help. 

Here is an interesting cargo movement – that of two giant Jumbo Jet fuselages of decommissioned Boeing 747  transported along Britain's motorways as reported in MailOnline.   The report says that the aircraft, weighing 60-tonnes and measuring 22 feet wide, 16ft 3ins high and 137ft long, caused traffic chaos.   The newsitem states that the front section and cockpit of the 'Queen of the Skies' made its way from Cotswold Airport in Kemble, Gloucestershire, down the A419 dual carriageway between Cirencester and Swindon.  The disused plane will eventually be put back together on a site in Staffordshire to provide a studio for interior design university students.

Here are photos of lorry transporting  decommissioned Boeing 747 jumbo jet crawling along the A419 near Swindon causing congestion on the roads.  It was transported with a police escort.   The aircraft left the Cotswold Airport at headed  north to Cirencester, then south east heading north up the M5 through Gloucestershire. A spokesman for Wiltshire police is quoted as saying -  'Due to the size of these transporters they will be slow moving and will have the potential to create congestion.


The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport aircraft, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. Its iconic 'hump' upper deck along the forward part of the aircraft make it among the world's most recognizable aircraft. First flown commercially in 1970, the 747 held the passenger capacity record for 37 years. The 747 is to be replaced by the Boeing Y3 (part of the Boeing Yellowstone Project) in the future.

Interesting indeed !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

19th Feb 2015.

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