April 7 - Managers at Italian freight forwarder Logitruck encountered a perfect storm of transport headaches when a range of problems looked like they would prevent the shipment of a vital export cargo for a client.

Logitruck's Ognjen Buric recalls the catalogue of difficulties that threatened to derail the shipment. He says: "The considerable height of the cargo, at 4.65m, meant that local road authorities were reluctant to grant us road permits. Our client was already committed on the ship, a SAL vessel, due to arrive at Trieste to collect the whole consignment. This item would have been missing and subsequently short shipped."

Five days before the ship was due to collect in Trieste, managers were set the task of looking for an alternative routing. Buric says: "We managed to charter a barge and sent it to Ferrara, the nearest river port to our client. A special road transport vehicle was utilised to collect the item from the factory."

The road permits on the first section of the route covered the passage to the river port. At Ferrara, 50 km north-northeast of Bologna, the cargo was transhipped onto the barge by Logitruck's own cranes. Overnight sailing down the river and across the Adriatic saw delivery directly to the SAL vessel. The cargo measured 9.9 0m x 3.55 m x 4.65 m and weighed 52 tonnes.