In recent months, as consumers refreshed tracking numbers for their online shopping purchases and waited for supermarket shelves to restock amid chronic supply chain congestion, a dodgem car ride never before seen in WA slipped quietly into Fremantle Port.
The Dodgem Drift 2 was imported for local company Carnival Amusements with the help of freight forwarders EES Shipping, one of the many consignments they assist in shipping to Perth every week.
Manufactured in Italy to adhere to Australian regulations, the ride differs from the traditional dodgem cars, in that there’s a new movement allowing the cars to drift sideways, offering a smoother experience.
The entire structure of the ride is built into a trailer, which unfolds to set up into what is the largest portable dodgem car track in the state.
Given the many unique elements of the ride, shipping it from Italy to Perth was a little more complex than usual, and it took around six months from the start of the process to actually seeing it arrive.
Because it’s a special heavy vehicle that will be driven on Australian roads, we had to ensure all relevant documentation was in place detailing vehicle-related standards.
The ride itself was engineered to specific measurements, which also had to be documented before it could be shipped.
Despite the focus on shipping and the supply-chain in recent years, there is still so much about the process that the general public don’t understand.
Our role is to make sure all the rules and regulations are adhered to, and correct documentation is obtained. If you think about all the forms you need to fill out when you are travelling internationally on a plane, the same can be said for essentially every item being imported.
Having been in business for more than three decades, there’s little we haven’t seen come through our warehouse, although some consignments are more memorable than others;
- Schedule 9 Drugs: Without giving too much away, a special consignment of medical drugs was once knocked back by the Captain of a vessel, with ground staff also flagging they didn’t want the consignment waiting at the Port until it was loaded onto another vessel. We eventually got the package back at the office and held it until it was eventually scheduled on another vessel, which was a bit of a stressful time for all involved!
- Car Air-Fresheners: You might not realise it, but more than 800,000 of the sweet-smelling little green trees are shipped to WA every month or so, which makes for a pleasant experience when that particular sea container is opened!
- Heavy Machinery: While not unusual, it’s quite impressive to see excavator buckets arrive on a vessel on what’s known as a ‘flat rack’ container (essentially a shipping container without sides). With some buckets as big as a truck, it’s quite a sight arriving in Port!
- Food Trucks: Importing food trucks has been popular for several years, but doing so requires a number of documents to be lodged, including an asbestos declaration and relevant import permit.
The best advice we can offer to anyone looking to import an item – no matter what it is – is to do your research.
The reason freight forwarders like ourselves exist is to take people through what is a complex process. We know what we’re talking about, and what is required. Ignorance isn’t a valid excuse, and it certainly won’t prevent you getting fined if you’ve failed to adhere to the rules!
Read more here.