Three 55-Ton Tanks from Germany to Volgodonsk, in Autumn, in 25 Days? Four times – “impossible”!

TELS Group of Companies received a request for the delivery of three containers from Germany to the Russian Federation (Volgodonsk, Rostov region) weighing 55 tons each with the following dimensions: 7.8*4.08*4.34 m.


At first glance, the task seemed quite ordinary, but its implementation was accompanied by a number of “impossibles” and large input data during transportation.


Preliminary collection of information and consideration of possible transportation schemes showed a number of limitations. Some of them were assessed as almost insuperable by TELS experts, so it seemed better to search for the options, and it was decided to work on the other limitations.

Impossible №1”: autumn is the season of road works in Germany, which also coincides with holiday season of municipal officers, so it is impossible to transport such cargoes within a short period of time – large detours have to be made due to road works, time to obtain transportation permits increases, more transportation agreements with the police for dismantling repair structures have to be made.

The organization of heavy oversized cargo transportations in Germany in autumn is estimated by the experts of TELS Group of Companies as a task of increased complexity. However, such difficulties are quite common in oversized transportation and are solved by means of the existing experience and established business ties.

Impossible №2”: the most convenient option to deliver such cargoes from Germany to Russia is Transfennica ferry line, but according to the Customer and other sources, Transfennica does not carry tanks of such height.

Negotiations with the ferry line gave a positive result. TELS would be able to transport the cargo by Transfennica ferry to the port in St. Petersburg.

Impossible №3”: according to the available information, it is almost impossible to obtain permits to transport cargoes of such weight by road through Russia roads for 2000 km.

Considering the quality of motor roads in the Russian Federation and a large number of different road structures and bridges along the route, TELS experts estimated the transportation of three items more than 50 tons each by road for such a long distance as a difficult task. The major risk was that it would take a long time to obtain cargo transportation permits with no guarantees of positive results.

As a suitable option, company’s experts prepared a scheme to deliver the cargo to the destination point by river.

Approved delivery scheme

To deliver this oversize cargo, the following general scheme was developed:

  1. The cargo is to be delivered by road from the loading point in Germany to the European port.
  2. The tanks are to be transportef by Transfennica ferries from Europe to St. Petersburg.
  3. The cargo is to be further transported from St. Petersburg to Volgodonsk by river.
  4. The cargo is to be transported by road from the river port to the destination point (approx. 3 km).

The shipment request came in mid-July, the planned delivery time was October 15.

The way through Germany: “three in one”

The first departure from the original plan was a delay in obtaining permits for cargo transportation in Germany. During the holiday season, Hamburg services needed a particularly long time to consider the request, therefore no permits had been issued before the planned date (August 30).

The permission was given on September 5, but ... only for one car. Permits for the other two cars had been delayed.

Logic and creative approach to solving problems prompted the following decision – not to stand idle anticipating the permits for all the cars, but to use one car for several transportations. As a result, all the three tanks had been transported to the port by one transport.

We had to agree on the route with the police three times, each time road services dismantled and put repair structures in several places along the route, but the task was solved despite the following “impossible”:

• travel of heavy vehicles on holidays and weekends was limited on German roads (from 3 p.m. on Friday and until 6 a.m. on Monday).

Restrictions on transportation on Sundays and public holidays in Germany is a ban. However, we managed to overcome this obstacle – transportation on weekends was allowed by relevant services.

On September 15, all the three tanks were at the departure port, and on September 18 they arrived at St. Petersburg port, where a tow boat had already been chartered to Volgodonsk.

Two weeks earlier

River transportation should have taken about 4 weeks – just the right time to deliver by October 15. But a new request came from the customer – due to production tasks, the cargo was required on September 30.

Many of our Customers say that TELS Group of Companies brings a great difference among the logistics contractors by being able to manage new “inputs” without formality and looking to satisfy Customer’s needs.

The decision was found and the cargo had been delivered by September 30 as required by road and in compliance with all the legal requirements.


The transportation took 25 days from the moment when we received the permit to transport in Germany until the delivery of the tanks to the Customer in Volgodonsk.