From Factory to Forklift…and beyond!
Let us walk you through the NeaCera® packing and delivery process stage by stage.
Glue strip applied to Panel.
Panels bundled and banded.
Robot stacks Panels.
- Once the panels have been cut to size, washed and gone through final quality inspection they go into the fully robotic packing station where a polymer glue-strip is applied to the panel surface. This polymer glue strip is applied so that when panels are packed, the face finish is adequately protected.
- After application of the polymer glue-strip, the panels are “picked” by the robot and assembled into bundles and banded, using recyclable polypropylene bands.
- The robot then transfers and stacks each pre-banded bundle onto a Euro-pallet. Once the pallet has been stacked with its preordained quantity of bundles, stiff edge protectors and additional recyclable polypropylene bands are applied by the robot.
- Pallet labels showing the pallet number and job name are applied to each pallet before going to the shrink-wrap machine. The pallet numbers will correspond to the packing list included with the shipping documents.
- The banded pallets with their cargo of terra-cotta pallets are then transferred to the automatic shrink-wrap machine, where they are fully encased in durable shrink-wrap.
- Shrink-wrapped pallets are then loaded onto 40-foot shipping containers. Any spaces inside the containers and between pallets are filled with large vacuum inflated air-bags to prevent any movement of the pallets during shipping.
- Once packed, the containers are closed and sealed with an International Custom Seal, which allows the container to come through the U.S. Ports without having to be opened and inspected by U.S. Customs.
From the Port of Antwerp...
...to the Port of Baltimore!
- Containers are picked up by tractor/trailers and taken to the port of Antwerpen in Belgium ready for shipping to the appropriate North American port.
- Newark, New Jersey, Baltimore, Maryland, and Houston, Texas are the ports we most often ship to; but sometimes for Mid-West projects, we offload in Halifax, Nova Scotia and transfer to container rail transport.
3. In-land Freight:
Trucks or Trains?
Trains or Trucks?
- Once the containers have cleared U.S. Customs, they are transported either by rail/truck or by trucks directly to the job site.
- Our pricing is based on FOB job site, so up to this point, all costs involved are included in the purchase price.
4. Jobsite Delivery:
Material arrives at the job site - right on time!
- Each 4-foot shipping container holds between 2500-3200/sf of terra-cotta panels, so based on the Quantity Confirmation, you should be able to estimate how many containers will arrive at your job site.
- You will require an off-loading area, where tractor/trailers will be able to enter and egress easily – and with enough space for the terra-cotta pallets to be stored, while awaiting installation. The pallets can be stored outside, provided the shrink-wrap has not been removed from the pallet.
- Containers need to be returned back to the port, so you will have only a small window of up to 3-hours to off-load each container.
- We do stage the container deliveries, so that each one can be off-loaded before the next one arrives on-site.
- There is a penalty to be paid, if containers are not turned around within the 3-hour window.
5. Unloading Containers:
Customs Seal in place.
Panels on pallets in trailer.
A telescopic forklift...
...makes it easy to unload.
- In some cases, a NeaCera® Representative will be on-site when material deliveries are due to arrive.
- You first need to check that the International Custom Seal is in place.
- You will require a large pair of bolt-cutters to remove the Seal.
- Off-loading a 40-foot container with heavy terra-cotta pallets requires little skill and equipment.
- A Lull, or similar type extendable fork-lift that has a boom that can extend inside to the full extent of the 40-foot container, is the quickest and best way to unload the containers.
- However, even with a Lull, we strongly suggest that you also have a pallet-jack and strap-pulls/chains for re-positioning the pallets inside the container so that the Lull can insert the forks correctly.
- It is possible to unload using a standard fork-lift, but this will require you to have a pallet-jack, strap-pulls/chains and manpower.
- In some cases, if a truck loading dock is available, then a standard fork-lift will be able to drive right into the containers.
- It is unlikely that you will be able to just use manpower to break-open the pallets and manually unload each terra-cotta bundle from inside the container in the time-frame available.
6. Onsite Storage:
- Pallets can be stored outside provided the shrink-wrap has been left intact.
- They should be stored in a secure area, away from construction vehicles and equipment.
- Each pallet may have a mix of different sized panels, so access space should be left between pallets to facilitate locating the correct size to meet the installation requirement.