Special cargo for special forces

A warm welcome in the Lithuanian winter

Klaipeda / Lithuania / April 12th 2017

You might say a soldier is used to leading a rough life, but even special forces sometimes need special care. So when the NATO decided to move a thousand extra troops to the army base of Rukla, Lithuania, the local government pulled out all the stocks to provide them with decent temporary housing.  Time was of the essence, for the first soldiers were to arrive only two months after the decision had been announced.


For the swift and successful expansion of the army base in Rukla, a well-known manufacturer of modular house containers in Germany, needed a trustworthy partner to transport no less than 210 living containers from Germany to Lithuania. And as you might have guessed, they would not fit onto a standard truck. 

Building the units was one thing, getting them in Rukla on time, was a completely different story. The troops who needed the living space were to arrive between January and March, which happens to be the coldest period of the year in Lithuania. With temperatures of minus 20 degrees C at night, sleeping outdoors was not an option. The cold weather could have also been detrimental for the transport itself. So it was only fair that the German manufacturer was not going to leave that in the hands of a partner they could not fully trust.

And that is why Ahlers came into the picture. You don’t get to celebrate your hundredth birthday as a logistics company if you are not a trustworthy partner.

We started the project the same way we always start something new: making sure we fully understand the customer in order to build them a tailor-made solution explaining every step of the way. To be taken quite literally in this particular project: oversized cargo having to pass snowy roads, narrow tunnels and ice-covered bridges, not an easy route. But at Ahlers we never shy away from a good challenge.

Apart from a thorough briefing beforehand, we have an excellent track & trace system, giving the customer peace of mind during the whole journey.

In six weeks time, Ahlers Lithuania managed for 105 trucks to drive safely from Gransee in Germany to Rukla in Lithuania, delivering the 210 housing units in mint condition. And thanks to the just-in-time delivery,  local construction workers were able to finish 6 houses per week.

Geraldas Stelmokaitis, regional manager for Ahlers Baltics & Belarus, says the key to completing this project so well, was planning: “It was crucial for the total cost of the project, that construction workers, their equipment and our deliveries were completely aligned so no time would be wasted. Imagine specialized workers at the scene waiting idly, or cranes not being available when deliveries came in. That would have cost our customer a lot of money.”

When asked if Ahlers has any other strengths contributing to this nice story, he points out our international presence: “Having contacts in practically every city is such a huge benefit. Should anything have gone wrong during the transport, we would have found out about it through our track & trace system. Our extensive network would have made sure someone from Ahlers would have been at the scene in no time.

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