The shipment of cars that Mercedes wanted to send to South Africa was delayed. The crew was waiting, the cars were waiting to be loaded and the company’s logistics manager, Luciano Pirelli was on the phone, fuming, as he lambasted the boat owners in Italian.
The crew looked calm as they patiently waited for the ship to arrive. They were used to dealing with this kind of disorganization when a company used bareboat hire to transport their goods abroad. It was the cheapest method, but – like a tenant has to deal with fussy, indignant landlords – so logistics managers have to deal with the ship’s owners.
The Italian couple had only owned the ship for two months and were unaware of the urgency of the shipment or the rules connected to bareboat hire. They had sent the ship in for a service two days ago to ensure a safe journey for the crew. It would only be ready this afternoon. It was 10am. Pirelli foresaw that they would only manage to load up the ship today.
The shipment could only leave tomorrow morning. He booked the crew into a hotel and decided that he would wait for the ship to come through. The ship arrived at 6pm. Pirelli phoned the forklift company that was on call for this job. The ten forklifts and their drivers arrived just as the ship was being docked into the harbour by a tugboat. The men worked their forklifts non-stop, well into the night in order to load the order of 18000 of the vehicles onto the ship. Pirelli watched each forklift as it loaded a container, to ensure that nothing was dropped or damaged in the process.
The crew was notified that the ship was loaded and ready to go, and the captain had everyone meet Pirelli at the port at 6am. It seemed that everyone had rested well, despite the early rise and they all boarded the ship successfully. The containers on the ship were counted, papers to release the ship were signed and the shipment was finally on its way to South Africa. Pirelli had given up another weekend and desperately wanted a shot of whiskey to calm his nerves. He went to the bar, had several and headed home to sleep. He loved what he did, it gave him a sense of purpose but he realized now, at 43, that this was the reason he could never have a family. He resolved to keep on trucking. Some things were just not meant to be, he thought. I can live with this.