International Bulk Logistics

DNFS have created a unique service which offers the capability to load loose bulk commodities into conventional 40-45 foot containers for shipping to international markets.

The ability to move significant quantities of cumbersome bulk material internationally resulted
from a challenging market opportunity. DNFS was approached to provide the shipping of 400-500 tonnes,
a considerable 15-20 loads per week, of whole glass bottles and cullet from Dublin to St Helen’s in the UK.


The difficulties associated with transporting the glass to its market was the lack in continuity of
supply of bulk tipper trucks conveying material into Ireland. The products being imported were either
seasonal or in small quantities. Additionally, the facility in Dublin, Rehab Recycling, had limited
storage for surplus glass. An accumulation posed real health and safety risks.

Train of thought

We identified shipping containers as the only viable form of transport with adequate
capacity. Due to the deficit in trade between Ireland and its trading partners, huge numbers
of containers are repositioned empty from Ireland to the UK and Europe. Having identified the
possible mode of transport, we then had to determine a method of getting the glass into the
containers and ultimately out. We were confident that we had found the solution.

Planning in Action

DNFS purchased a new loading ramp and JCB telescopic handler. Aluminium tipping chassis were
sourced in France and the first trials were held in March 2006. All the elements functioned
and the client was satisfied. We were now officially operating in a new sector.

Further Improvements

Although we had created a solution, we now wanted to improve the efficiency of the operation.
The method of payment we had negotiated was weight based, so consistent accurate loading of the
maximum permissible gross weight was an imperative. Improvements to the productivity of the loader
would save money and reduce expenditure on tyres. Within four months we commissioned a specialist
conveyor loader which could be operated remotely from the cab of our new articulated loading shovel. The new articulated loader reduced our monthly tyre costs of over 2,000 Euros to a negligible amount, and the net saving was adequate to pay for the new loading shovel. The productivity of the driver increased from a loading time of over an hour to 13 minutes for consignments of 27 tonnes. The savings from the increased productivity, combined with the additional revenue achieved from consistent accurate loading, were sufficient to cover the expense of the conveyor loader.


At the end of 2007 we gained an additional client in the glass sector, and in the following year we
transported over 1,000 loads to the Netherlands. In 2009 some new opportunities were identified and the adaptability of the conveyor loaders proved to be beneficial.

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