Denmark – Finland – Norway – Latvia – Lithuania – Norway – Estonia – Sweden.
Before we dip into the above countries, we would briefly mention Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania. In many ways, the project was simple enough – two specialist and three standard trailers, travelling as one convoy. In contrast, the paperwork was a nightmare – involving not only commercial invoices, certificates of origin, customs documents etc – every single page of which had to be translated into Russian and legalised, an expensive and lengthy process in its own right.
Turning to Estonia, when the MOD needed urgent spares delivered to a frigate berthed at Tallinn, within four hours a trailer was loading in Plymouth, with a two man crew, delivery was made 72 hours later – panic over.
Deliveries to beyond the Arctic Circle (Norway/Sweden/Finland) in winter present their own challenges. With one of the early projects, the route survey involved driving from Gothenburg to Stockholm and then on to Kiruna, over 1.500kms in total. As we went further north, three things stick in the memory. Firstly, the road became packed ice – exciting stuff. Secondly, the filling stations (single pump) were few and far between. Thirdly the road signs warned of migratory reindeer! Nonetheless, invaluable experience in setting up not only this project, but also future Artic Circle projects.
All in a day’s work at STG.