PIBL Assists VA Tech in Winning Europe's Solar Decathlon

Phoenix International Business Logistics moves 80,000 lb. home from Baltimore to Spain and back.

When it comes to challenges, PIBL is more than up for them.

Whether the task involves the shipment of computer parts overseas or something more complicated such as providing and shipping 10,000 exercise mats to be used at the world's largest Yoga session, or the transportation of an 80,000-pound solar energy home from Baltimore, Md., to Madrid, Spain and back, PIBL can handle everything from simple and straightforward to Herculean.

The most recent example of PIBL's aptitude for thinking 'outside the box' or -- in this case -- thinking outside a 66-feet, 9-inches long, 16-feet, 4-inches wide, and 13-feet, 11-inches high box (the home); took place this past summer of 2010 when it solved all the logistics and problems involved in shipping a solar-powered home to Spain and back for Virginia Tech University.

Virginia Tech, which was using the home as its entry in the Solar Decathlon Europe competition held in Madrid, Spain.

Problems began cropping up early as the originally scheduled route from Baltimore to Hamburg, Germany was altered after six days due to the cancellation of a vessel that was supposed to provide transportation from Hamburg to Bilbao, Spain and the non-availability of a transhipment vessel. Time was of the essence as a May 30 deadline was approaching. The house had to be delivered to Madrid by June 7 and the ensuing scramble ended in the booking of another ship servicing a route between Gothenburg, Sweden to Bilbao.

After arriving in Bilbao, the terminal operator warned there wasn't enough ground clearance to unload the house from the ship because the solar house had to be rolled off the Ro/Ro ship on a ramp connecting the stern of the vessel to the quay. That meant the angle of the ramp was too steep to allow for the trailer to roll out or off the vessel. Operators ended up waiting until high tide to get an appropriate angle on the ramp when it was at its lowest point.

Next came the task of getting the house 246 miles from Bilbao to Madrid on a route that restricted travel to week day evenings and required escorts.

Even after all those hurdles were cleared, PIBL still had to bring the house all the way back to Baltimore, and it did.

The daunting task was worth the effort as Virginia Tech won the Solar Decathlon Europe by a very slim margin ever - .87 points - over runner-up Rosenheim (Germany) University of Applied Sciences.

The joint project between PIBL - a full-service, freight-forwarding company founded in 1995 that specializes in trade show appearances, general cargo, customs clearances and the transportation of hazardous cargo and munitions - and ITS, S.A. of Spain took 15 months overall, from initial planning to completion.

PIBL has offices in Las Vegas, Nevada and Elizabeth, New Jersey and its specialists have more than 30 years of combined experience in meeting the tight deadlines and special needs of exhibitors around the world, and doing so on time and on budget. They have the knowhow and the manpower to get your project done, no matter how small or as large (as a house!) it may be.