Chapman Freeborn blog

Chapman Freeborn’s AN-12 charter solves the puzzle for Africa contract.

Chapman Freeborn Cargo team chartered a hard-working, popular freighter and the solution came together with the right aircraft, the right operator and the landing permits.  Chapman Freeborn Cargo teams all share a unique trait that ultimately makes customers happy – solving puzzles. The puzzle looked like this:

– Ship under 10,000 kilos – easy.

– Move it point to point, United States to Africa – should be easy.

– Do it in 2 weeks and include necessary government approval and permits – not so easy.


“This is exactly the kind of request that gets me excited, said Ana Bocchini, Chapman Freeborn Broker. A good challenge that we can dig into and solve one step at a time.”

Tuesday, the customer contacted Chapman Freeborn for the very first time.  Despite being very savvy and very well connected in the industry, previous attempts had fallen through. The cargo was languishing in a warehouse. That’s where this new challenge began. The request was for Chapman Freeborn to bid for a government contract.  The contract was moving a medium-sized amount of cargo to Africa. In these times of Covid, everything requires a few extra steps. The deadline loomed large. Landing permit approvals had to happen very quickly.

Collaborating with the client, both relevant government agencies, Customs and Border Patrol and the ground handling team was very important. With everyone working transparently, they could move forward together at a solid pace and delivery successfully.

Sidebar: If this cargo had been categorized as dangerous goods, even more clearances, declarations and Hazmat teams would be required. 

One week later, at 5 o’clock pm on Friday, permits were in hand. Next, pick-up and delivery by ground transport was quickly arranged. The cargo was set to deliver to the airfield in the wee hours of Saturday morning about the same time the aircraft arrived.

Customs Border Patrol quickly helped by reviewing the applications for permits. They arranged for personnel to be available for the flight Saturday morning and got everything inspected, locked up and loaded the plane.

Ground handlers provided updates consistently. Since January, Chapman Freeborn had completed about 25 flights with this aircraft operator and carrier, everyone worked very well together.

Upon landing in Africa, the government completed the documentation and clearances; the ground handler officially handed over the cargo to the receiving government there. “This was challenging and I knew we could make it happen. From initial contact to landing for delivery was under two weeks, said Bocchini. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”