Over 800 Hyundai construction machines came into the UK last year All manufactured at Hyundai’s factory in South Korea – they begin their 5,676 mile journey across the sea – from the South Korean Port of Ulsan to the UK’s Tilbury Docks in the heart of Essex.

The most recent ship to make the journey was the Tosca, owned by Wallenius Wilhelmsen, and chartered by Eukor Car Carriers, based in Seoul in South Korea. The ship weighs in at a whopping one hundred thousand tonnes and has the capacity to carry 6000 cars. Amongst the cargo on the latest voyage, in addition to cars and used excavators, were 47 Hyundai machines, including a batch of 19 of the brand new 13-tonne HX130LCR excavators. Visitors to the Hillhead exhibition in Buxton will be the first in the UK to see this machine.

The journey from the Port of Ulsan to Tilbury Docks took the Tosca an entire month to reach its destination, passing through the Suez Canal stopping in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium to collect more cargo.

Considering it’s such a huge ship – with12 separate decks – there are just 23 crew on board. Many of the crew have been on board the Tosca since January this year and are expected to disembark in July. The majority of the crew are sourced from South East Asia.

The Hyundai excavators come off the ship in one’s and two’s as there is not an operator for each machine on board. The cars come off in fleets and discharge around 100 per hour. The drivers and operators are locals and are employed by the Port of Tilbury – there are usually 20 men/women in total.

When the machines are driven off the boat they are stored overnight in a holding area adjacent to the harbour. The following day they are loaded onto low loaders and driven to MK Shipping’s yard. They are delivered to the yard on low loaders as the excavator tracks would dig up the tarmac en-route! The UK and Ireland Hyundai dealers then arrange collection of their machines and another journey begins for the Hyundai’s.