This week’s grand opening for the Minnesota Children’s Museum expansion and renovation was seriously in doubt when Museum officials learned delivery of their 17-foot German-made stainless steel slide would be late.
They called the third-party logistics experts at Eden Prairie-based C.H. Robinson looking for a save. Dan Ryan, a former Museum board member and a vice president at C.H. Robinson, jumped at the opportunity.
The slide is part of The Scramble, the Museum’s new four-story climbing structure. The feature teaches children coordination, confidence, self-control and how to take responsible risks.
The slide needed to be delivered by April 28th in order for it to be installed in time for the June 7th grand opening.
The six piece 4,947-pound slide built in Döbeln, Germany was going to be packed in a shipping container and sent by ship but that meant the slide would arrive weeks late.
Experts at C.H. Robinson were able to step in and shave 24 days off that delivery schedule.
“First, our people in Frankfurt needed to crate each component for shipping and get customs processes confirmed. From there, it traveled by air,” Ryan said via email.
C.H. Robinson combined the pieces into three shipments on two international flights.
“Our team had to get creative to find the right flights during this time, as it coincided with the Easter holiday,” Ryan said.
Once on the ground, C.H. Robinson loaded the shipments on three flatbed semi-truck trailers to make the ground delivery to St. Paul by Apr. 24, four days ahead of the deadline, Ryan said.
“We were amazed at how the experts at C.H. Robinson jumped on our logistics challenge and came up with such a quick and effective solution,” said Dianne Krizan, president of Minnesota Children’s Museum.
To make it work financially the Museum tapped into a contingency fund that was part of the overall projects $30 million budget.
“We’re thrilled to play in part in this story! As a Minnesota company, this one is absolutely special. Kids (and adults) will all enjoy this new part of the Minnesota Children’s Museum experience,” Ryan said.