More than 150 years ago, a gold rush swept through the west of North America. In the 19th century thousands set out to start a new life in the search for this precious material; they quit their jobs and moved west, putting everything on a single roll of the dice. That initial euphoria may be long gone, but in many places the search continues. In the “mountain states” Colorado and Utah, highly professional gold diggers are still mining today. And when they do strike it lucky, time becomes of the essence. If the necessary equipment is not available, they run a significant risk of missing out on revenue. It so happened that in the spring of this year, an American mine operation urgently needed a sprocket assembly for a mining machine. The part had to be shipped immediately from the manufacturer in Tianjin in northern China to Salt Lake City in the US state of Utah. For the first leg, transportation by truck from the port city to Beijing Airport (PEK) was arranged for the shipment.
When the shipment was already on its way, the gold diggers in the United States happened to find yet another deposit. Which meant that they needed the equipment even sooner. It also meant that Salt Lake International Airport was now no longer the optimal destination. Precious time would have been lost during the road transport run from the airport to the site of the newly discovered gold deposit. So the Customer Solutions Team at Lufthansa Cargo redirected the shipment to Denver International Airport (DEN) instead, as it was closer to the new site. New shipping documents were issued, and a “td.Flash” shipment was arranged for the customer. At 3:20 a.m. a Boeing 777F, flight number LH8431, took off from Beijing en route to Frankfurt. The flight time: about ten hours. Having arrived in the metropolis on the river Main, the shipment continued a little later, this time in the hold of a Boeing 747 on the direct flight LH446 to Denver, and from there it went directly to the gold mine.