Many people grow up dreaming of one day being able to touch the stars. And Hyimpulse, headquartered in the south of Germany, is one of the companies making those dreams a reality.

Founded in 2018, the firm is developing a rocket and propulsion system that will offer orbital access transport of payloads up to 400kg – vital transportation for the advancement of space research and exploration.

Despite being located right next to the German Aerospace Centre, the team is testing its technology on Shetland in conjunction with SaxaVord UK Space Port – likely the site of the UK’s first vertical space launch in the coming months.

But with that geographic distance comes new challenges. And who do specialists in transport to outer space turn to when they need support moving cargo down on the ground… or over water?

That’s where Streamline Shipping Group comes in!

Lift off: Starting out in Shetland

For Hyimpulse, the decision to test technology on a Scottish island instead of on the German mainland came down to one factor: speed.

Konstantin Tomilin, chief operating officer of Hyimpulse, explained: “During our development phase, we need to test a lot of things – especially our propulsion system.

“We have a production facility here in Germany, and we’re building a big testing facility alongside the German Aerospace Centre, but that’s a huge project that will take a long time to complete.

“It was much easier for us to create a facility somewhere more remote, with fewer people who could be affected by testing. We could get the infrastructure in place more quickly, and progress our project faster.

“And we’re working closely with Saxavord SpacePort, which is also based on Shetland, so we’re able to work in collaboration with others who are keen to advance space travel technology.”

It was Saxavord that recommended Streamline to Hyimpulse, not only as the spaceport’s official logistics partner but as a carrier with over 40 years’ experience delivering goods of all sizes to Shetland.

Since February 2021, Streamline has been carrying shipments from Hyimpulse’s German manufacturing facility to Shetland and back again following testing.

It has been, says Konstantin, a successful partnership – but not one without its early complications.

He continued: “In the beginning, when we started work in Shetland, we (accidentally!) timed it perfectly with the beginning of Brexit.

“We were perhaps one of the first German businesses who needed to export something under the Brexit rules, which were changing all the time, but with Streamline’s support we managed to overcome those challenges.”

In the first year following Brexit, import and export rules changed almost weekly – with no two shipments following the same process. Streamline worked tirelessly to keep Hyimpulse abreast of any regulation changes, and completed all associated paperwork to ensure everything went smoothly.

The Streamline team also worked closely with haulage partners in Europe to ensure the best route to avoid any further delays.

Mission success: Smooth sailing from mainland Europe to Shetland

Now, two years on, the process runs like clockwork.

Customs authorities in the UK and Germany know exactly what to expect when working with Streamline and Hyimpulse.

Whereas at first each shipment was inspected, now there are no delays and Hyimpulse can quickly continue on with research and development once the cargo has been delivered – usually within a fortnight.

Konstantin said: “It was a pretty steep learning curve. We didn’t have any previous experience with customs, and we were learning a lot in that first year.

“Streamline was essential in our success, and set us on the right path. Without their support, we would have wasted too much time finding the right way to operate.”

T-minus 10 to the next shipment

Now, the partnership between Streamline and Hyimpulse is strong.

Hyimpulse can rely on Streamline to provide whatever is needed – from transport options to shipping container rental to crane hire for lifting bulky cargo to customs support.

Konstantin said: “Having Streamline as our logistics partner works well for us. We know we’re going to get exactly what we need from them: the communication is always good, and the delivery is fast.

“Working with Streamline makes everything easy and straightforward. It’s important for us not to overcomplicate things, and Streamline allows us to concentrate on our work, safe in the knowledge that our equipment will be where we need it, when we need it.

“I have recently recommended Streamline’s services to colleagues in Poland who are also planning operations in the north of Scotland. And whenever someone asks for advice on logistics, we always say to try Streamline first.”

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