Connecting Hermosillo’s Mining Industry to the World,Wed, 10/21/2015 - 17:28
Providing logistics services for mining companies is different than doing so for almost any other industry, given the specific challenges encountered. Luis Carlos Terán, Director General of Connect Logistics, explains that criteria such as the bulk size of equipment transported and the kinds of maneuvers that will be done have to be taken into account. “The manufacturing industry usually requires routine operations consisting of moving boxes and monitoring deliveries. The mining industry needs previous planning for which we need to consider the size of the shipment, the necessary permits, road conditions, precise routes, customs, and the ports the shipments might go through.” While mining logistics therefore sounds daunting in comparison to other kinds, it proved crucial in the creation of Connect Logistics in 2011, as its founders decided to focus on providing services for mining companies in Sonora. “Several companies trusted us from the start, and the mining industry is now our most important source of business,” says Terán. This trust has seen Connect Logistics being asked to transport equipment and even oversized structures from around the world.
Much of Connect Logistics’ business goes through the ports of Altamira, Manzanillo, and Ensenada, given that its clients tend to import more than they export. Terán explains that products from Europe land in Altamira, Manzanillo receives shipments from South America and Asia, while Ensenada receives exclusively from Asia. Connect Logistics has alliances with companies in the US and Canada, giving Terán’s firm extra freedom to transport merchandise in these two countries, and it can transport dry freights in Europe and Asia. The company offers customs services as well, so it takes care of the whole transportation process, whether this is a land, maritime, or aerial freight. Every transportation activity requires a permit, for which the Ministry of Communications and Transportation imposes the respective restrictions. While its current permit allows Connect Logistics to transport up to 100 tonnes in Mexico, it can move larger shipments provided that it obtains a specialized transportation permit to do so. Under its current permitting conditions, explains Terán, Connect Logistics transports mostly production-related goods such as engines, crushers, screeners, leaching equipment, and pipes for its Mexican mining clients. Although the company has the capacity to move minerals, it has not done so to date. “What we offer our clients is peace of mind, so we relieve our clients from the burden of constantly having to monitor their shipments. Instead, we send our clients updates on their shipments’ status and locations from two to six times per day,” details Terán
Running a logistics company moving expensive shipments in notorious areas of the country has made Terán highly aware of the security situation in Mexico. The company is particularly cautious about its schedule, the times of day at which its vehicles travel, the merchandise’s level of exposure, and the types of vehicles it uses in areas deemed to be dangerous. In some cases, mining equipment can also be escorted to and from mines. Of all these measurements, Terán believes scheduling is the most important, and his company only transports oversized cargo during the daytime on business days. While this might seem restrictive in terms of capacity that Connect Logistics can handle, it is far better to be safe than sorry