Connecting the Mining Supply ChainWed, 10/19/2016 - 21:36
Q: How has Connect Logistics’ local expertise benefitted the logistics of Sonora?
A: The business strategy Connect Logistics embraced since its inception was the creation of strategic alliances. These partners are either located in the US or have a strong foothold in Mexico, and these alliances enable us to expand our logistics network. The mining industry demands freight movements that transcend the borders of Mexico, and having this international support is a pillar in our strategy. Our participation in the sector has naturally increased our expertise and knowledge, and we expect to grow exponentially in the medium term. It is a well-known fact that logistics is an enabler of investment and plays a predominant role in the decision making capabilities of top mining companies. The rough patch mining companies are going through has forced logistics companies to optimize their services so they stand out from ordinary transportation companies. Strengthening communication with our clients make this efficiency possible since it is much easier to track the merchandise and decide the times and routes.
Q: What are the most complex and unique logistics challenges mining companies are facing?
A: The most important struggle is downtime and we have seen that many of the products used in mining are manufactured abroad and imported. As a result, we must ensure that these arrive to their final destination on time. Multimodal services are ideal when there is a constant large volume to be transferred and this is an option when the transfer can be planned ahead of time. Multimodal is ideal for projects that are about to start since every second is precious in those stages of a project. In order to reduce the response times, we have a Team Driver service, which entails two drivers being responsible for each unit so if a driver uses up his driving quota the other one steps in, meaning that the truck never stops. This service has reduced transit time by 40 percent. Volatility and fluctuating volumes are prevalent challenges in the industry, and we counteract this through open communication channels with clients.
Q: What measures have you implemented to ensure the safe transfer of merchandise?
A: Detailed planning must be carried out in order to trace the fastest and safest route for a given unit. When we move merchandise into the mine, rather than the trucks leaving empty, sometimes clients will take advantage of the units to transport back equipment that requires maintenance, and approximately 50 percent of our units are used for this purpose. If we decide to subcontract a transportation company, we have a series of requirements that must be upheld. For example, these companies undergo interviews, background checks, client base checks, all with the purpose of ensuring the safety of our clients’ merchandise. The units must be recent and equipped with the latest safety features, and drivers must be insured and have previous training.
Q: What are the priorities of Connect Logistics in 2016 to ensure its position in the mining sector?
A: The alliances we have created over the years have strongly positioned us in the Sonora region. The plan for 2016 is to expand our presence and establish an office in Mexico City because many corporate offices of top mining operators are located there. This strategy will strengthen our ties with our clients and will enable us to tend to their needs much more quickly.