Ernesto Ramírez Ramírez
General Manager
Puerto Carguero Logistics
José Raúl Ramírez Ramírez
Director of Operations, Logistics and Transport
Puerto Carguero Logistics
View from the Top

Trusted Logistical Provider of Giants,

Wed, 10/21/2015 - 17:38

Q: What are the particular challenges that arise from mining logistics?

JR: Logistical services for the mining industry need to be very specialized, and our added value lies in providing that specialized service for land, marine, air, and multimodal transportation. We are able to bring machinery from any region of the world through sea freight to Mexican ports, from where we transport it over land. One of our main customers is Grupo Mexico and we are working with them on the expansion of Buenavista del Cobre. We also supported Grupo Mexico when it was having a problem with the delivery of equipment to a mine in Guerrero when they were building the roads. We offered a solution and became the first logistics company to reach the mine.

We currently have a contract with Grupo Mexico to transport calcium oxide to Buenavista del Cobre, as well as bringing in steel structures for the development of the mine. We have also worked with Peñoles in their operations. However, most of our work remains with mining suppliers, such as Samsung, Electro Controles del Noroeste, Grupo Disosa, and Innova, or construction companies working on mines, such as Kepler Constructora, M3, and ICA Fluor. It can happen that mining companies sign contracts with suppliers without knowing how the equipment and supplies will be transported to the mine. One of the advantages that we offer then is the ability to transport troublesome components of any size or characteristics. Many of the main mining suppliers are located in Sonora, from where they are supplying nearby states. However, many of these companies have no experience in logistics, so their relationship with us is paramount. Hermosillo is also an excellent location for us to be based in due to its proximity to the US border. In three or four years, we also expect Guaymas to be a fundamental port for import and export. Grupo Mexico is already planning to use it to export their minerals, which will surely encourage other companies to look toward Guaymas.

ER: In 2013, the Buenavista del Cobre mine required a high volume of supplies. We were able to move 100 shipments with excessive dimensions. After that, within a five-month period in 2014, this increased to 280 such shipments. We also offer warehousing services for our mining customers to keep inventory on hand as and when they need it. The mining industry is different from other industries. It requires a very specialized service because the customers do not want to take risks in their transportation solutions.

Q: How steep was the learning curve since you started working with large mining companies?

JR: When we began working with mining companies, our company was relatively new. When we started handlings logistical operations for Grupo Mexico, one of the aspects they most liked about Puerto Carguero was the access to information we provided regarding their shipments. We offered them an added value on the service side, and they have started asking that of other suppliers. We are now their official logistics provider in Hermosillo. We have learned to react to what such companies need. When the likes of Grupo Mexico asks us to provide a service, we have to be quick in providing a solution and go beyond what is expected of us. We have to be able to offer them solutions for problems they have not considered yet.

Q: What measures does Puerto Carguero take in order to ensure the safety of its products?

JR: The operators are among the most important aspects in logistics. Most of the security issues are related to operators who share information about what they are transporting, leading to theft. We thus have a strict selection process for all of our operators. Another important point is the time of day at which the transportation takes place. There are certain hours during which it is better to stop and continue in the next day. We have identified the routes and hours that are best for us to be moving goods. However, we always suggest that our customers take out insurance to cover the products they are moving, which we are also able to offer.

Q: What are your objectives for 2015?

ER: We are planning to create a parcel service for Cananea’s mining operations. However, we are aware of the risks facing the mining industry so we want to keep growing and diversify our clients in this sector. We also want to enter the Bajio region since it is a strong mining area that has potential for growth but still needs the right logistical support.