Security conditions during sea transportation are a priority for us, and loading underdeck is a non-negotiable condition.

To help ease congestion and transportation among its eight million inhabitants, the City of Lima is investing heavily in its metro rail system. As a result, Alstom Transport, a world leader in the manufacture of trams and rail cars, was awarded a contract to provide 19 metropolis train sets, each consisting of five carriages. However, once the carriages are complete, Alstom Transport is faced with the logistical challenge of transporting them from their plant in Santa Perpetua, Spain, to Lima, Peru.

“Security conditions during sea transportation are a priority for us, and loading underdeck is a non-negotiable condition,” says Alice Brasse, Transport Project Sourcing Operations, Alstom Transport. “We also have to adhere to a strict delivery plan, and meet high delivery capacities of up to 15 cars a month. Our margin of error is very low. We need to be very careful regarding the reliability of the vessel schedule, but we also have to make sure that our sub-contractors offer sufficient railed equipment and space capacity on board.”

To assist with the assignment, Alstom Transport contracted forwarders Geodis, who in turn appointed Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) for sea transportation between Spain and Peru – the longest and most arduous part of the journey. Being able to offer a monthly direct sailing between Spain and Peru, as well as guarantee space on each sailing, is obviously an advantage, however WWL’s biggest asset is its strong fleet of roll trailers and RoRo vessels, which are perfect for cargo of this type.  

“Our vessels are the right size and we brought a solution for shipping the metro cars on roll trailers fitted with rails,” says Patrick Mead, Key Account Manager at WWL. “This means that the metrocars can be rolled directly onto the vessel. There is no lifting involved, which is much safer and better for the cargo.”
As a result, Geodis can arrange the loading of the metro cars directly onto railed semi trailers at Alstom Transports’ plant in Santa Perpetua. From there, they are trucked to the port in Santander, and then transferred direct onto WWL’s roll trailers. 

“The schedules are mostly respected and WWL equipment is also new, in a good state and very clean,” continues Alice Brasse. “We also pay particular attention to the state and maintenance of the vessels, which shouldn’t be less than 25 years old. WWL’s roll trailers are so clean that we could walk on them with felt pads!”

So far, 35 metro cars have successfully been transported to Lima, with the final assignment expected to be delivered by July 2013. “This RoRo solution is economically attractive too,” adds Alice Brasse. “Transport costs are a big challenge for us but we were able to agree on some technical and economic conditions to preserve the profitability of the project.”

The cargo
In total WWL will transport 95 metro cars between Santander, Spain and Lima, Peru. The cars are between 16-18 metres in length, 2.9 metres wide and 3.9 metres high. Combined all 95 metro cars account for 19,000 cubic metres of space. 

About Alstom Transport 
Alstom Transport designs sustainable and global railway solutions tailored to operators, public authorities and passengers. From trains to signalling, infrastructure, services and complete “turnkey” solutions, Alstom Transport offers a larger range of state-of-the-art railway solutions. In the fiscal year 2011-2012, Alstom Transport recorded sales of 5.2 billion euros and employs 24,700 people in over 60 countries.