Höegh Autoliners and UGL conduct successful loading operation of 60 railcars on board Höegh Beijing

By Vessels

Recently Höegh Autoliners was asked to ship 60 railcars from Spain to Colombia for the expansion of the Medellin Metro network which will help to reduce the congestion of its 2.5 million inhabitants.

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), a world-leader in the manufacturer of rail cars, has been contracted to provide 20 trains, consisting of three carriages, to the city of Medellin’s metro system. To handle the logistics operations, CAF chose Universal Global Logistics (UGL), who in turn awarded the sea transportation of the cargo to Höegh Autoliners.

Iñaki Echeverria, Head of Spain in Höegh Autoliners says, “With the railcars manufactured in CAF’s factories in Zaragona and Beasain, Höegh’s direct monthly sailings from Spain to Colombia on our Europe to Caribbean trade was an ideal fit for the project. Furthermore, our strength in specialised rolltrailer equipment and breakbulk handling expertise is an advantage in transporting this type of cargo across the globe.”

 “Höegh’s direct monthly sailings from Spain to Colombia on our Europe to Caribbean trade was an ideal fit for the project. Furthermore, our strength in specialised rolltrailer equipment and breakbulk handling expertise is an advantage in transporting this type of cargo across the globe.”

Iñaki Echeverria continues, “Our specialised fleet of rolltrailers are equipped with rails and a specially designed bridge transfers the railcars from the railed semi-trailers of rail transport specialist Transportes Vicuña to the rolltrailer, allowing the railcars to be directly rolled on and off the vessel. This eliminates the need for crane lifting in both load and discharge ports, reducing the risk of damage to the cargo and ensuring a safer and more efficient operation.”

On 23 October, UGL arranged for the railcars to be loaded directly onto Transportes Vicuña tracked semi-trailers at the CAF plant in Zaragona, Spain and transported to the port in Sagunto.

The first of the new trains was then transferred to Höegh’s rolltrailers and loaded on board Höegh Beijing. The railcars will be discharged in Cartagena around 8 000km away, and then transported 650km overland to Medellin.

The expansion of the Medellin metro is expected to increase the commuter coverage of 900 000 to 1 200 000 per day, with a 35% increase in frequency for passengers.

Iñaki Echeverria continues, “We are honoured to be part of the project in improving the local infrastructure in Medellin. The success of the first shipment was not only down to the close cooperation and good communication between Höegh Autoliners and UGL, but also our expert cargo handling team during the entire loading operation.”

“The success of the first shipment was not only down to the close cooperation and good communication between Höegh Autoliners and UGL, but also our expert cargo handling team during the entire loading operation.”

Source: Höegh Autoliners