When a leading OEM in the mining industry approached Alexander Global Logistics (AGL) to design a solution to mobilize 24 of the world’s largest dump trucks to the world’s largest copper mine in Punta Rincon, Panama, AGL was fit and quick to the task.
The customer had already delivered 6 units to the mine site, but soon learned it needed to improve its processes and delivery methodology. In lieu of the size and weight of these units, the customer normally assembles each truck near the mine site in any part of the world. In this case, Manzanillo, Panama. The components are shipped from all over the world. The major equipment such as the chassis and substructure are exported from the United States. The dump bodies are manufactured in Colombia. The rims are exported from Canada, along with other cargoes from Europe and global origins. The original assembly area in Manzanillo, Panama presented numerous challenges for the customer. The assembly area was not paved, therefore during periods of heavy rain, there were many work stoppages which created delays to the delivery schedule. The assembly area was inside of a major port terminal in Manzanillo. There were many delays to the delivery schedule due to port congestion and prioritization of other ocean-going vessels. In addition to delays inherent with the assembly location, the original shipping method had limitations and a high-risk profile relating to handling during load and unload operations. To reach the mine site, the units are too big for over the road transport and can only be delivered by barge transport. The original barge layout design allowed for only one dump truck to be delivered at a time. The barge loading and unloading plans were also less than ideal as it related to the safety of the cargo. There was a better method.
Alexander Global Logistics and partners in the Project Logistics Alliance designed a solution that addressed all of the challenges. AGL partnered with Project Logistics Alliance members C.H. Robinson Project Logistics and ILG Panama. ILG’s local expertise and reputation in Panama was invaluable in designing a solution for the customer. After visiting and inspecting several assembly area alternatives, the team agreed to Pier 6 inside of the port of Colon, Panama. Pier 6 has 10000 square meters of cement paved area with barge access. It is also fully secured. The barge slip had not been used for many years and the port had no records of the construction and stability of the cement ramp. As part of the risk assessment, the team contracted AECOM to perform a Geotechnical and Hydrographic study to affirm the integrity of the cement ramps and sustain the weight of the truck during the barge roll on operation. Based on the results of the study, C.H. Robinson was tasked to manufacture special steel ramps designed to sustain the weight of the truck and bypass the cement ramp during the barge roll on operation. As part of the solution, a 5000-ton barge, the Rafael Arosemena III, was chartered long term from Canal Barges exclusively to service the project. C.H. Robinson worked with long time partner, Transportes Montejo of Colombia to provide all engineering services related to the ramps, barge ballasting, and roll on and roll off operations. The barge required modifications and enhancements to perform. The barge was taken to dry dock in Cartagena, Colombia to prepare it for the 12-month project. Talleres Industriales of Panama completed the work and has supported with maintenance thereafter. The first of 12 voyages containing 2 trucks were delivered on June 17, 2018, in Punta Rincon, Panama. Shipping 2 trucks at a time was a differentiator and a contributing reason to make a business case for change to the original delivery method.
Delivering the assembled trucks to Punta Rincon was only a part of the project. AGL assembled a great team and was the primary control tower for all communications and project management. C.H. Robinson supported all of the North American deliveries to Panama. Transborder of Colombia, the 4th Project Logistics Alliance member involved in the project, was in charge of coordinating the export of the dump bodies from Barranquilla to Panama. ILG of Panama received all of the globally sourced cargoes and managed the deliveries to the assembly area at pier 6 in Colon, Panama.
Many sub-vendors and carriers supported the project. Our gratitude is extended to:
Ports of Virginia
Guy M Turner
Roda of Panama
Many individuals and companies contributed to the success of this project. The leadership of project owner Alexander Global Logistics, together with their partners of C.H. Robinson Project Logistics and ILG Logistics, kept the team focused and on track throughout the project. We look forward to the next project. Panama a place where logistics world-class solutions can be performed.