Pandrol / Mexico City Metro



  • Worldwide

Client Account Manager

Simon Joseph

Total Logistics Manager


Thinking outside of the box to make huge projects happen in the midst of global challenges

We were approached by Pandrol – a long-standing client and specialist in global mission-critical engineering solutions – who had been engaged to supply Mexico City Metro with a new rail track assembly. The task involved not only procuring and shipping a significant number of individual components from various locations in Europe and Asia to the UK, but also getting them unloaded, assembled, professionally packed and then reloaded to be sent to their final destination. 

This was a major undertaking that saw us not only taking on our customary role of freight forwarder and total logistics manager, but embracing the additional role of the assembly line for the actual finished components – something our team had not done before but accomplished with utmost professionalism. 

Even in normal circumstances, this would have been a challenging proposition, given the time limitations. However, the project was further complicated not only by precautions around the global Covid-19 pandemic (leading to several schedule changes in Mexico), but also the major delays to global shipping following the container ship Ever Given running aground in the Suez Canal.

"When challenges arise, Hemisphere works with us to find solutions and, as a result, are a tremendous asset to our company. Their professionalism and support has allowed seamless integration of the Hemisphere team into our business to the level we consider them to be an extended department within our organisation.”

Iqbal Chadda

Commercial Director, EMEA


Stepping up to multiple challenges

It became clear one course of action would greatly impact this project’s success: we offered to provide a production service in our warehouse premises within Ipswich. Here, our in-house team could consolidate cargo from across the globe, store components, assemble the products and pack the finished articles ready for loading into containers – saving vital time as well as transport resources. 

Within pandemic restrictions, we installed the assembly line at our Felixstowe warehouse facility and members of the manufacturer’s staff trained our team to assemble products for the concrete sleepers in the Mexico metro. Schedules were then handed to us and we took control of the contract.

Our team liaised with suppliers from China, India, Vietnam, Denmark and Norway, and began booking vessel space within the challenging pandemic environment. During importation, our Total Logistics team worked closely with the seller and buyer to finalise their contractual needs and completed all the documentation required to import the final products into Mexico. 

The assembly line team was kept supplied with components that they turned around at a steady pace, but on 23rd March 2021 a spanner appeared in the works. Stocks of three components were stuck in the Suez Canal on the Ever Given, which had run aground causing a worldwide bottleneck. We advised bringing forward future batch stock from China. This was able to arrive before the Ever Given was eventually released by the Egyptian authorities, enabling assembly to continue on schedule. 

With export capacity becoming a serious issue, our team had the foresight to book shipping space well in advance based on information from the assembly team. Everything slotted into place ready to deliver the completed assemblies within the allocated time frame. The export leg of the contract involved 8 shipments, using 48 20-foot containers, with the specialist packing team devising a way to efficiently package the product for both space and product quality.

Hemisphere’s involvement in this time-critical project saved 45 days of time, created 29,460 track assemblies (representing 848,698 kilos of cargo) and essentially enabled the client to fulfill their contract with the Mexico City Metro.

Supply chain issues during Covid have been the biggest challenge to the shipping industry in modern times, and achieving this project’s demanding schedule was only possible due to the expertise and planning of our professional team. 

Our Total Logistics service, the team’s knowledge and forward-thinking, and complete overview of the supply chain from start to finish ensured the final product’s successful dispatch to Mexico, on time, under budget and within the conditions of the original contract – all in line with Covid guidelines.

For many team members, this was a career-defining example of how to apply a flexible approach to challenges, looking beyond customary procedures to solve big problems for the client and deliver what was necessary to succeed. This project is truly what ‘going the extra mile’ looks like.

“I would highly recommend Hemisphere to any other organisation looking for a transport provider. Over the years, they’ve gone above and beyond what you’d expect from a freight forwarder, and they’ve added a lot of value to us as a company.”

Iqbal Chadda

Commercial Director, EMEA

Make HFS Your Logistics Partner

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