Tuesday 12 September 2023

12th International Heavy Haul Association conference held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 27 to 31 August 2023

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On 29 August, a meeting was held with Guillerme Mello, CEO of MRS Logística, providing the opportunity to discuss issues related to the structure of UIC, its platforms, forums and working groups, as well as current UIC standards.

MRS is a logistics operator that manages a 1,643-kilometre rail network in the states of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, a region that accounts for nearly half of Brazil’s GDP.

Today, the company is among the largest freight railroad companies in the world, with production almost four times higher than in the 1990s. Nearly 20% of Brazil’s exports and a third of all freight transported by train in the country passes through MRS tracks.

On the afternoon of 30 August, after coordinating with the company INFRA, S.A., a meeting was held in one of the event rooms. The meeting was attended by Lilian Campos Soares (Superintendent of Market Intelligence), Alex Antonio Azevedo Cruz (Special Advisor to the Presidency), Alexander Muñoz López de Oliveira (Advisor) and Eduardo Sanches Faria (Superintendent of Special Projects).

During the exchange, the company INFRA, S.A. was very interested in passenger platforms, freight transportation, safety and sustainability; as well as in affiliation modality and the associated benefits, considering that they are a state-owned company.
This meeting lasted almost two hours and included a presentation of the company and a question-and-answer session on work methodology, accessibility to standards, participation in conferences and all those elements that will allow INFRA, S.A. to get the most out of a future affiliation.

INFRA, S.A. is a state-owned company resulting from the merger of the planning company EPL (Planning and Logistics Company S.A.) with VALEC (Engineering, Constructions and Railways, S.A.) and is responsible for railway works and planning and structuring projects for the infrastructure and transport sector.

The activities that make up the company’s business pillar include:

  • Concession, lease and PPP structuring and modelling;
  • Environmental studies and expropriation;
  • Pre-feasibility studies;
  • Railway developments;
  • DT-E; Implementation and Operation of the Electronic Transport Document, which unifies documents and information in freight transport operations across all modes of transport;
  • Logistics diagnosis.

On 30 August, the second day of the conference, a meeting was held with Jun Kina from Vale, S.A., in the exhibition hall, during which he learned all about UIC and the benefits of being part of the organisation.

Vale, S.A. is a Brazilian multinational metals and mining corporation and one of the largest logistics companies in Brazil. The company produces iron ore, pellets, nickel, manganese, ferroalloys, copper, coal, fertilizers and other products. Its logistics infrastructure integrates the extraction of high-quality ore and its transportation by rail, port and ship to distribution centres.

Vale is present in five Brazilian states and has the largest mining complex in southeastern Pará. The company is committed to sustainable mining and has been helping to preserve around 800,000 hectares of the Amazon rainforest for 30 years. Vale also participates in cultural and social projects throughout Brazil, via the Vale Cultural Institute and the Vale Foundation.

There was also a meeting with Adriano Magalhaes Freitas from the Railway Development Engineering Department of RUMO, S.A., who expressed special interest in UIC standards and the significant contribution that expertise can offer to the management, operation and maintenance activities of this company.

Rumo Logística, S.A. is in the rail transport business, managing thousands of kilometres of rail network in Brazil. It transports products to the main regions, ensuring efficiency and achieving economic development in the cities it serves. It works with different inputs, such as industrialised products, fuels and agricultural commodities.

It is also dedicated to terminal operations and warehousing, the main ones being located in Paraná and Mato Grosso, with a structure for the movement of industrialised and bulk products. Additionally, Rumo provides container logistics services for imports, exports and the domestic market, as well as container handling, using a multimodal structure and customised solutions for each client.

On the morning of the final day, a meeting was held with TS Infraestructura, based in São Paulo, Brazil. In the presence of Paulo Benites, vice-president of the company and his advisor Gerson Luis Bittencourt, (on behalf of TS Infraestructura), substantial discussions took place covering major potential TS Infraestructura projects, such as the high-speed train that would link São Paulo with Rio de Janeiro through 417 km of railways.

The company shows special interest in the standards and expertise of UIC in the development of its projects, as well as in the methodology of work as a technical forum and through the working groups.

TS Infraestructura is a company that combines the technology and quality brought to Brazil by TOSHIBA more than 50 years ago with the experience of SBEI in infrastructure works. Derived from TOSHIBA’s Full TurnKey branch, which has successfully completed more than 100 projects, TS Infraestructura is a consolidated company in the Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution, and Urban Mobility sectors. The partnership with SBEI expands its expertise into transmission lines, civil construction and services, and also provides experience in railways and sanitation. Working ethically and committed to sustainability, TS Infraestructura is ready to participate in the most important infrastructure projects in Brazil.

Later on 31 August, a meeting was held with the MRS Logística technical team, led by Edilson Fonseca, responsible for digital solutions, and involving the rest of his team: Arnaldo Soares, Leonardo Silva do Santos, Pedro Henrique Oliveira, Sergio Cassemiro, Guilherme Schmidt and Jehan Secafim. The team was interested in UIC standards and its working groups on digitisation, telecommunications and signalling.

All the information regarding the benefits of being a UIC member was made available in the UIC Booklet and additional printed information.

In the morning of Wednesday, 30 August 2023, the sub-theme “Sustainability of Rail Transport” was developed and UIC was given the task of moderating a panel of senior executives. An opening message from UIC Director, François Davenne, was projected and then Marc Guigon took charge of the moderation. The topic of this session was “The sustainability of railroads in the world: challenges and opportunities”.

For further information on the activities of the UIC Latin American Region, please contact Marc Guigon at guigon@uic.org

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Recognition for participation and moderation in the Senior Executive Panel. From left to right: Andrew Shaw, Head of Strategy and Planning Office, Transnet South Africa; Marc Guigon (UIC Passenger Director, UIC Middle East and Latin America Regions Coordinator), Daniel Novo, Director, Vale S.A, Brazil; Brian Monakali, Vice President - IHHA; Kari Gonzales, President and CEO, MxV Rail, IHHA Director, USA.
Participation of M. François Davenne in the Senior Executives Panel.
Moderation of the Senior Executive Panel by Marc Guigon, UIC.
Participation by Mr. Daniel Novo, Director, Vale S.A., Brazil.