Transporting breakbulk to improve Newcastle’s rail network

18 September 2018

Recently Höegh Autoliners transported the first out of six Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) Light Rail Vehicles from Spain to Australia for the Newcastle Light Rail network which will improve transport connections and reduce congestion for its 440 000 inhabitants.

Global freight forwarder Deugro was awarded the logistics operations for the CAF railcars and they in turn chose Höegh Autoliners to provide the ocean transport.

Direct, frequent service for breakbulk

Iñaki Echeverria, Head of Sales, Höegh Autoliners Spain says,

Timing is critical in these projects. With the railcars manufactured in CAF’s factory in Bagnères-de-Bigorre, France, our frequent liner service from Santander, Spain to Australia proved the perfect fit for the customers’ schedule.

Currently, Höegh Autoliners offers four sailings a month on its Europe to Oceania service, including a newly added direct trade via the US and Mexico. This has increased the service offering to customers wanting to transport cargo in the region.

Read more: Increased Express Service to Australia

Specialised equipment to reduce risk

Iñaki continues,

To ensure the safe and smooth handling of the railcars, we used our specially designed Höegh bridge to transfer the railcars from the railed semi-trailers they were transported on, directly to our railed rolltrailers. This makes the operation safer and less costly as it eliminates the need for crane lifting in both load and discharge ports.

The Light Rail Vehicle, measuring 33 metres in length, was shipped in two sections, with the longest section 18.73 metres in length. Transported on Höegh’s 62 feet railed rolltrailers, they were safely discharged from Höegh Jeddah in the Port of Newcastle on 8 September.

Iñaki continues,

We are proud to be part of another project in improving the quality of transportation offered in Australia.  With the success of these shipments, we are seeing that the market is now aware of our extensive specialised equipment and breakbulk handling expertise.

Read more: Customised equipment to transport 43.5m long trams

Operation of the Newcastle Light Rail will begin in early 2019 and is expected to carry the equivalent of three full buses and 1 200 people per hour.