Transpes – A Brazilian Logistics Powerhouse

One of the largest specialized carriers in Brazil is still a family business at heart

 Originally from Galicia, Spain, Tarcisio Gonzales, fleeing the horrors of the Spanish Civil War migrated to Brazil to build his future. In mid-1966 he settled in Belo Horizonte, the capital of the state of Minas Gerais. The entire region was active with many construction projects and Tarcisio happened to notice that there was a lack of specialized transportation companies to support this growing industry. It was at that moment the story of one of Brazil's most successful carriers began.

So in 1966 with the help of his wife, Ruth Castro, they founded the heavy transport company TRANSPES Mines. With only two trucks and two drivers, one of them Tarcisio himself, the carrier began transporting small machines and construction equipment throughout the Southeast region of Brazil, predominantly to the cities of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other cities near Belo Horizonte. At that time, besides working with special loads, the company also carried fruit, wood and numerous types of goods in their trucks. In the late 1980’s, TRANSPES turned its attention largely to the regional market, with the majority of services performed in Minas Gerais for statewide businesses. Among its customers, there were already some of the largest construction companies in the country, such as Mendes Junior, Andrade Gutierrez, Cowan, Camargo Correa and others.
At that time, the dedication of Tarcisio Gonzalez made TRANSPES a respected and well known company. Today TRANSPES is one of the largest Brazilian companies transporting specialized and heavy loads.

Success with the new generation

Alfonso Gonzalez, logistics director, explains that he and his siblings lived the world of transportation since they were children and therefore today share the same passion as his father for the transportation industry. "As a kid I was always in the shop playing truck driver, I would come home all dirty with oil" recalls Alfonso.

Sandro Gonzalez, his brother, joined TRANSPES two years before Alfonso and today is the president of the company. Tarsia Gonzalez, the sister, is currently the administrative and financial manager, and Marcelo González is TRANSPES' director of operations, even being a big company it remains a family business.

Accompanying the changes and realizing the vitality of the transport sector in the 90s, the new directors have expanded the transport routes to other states and now are also serving customers with other profiles. This period was characterized by a strong performance by TRANSPES in the industrial sector, serving electronics manufacturers such as Phillips and Semp Toshiba and even industries in the boiler market such as CBC Brazil.

In 1991 the company was serving the entire country and with the introduction of imports in that year, TRANSPES was able to reach other markets such as air transport and shipping. "We identified the opportunity for international routes and opportunities for integrated logistics and have expanded our services to all Mercosur countries," says Alfonso. Tarcisio Gonzalez founded a solid company, based on principles and values such as work, loyalty, good relationships and faith. "My father is a very honest and hardworking person, always working with dedication and transparency," Alfonso said.

TRANSPRES today

TRANSPRES It is today one of the largest specialized carriers in Brazil, with 500 customers across the country and moving more than one million one hundred thousand tons per year transported over a distance of 30 million kilometers. Its current fleet of 750 company owned trucks, plus another 1,000 leased. The main loads remain special dimension and overweight cargo. These include, industrial equipment, steel products, handling volumes in port areas, customs transit and multimodal transport. TRANSPRES has a modern structure with large cargo storage centers and 20 branches strategically located throughout Brazil. Constantly carrying out projects in the eyes of many seem impossible, TRANSPRES uses advanced equipment for lifting loads, removal and handling of special cargo. Every detail is thought out and detailed planning and feasibility studies make it possible to transport the impossible.

For TRANSPRES president, Sandro Gonzales, the growth of the Brazilian economy until the year 2012 has boosted the logistics segment, considered one of the most important sectors for the consolidation of the country as a world economic power. TRANSPES has followed this movement and is projected to grow 15% annually through 2017. "Part of this movement is due to the expansion of investments in the energy sector, especially in the construction of new hydroelectric plants such as Belo Monte as well as wind farms.

Along with the work of the Growth Acceleration Program (PAC), the Olympic Games in 2016 and the expansion of sectors such as mining, petrochemical and energy, it is estimated that the logistics segment, especially the transport of heavy loads, will continue to grow in the coming years" projects Sandro Gonzalez. Today, the mining sector accounts for 40% of the company's business and the energy sector from 20% to 25%. The rest of our contracts focus on the automotive and steel sectors. According to Sandro Gonzalez, increased investment in the energy sector, especially in the construction of new hydroelectric, thermal and wind plants, has contributed directly to the expansion of the logistics business. Evidence of this is that, today, TRANSPES is involved in 20 contracts for the construction of wind farms in the country.

Brazilian Infrastructure Investment

Alfonso Gonzalez, director of logistics says that while the amount of cargo that circulates on roads has grown every day, the volume of investments to improve Brazilian roads is still insufficient. According to the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA), the state of federal roads indicates the need for investments of more than R$ 180 billion in infrastructure.

"This critical situation causes loss of revenue across the country. In places with limited access, companies either cannot get the material they require or remain waiting for loads that don't arrive on time or in some cases not at all. Events like these are not uncommon. The pre-feasibility logistics study helps reduce the recurrence of such situations, through the planning of a more appropriate way for our vehicles. However, it is not always possible to avoid certain sections and the solution is to be subject to the conditions of the route".
The question of the quality of our roads is our major challenge, today there is substantial growth in the north and northeast of Brazil, but the roads do not keep up with this growth. In northeastern Brazil we face great difficulties to reach wind farms for the installation of the towers, which are in very rough and unstructured locations. We have to create an entire framework within our team. With regard to northern Brazil this is further complicated because there may not be any roads at all. Our customers, who are responsible for the cargo are often large construction companies that offer the necessary support required for the strengthening of bridges and restructuring of small stretches of road to allow the passage of trucks with special cargo. Sometimes we have to remove gateways, bridges, signs and posts to allow the movement of special cargo.

In 2011, for example, we transported 261 blades each 50 meters in length, for the construction of a wind farm in Santa Catarina. In this operation, it was necessary to make several detours because there were several places along the route that our vehicles simply could not get through. So as new construction projects are planned for coming years, our implementation of these feasibility studies for cargo transportation becomes even more essential concludes Alfonso Gonzales.

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