Customer Case Hitachi Trains


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Customer Case Hitachi Trains

  1. 1. s the train pulls into the UK’s busiest railway handed over to WWL—and this didn’t simply mean carrying station, security and other managers from them from one port to another. It literally meant everything WWL, Hitachi and local rail authorities are involved in carrying the train cars from the inland factory to on board, keeping an eye as it stops in the the port of Kobe, loading them on WWL’s RoRo vessel M/V yard to change engineers. On hand are also Tarago for its regular departure to the port of Southamp- British Transport Police officers, alert not just because this ton, England, and, once there, getting them across the UK is the end of a 21,000-kilometre journey, but because this is to their final destination in Ashford. From there, they will the first delivery of a multi-year project that will bring 29 of work for the London and Southeastern Railways. what will be the UK’s fastest six-car trains from Japan. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics is entrusted with every , but it also went smoothly because step in the delivery of the trains from the factory door in it was something we’ve done many times before,” says Hi- Yamaguchi, Japan, to their working home in Ashford, UK. royuki Matsuda, WWL’s General Manager, NCC Japan Com- mercial .“We had already delivered some 2,000 railcars for to go perfectly. The logistics chal- another Japanese maker since 1992, from Japan to New York, lenge was a big one. The trains were built by Hitachi Ltd. Los Angeles and Savannah in the US. This American exper- in its Kasado Factory in Kudamatsu, Yamaguchi. Once ience is now being transferred to the European market.” completed, responsibility for the first six-car train was What makes this new job particularly interesting, is the
  2. 2. And, with 168 cars of the total 174 (or 29 train form- ations) remaining to be delivered in the contract with Hitachi, everyone wanted to do it right the first time. “The main reason we were able to do it was team- work,” he says. “It’s no exaggeration to say that we couldn’t have done it without the strong support of WWL in the UK.” For the first loading, Peter Lavelle from WWL UK joined in a week of work in Japan, while his coun- terpart Michiya Seki from Tokyo in turn travelled to Britain to follow through on the process of offloading and delivery—and to provide global support for their international customer. for getting this big first job with Hitachi done right, Matsuda says: there’s plenty of opportunity ahead. “Japan’s a very mature market for Japanese manu- facturers, so we have to really look ahead to see other opportunities out of Japan. Hitachi has now been able to penetrate the UK market, and they see an aging in- frastructure in the rails there that will need replacing.” Matsuda adds that he now sees other European mar- kets as potential customers for Japanese train manu- facturers—and for WWL in getting the trains there. number of firsts that it represents. “It’s the first time that Hitachi, or any Japanese maker, has been able to sell to a European market,” Matsuda says. “These aren’t just light rail trains, either, but Hitachi class 395 high-speed trains mod- elled on the Shinkansen bullet trains that will travel a top speed of 225 kilometres per hour, making them the fastest in the UK.” The trains, scheduled to be in service in 2009, will slash travel from London to Ashford by less than half, and will be part of the Javelin shuttle service for the 2012 London Olympic Games. that we have handled the lo- gistics for train transport literally from door to door,” Matsuda says. “Previously it was the more traditional port-to-port service.”
  3. 3. offer us a one-stop shop, from the factory in Kasado directly to the Ashford depot in Kent, in south England. They gave us what we required, at the right time, and we are very pleased.” “We needed to find a company able to deliver “The way the train was transported from on our challenge to get the trains from the Japan to the new depot in Ashford is a very Japanese factory to Ashford, UK within our time challenging experience because it involved a schedule. Luckily, we contacted WWL and they huge amount of logistics work. For example, it delivered as planned. I was at the Southamp- is worth noting that in collaboration with WWL ton terminal when the train arrived and WWL we had to design rubber tyre bogies for the load- and Hitachi were very busy putting it together ing on and off the ship. We worked very closely to make it ready for rail-travel to the Ashford with Mark Bookham from WWL to make sure depot.” that everything happened as planned – and it has been done very successfully, so a big thank “We chose WWL because they were able to you to WWL.”