There is no way to sugar coat it, 2020 will go down in history as a difficult year. Amidst the many severe challenges that the pandemic has given rise to has been the disruption to supply chains, making it increasingly hard to keep the transport of vital goods rolling. As a transport company, it is critical for LOTS to avoid bottlenecks and disruptions in order to ensure stability of supply to our customers. These conditions have made the production records achieved during this past year all the more gratifying.
One such success story involves our partnership with Norwegian-based ethanol producer UMOE Bioenergy (UMOE). LOTS provides inbound transport of raw sugarcane to UMOE’s Sandovalina facility in São Paulo State of Brazil.
Production volume last year (LOTS’s first as the transport supplier) was up 10 % compared to 2019 - an all-time high volume for the Sandovalina plant. Increasing sugarcane crushing production through the plant was an achievement, but of course, before it can be crushed it must be transported. With a short four-hour window from the time it is harvested to the time it needs to be processed (in order to maximize yield), it puts a lot of pressure on the transport team to ratchet up volumes without an increase in trucking capacity. A tall order, but the LOTS operations group in Sandovlina was up to the challenge. “In this first year of operation with LOTS, the plant achieved a historical record of milled sugarcane and ethanol production. The efficiency and reliability of our transport flow contributed strongly to this result, ensuring zero industrial downtime due to lack of sugarcane throughout the harvest season.” – Fernando Valiate, Head of Operations LOTS LATAM
To facilitate the factory’s volume increases, the LOTS teams focused on improving equipment efficiency, and were able to increase the number of completed transport cycles by 20% compared to the previous year with the same number of vehicles – a result as sweet as sugar. “The partnership with LOTS has turned out great as evidenced by the record-breaking volumes and efficiency gains of last year. We aim to sustain the partnership and develop it in the years to come to break more records together!” – Knut Karlsen, President UMOE
The sugar on top is that this achievement happened in 2020, when good news was not always easy to come by. If anything, 2020 will serve as a testament to the strength of the relationship between UMOE and LOTS and as an indicator of even sweeter times to come in 2021 and beyond.