Chinese firm Changjiu Chuzhou Special Vehicle Manufacturing (SVM) and Convertible Trailer Manufacturing Worldwide (CTM) have signed an agreement for the former to start producing convertible trailers for the Chinese market.


Wang Xin, CEO of Changjiu Chuzhou Special Vehicle Manufacturing (left), signs MOU with Bill Pawluk, CEO of CTM

CTM, which is part of Convertible Concepts Corporation (CCC), has a patented design for car carrying trailers that convert to flatbeds (or a combination of the two) to carry other cargo. According to CTM, the equipment offers a solution for more efficient transport in a country now facing a capacity shortage in road-based vehicle distribution.

Together, the two companies will work on engineering the convertible trailer over the course of the next 9-12 months and Changjiu Chuzhou will then start building it for its parent company and the wider Chinese market.

The deal with Changjiu Chuzhou SVM is significant because it makes equipment for the largest privately held automotive logistics group in China – Beijing Changjiu Logistics – along with other transport companies. Beijing Changjiu Logistics currently moves more than 3m vehicles a year but its founder and chairman, Bo Shijiu, told Automotive Logistics last year that new regulations on dimensions meant the volume per vehicle was being seriously reduced, leading to increased transport costs.

The new GB1589 (2016) regulation on vehicle carrying trailer lengths has reduced typical loads in China to eight or nine vehicles per trailer from the previous average of 15, leaving transport companies looking for ways to make more efficient use of their equipment. Strict enforcement of the new rules has also forced numerous non-compliant trailers off the road.

Changjiu Chuzhou SVM is one of best placed companies to meet demand for new equipment. It has the capacity to make 6,000 transporter units a year at a large facility in the city of Chuzhou, in Anhui province; the plant is one of the biggest in the world for specialised car-carrying equipment.

“This will give our company a tremendous opportunity to commercially introduce and integrate the convertible concept into the automotive industry,” said CTM Worldwide’s CEO, Bill Pawluk. “China is fast becoming an innovation hub and I am pleased to partner with this marketplace. We plan to set a strong example for the rest of the world that our technology will improve efficiencies and cut out unnecessary waste in the largest auto market in the world.”

According to figures from CTM, empty returns legs after finished vehicle deliveries account for 40% of total mileage, costing around $75 billion a year in the automotive sector worldwide.

The new rules in China strictly limit semi-trailer equipment to a length of 13.75 metres with a maximum permissible width of 2.6 metres and maximum height 4 metres. According to the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, around 80% of passenger cars are moved by truck in China and many of the 30,000-plus carriers on the country’s roads exceeded the new limits when they were introduced.