K-Line has delivered a shipment of Toyota and Lexus vehicles on a direct deep-sea service from Nagoya in Japan to the Yug-2 multimodal terminal at the Russian port of Ust-Luga. It is the first deep-sea delivery of Toyota vehicles through the port, which has previously only handled two deep-sea shipments from Hyundai.
Delivered last Friday on the K-Line operated ro-ro vessel Durban Highway, the 2,688 vehicles constituted the first of three shipments that are being made between October and November in response to increased demand for Toyota vehicles in the Russian market.
Between January-September 2011 Toyota increased sales in Russia by 53% on the same period in 2010 to more than 96,000 according to the company. The best selling models were the Corolla, RAV4 and Camry.
Different carriers will be making the next two calls as Toyota tests the viability of direct imports to Russia instead of transshipment confirmed K-Line’s Peter Menzel, director and general manager of the Car Carrier Group. “Due to the usual ice situation in winter, from December onwards ice class rated feeders will be used again as in the past,” he explained.
The next shipment is expected on the 10th November, with the third delivery due on the 23rd of that month. The deliveries are in addition to normal feeder vessel calls at the port.
Alexander Goloviznin, deputy general director – Port Business at Ust-Luga Company, said that the discharging of the vessel caused no major problems.
“The challenge was to discharge three vessels with Toyotas within three days. We had to reschedule and concentrate our labour,” he told Automotive Logistics. “We discharged the deep sea vessel with an average speed 168 cars per hour,” he added.
Goloviznin said that the terminal still had available capacity and can accommodate the increased Toyota volumes at which are estimated to account for 15,000-16,000 per month, which with its other business brings the figure to 18,000.
Ust-Luga recently signed a contract with Gulftainer, the largest privately-owned port operator, which will invest more than $275m into terminal development at the Russian port. As well as facilitating the growth in vehicle imports to Russia the proposed development at Ust-Luga will also benefit carmakers with facilities in the region. Read more here.