The Russian division of French logistics provider Gefco used an event alongside last week’s Automotive Logistics Russia conference to announce two new joint ventures in the country – one with full service logistics provider Russian Transport Lines (RTL) and one with rail freight container operator, Transcontainer.
The partnership with RTL – called Smart Supply Systems (3S) – is expected to be fully operational within a year and the new company is hoping to sign contracts within the next few weeks. It will be based in Moscow and provide a full range of services for spare parts suppliers including international deliveries, customs services, warehousing and distribution.
According to RTL’s general director, Konstatin Skovoroda, there is big potential for the spare parts market, given the fact it is in the early development stage in Russia.
“Both Gefco and RTL have a positive outlook on the market of spare parts and components given their combined local knowledge and international experience,” he told Automotive Logistics News.
“We see our mission being the creation of smart logistics in the spare parts market in Russia,” added Alexander Larin, general manager of 3S. “We have analyzed existing delivery routes for spare parts and identified great potential for optimization. We are going to create new warehouses, new routes, new IT system for optimization of all business procedures and customs clearance procedures as well. So we are moving not from existing warehouses, but from the needs of our customers.
According to Artur Borcovs, Gefco Russia’s managing director, the logistics market in Russia requires a consolidation of efforts from market participants and the establishment of new solutions as it moves out of the crisis that had such a negative impact last year.
Despite the downturn Gefco reports that it maintained profitability with an operating income of €102m. It’s Russian division made a total net turnover of €35 last year but over the last five months that turnover has already reached €33m.
In its second announcement Gefco reported that it signed a letter of intent with TransContainer on the Friday prior to the Automotive Logistics Russia conference at the World Economic Forum also held in St Petersburg. The joint venture with TransContainer will provide customers with integrated logistics container services on rail between the EU and Russia. No further details were available.
“We believe by joining forces with established market players we create unique and specialised logistics products,” a Gefco spokesperson told Automotive Logistics News.
“One for comprehensive distribution of spare parts in the Russian territory, offering a service that answers the post-crisis needs of improving existing logistics schemes and searching for cost effective solutions,” she said. “And one for intermodal movements of goods in and out of Russia. This service is especially important for growing inbound logistics in Russia with its need to combine industrial volumes with predictable and reliable transport lead times.”
These latest ventures build on the company’s existing partnerships in Russia, including its joint venture with finished vehicle carrier TC ‘Axis’, called Algai, which provides international and domestic carriage, storage and PDI services for customers including GM, Chevrolet, Opel, Cadillac, Hummer, Suzuki, and BMW. With this joint venture, Gefco’s turnover in Russia is worth €62.8m.
Gefco is also planning to launch new logistics sites in Vladivostok, Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk.
The Valdivostok site will open this year and offer forwarding services, including customs, for goods coming into ports with further transhipment to Moscow, St Petersburg and other cities. It will also handle local distribution for the Far East region.
“For the remaining sites in Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk, they shall be implemented in 2011-12,” said Gefco. “Precise dates depend on the projects we are currently working on with our customers. The services would be transports (both import and distribution) and warehousing, both for vehicles and other general cargo.”