Panalpina in red from legal fees but sees automotive strength
Swiss logistics group Panalpina reported a loss in the second quarter as the costs for legal bills offset improved market conditions in air and ocean freight, as well as increased automotive activity.
The group, subject to investigations in Europe and the United States, increased the money it was setting aside to cover legal bills to SF128m ($119.8m) and posted a net loss of SF93m. Last year, it posted a profit of SF15m.
Panalpina said a recovery in the automotive, hi-tech and telecommunications industries had boosted revenues in the second quarter and forwarding volumes rose 36% in air freight and 19% in ocean freight.
Panalpina expects market growth of 15% in air freight and 10% in ocean freight in 2010.
The group, under scrutiny from the US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding its activities in Nigeria, said U.S. authorities had completed their investigation and that a settlement could be expected soon. There is also an ongoing European anti-trust investigation, which the current money put aside does not cover, according to Panalpina.
Bremerhaven sees export surge before factory shutdowns
Increased demand from the US and China combined with planned factory shutdowns caused the German port of Bremerhaven to see its average weekly sailings nearly double at one point in July.
Buoyed by the rising demand for German-made premium vehicles, particularly in the US and China, last month the port saw an unprecedented scenario as carmakers rushed to push out vehicles prior to the summer shutdowns, leading at one point to 45 ships calling at Bremerhaven compared to the average of 25 days. Extra staff and assistant drivers had to be taken on to work through the high demand.
Exports from Bremerhaven have surged 78% this year to 564,000 vehicles compared to 2009. Imports, however, have slumped to 140,000, 60% below 2008 levels and lower than 2009, following the downturn in sales in the German market and weak European demand.
At 704,000 vehicles, Bremerhaven’s total volume is about 40% higher than 2009 at this point.
Gefco Spain to import two wheelers
Gefco Spain is now the eighth Gefco subsidiary in Spain to offer services to import and distribute two-wheelers. The service now imports mopeds and motorbikes, primarily from Asia, and transports them locally.
Gefco Spain joins the UK, France, Belgium, Italy, Poland, Romania and Germany as those countries importing and distributing two wheelers, and the company says that it has a nearly 30% share of transporting two-wheelers in Europe.
For the Spanish service, fully-built vehicles arrive primarily from Asia by sea containers in specifically-designed, reusable racks (pictured) that eliminate the need for extra packaging. The two wheelers are consolidated in Barcelona, Madrid or Ontigola (Toledo). Gefco carries out mechanical checks, reconditioning, cleaning and fuel-filling at centres in Barcelona and Madrid before they are distributed locally by road.
Gefco Spain also works as a hub for some vehicles that are distributed onwards to South America.
Bosch subsidiary to open distribution centres in China
Bosch Automotive Diesel Systems is setting up its first Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) this year in Wuxi New District, in Jiangsu province in eastern China, at the Wuxi New Area Logistics Park.
Bosch Automotive Diesel Systems, a Bosch subsidiary manufacturing diesel injection technology, plans to set up RDCs in different regions of China to cover its customer base, according to Zhu Deli, a company spokesperson. The RDC in Wuxi New District will provide finished stock inventory for the company and will cover all Bosch customers in eastern China.
Wuxi New Area Logistics Park has signed a contract with Global Logistics Properties (GLP), Asia’s largest industrial and logistics infrastructure provider. The park should be put into service by September, according to GLP.
Bosch sees the logistics park as an important cost saving and efficiency strategy in China.
“With close contacts to our customers, fast and accurate reactions for their logistics requirements, we are committed to increasing our customers’ satisfaction,” said Zhu. “Moreover, thanks to the RDCs, logistics transportation could be reduced, which helps contribute to environmental protection and energy savings.”
GM executive is godmother for new Höegh ship in China
Norwegian ship owner Höegh Autoliners has taken delivery of the first of four new car carriers being built for the company in China by Xiamen Shipyard. The Höegh Beijing is the first car carrier that has been built for Höegh in China, with the next vessel due for delivery in October this year and the remaining two in June and October 2011.
GM’s executive director of global logistics, Susanna Webber, named the ship in a ceremony at the Xiamen Shipyard and was joined by company chairman Leif Höegh and representatives from Höegh and GM.
Höegh told Automotive Logistics News that Webber had been selected by the shipping line to be the “lady sponsor” or “godmother” of the ship. Having such a godmother for a vessel is a longstanding tradition.
Webber will become the head of purchasing for GM Europe in September,
The ship, which has eleven decks and can load 4,900 vehicles over more than 41,000m2.

Höegh Autoliners calls ten times a month in Chinese ports including Tianjinxingang, Shanghai, Dalian and Qingdao to make car shipments to Europe, the Americas and Africa.

Sovereign forecasts growth amid expansion

Sovereign Business Integration, the business solutions and IT services company, anticipates continued growth with the creation of four key specialist areas focussing on its core business units and rolling its services out internationally. Sovereign will now deliver IT solutions and outsourcing services to companies in the insurance, automotive, professional practices and social housing markets, supporting them with their own plans to grow the business and maintain customer service levels in the wake of the global recession.
Sovereign is also focusing on identifying opportunities to roll its services out internationally, following its recent success in supporting clients through international office expansion. Richard Barker, CEO of Sovereign Business Integration, comments, “The fact of the matter is, we are operating in a global business economy and this opens up doors for us as we have a strong reputation for delivering services that make a real difference to our client’s business, and experience in supporting IT systems internationally. Over the next twelve months, we will be looking to leverage this success and broadening our horizons to start building new relationships on a more global level.”
The announcement is made as Sovereign celebrates one year since Ford Motor Company went live with ‘Event Management Logistics’ (EML) – Sovereign’s end-to-end solution for the automation of the finished vehicle supply chain.