SNCF Fret losing millions in French dispute
SNCF Fret is suffering serious disruption this week as French unions led by SNCF workers continue the strike action begun yesterday in protest over the French government’s pensions reform bill. The company is estimated to be losing €20m ($28m) a day in lost revenue with disruption likely to continue until the end of the week.
According to union figures around 3.5m people took part in demonstrations across France yesterday and have pledged to fight on “to win the battle”.
The most recent action follows a dispute earlier this year that ran for three weeks affecting both passenger and freight movements on the state-owned SNCF network. Carmakers and logistics providers are relying on road for movements of finished vehicles and parts, which is already the dominant mode for inbound and outbound automotive freight in the country.
Russian traffic increases at Ust Luga
A consignment of 1,800 Hyundai and Kia vehicles delivered to the Russian port of Ust-Luga at the end of September brought the number of vehicles processed since the spring at the Yug-2 terminal there to 39,000. In 2010, the volume of transshipment is expected to reach 60 000 cars, up on last year’s figure by more than two thirds.
The vehicles were delivered by the UECC ro-ro vessel Asian Breeze
September saw the terminal handle 10,800 vehicles, including those from Toyota, Hyundai and Kia.
The progress of development at Ust Luga, which is near St Petersburg, was going slightly slower than scheduled earlier this year, but according to Ust Luga vice director, Alexander Goloviznin, volumes of finished vehicles at the multipurpose terminal started to increase at the beginning of the summer, as the Russian market came back to life, as shipping lines began to make more consistent calls at the port. (read more here
Gefco Austria shifts Peugeot RCZ to Europe
Gefco has started a new contract with Peugeot for road-based distribution of the RCZ model from Magna Steyr’s Graz plant where the vehicle is built on contract to the rest of Europe. The French provider’s Austrian division is preparing the vehicle at a dedicated zone at the plant and moving 85 vehicles per day, with an annual target of between 15,000 and 20,000.
“After a control for defects according to the standard manual for visual inspection, Gefco Austria takes over the vehicles and equips them in Graz with all board documents and prepares the further distribution,” said a company spokesperson.
Elsewhere in Europe, Gefco’s German division has started inbound transport of parts for Opel’s assembly plants in Germany and Belgium from suppliers in France. The contract, which was signed in June and involves the four facilities at Rüsselsheim, Bochum, Eisenach and Kaiserslautern as well as to the Belgian plant at Antwerp (which GM had planned to close by the end of the year but for which ).
Operations are overseen from Mörfelden-Walldorf, but the regional sites are managing the orders locally. Gefco Gross-Gerau is supplying the Rüsselsheim and Kaiserslautern plants, Gefco Leipzig is providing the transport to Eisenach and Gefco Wuppertal to Bochum and Antwerp. Gefco is also handling the return and treatment of empty packaging.
Caterpillar opens China logistics centre
Caterpillar’s logistics subsidiary, Caterpillar Logistics Services (Cat Logistics), has opened a 9,000m2 logistics centre in Suzhou, China to provide inbound logistics support for the company’s manufacturing activity in China and the wider Asia-Pacific region. The facility, called China Logistics Center, will also serve as a consolidation/deconsolidation hub for the movement of goods in and out of China, supporting the manufacturing of Cat products globally.
Located in the Suzhou Industrial Park the facility will also include bonded and non-bonded warehousing support, distribution and lineside replenishment.
The centre is running on the Caterpillar Production System (CPS) to ensure velocity and increase inventory turnover as it serves Cat manufacturing facilities in Asia
"Caterpillar has a long history in China, and we're committed to continued growth in the region. The China Logistics Center represents an important piece of our overall strategy in China," said Jiming Zhu, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the China Division.