Brazil export surge benefits forwarders
A surge in vehicle exports from Brazil led to a production rise in the country of 18.7% last month, 24% more than the same month in 2010 and equal to around 310,700 new cars and trucks according to Brazil’s national automakers' association, Anfavea.
Exports drove production higher after jumping 16.6% in January to the equivalent of $1.1 billion, said the association Anfavea.
The increase has been good for ocean forwarders operating in Brazil including K-Line, NYK Line and WWL. On the strength of trade in Brazil and the wider South American market, K-Line recently announced the launch of a new bi-weekly service from Asia to the East Coast of South America in conjunction with NYK, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM), and Pacific International Lines (PIL). The new service will build on the existing service currently offered by the four lines.
Starting at the end of March, the new service will enhance the current service to the growing South American market with direct coverage to Vitoria, in Brazil, as well as a faster transit time to Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil’s growth continues to be challenged by its dilapidated infrastructure, including roads and ports but the country’s government has earmarked almost BRL300 billion ($162 billion) for its infrastructure programme, Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento known as PAC, through to 2023. This includes around BRL150 billion for rail, BRL70 billion for roads and BRL39 billion for ports.
The logistics challenges tied up with growth in Brazil will be discussed at the Automotive Logistics South America conference will take place once again in Sao Paulo in September this year
Audi mulls India revisions to CKD import duties
Audi has said it may have to review its import policy to India because of heavier duties being imposed on CKD shipments in the government’s budget for 2011-2012.
While it remains unclear how the government will revise its definition of a CKD unit in the budget, what it is certain so far is that to be eligible for discounted import duty a revision is being inserted to exclude such units containing a pre-assembled engine or gearbox or transmission mechanism or chassis, where any of such parts or sub-assemblies is installed.
Speaking to the Press Trust of India this week Audi’s member of the board with responsibility for Marketing and Sales, Peter Schwarzenbauer, said that the carmaker may have to review its business strategy in the country and consider investing to localise the components amongst other options.
Another may be to pull out of India altogether, as operating under such circumstances may not be worth it for the low volumes Audi currently exports there.
“In 2010, Audi moved on average around 250 CKD parts every month to India. The concerned models are: Audi A4, Audi A6, Audi Q5 - all assembled at our site in Aurangabad,” an Audi spokesperson told Automotive Logistics News.
“Regarding the government's proposal on the taxation of CKD cars, we are currently studying the implications in detail,” he added. “We are watching developments very closely being in touch with industry associations to seek a clarification on this issue from the government”.
Audi's locally assembled vehicles currently attract a duty of around 40% compared with finished vehicles which face an import duty of 60%.
Volvo Trucks introduces Autohauler
Volvo Trucks North America has introduced a new truck exclusively for the finished vehicle carrier business.
Called the Volvo Autohauler (VAH), it features a lower chassis than standard models, a short bumper-to-back-of-cab dimension and an EPA 2010 engine.
“The new Volvo Autohauler is designed to maximise loading space for our customers while incorporating the latest in engine technology,” said Ron Huibers, Volvo Trucks North America senior vice president, sales and marketing. “The lower chassis reduces the overall height of the truck, allowing a car, pick-up or minivan to be positioned over the cab to maximize the efficiency of every delivery.”
Finished vehicle providers have been showing interest. Cassens Transport Company, which operates a fleet of 1,200 trucks, has ordered a VAH prototype, reportedly because its lower cab height is particularly important for the company, which delivers to cities along the East coast that often feature low overpasses.
“The whole game is about inches and the VAH offers the lowest cab available,” said Brian Suhre, Cassens Transport Company vice president, facilities and equipment. “Yet when you get inside, the interior is spacious and doesn’t feel mechanical. It’s like driving a nice passenger car.”
The VAH is being assembled at Volvo’s New River Valley plant in Dublin, Vancouver.
Hitachi to buy majority stake in Vantec
Transport and distribution provider Hitachi Transport System (HTS) is reported to be taking a majority stake in automotive logistics service provider Vantec Corp. through a share purchase offer from Vantec's largest stockholder Mizuho Capital Partners, which holds an almost 40% interest in the company. The HTS offer price is estimated at several tens of billions of yen, including the premium to be paid for Vantec shares through the Mizuho tender offer, according to a report in the Nikkei business daily.
Japan-based Vantec offers freight trucking, freight forwarding, domestic air carrier, sea carrier, warehousing, harbour transportation, and customs clearance services.
In Europe, Vantec has worked with Nissan Manufacturing UK for more than 15 years, having originally been established in 1990 to provide warehousing services for the plant. It now also offers onsite rework and inspection as well as onsite back loading.