Libyan embargo hits shipments to Tripoli
A Grimaldi-owned multipurpose vessel carrying trucks and other used ro-ro cargo between Malta and Libya was turned back from docking in Tripoli in April following its interception by a NATO vessel.
The M/V Setubal Express was prohibited from entering the port of Tripoli by HMS Liverpool on April 14, following a total trading embargo imposed by NATO. The vessel was carrying new trucks for the Libyan Electric Company and other used ro-ro and container cargo including spare parts.
“After a pre-loading survey in Malta the ship received a green light from NATO to sail ex Malta to Tripoli and was aware that another survey would have been carried out at the 35° parallel,” said Costantino Baldissara, Grimaldi’s commercial and logistics director. “After this last survey the ship was prohibited to discharge in Tripoli and was forced to come back to Malta.”
According to Baldissara, Grimaldi was only aware that the ongoing embargo related to cargo destined for the Gaddafi regime, which he was keen to stress the company was not involved with. “The situation looks different as it seems that a total trading embargo is performed by NATO,” said Baldissara, adding that he was aware that other maritime companies have now been banned from Libyan ports.
“In this situation of total embargo we are not able to provide our services and are forced to find alternative deployments to overcome the crisis, and hope that the Libyan conflict can end quickly,” he said.

Prior to the denial of entry the MV Setubal Express was regularly deployed on the Salerno-Malta-Koms-Tripoli route, supporting a weekly connection between Italy, Malta and Libya, with connections to the rest of Grimaldi’s network. Salerno is one of Grimaldi’s main hub ports.

DB launches business in Kaluga
The Russian division of German logistic provider DB Schenker Logistics has launched a new business unit in Kaluga, Russia near Volkswagen’s plant.
ZAO Schenker will provide customers, including VW, with international and domestic land transport including rail forwarding, air and ocean freight, contract logistics and supply chain management. It will also offer customs clearance, and special projects, such oversized and heavy-lift cargo.
“Our existing collaboration with the market players in the Russian automotive cluster as well as with other industries has accelerated our decision to establish a special Kaluga branch,” said Karl Nutzinger, member of the Management Board of Schenker responsible for Land Transport and the European regions.
“Our local presence will make it easier to support the activities of customers in the region,” added Anatoly Gvozdev, managing director, ZAO Schenker. “And it will contribute to develop solid relations with potential clients and local investors.”
The unit will be headed by Nadezhda Martynova, who previously worked as a manager of the joint project of DB Schenker Logistics and DB Schenker Rail on parts delivery via rail for the LLC Volkswagen Group Rus plant in Kaluga.
DB Schenker Rail Automotive is responsible for the implementation of the logistics concept to supply the Volkswagen/Skoda plant in Kaluga. DB Schenker is the general contractor and since 2008 has coordinated the services of six freight railways, various operators, as well as other sub-contractors between Central Europe and VW’s location in Russia.
OJSC TransContainer, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, RZD, works closely with DB Schenker in the project.
Nissan to supply taxis to NYC
Nissan North America has been awarded a 10-year contract to supply 13,000 minivan taxis to New York City from 2013. Nissan will start production of the vehicles, which will be modified versions of the company’s NV200 minivan, at its Cuernavaca plant in Mexico for shipment across the US. The vehicles are currently produced in Japan, Europe and China.
Nissan beat Ford for the contract as well as the lesser-known Turkish carmaker Karsan Otomotiv Sanayii Ve Ticaret, which had gained initial support for its bid by planning to assemble its taxis in Brooklyn from CKDs shipped from Turkey.
The announcement was made yesterday during a New York City Hall press briefing that included mayor Michael Bloomberg and Nissan Americas chairman Carlos Tavares.
“Nissan is proud to provide the next generation of taxis for the City of New York,” said Tavares. “The NV200 taxi will give Nissan the opportunity to showcase our dedication to vehicle quality and urban mobility to more than 600,000 passengers every day.”
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission selected the Nissan NV200 to be the exclusive taxi for the city after a rigorous selection process that occurred over more than two years. The search for a single provider for the taxi contract is part of a project called the Taxi of Tomorrow. In December 2009, the TLC issued a "request for proposals," inviting carmakers and designers to submit their best ideas for a purpose-built vehicle to serve as a New York City taxicab.
As part of the program, Nissan also will work with the City and taxi owners on a pilot programme to study the use of zero-emission, electric vehicles as taxis. Nissan will provide up to six 100% electric Nissan Leafs to taxi owners for testing in 2012 as well as the charging stations to support their use.