Gefco supports PSA and Ford in South Africa
Following Gefco’s opening of a subsidiary in South Africa last year the logistics provider has announced that it has a new contract with Ford to export 30 containers of parts from the carmaker’s Struandale plant there to its Pacheco assembly plant in Argentina.

This year will also see the company handling transport and logistics operations in South Africa for Peugeot-Citroën, which recently sold a 75% stake in the logistics provider to the Russian state rail operator, RZD. The services will include the receipt, storage and distribution of around 12,000 vehicles for dealers located in the country.

The company, which has previously operated out of Johannesburg via a sales representation office, said it has been strengthening its commercial relations in the region since 2007 by organising a triangular logistics flow of automotive parts between Portugal, Botswana and South Africa.

Since 2009, Gefco has been importing, handling storage and distributing Peugeot spare parts both in South Africa and surrounding countries, namely Swaziland, Namibia and Botswana. These transport moves account for some 750-1,000kg of spare parts transported by air and between four and six containers per month by sea.

In December last year the company launched a weekly less-than-container load (LCL) maritime groupage service for goods travelling from its European hubs and destined for the South African ports of Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.

Yusen provides sequencing for Visscher Caravelle
Yusen Logistics has been awarded a contract with car mat maker Visscher Caravelle for the sequence picking and linefeed preparation of car mats for the Jaguar XK and new F-Type models.

The operation involves receiving bagged mat sets sent from Poland and sequencing them into lineside packaging ready for delivery into the Castle Bromwich plant in the UK on a just-in-time basis.

Yusen Logistics system provides stock traceability and alert messaging in real time for the sequence picking and dispatch operation.

The operation is based at Yusen Logistics’ Tamworth automotive centre, a 7,500 square-metre-site strategically located in the UK’s Midlands, where a number of automotive assembly locations are based. It is supported by Yusen’s forwarding control tower operations, with volumes arriving by air, sea and road.

According to Yusen, the Tamworth operation was developed further to requests from first and second tier suppliers for decanting, crossdocking, stockholding and sequencing operations in readiness for line-feed into the assembly process on a just-in-time basis.

Vantec opens Sunderland warehouse
Vantec Corporation’s Europe business division has recently opened its new 45,000-square-metre warehouse at the Turbine Business Park near Sunderland in the UK, near its customer Nissan’s assembly plant.

The £22.5m ($35m) warehouse is the largest investment made by Vantec in its 20-year history in the region.

Akira Koyama, president of the Vantec Corporation, marked the opening with the decoration of a Daruma doll, a traditional doll modelled on Bodhidharma the founder of Zen Buddhism and regarded as a good luck talisman. He was joined by Shinya Hannya, senior managing executive of Vantec, and Shizuo Seki, managing director of the European division of parent company Hitachi Transport System.

Koyama expressed his pride in Vantec Europe’s ongoing success and thanked all those involved in the fast and efficient design and build process.

Vantec was awarded £2.7m from the second round of the UK’s Regional Growth Fund to support the warehouse project. It will complement Vantec’s existing 14,000-square metre warehouse in Sunderland. Facilities contractor GMI built the warehouse.

Vantec also provides logistics and warehousing services in the Northeast for Komatsu UK and Cummins Engines, as well offering freight forwarding and customs clearance services. It already employs 900 people in the region.

Visitors to the opening ceremony were lead from the Daruma ceremony along to the office area to a plaque unveiling ceremony to officially name the warehouse ‘Hachinosu’, meaning ‘beehive’ in Japanese, a name chosen by local schoolgirl Bethany Hunter.

everywoman UK extends deadline for nominations
The deadline has been extended for this year’s everywoman in Transport and Logistics awards, the annual awards ceremony, now in its sixth year, which champions women in the industry and raises awareness of the diversity of jobs available to them. The deadline for nominations has been moved to Monday 18th February.

Only 25% of the transport and logistics workforce in the UK are female but as was revealed at last year’s everywoman Transport and Logistics Leadership Academy event, 94% of attendees felt their career aspirations could be fulfilled within the sector.

According to the organisers, the research carried out at the event cited ‘lack of role models’ and ‘access to influential mentors’ as key factors that the women canvassed felt were holding them back from career advancement. The Awards aim to address this issue.

“The transport and logistics sector is no longer an exclusively male environment, but we need to continue to raise awareness and get the message out about the diverse range of career opportunities it offers,” said Maxine Benson MBE, co-founder of everywoman. “We launched these Awards to raise the profile of inspirational female talent, to encourage women across the UK to pursue a career in the industry. We want to encourage more women to abandon their misconceptions and learn more about the diverse range of opportunities offered in transport and logistics. These Awards are a channel for unearthing role models, in order to readdress the gender imbalance in the sector and I urge women already leading the way to enter.”

More information is available here

UPS increases LCL lanes
UPS has expanded its direct less-than-container load (LCL) offering to more than 300 additional lanes in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South America during 2012.

The company said that the additional lanes mean it now serves more than 1,700 direct LCL lanes servicing 116 countries.

“UPS offers LCL services from virtually any origin and destination in the world,” said Andy Huckbody, vice president of UPS Ocean Freight Services. “By enhancing our direct LCL offering, we’re giving our customers access to more reliable and predictable ocean freight service in more markets.”

UPS said it added 139 outbound lanes in Asia, including 68 from China, to connect retailers and industrial suppliers in Europe and North America to new global markets.

“Given the increased access to Panama and its presence as one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America, we added direct LCL lanes to this geography as well,” said Huckbody.

UPS has also added 10 direct outbound LCL services from Vietnam to the U.S., Europe and intra-Asia in 2012.

“Expanded LCL lanes also enable companies to continue to mode shift from heavy air freight by reducing overall transportation spend as companies look for cost savings,” added Huckbody.

Additional enhancements to the UPS direct LCL offering included 12 inbound and outbound lanes to Busan, South Korea to meet demand stemming from the Free Trade Agreement signed between the U.S. and South Korea in March 2012. The Europe region experienced the second-largest increase in outbound lanes, with UPS adding 81 direct LCL lanes from the area.  

 “Companies in the European Union are looking to high-growth emerging markets for expansion.  UPS has enabled Europe’s industrial manufacturing companies to reach emerging markets including 12 countries in Asia/Subcontinent, 10 countries in Middle East/Africa and 11 countries in Latin America, including Mexico, Brazil and Chile,” added Huckbody.