Mercedes imports to Turkey via Autoport
Mercedes-Benz has begun using Turkey’s Autoport terminal at Izmit in Kocaeli for imports of trucks and buses from its manufacturing plants in Istanbul and Aksaray. The 15-hectare terminal, which was built by Arkas Holding and opened in 2008, has the capacity to move 400,000 vehicles a year.

The port will also be handling Mercedes passenger car imports.

In 2012 Mercedes exported more than 4,000 trucks and buses from Turkey.

Özgür Kalelioglu, port services director for Arkas, said that because Autoport was designed for automotive traffic, the sort of risks and service limitations that occur at other ports handling other freight were avoided. The facility is located near Turkey’s main automotive manufacturing zone.

“I believe that the capacity, quality and infrastructure needed by automotive brands in our area to reach their export goals matches perfectly with the founding purpose and goals of Autoport,” said Kaleioglu. “We will soon be expanding our cooperation with Mercedes to include other automotive brands.”

He added that the automotive sector was the locomotive behind Turkish exports and has a larger share than other sectors. “By 2023, the 100th year anniversary of the founding of the Republic, it is expected that automotive production in Turkey will reach 4m vehicles, 3m of which will be exported.”

Nissan uses South Korean trailers
Nissan has started using trailers from South Korea in Japan as part of a new transport strategy designed to allow trailers registered in either country to operate on public roads in both. Since July last year Nissan has been participating in a pilot project established following an agreement signed at the fourth China-Japan-Korea Ministerial Conference on Transport and Logistics.

The project allows a trailer that is registered in one country to skip reloading its cargo onto a different trailer at the other country's port after it has been transported by sea, and proceed directly onto roads in the destination country. This enables a more efficient distribution process for cross-border transportation of goods said the company.

Japanese trailers began operating on South Korean roads in October 2012.
A joint ceremony was held at Nissan's plant in Kyushu recently, with participants from Nippon Express and Nissan Motor Kyushu, together with guests including officials from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and the South Korean Embassy in Japan.

Nissan Corporate vice president, Toshifumi Hirai, who attended the ceremony, said: "This simplified logistics process between Japan and South Korea will strengthen the competitiveness of manufacturers and help revitalize the economy of both countries. I would like to thank the governments of both countries for their significant contribution and cooperation."

Mercurio Pallia opens India stockyard for Fiat
Gefco subsidiary, Mercurio Pallia, has opened a 12-acre vehicle stockyard in Rangjangaon, near Pune in India for Fiat’s division in the country – Fiat Group Automobiles India.

The facility provides capacity for 2,000 passenger cars and will offer value-added yard management services.

Mercurio Pallia said it will manage the distribution facility and leverage Gefco’s expertise in outbound automotive logistics and compound management to help Fiat meets its growth objectives for the Indian market.
The stockyard is equipped with a concrete-paved storage area, a separate loading area and a top-class pre-delivery inspection booth for quality checks before cars are loaded for distribution. It also features a water harvest system with rain water drainage and an effluent treatment plant.

Autometro moved 105,000 cars in 2012
Autometro, the subsidiary of the railway company owned by the autonomous region of Catalonia, Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC), transported more than 105,000 cars between the Seat factory in Martorell and the Port of Barcelona in 2012. This is equivalent to 58.5% of all vehicles arriving at the port by rail.

Another subsidiary, Cargometro, specialises in transporting automotive parts from the same factory and also from the adjacent free zone, although the latter is via tracks owned by the National track authority, ADIF.

Menlo opens second Belgian DC
Menlo Worldwide Logistics has opened a second distribution centre in Genk, Belgium that will handle parts for the automotive aftermarket amongst other industries. The company said the 16,000-square-metre facility is operating as a multi-user facility for companies distributing products throughout Europe and has capacity to extend its services to further users both regional and international.

Services on offer include receiving, stock management, fulfillment, export, distribution and supply chain control.

The logistics provider already has a 5,000-square metre distribution centre in Belgium at Ghlin, approximately 160km southwest of Genk.

“The European business community recognised early on the value of logistics outsourcing,” said Tony Gunn, Menlo’s managing director, Europe. “Our strategic operations in Genk, and our other facilities throughout Europe, provide value-added services for major manufacturers and retailers in the region. Genk is a key location for the global Menlo network.”

Gefco signs contract with Volkswagen Group in Spain
Gefco has signed a three-year agreement with the Volkswagen Group
for distribution of Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda vehicles in the east of Spain, according to Spanish press reports.

The contract, which has been in force since January, means that Gefco will manage the distribution of around 31,000 vehicles each year to dealerships in Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia and Albacete.

This service will be integrated into Gefco’s current volume in Spain, which includes volumes from PSA, General Motors and other OEMs.