Vehnet teams up with RF Code to supply improved RFID tool
Yard management specialist Vehnet is entering a strategic partnership with RF Code, a provider of RFID locating technology, to improve the tracking of reusable containers. The companies said their combined technology will deliver the most advanced Active RFID solution for the logistics and industrial marketplace.

According to Vehnet yard management is typically a minor module added on to warehouse and transport management systems and therefore has limited functionality. They also generally lack fully-integrated real-time asset location tracking data, which is important for optimizing processes and reducing asset management costs.

“The impact of inaccurate or out-of-date information can have far-reaching consequences for the supply chain, including additional costs, disrupted production and poor customer service,” said Steve Jones, managing director and founder of Vehnet. “The new Vehnet and RF Code solution for reusable containers is a great example of how two logistics professionals are working together to eliminate 'black holes' in customer supply chains, improving efficiency and saving costs. We are very excited about this innovative initiative and have already had strong interest from a number of customers.”

Vehnet said the system will improve the management of finished goods, reusable packaging and individual components while providing visibility and control across every aspect of the yard, from complex, multi-site operations to single-site deployments.

In other news, last month Vehnet appointed Russian wireless handheld technology provider Galaxy as the exclusive reseller of its Advance suite of integrated software solutions for yard management in Russia and the CIS.

Jones noted there was a growing appetite within the automotive logistics industry in Russia for reliable, effective IT systems backed up by industry-specific knowledge and local expert support.

Russia to introduce road tolls in 2014
The Russian Federation is introducing road toll charges for heavy goods vehicles between 12-40 tonnes next year. Estimates by the federal road agency, Rosavtodor, put the toll at around RUB 3.5 (€0.08cents) per kilometre when it is introduced. The date is currently set for November 2014 following a pilot project in September next year. The tolls will apply to around 48,000km of road and Rosavtodor expects the charge to generate around RUB 83 billion ($2.6 billion) for the state as early as 2015.

The installation and operation of the system is to be carried out by a private investor as part of a public-private partnership and a tender has been issued this month. Rosavtodor is looking for the system to be fully automatic.

Around 80% of vehicle deliveries in Russia are made by truck so the automotive sector is expected to be a heavy user of the toll system. Improvements to the quality of the roads is much needed in certain regions. Speaking at last year’s Automotive Logistics Russia conference Vitaly Emereev, deputy minister of economic development for the Kaluga region, noted that while road conditions between Moscow and Kaluga were acceptable, further south it was a “catastrophe”.
“The Soviet heritage is a real burden but we are making efforts to maintain good roads and investing in that,” he said.

Such investment has yet to be made in many other regions, according to Sergey Melnikov, director of logistics at Predpriyatiye Stroykomplekt, a parts and finished vehicle logistics service provider based in Ekaterinburg, some 600km east of Moscow.  Travel beyond the main centres of production to the regions is hindered by the fact that there have been no new roads built for the last five years.
It is hoped that the revenue generated from the sales will help to build new roads and improve existing ones.

Automotive Logistics Russia 2013 takes place next week in Moscow. More details are available here

Kerry Logistics opens three more facilities in China
Kerry Logistics has opened three new logistics centres in China with a combined area of 140,000 square metres. The latest additions, in Chongqing, Wuxi and Xiamen, will bring the number of Kerry’s logistics centres across China to 17 and will serve a range of industries including automotive.

The Chongqing logistics centre, phase two of which was completed in February this year, is the largest of the company’s facilities in China at 86,800 square metres. It will serve as hub for the Western China market and offer a full range of logistics services for automotive parts and accessories, as well as for the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, and electronics and technology.

“All of the new facilities are equipped with the latest security and IT systems providing maximum security and improved tracking and supply chain transparency for our customers,” said Edwardo Erni, managing director, Mainland China, Kerry Logistics.

The Wuxi facility is sited close to the highway with direct access to Wuxi Shoufang Airport and the Shanghai-Nanjing Expressway. It will provide a complete portfolio of innovative solutions from order management, VMI to material and parts management, as well as reverse logistics.

The company’s third facility in Xiamen is based in the Haicang Export Processing Zone and will support electronics and technology customers.

Neovia Logistics buys MIQ Holdings
Neovia Logistics has signed an agreement to buy the contract logistics division of transport and distribution provider MIQ Holdings.

Neovia, which was formerly Caterpillar Logistics Services before Platinum Equity bought a 65% stake in it last July, provides supply chain services to a range of industries including automotive.

MIQ’s contract logistics business provides warehouse management and fulfillment services as well as other logistics services through a network of nine facilities in the US and Canada.

"We have made a lot of progress at Neovia in a short period of time,” said Platinum Equity partner Jacob Kotzubei. “We carved the business out from Caterpillar, assembled a world-class management team and established a new corporate identity. Neovia is cultivating new customer relationships and delivering on its commitment to growth, and we are excited about the value the contract logistics business brings to the company.”

Stuttgart centre ready for Mercedes
Logistics property developer Gazeley has completed its facility at the G. Park near Stuttgart in Germany. The building provides more than 25,000 square metres of working space, making it one of the largest project developments in the Stuttgart industrial region. Half of that space has already been handed over to Mercedes AMG, the Daimler division that engineers, manufactures and customises high performance vehicles.

AMG will use the facility for storage and distribution.

“The strategic location of this site, in the attractive region of Stuttgart, has been a key factor in agreeing a deal with Mercedes-AMG,” said Ingo Steves, director at Gazeley Germany. “Getting to the building stage has been a real team effort and we’ve been delighted with the response from the local community towards this new facility.”