Ontime boosts fleet with £4m investment
Ontime Automotive is making a £4m ($6.3m) investment in its Specialist Transport
Division’s fleet of enclosed transporters over the next 12 months with the addition of 21 new enclosed vehicles.
The UK-based finished vehicle transporter is working with manufacturing supplier Rolfo and Imperial Commercials (a DAF Trucks franchise) for the supply of the new transporters.
Two types of vehicle are on order, including the custom-built Rolfo Auriga Deluxe 27 tonne semi-trailer and Rolfo Sirio Deluxe 18 tonne rigid transporter with 19 tonne trailer, based on the DAF FA XF105 Space cab.  The semi-trailer is unique in being capable of transporting six 5 metre long cars at any time. 

 The vehicles offer a range of benefits, for example a bespoke low deck rigid vehicle and tail lifts for uploading a more diverse range of vehicles and climate control interiors for moving high value or state-of-the-art technologies. 

David Watkins, business development and sales manager, at Ontime’s Specialist Transport Division, commented: “As a result of this significant investment, we’re building on the strength of our offering, factoring in even greater efficiencies and the diversity needed to best serve the specialist requirements of our customers.”

DB Schenker launches business in Belarus
DB Schenker Logistics has opened a new subsidiary in Belarus with locations in the capital Minsk and at Minsk airport. 
“The new national company will enable us to strengthen our network in Eastern Europe, said Karl Nutzinger, member of the Management Board of Schenker AG responsible for Land Transportation. “Our customers expect smooth, trouble-free service in Belarus as elsewhere. Having our own company is a key factor in providing high end-to-end service quality. We expect that the recently formed customs union between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan will provide stimulus for additional growth.”
The new company offers the full range of logistics services, including the import and export of part- and full-load freight shipments bound to and from Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, and air and ocean freight services that include the handling of all customs formalities required by the union. The subsidiary will link Belarus with DB Schenker’s global network.
“We are still at an early stage for with a small team and two small offices,” a spokesman for DB Schenker told Automotive Logistics, “but this is a beginning.
“Belarus has borders with the EU. This will make the country more interesting for our key accounts, also for our customer from the automotive industry and their future plans. With the customs union, Belarus is interesting as a gateway to growing markets in Russia and Kazakhstan.”
The company is also making efforts to expand the existing DB Schenker distribution network in land transport in Russia, which now has 22 locations, by creating new locations in Belarus and also Kazakhstan.
DB Schenker Logistics launched a new business unit in Kaluga, Russia in April for logistics movements to Volkswagen’s plant there (read more here) and has reaffirmed its intention to establish a joint venture with Russian Railways’ subsidiary TransContainer, with a focus on the wider automotive sector (read more here). 
MOL reveals hybrid vessel
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) will launch a new hybrid car carrier in June next year that will use store energy generated from solar panels to power it when it is in berth.
In an effort to reduce CO2 emissions the vessel will be equipped with a hybrid electric power supply system that retains the energy derived from the panels and stores it in the lithium-ion batteries, which can store some 2.2MWh of electricity.
The batteries are placed in the bottom of the vessel, taking the place of fixed ballast, so they have no effect on the number of vehicles the vessel can carry.
The system is the result of a cooperative study group of experts from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Sanyo Electric Group, and MOL. The solar panels cover the exposed upper deck space and this system generates some 160kW, more than ten times as much as current systems on other ships, making it the most powerful system of its type in the world according to MOL.
Development was assisted with a subsidy from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) in 2009.
The vessel will be launched at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ Kobe shipyard.
APL picks up Nissan award for Thailand service
Nissan Motors in Thailand has recognised APL Logistics with an award for “Best Support and Coordination, 2010”. It is the first time Nissan’s Thailand division has given out awards for service excellence in its supply chain.

“We’re pleased to be recognised by one of the largest global manufacturers in the automotive industry, one demanding nothing less than precision in its supply chain,” said Dhanes Mekintharanggur, APL Logistics’ director responsible for Thailand operations.

Since 2009, APL Logistics has been Nissan Motors’ logistics partner in Thailand handling the supply of locally-produced automotive parts required by the car manufacturer’s Samutprakarn plant. APL Logistics manages 50 trucks making 80 trips in scheduled milk-runs, picking up components from multiple part supplier locations, before consolidating and delivering them just-in-time to the plant for the car assembly process.