Japanese carmakers extend production cuts
Toyota has extended the reductions to its global manufacturing output because of supply shortages caused by the flooding in Thailand.
Cuts to output at plants in Japan for the two weeks between October 24th and November 5th have now been extended meaning production between November 7th and 12th will be adjusted “based on an ongoing assessment of the parts supply situation at each individual production line” said the company.
In Thailand the carmaker has extended the production halts at its Samrong, Gateway and Ban Pho plants, which have been in place since October 10. This will now stay in place until November 12th. 
Furthermore, vehicle production plants in South Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Pakistan and Malaysia will adjust production for the week starting November 7th.
The company has also suspended overtime and Saturday production at all North American vehicle assembly plants up until November 12th. 
Toyota said that US dealers continue to have a good supply of cars and trucks as inventories have improved in recent months. 
Further to last week’s announcement about cuts to Honda production around the world, the company has said it will continue to adjust production on an ongoing basis at all six of its plants in the US and Canada, also because of parts shortages. Reduced production will continue to November 25th in Canada and November 23rd in the US.
Nissan is also halting production in Thailand until at least November 14th and said that though the flood-related supply problems had not affected production at its plants outside Thailand, it recognised a risk of a 20,000-unit production loss in Japan.
Goodman supply facility for VW Amarok
Goodman is developing a just-in-time supply facility for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Amarok production, which begins in August next year at the truckmaker’s facility in Hanover, Germany.
While VW said details of the complete logistics process are not being discussed until the facility is completed, Goodman has revealed that the new contract includes an agreement to build a 45,000m2 external supply centre which is already underway on a site in the Schwarze Heide commercial area of Hanover, near Volkswagen’s commercial vehicle production facility.
Annual Amarok capacity in the Hanover factory will be 41,000 cars, which are produced for the European market and some other right-hand drive markets such as South Africa.
The new building will provide 45,000m2 of undercover storage area and VW will use 30,000m2 for storage and supply to the Amarok production line.
Construction commenced in early September, and the first unit of approximately 10,000m2 will be handed over at the start of January 2012.
“Goodman has a strong track record in the development of logistics facilities for the automotive industry, which we have demonstrated through projects in recent months that include BMW in Leipzig and Mercedes-Benz in Malsch,” said Andreas Fleischer, Goodman country manager for Germany. “We are delighted to have been selected by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles as their project partner and with the confidence placed in us and our proven experience in delivering quality logistics space for our customers. We also hope to be more involved in the Hanover region in the future.”
WWL boosts fleet with LCTCs
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics is adding seven large car and truck carriers (LCTC) to its fleet by the end of 2012 which, with the four Mark V carriers currently being phased in, will mean 11 new generation vessels in operation by next year.
The company put the second of its Mark V vessels – the MV Parsifal – into operation in September this year. Each Mark V vessel is designed to reduce emissions per cargo by 10-15% according to the company.
WWL took 19 vessels out of circulation and into cold lay-up during the recession, half of which were subsequently recycled in order to make room for Mark V and LCTC vessels.
“On-going globalisation is creating new challenges for logistics companies,” said Kai Kraass, chief operating officer at WWL. “In such a volatile world, flexibility and efficiency are absolutely crucial. This is why we’re enhancing our fleet, focusing on two vessel types that will enable us to deliver the most reliable, sustainable ocean service on the market.” 
Krass went on to say that work was also already underway to design a prototype for the next generation of vessel, scheduled for introduction in 2014-2015. 
“The urgent need to reduce fuel consumption even further will require us to change the way ships are designed, ” he said. “I think we can safely say that the next generation of vessels will look very different from anything we’ve seen before.” 
UECC teams up with Mann Lines
Norwegian car carrier UECC has signed a new agreement with UK ro-ro carrier Mann Lines to combine activity in the Baltic and North Sea.
UECC will continue to operate its liner service in the region and sell available capacity for high and heavy freight to Mann Lines for its existing client base and the general cargo market.
Mann Lines will use its network of sales offices and logistics centres across the Baltic and North Sea to expand its service.
Chief Executive Officer of UECC, Craig Jasienski, said. “Improving utilisation factors by re-using available space is the most effective way to provide the industry with competitive services that furthermore reduces our impact on the environment, a key objective for UECC.”
Mann Lines will continue to provide door-to-door logistics services through its sales network, adding UECC’s high and heavy capacity to its service portfolio. UECC, having the largest fleet of Ice Class car carriers available, will provide its services to the automotive industry and other rolling cargo OEMs through its existing commercial agency network.