Mercurio Pallia invests in vehicle carrying
Mercurio Pallia Logistics, the joint venture between Italy’s Gruppo Mercurio and India’s Pallia Transport, has said it plans to invest nearly Rs69 crore ($13.8m) in specialised vehicle trailers based on what it calls a ‘truck-on-truck’ concept for the Indian and wider Asia-Pacific automotive markets. The company said the new generation of trailers would help customers save on delivery costs and maintenance.
The company’s Auto Works division plans to manufacture the trailers and trucks at the facility it opened last year at Dharuhera, in the Rewari district near New Delhi in northern India. Production will boost Mercurio Pallia’s existing fleet of around 550 trucks.
Mercurio Pallia Auto Works will also make vehicle carriers for all other transporters in India as well as exports ,according to Vipul Nanda, chairman and managing director of Mercurio Pallia Logistics. It will start with an initial capacity of 20 trailers per month and will increase it to 35 by 2012.
Mercurio Pallia is already working with a number of major automobile manufacturers in India. Its Rewari facility is near Maruti Suzuki’s plant in Gurgaon.
The move may also have some significance for the plans of the PSA Group, whose logistics subsidiary, Gefco, owns 70% of the Mercurio Group. This past summer PSA announced plans for a new factory in Gujurat, in the northwest of the country.
Mercurio is also looking at building its rail offering for the automotive industry in India and has signed a memorandum of understanding with logistics provider ETA Freightstar, according to Nanda.
Gefco denies port shift in Italy
Reports that PSA Peugeot-Citroën is changing the destination port for vehicles shipped between Spain and Italy are being contradicted by its logistics subsidiary Gefco.
A number of reports have appeared suggesting that the movement of 50,000 vehicles shipped from the port of Vigo in Spain are being switched from Civitavecchia auto terminal near Rome to the port of Livorno as part of a new strategy by Italian logistics provider Gruppo Mercurio, which is now 70% owned by Gefco.
However, according to Gefco, the claims are unfounded. “No change has been planned by Gefco on the transport scheme for the Spain-Italy flows,” a spokesperson for the company told Automotive Logistics. “Operators haven't changed, nor [have] the ports in Italy.”
Further to the refutation Gefco said it had no further comment.
MOL introduces car carriers with all-electric cargo handling
Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) is bringing in a new generation of pure truck and car carriers (PCTCs) that feature electrically-driven ro-ro access equipment. They are reported to be the world's first car carriers to have all of their ro-ro equipment electrically driven and thus eliminate the need for hydraulic oil in the operating system.
The 4,000-unit PCTC, Iris Ace, delivered to MOL earlier this year, features an electrically-driven MacGregor stern quarter ramp and door, side ramps and two movable ramps supplied by cargo and load handling supplier, Cargotec.
That vessel was followed into operation by a pair of 6,400-unit pure car carriers (PCCs), Cattleya Ace and Carnation Ace, which both feature electrically-driven MacGregor stern quarter ramps/doors, a centre ramp/door and six movable ramps. All equipment is operated by electric winches and actuators.
All ships were built by Shin Kurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding.
"On average, electric drives consume less energy than their hydraulic equivalents, therefore, their introduction into MOL's recent newbuilds was a natural progression in the company's environmental initiatives," said Magnus Sjöberg, sales director for ro-ro ships at Cargotec.
Last year Cargotec and the Shin-Kurushima Dockyard group also signed further agreements for four PCCs to be fitted with fully electrically-driven ro-ro access equipment. The company said this brings to five the number of car carriers that now have all of their ro-ro equipment electrically-drive as well as two ro-ro vessels.
"When you replace hydraulically-powered deck machinery with electric versions, one of the greatest environmental benefits that you gain is the elimination of potential hydraulic oil leaks,” said Sjöberg. “These cause pollution and can also damage cargo. It was the high incidence of cargo damage that was a primary concern for car manufacturers, who ultimately put pressure on shipowners to come up with a solution to the problem."
Acumen secures ISO accreditation
Acumen Logistics’ automotive subsidiary, Acumen Automotive Logistics, has succeeded in achieving ISO9001 and ISO14001 accreditation for environmental management and service at its Coventry-based Control Centre.
The accreditation was undertaken with support from Rosewood Keen Management Services (RKMS).
"Continuous improvement is essential to our ongoing success,” said Chris Doughty, Acumen’s managing director. “This new accreditation is important to show our commitment to quality, the environment, supporting customers and meeting the strict demands of the industry. It is also ongoing as we plan to achieve accreditation across all our operational sites.”
The subsidiary also now has an MSA Fleet Auto-Mates transport management system which integrates with customers’ data to identify specific vehicles for transport and to manage the collection and delivery of vehicles. The addition of a planning system enables vehicles and drivers to be easily allocated, thereby saving the company considerable time in setting up and administering vehicle movements.