Grimaldi extends Med ro-ro service
Italian forwarder Grimaldi has extended it Mediterranean ro-ro service between Livorno in Italy and Valencia in Spain with the addition of a call at the Italian port of Genova. The service, which began last week, will provide three sailings a week served by two ro-ro vessels–Eurocargo Valencia (pictured) and Craig Side–each able to carry 1,600 trailers, 72 trucks and 1,500 cars per week in each direction.
“The vessels deployed, after calling Livorno, proceed to Genoa and from there to Valencia,” said a spokesman for Grimaldi. “Currently cars are being discharged and loaded in Livorno.”
The service expands on Grimaldi’s Motorways of the Sea network based on the European Commission’s project of introducing new intermodal maritime-based logistics chains in Europe that are more sustainable and provide a competitive alternative to land transport.
Grimaldi has been providing a regular service between the ports of Salerno, Cagliari, Livorno and Valencia for the past decade.
The transit time of the new service will be around 24 hours said the company and will provide an efficient and punctual alternative to the 1,300km road route.
“The beneficiaries will not be only the logistics companies of the Milan-Turin-Genoa industrial triangle,” said managing director, Emanuele Grimaldi, “but also companies that operate beyond the boundaries of Italy and Northern Europe, which will have a direct, efficient and regular connection with Valencia, the main gateway to and from south-central Spain and Portugal.”
Grimaldi also serves the port of Barcelona in Spain and earlier this year it secured a 15- year concession at the Muelle Costa terminal at the port, dedicated to the transport of freight and passengers.
Dealers offered advice as Saab goes into administration
Saab Great Britain filed for administration with the High Court in London this week in an effort to gain legal protection until funding for the company has been secured. At the end of October Saab received a conditional offer of €100m from Chinese investors Pang Da and Youngman for the continuation of the activities including those of Saab GB but so far no funding has been received.
The National Franchise Dealer Association has said it will contact Saab dealers across the UK.
“The NFDA are currently in contact with the Saab Dealer Council and will be in touch with Saab dealers regarding the current situation,” said Sue Robinson, NFDA director. “We urge our members with Saab dealerships to get in contact to talk through what steps they now need to take. We have access to expert legal advice and are here to help.”
Saab is in bankruptcy protection after failing to pay its suppliers and has not produced a vehicle at its Trollhättan plant since April this year.
Quantum secures new partnership with Toyota
UK-based car carrier Quantum Automotive Services has secured a two-year distribution contract with Toyota which will see it deliver approximately 50,000 vehicles a year to Toyota’s dealership network across the south of the UK.
The contract includes the delivery of Yaris and Avensis cars direct from Toyota’s manufacturing plant at Burnaston. Quantum will also deliver the Toyota and Lexus range of vehicles, which are manufactured in Japan, South Africa and Thailand, and are imported into the UK via Royal Portbury Dock near Bristol.
To support the deliveries, Quantum is investing in a new fleet of 20, British built, Transporter Engineering, Euro 5, car transporters for the contract.  
“It is a major step for Quantum to have been selected by Toyota as a distribution partner,” said Steve Berry, Quantum’s managing director. “Toyota demands the very highest standards of professionalism and service from its partners and we have been able to show that we have the expertise and resource to provide the very highest levels of service they require. We are looking forward to working with Toyota and developing this partnership further over the coming years.”
Modalohr wagons given go ahead for Channel Tunnel
Lohr Industries’ Modalohr rail wagons, which enable side loading of standard 4 metre-high trucks, have been approved for use through the Channel Tunnel connecting Europe with the UK. It is the first time since the Channel Tunnel opened in 1994 that new railway rolling stock has been approved by the Inter-Governmental Commission.
According to Eurotunnel the move to use the intermodal solution is part of its strategy to apply the European Technical Specifications for Interoperability to the Channel Tunnel to enable the growth of rail freight traffic between the UK and continental Europe.
The low-level, articulated Modalohr wagons are used on dedicated rail freight corridors across France. They do not have canopies or superstructures of the type traditionally imposed for Eurotunnel shuttles. More information on the wagons is available here