Newly-established shipping company North Sea RoRo will begin a service between the port of Gothenburg in Sweden and Killingholme port in the UK on 24th January.
Headed by CEO Mårten Carlquist, the new service aims to provide an alternative to the service currently operated by DFDS and will offer three sailings a week in each direction.
Logent, a Swedish logistics company, will carry out stevedoring operations in Gothenburg and also act as agents for the line. Services in Killingholme will be handled by C. RO Ports.
Last year, Logent won a concession from the Port Authority of Gothenburg to take over operations at the port’s deep-sea car terminal. The sailings in Gothenburg will be sent and received at the car terminal, whilst DFDS currently operates from a neighbouring short-sea terminal.
The main shareholder of the company, transport and freight forwarder NTEX, will start off as the line’s main customer, filling mainly trailer cargo.
According to Carlquist, the majority of current traffic will be such trailer cargo, however he told Automotive Logistics News that North Sea RoRo would be targeting more self-propelled ro-ro cargo, including cars, trucks and construction equipment. The use of the car terminal at Gothenburg, as well as the automotive specialisation of Logent, should also be an advantage for serving the automotive sector, he said.
“We are very interested in automotive and other ro-ro cargo,” said Carlquist, a 37-year shipping veteran–including with DFDS–who has come out of retirement to run the company.
Thomas Ström, CEO of NTEX, estimated that current annual volume on the route corresponds to SEK 150m ($21.8m). Carlquist said the balance of traffic on the route between the UK and Sweden is expected to be quite even, although in recent years the balance has shifted towards exports from the UK following the depreciation of sterling with the Swedish krona.
While NTEX is the main shareholder, it will significantly reduce its ownership to ensure the company’s independence, said Joakim von Heijne of Avantus Corporate Finance, who has been an exclusive advisor in the company’s formation.
“The aim of North Sea Ro-ro is to be financially independent,” said Carlquist. “We already have several investors who are very interested.”
Sad loss of former Schneider boss
It was with sadness that the industry learned last week of the death of Schneider National’s former president and CEO, Donald J. Schneider, who passed away at 76 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
“The transportation and logistics industry has lost one of its most passionate and influential voices,” said Governor Bill Graves, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations. “Don Schneider was a visionary, bringing business acumen and technology to blaze a trail and set the standard in the modern day development of our industry.”
Schneider started working for the family business while in high school in the early 1950s, first as a mechanic’s helper and then as a truck driver. Upon earning his master’s degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, he returned to Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1961 to join his father’s trucking company as a manager and in 1976 became president of the then $82m company which he led for the following 25 years.
Goodman completes first stage of VW supply facility
Phase one of Volkswagen’s supply facility in Hanover is now complete and fully operational. Completed by commercial property developer Goodman, the 10,000-square-metre space in the Schwarze Heide park near Hanover, is part of a wider development that will eventually stretch to a 45,000-square-metre undercover storage area. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will use 30,000 square metres for storage and JIT supply to its nearby assembly plant for Amarok pick up production, which is due to begin in August this year.
Annual Amarok capacity in the Hanover factory will be 41,000 vehicles, which are produced for the European market and some other right-hand drive markets such as South Africa.
CSA BASIC factsheets now online
The Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) programme, administered by the US Department of Transport’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, has just released a new Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) factsheet series on the CSA Outreach Website. The factsheets are targeted for motor carriers and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who want to learn more about the agency’s seven BASICs, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) upon which they are based, and how to ensure they comply with those regulations.
The BASICs cover unsafe driving, fatigued driving (hours-of-service), driver fitness, controlled substances/alcohol, vehicle maintenance, cargo-related, and crash indicator. As these factsheets outline, the BASICs are safety categories in the CSA programme’s Safety Measurement System (SMS). Motor carriers can see where they stand in each BASIC by logging into the SMS online (
FMCSA will highlight one BASIC factsheet each Monday for the next seven weeks through this subscription email service to support industry’s understanding of the BASICs.
The BASIC factsheets can be accessed now at this address 
Hellmann launches direct UK-Poland service
Following the introduction of the new service to Eastern Germany at the end of last year, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics UK has announced the launch of a further direct feed service into Poland, which will begin in February.
Operating from Basildon and Lichfield in the UK to Poznañ and back, the new direct service is aimed at strengthening the quality of distribution across the country according to Hellmann. From the new Poznan base, Hellmann will be able to link overnight to major Polish cities such as Wroclaw, Kraków, LódŸ, Warsaw and Gdañsk, further strengthening Hellmann UK’s network.
The new direct service will be orientated towards heavier consignments and partloads and will complement the already successful express road service that currently operates daily to Poznañ and Warsaw.  
Double win for Gefco at ITM awards
Gefco has been named European Logistics Company 2012 and UK Automotive Logistics Company 2012 by the Institute of Transport Management (ITM).
The ITM judges logistics companies on the quality of service, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and customer care and this year deemed that Gefco outperformed all other shortlisted competitors to take the top spot in both categories.
In 2011 Gefco celebrated its 30th anniversary in the UK and launched EuroDaily, which offers multi-daily departures to 15 European countries. The company has also recently invested in a new fleet of transporters with versatile loading capability and expanded automotive activity at its Portbury site.
 “Our recent fleet renewal programme means we now have one of the youngest and most versatile transporter fleets in the UK, and the title of UK Logistics Company 2012 is testament to the high level of satisfaction felt by our clients throughout the sector,” said Gefco UK automotive director, Bertrand De Techtermann.