Gebrüder Weiss sets up JV with Tegeta Motors
European logistics and transport provider Gebrüder Weiss has established a majority stake in a joint venture with Tegeta Motors, a vehicle spare parts and service provider based in Tbilisi, Georgia which distributes international brands in the Caucasus region.
Called Gebrüder Weiss-Tegeta, the company will offer land transport, air and sea freight services as well as logistics solutions.
"Through this joint venture, we are building a strategically important platform in the Caucasus - a region that is developing into a hub between the booming markets in Asia and Europe," said Gebrüder Weiss board member Wolfram Senger-Weiss. "Many of our existing customers will benefit from this expansion."
The joint venture is working on 10,000m2 of warehouse space in the capital Tbilisi, which is expected to be complete by early 2013.
Operations will be headed by Aleksandre Kharlamov, head of transport and logistics for Tegeta Motors. He will report to Thomas Moser, regional manager for Southeast/CIS at Gebrüder Weiss.
Meritor opens second distribution centre in Brazil
Drivetrain, braking and aftermarket parts supplier, Meritor, has opened a new 50,000-square-foot aftermarket distribution and customer service centre in Barueri, near Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Meritor has operated a parts distribution centre in the region for more than 25 years but said that the new facility will focus on the distribution and packaging of parts.
The new centre will remanufacture brake and driveline components to meet the market demand for premium remanufactured parts.
The company stated that the new facility will also be an integral component in its recent launch into an aftermarket-based, third-party multiple logistics business called Meritor Logistics which provides packaging and kitting, material planning, warehousing, distribution, customer support, core consolidation, remanufacturing and consulting services.
Angelo Morino, Meritor's managing director of aftermarket South America, said the company's experience with serving its customers has enabled it to incorporate much advancement in distribution centre technology.
"This vast experience has been incorporated to speed deliveries to customers throughout South America, improve inventories, and anticipate our customers' needs for axle, brake and driveline parts support," Morino said.
Meritor operates aftermarket distribution centres in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Mexico, UK and the US, and serves nearly 6,000 customers globally, to support its global aftermarket operations.
Finnlines introduces Sweden-Russia ro-ro service
Grimaldi-owned Baltic and North Sea shipping operator, Finnlines, will begin a new bi-weekly ro-ro service between the port of Wallhamn in Sweden and the Russian port of Ust-Luga aimed at vehicle shipments, as well as trailers and containers.
The service will begin at the end of March and establishes a new link between the Scandinavian countries and Russia.
The port of Walhamn, operated by the Grimaldi Group, is used for the transhipment of vehicles from deep-sea vessels for onward transport to the Russian market.
Finnlines' president and CEO Uwe Bakosch said the new connection would enhance its existing connections with Russia from Bilbao, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Hull, Aarhus and Lübeck.
The new service will depart from Wallhamn every other Tuesday and arrives at Ust-Luga on Thursday.
Volvo Truck deliveries up 5% in January
Volvo Trucks has reported that its deliveries for January rose 5% to 6,822 trucks, compared with the year-earlier period.
Deliveries in Europe amounted to 2,961 trucks in January (up 6%, year-on-year) decreased 3% in Western Europe because of continued economic uncertainty in the market.
Russian demand for trucks rose to 285 trucks for the month compared with 125 trucks in January 2011. As a whole, deliveries in Eastern Europe increased 39% in January.
Deliveries in South America declined 18% to 1,042 trucks in January due to tougher emission standards starting January 1st 2012, followed by lower demand and need for adapting production levels as planned, said the company
In North America, January deliveries rose 15% to 1,582 trucks year-on-year, despite the postponement of some deliveries due to a defective component supplied to Volvo and several other North American manufacturers. This impact is expected to continue in February. 
Oxnard celebrates 75 years
The Oxnard Harbour District in Southern California's Ventura County, is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and the new president of the harbour district board of commissioners, Manuel Lopez, has chosen the anniversary to highlight the revenue and jobs created by the port of Hueneme, not least in terms of its vehicle throughput, the ports highest value commodity.
Carmaker BMW is present at the port, the only deep-water harbour between LA and San Francisco, along with logistics providers Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) and Global Auto Processing Services (GAPS).
Speaking in the Ventura County Star, Lopez pointed to the movement of 200,000 vehicles through the port in 2011 and $10.3m spent in processing the 80% of imports handled for delivery to dealerships through the region.
The remaining 20% of vehicles handled are for export. However, as WWL told Automotive Logistics last year, it expects its vehicle-processing terminal at the port to see strong growth for exports from the US, led by Japanese manufacturers.
"Exports are a big growth potential for us over the next few years," said Mike Wallace, senior general manager, West Coast at WWL PVP, at the time. "We are seeing some of that now and we think those numbers could help us to double our current volume of vehicles over the next four years," he said.
NYK is also seeing an increase in exports of vehicles from the port. Toyota began exports of Kentucky-assembled Camry sedans to South Korea via Hueneme in December last year, with NYK Line, a move that followed exports of its Sienna minivan in September, also from the port.