Honda chooses Glovis for US exports
Honda has chosen Hyundai-owned logistics provider and car carrier Glovis to move volumes of its US-assembled vehicles to South Korea. Glovis will carry the vehicles from the port of Hueneme in California and its port processor division GAPS will provide services at the port.
It is the first time that Glovis has picked up third party business outside Hyundai and Kia in the US.
The port of Hueneme has seen a trend for more export activity, particularly of Asian brands.
In October last year Honda was reported to be planning to halve vehicle exports from Japan over the next decade in an effort to tackle damaging currency fluctuations that have hit the company with the rise of the yen, with the new free trade agreement between the US and South Korea providing an added incentive. Asian brands including Honda, Toyota and Nissan are aiming to export around 200,000 units each from the US over the next few years.
Honda currently exports just under 40% of its Japanese output but has already stated it plans to reduce this to between 10-20%.
Rival carmaker Toyota is also exporting US-assembled Camry sedans and Sienna minivans to South Korea from Hueneme with NYK Line.
Glovis's strategy in the US includes plans to increase third-party business with other OEMs in the US, one of the few regions globally where it is looking beyond Hyundai and Kia (read more here).
GCS expands its fleet of container flatcars
Russia's Global Container Service Group (GCS) has taken delivery of the first batch of what will be a total of 224, 80-ft rail flat-cars to be deployed in block trains operated by GCS division Ruscon for CKD shipments between the port of Novorossiysk and Elabuga in Tartarstan. Ruscon also moves freight to other destinations in western Russia, including Moscow.
Automotive manufacturing joint ventures in Elabuga's special economic zone include Ford, Isuzu, Voith Turbo, Saint-Gobain, Rockwool, Air Liquide and P-D Fibreglass, part of the Preiss-Daimler Group.
In addition to expanding its owned wagon fleet, GCS plans to increase the number of long-term leased flat-cars operated by Ruscon to over 450 units.
The added capacity will enable Ruscon to expand its block train operations. The Novorossiysk-Elabuga route is the company's most recently introduced service, launched last December. Two trains a week offer delivery of 112 to 128 x 40-foot containers to Elabuga with a fixed transit time of four days to the Tikhonovo intermodal terminal there from Novorossiysk.
Ruscon is also expanding its trucking fleet and has recently commissioned 20 new MAN container trucks. This brings its owned truck fleet to 108 units. The new trucks will be dedicated to serving the company's key contract accounts in St Petersburg and Novorossiysk.
Maruti Suzuki chooses outbound tracking system from Trimble 
India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has chosen a tracking system from technology provider, Trimble, to provide greater visibility for its outbound finished vehicle deliveries across the country.
Trimble said the technology, called trako Visual Cargo, will allow car carriers working with Maruti to streamline operations, improve efficiency and safety and meet delivery deadlines.
Trimble has configured a consignment tracking module for use by Maruti Suzuki and a fleet management module for use by its transport providers. The consignment module, 'Visual Cargo', has dashboard and report features that allow logistics managers to easily monitor, track and manage operations according to the company.
"India is a growing market and as a leading carmaker we anticipate growth in times to come. Amidst high growth, it is crucial to ensure that we continue to delight our customers in more than one way. Efficient fleet management gains importance as the volumes go up. Effective use of contemporary technology to induce efficiencies into the operations has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. We expect that Trimble's experience in the field of logistics will help bring productivity improvement and operational efficiency," said Randhir Singh Kalsi, executive officer, Parts, Accessories & Logistics, Maruti Suzuki India Limited.
Gefco opens hub with ECR for PSA shipments
Following the news that French transport provider Gefco is developing and managing its own European rail transport network with operators Euro Cargo Rail, Europorte France and Colas Rail (read more here), the company has inaugurated a new rail hub dedicated to the transport of PSA Peugeot Citroën group vehicles. The hub is located in Gevrey, near Dijon, France, and will support flows of vehicles to Gefco's 15 distribution centres in France and Europe.
More than 500,000 new cars from PSA's plants will pass through Gevrey per year with preparation and shipment carried out by Euro Cargo Rail, a DB Schenker rail division, in collaboration with other private French rail operators on Gefco's behalf. The service will include a total of 55 of trains per week.
Antwerp increases car handling in Q1
The port of Antwerp in Belgium has reported an increase of 12.3% in ro-ro volumes in the first quarter of 2012, with the number of cars handled growing by 14.8% to just fewer than 290,000 compared to the same quarter last year. The top car brands through the port are Fiat, Hyundai, Kia and Mazda.
The Q1 reports are favourable given the strike action that hit Belgian ports during the period in protest at the government's austerity measures (read more here).
Container freight through the port also showed growth with a 2.9% increase in tonnage to 27Mt handled and a 0.7% increase in units to 2.17m TEUs.