Hoegh to charter additional car and truck carriers
Höegh Autoliners will charter two new 6,500 capacity Pure Car Truck Carriers (PCTC) in 2014 to replace existing vessels.

The vessels will be owned by shipowner Ocean Yield and will be built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering' s (DSME) shipyard in Mangalia, Romania.

The new vessels will add to 10 PCTCs that Höegh has previously taken delivery of DSME and will be built based on the same specifications with relevant updates. Höegh Autoliners has the option to acquire the vessels during the 12-year charter period, with the first option exercisable after five years.

“The long term charters agreed with Ocean Yield is important in our fleet development programme, to provide the best services to our customers. The vessel design is well known and well proven as an efficient and flexible work horse in our core fleet,” said Ingar Skiaker, CEO of Höegh Autoliners. “We operate today a fleet of around 60 car carriers and balance our owned fleet with vessels chartered from other owners.”

Ocean Yield has entered into shipbuilding contracts with DSME for the two vessels. Höegh Autoliners will provide shipbuilding supervision services and will have the technical management and crewing of the vessels when they are delivered and enter Höegh Autoliners' worldwide trade systems.

Vantec boosts service for Nissan UK
Vantec Europe, which provides warehousing and logistics to Nissan in the UK, is creating more than 80 new jobs following new contracts from Nissan and one of its local suppliers. The new positions are in addition to 230 created as part of a £22.5m investment the company is making in a new 45,000-square metre warehouse at the Turbine Business Park in Sunderland next to Nissan’s plant. It is the largest investment made by Vantec in its 20-year history in the region.

The warehouse is currently under construction and being built by facilities contractor GMI. Vantec was awarded £2.7m ($4.4m) from the second round of the Regional Growth Fund to support the warehouse project. It will complement Vantec’s existing 14,000-square metre warehouse in Sunderland.

“The new warehouse is on schedule and will be completed by December 2012,” said Martin Kendall, managing director of Vantec Europe. “It is the largest project we’ve ever undertaken and it is an important step forward for the company, now the largest supplier of critical logistics to Nissan Sunderland plant.”

Vantec, which is a subsidiary of Hitachi Transport System, also provides logistics and warehousing services in the North East for Komatsu UK and Cummins Engines, as well offering freight forwarding and customs clearance services. It already employs 900 people in the region.

Councillor Paul Watson, head of Sunderland City Council said: “Vantec’s new warehouse is an ambitious project which echoes our city’s world-class ambitions to be Europe’s automotive hub. The new jobs created by Vantec are the best news possible for the city, the region and the UK.”

Menlo expands logistics services for Dana in Thailand
Con-way division, Menlo Worldwide Logistics, has signed a new contract to provide Dana’s drivetrain subsidiary in Thailand, Dana Spicer, with expanded warehousing, transport and production support services for its manufacturing facility in Bangkok. Menlo also provides export packaging and returns management.

Menlo has been providing services for Dana Spicer from its multi-client facility in Bangkok since 2008 but as part of the new contract it has extended the space it dedicates to logistics activity for component maker from 455 square metres to 1,115 square metres.

Services from the facility include daily shuttles of inbound materials to Dana’s facility in the capital, daily runs to its Rayong facility and transport to Dana’s suppliers and customers.

It will now also provide an inhouse team working on logistics management services at Dana’s factory in Bangkok. Additional services will now include receipt and storage of inbound materials, management of material flow to the factory production line and replenishment of on-site inventories.

We needed a cost competitive, flexible logistics provider in Thailand and we’ve found that with Menlo,” said Michael Diamente, managing director of Dana Spicer. “The decision to expand Menlo’s role in our operations was a natural outgrowth of the successful relationship we’ve built over the last several years.”

Con-way Multimodal opens HQ in Dallas
In related news, Con-way Multimodal, the freight brokerage division of Menlo Worldwide Logistics, is moving its US headquarters to the Dallas suburb of Frisco alongside the operations office it opened last November, the fourth office in Con-way’s network of offices with the others in Michigan, Oregon and Arkansas.

Con-way Multimodal arranges third-party carrier services for over-the-road, intermodal, flatbed, heavy haul and specialised transportation for freight shipments.

“Dallas is one of the top freight brokerage markets in the country and establishing a presence here is an important step in our growth plans,” said Tommy Barnes, president of Con-way Multimodal. “We’re not only able to better serve our customers in the area, but we can foster new relationships as well. It’s all about elevating our service and expertise.”

In addition to providing customers with access to third-party carrier services, Con-way Multimodal customers can also take advantage of synergies with Menlo Worldwide Logistics and its sister companies, Con-way Freight and Con-way Truckload.

ZF to cut suppliers as it seeks lower expenditure
Driveline and chassis  provider ZF Friedrichshafen is reorganising its production materials purchasing and said that in the next two years it wants to save half a billion euros on supplier expenditure. To achieve this, the company is slashing the number of suppliers, bundling, purchasing volumes and harmonising processes.

ZF's CEO Dr Stefan Sommer, who is also in charge of Corporate Materials Management, said that to meet customer demand, the company had to make substantial investments in new plants and production facilities, putting its financial results under pressure, a pressure it was passing on to its suppliers.
By 2015, ZF wants sales growth of over €20 billion, a substantial increase on the €5.5 billion in sales it has today.

The company said it is also becoming increasingly important that suppliers are capable of delivering production materials to the same quality worldwide and not just regionally.

"When selecting our suppliers in future, we will pay more attention to their global approach", said Sommer. "In the context of reorganising our supplier relations, we will also clearly reduce the number of our suppliers."