Qingdao port to import vehicles from 2013
China's State Council has recently said the port of Qingdao in eastern Shadong province will begin functioning as a major car import terminal in 2013. It will be the only such facility in Shandong province to do so. A ro-ro terminal and auxiliary facilities are currently under construction and will be ready to receive vehicles by mid-2013 according to government sources. In addition, a checkpoint for finished vehicle imports is to be opened at Qingdao Qianwan Bonded Port Zone.

At present only five ports are allowed to handle vehicle imports: Qinzhou, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Dalian but with the rise in the number of cars now being imported, not least high-end models from Germany, those ports are experiencing notable capacity problems, hence the move to open up Qingdao as an additional port.

Shadong province is already a major centre for the automotive industry and the use of Qingdao, it is argued, will allow the logistics costs of imported vehicles to be slashed, along with that of parts of components.

GT Nexus moves Renault platform to the cloud
Renault is rolling out a new cloud-based supply chain platform from GT Nexus called Easy Tracker to expedite the export of spare parts and accessories to a growing number of international markets.

Based on the success of a live pilot completed in the third quarter of 2012 covering the spare parts export supply chain from France to markets in Brazil, Saudi Arabia and South Africa, the carmaker is expanding the application of the software to export markets around the world. Renault said the results of the pilot showed that the visibility and control provided by the GT Nexus platform will better help it serve the international market while reducing inventory and transport costs.

“The emerging markets are very competitive and Renault wants to guarantee spare parts and accessories availability at the best-in-class level, while reducing safety stocks, inventory, and expediting costs,” said Francesca Gamboni, After Sales Logistics Vice President at Renault Group.  “GT Nexus is the technology foundation that is helping us achieve our objectives.  The ability to have real-time tracking of customer orders and shipments across our value chain is a key enabler.”

Renault’s spare parts supply chain covers 110 export destinations and 7,000 dealers across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Central Europe, and Asia. The carmaker uses a large range of road, air, ocean and express parcel carriers to ship goods to remote markets. Product diversity is high with over 200,000 SKUs sourced from 1,700 suppliers.

Gaz to distribute LCVs with Mersa in Turkey
Russia’s largest commercial vehicle maker Gaz Group has set up an assembly facility and distribution network with Turkish truck builder Mersa Otomotiv in the Sarkarya province to make Gaz light commercial vehicles (LCVs) for the Turkish market. The facility will assemble models from semi-knockdown (SKD) kits of the GAZelle Business and Sobol Business LCVs imported from Gaz’s facility in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.

“Our cooperation with Mersa Otomotiv is a long-term project, which marks the beginning of the implementation of GAZ Group’s export strategy,” said Bo Andersson, GAZ Group president and CEO. “We are sure that the high economic efficiency of our vehicles, their suitability for severe conditions of operation in the commercial transportation segment, high payload and maneuverability will be highly appealing to Turkish customers. At the first stage of the project we will focus our efforts on the establishment of a flawless production system, and distribution and service network in all the regions in Turkey.”

GAZelle Business model sales in Turkey will start in the Marmara region, which makes up 46% of the LCV market in Turkey. Ten GAZ Mersa Otomotiv dealerships will open in the region by the end of the year, increasing to 16 regional dealerships by the end of 2013 when the Sobol Business model joins the line up, by which time there are also planned to be 32 specialised service stations.

Kerry building landmark logistics centre for Daimler
Leading Asian logistics provider, Kerry Logistics, has started construction of a 33,700-square metre automotive parts warehouse in Kunshan, China for Daimler Northeast Asia Parts Trading and Services, a fully-owned subsidiary of the Germany-based carmaker.

Kerry Kunshan Logistics Centre is Daimler’s first built-to-suit regional parts distribution centre in China and will start operations in 2014 providing Daimler with a hub for regional automotive spare parts distribution throughout China.

"The client has demonstrated trust in Kerry Logistics by partnering with us on this project and this also lays the foundation for long-term strategic co-operation between our two companies," said William Ma, managing director of Kerry Logistics Network.

China’s automotive market is expected to exceed RMB320 billion in 2012 and investment by foreign auto manufacturers in local production, assembly and spare parts is growing rapidly in order to meet local demand.

Kerry Logistics is also looking to expand its presence in the industrial property investment sector.

Cuxport celebrates million milestone with BMW
Cuxport, the port service provider, which is majority-owned by Rhenus Logistics, has managed the throughput of its 1 millionth BMW vehicle at its Cuxhaven facility on the German north coast.

Dr Ulrich Getsch, the lord mayor of the German port city Cuxhaven, joined representatives from BMW and car carrier UECC to celebrate the occasion when the milestone vehicle was delivered by rail for loading onto the UECC’s Autoprogress car carrier as part of a consignment of 1,000 vehicles being delivered to Southampton, UK.