Norwegian car carrier Höegh Autoliners has held an official reception to mark the opening of its first office in Russia and to present the company’s ro-ro services to customers in the country, including the new build 228m vessel M/V Hoegh St.Petersburg, a model of which was on display at the event. The early business that is moving thus far is a mix of the major western carmakers that see Russia as an important future market, as well with other historic allies and trade partners with Russia, such as in Middle East as well as current and former communist countries, to which it still exports.
Held at the Summer Palace in St Petersburg, the reception was attended by Höegh Autoliners’ top management, including CEO Carl Johan Hagman, and more than 200 heads of automotive businesses in Russia, including the likes of Nissan, Renault and General Motors, as well as new Russian clients from commercial vehicle manufacturers Kamaz, Chetra, and Belarussian company MAZ, amongst others.
“Our aim is to introduce first-class Hoegh Autoliners’ global ro-ro services to Russian customers who used to use general types of vessels for their wheeled and project cargo or who looked for ro-ro services in Western European ports,” said a Höegh spokesperson.
During the event, Kamaz’s director of logistics, Mubariz Gyuliakhmedov, presented a model of a Kamaz tipper truck to Hagman in appreciation of the company’s performance in shipping 100 Kamaz trucks from St Petersburg to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates at the beginning of 2010.
Following the reception Hoegh’s vessel M/V Verona called at the port of Klaipéda in Lithuania to load 500 MTZ tractors for delivery to Venezuela, the second such load that the manufacturer has shipped to the country’s Puerto Cabello with Hoegh Autoliners.
The first shipment held a similar cargo of 535 tractors as well as around 20 MAZ trucks.
The second shipment will also contain transhipment cargo booked from Russia. That cargo, consisting of ten fire engine trucks on Kamaz chassis destined for Cuba and two PAZ buses, was precarried from St Petersburg to Bremerhaven and loaded on M/V Verona on her way to Klaipéda seaport in Lithuania.
The Verona will reach Puerto Cabello on 9 April and the cargo to Cuba will be transhipped to the port of Havana on Höegh’s new feeder vessel Hoegh Caribia two days later.
“Following the call of M/V Verona to Klaipeda in March, we expect to have two more direct calls to that port in the following months, April and May,” added the spokesperson.
In other news, Höegh was recently recognised by GM as one of its suppliers of the year for 2009. Carl-Johan Hagman, received the Supplier of the Year award from Bill Hurles and Susanna Webber, respectively director and executive director, at GM’s Global Purchasing and Supply Chain division.