India's Sical Logistics has completed the creation of a joint venture with Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) to operate an automotive management yard at the Port of Ennore near Chennai, India.
Following a MoU signed in August, the deal was finalised this week and operations are now due to commence in March 2011. MOL will hold a 55% share in the venture with Sical holding the remaining 45%.
The 124,000m2 facility will accommodate up to 15,000 vehicles and will cater to automotive exporters and importers based in India, beginning with Nissan. Throughput for 2011 is expected to hit 120,000 vehicles.
“We already have Nissan as our anchor customer. As we move forward, we expect more customers especially from the exporters in India's south,” Sical Logistics spokesperson, Dev Chandrasekhar, told Automotive Logistics.
The joint venture will work with local providers for inbound distribution to regional dealerships.
Commenting on the decision to work with MOL, Chandrasekhar said: “The synergies are obvious: MOL is the world’s best in automotive logistics and we have a strong pan-India multimodal logistics presence across port, road and rail. 
“Since the car yard has already been built by the Ennore Port Trust, the JV's scope consists of operations and maintenance, the small total investment of nearly $1m being towards infrastructure and equipment for handling operations, and in skills, capability and competencies.”
The joint venture was signed by Takashi Kurauchi, managing executive officer, Mitsui O.S.K Lines, and LR Sridhar, managing director, Sical Logistics, in the presence of S Velumani, chairman and managing director, Ennore Port.