[Story updated on 28 October] Global logistics provider NYK has signed a contract with Silverbird Auto Logistics to provide inland transport services for finished vehicles in Myanmar. Services began last week.
NYK’s Auto Logistics Group, Silverbird Auto Logistics, and the Phee Group are also working to establish a joint venture company in 2015, one that NYK said would allow it to offer comprehensive logistics services in Myanmar.
NYK already delivers vehicles on a twice-monthly basis to the Myanmar port of Yangon, as well as providing storage, pre-delivery inspection (PDI) and customer services there.
"Silverbird Auto Logistics started with inland transportation by car trailers from the ports to Yangon city area, and will expand the service network to nationwide distribution such as destination to Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay and some other major cities in Myanmar," said a spokesperson for NYK. "In addition to inland transportation, the joint venture will provide PDI service, storage service and yard management, and custom clearance as well in accordance with customer’s requirements."
Silverbird is currently operating two six-unit semi-trailers and a three unit load trailer, with those services supported by NYK. Plans are in place to increase the fleet in accordance with demand, said the company, though it would not provide details on volume requirements.
New vehicle imports to Myanmar have taken off this year. Traditionally the market has been dominated by low volumes of used vehicle imports, but a relaxation in import restrictions and taxes has led to a rapid increase in international new car shipments. The government has also introduced a new policy of giving out import permits to customers who trade in their old vehicles. Hyundai, Ford and Toyota are among the carmakers gaining a foothold in the market for new vehicle sales.
The NYK spokesperson said that there were several factors influencing growth in vehicle imports to the country, including political democratisation, which was opening the market up and improving individual purchasing power. Economic growth was boosting demand for new vehicles.
The NYK announcement follows a similar contract announced in July this year between Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Myanmar freight forwarder Carrier King Logistics, for distribution of vehicles to the market.