NYK JV photoNYK Group has signed an agreement with Bolloré Transport & Logistics Kenya and Toyota Tsusho to establish Bolloré NYK Auto Logistics, a new joint venture in Kenya to handle imported vehicles.

By the end of this year, the new joint venture will offer a variety of services at the port of Mombasa, including inland transport, PDI, car storage and customs clearance.

In a statement, NYK said the combined experience of the joint venture partners meant Bolloré NYK Auto Logistics would be "well positioned to provide widespread customers with high quality services for East Africa".

Kenya, which is currently experiencing strong economic growth, is expected to see a rise in finished car imports and become a gateway for other countries in East Africa, it added.

The NYK joint venture was signed off at the end of August in Kenya by Eric Melet, managing director of Bolloré, Takashi Hattori, senior managing director of Toyota Tsusho, and Koichi Chikaraishi, senior managing corporate officer of NYK.

Kenya and Africa as a whole have been attracting more attention from the automotive sector of late. Last month, Volkswagen signed an agreement with the Kenyan government to start building the Polo Vivo at a facility in Thika, near Nairobi, by the end of this year. Earlier this month at the Automotive Logistics UK summit, meanwhile, Philippe Funda, lead analyst for the EU, Middle East and Africa at forecasting consultancy PWC Autofacts, highlighted the Middle East and Africa as an area of increasing importance to the sector.

In separate news, NYK has also recently extended its presence in Asia with a new car shipping service linking Hai Phong in Northern Vietnam with Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam and Laem Chabank in Thailand. The new Ruffles Ao Dai RORO Express service will run twice a month. The NYK-operated pure car carrier Modern Link made the first call in Hai Phong on October 8th.

NYK said the new service, which replaces a previous once-a-month service calling at the port of Cai Lan, would “attempt to meet the demand for the transportation of finished cars to Vietnam” which it described as “a country experiencing strong economic growth”.