Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics has made the first delivery of inland high and heavy cargo in Russia in the form of tracked excavators for Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE). The first unit left Volvo CE’s new factory in Kaluga on Thursday last week for Moscow and units will also be shipped to the company’s dealer compound near St Petersburg. The contract was awarded by Volvo Logistics.

It is the first movement of equipment from Volvo CE’s SEK350m ($52m) excavator plant, which opened in May this year, the company’s first excavator production plant in Russia.

“The Russian construction equipment market presents an attractive and growing opportunity for Volvo CE to provide customers with high quality products,” said company president Pat Olney at the inauguration ceremony in May. “With this new facility we will be able to provide machines tailored to the needs of the marketplace and deliver them to the customer specifications in a much shorter lead time.”

The company said it wanted to take advantage of the burgeoning market for high quality construction machinery in Russia, quoting figures for 2012 that showed that total imports into the Russian construction equipment market grew by 21% compared to the previous year.

Volvo CE’s authorised Russian dealer, Ferronordic Machines, has announced plans to expand its branch network by opening a major new facility in the Moscow region.

This latest contract for WWL shows the range of services it now offers in the Russian market.

The logistics provider is in the final process of signing a contract with a European carmaker for handling vehicle imports through its terminal operations in the Finnish port of Kotka next month.

The logistics provider’s terminal at Kotka already provides services for a number of carmakers including Mitsubishi, Chery and Honda.

The terminal there has a 28.5-hectare bonded storage facility with a storage capacity for 12,000 vehicles. Around 400 trucks can be loaded simultaneously and it has rail connections with Russian and CIS rail track width to those markets as well as a shortsea feeder service to St. Petersburg.