The port, an important figure that consolidates Santander as a benchmark for this type of traffic, reflects the importance that its infrastructure has acquired for brands around the world. The President of the Port Authority of Santander, Jaime González; the Executive Vice-President of the Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Automobiles and Trucks (ANFAC), Mario Armero; and the President of Cantabria, Miguel Angel Revilla attended the celebratory event. All of them highlighted the importance of the effort of the agents involved that has turned the port into one of the most important centres for logistics of the automotive sector in Spain.
The President of the APS highlighted some of the challenges and changes that the port faces in this sector. Among them are the adaptation of the port to the changing needs of the automotive sector as well as the transport and logistics sector, to better serve the advent of electric vehicles and sustainable mobility. The ports also believe that the need of the hour is digitisation of systems, as is also the implementation of technologies such as Blockchain and Big data.
The year 2017 closed with 492,168 handled units, which was a new record for the Port of Santander. Moreover, imports increased in comparison to exports, which led to the port achieving very good results. As for the year 2018, it is expected that vehicle handling figures will be similar or even higher when compared to 2017.
Despite the competition from other ports of the Cantabrian Cornice, the forecasts of increased traffic have to be dealt with new design solutions that provide bigger spaces For this reason, the APS is working on a new design of the car terminal that allows the handling of 600,000 cars annually, at optimal service and quality levels.
To do this, the completion of construction on Raos 9 terminal will be critical. This will provide great versatility and capacity building and the start of the prerequisites for the construction of vertical storage structures work cars. This installation will allow sustainable development of a port that will support adequate requirements of the sector and a necessary diversification of supply port traffic.
Throughout the history of the port, almost all of the brands operating in the Spanish automobile market have used the Port of Santander. Renault, Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan, Ford, Honda, Volvo, BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai, Opel, Audi, Mini, Skoda, Dacia, Iveco, Seat, Peugeot, etc. are some of the automakers that have contributed different volumes to reach the 7 million vehicles milestone along the years.
The global offer of the car terminal can be summarised as:
1 km of berthing line divided into three piers with three RoRo ramps, two of them with high capacity. The Raos 8 pier is dedicated to transoceanic vessels, with capacity to accommodate up to three car-carriers. On the other hand, Raos 7, specialises in short sea shipping.
More than 600,000 square metre is dedicated to the transit and storage of automobiles
Three PDI facilities (pre-delivery centres)
Specialised railway terminal with 4 tracks with capacity for trains over 600 m.
High quality handling and storage conditions including surveillance systems with megapixel technology, environmental control, etc.
ANFAC certification for new vehicle traffic.
From the maritime point of view, the participation of large shipping companies such as Wallenius & Wilhelmsen and Höegh Autoliners plays a decisive role in vehicle traffic, as well as specialised shipping companies in the Short Sea Shipping, such as UECC, EML and Suardíaz or more recently Neptune Lines.
On the other hand, and taking into account the terrestrial connectivity, the railway also has a great importance. Companies such as Tranfesa, Semat, or operators such as Pecovasa or COMSA, Renfe allow the maritime-rail mode to reach quotas of more than 50%, in the case of exports.
All this, added to the presence of the main terrestrial logistics operators of the sector (BAL, CAT, Síntax Logística, Transfesa, Gefco) and the arrival of regular lines operated by shipping companies specialising in the transport of cars such as EML, Neptune Lines, Höegh Autoliners, UECC, VW Konzernlogistik, Wallenius & Wilhelmsen and Hyundai Glovis allow connecting the Port of Santander with the five continents and serving more than 30 markets.
As the UK's fastest growing car manufacturer, MG has broken a number of its own records in 2018 with sales more than doubling versus 2017. MG ZS has been the main driver of this growth as consumers have recognised the exceptional value-for-money that the car represents.
MG ZS is available in three different trim levels; Explore, Excite and Exclusive, with the entry level Explore model starting from just £12,495 ($16,119).
Daniel Gregorious, Head of Sales & Marketing at MG Motor UK, said: "We are delighted to have received our biggest-ever shipment of cars into the UK, especially as a large number of them are already sold to new MG customers. Customer demand for our value-for-money cars continue to grow, so having these cars here is a real bonus. Our excellent dealers now have the opportunity to welcome even more customers to the MG family."
All new MGs are imported into the UK via Royal Portbury Docks where they are processed and prepared for delivery to the dealers by BCA.
Avril Palmer-Baunack, Executive Chairman, BCA Marketplace plc said: "MG is a brand that continues to go from strength to strength. As a supply chain partner, BCA brings the scale that MG needs as it continues to grow in the UK and our integrated approach builds in efficiency and resilience."
In operation since 2008, this train service, operated by Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) –Catalan Regional Railway, currently transports an average of 105,000 vehicles every year.
With this signing, both companies are extending operation of the Autometro service by a further three years. During this time, several technical studies will be carried out that will enable complementary rail traffic and adjust the service to the current needs of the Martorell factory. At present, these trains make three trips a day from Monday to Friday, and are integrated in the Baix Llobregat Metro rail service.
The Autometro service runs on the FGC's Llobregat-Anoia line, whose track is about 50 metres from the SEAT plant and has a branch line to connect it, and enters in the Port of Barcelona via an access track to the unloading zone. Once in the harbour, the vehicles are exported by means of maritime transport to their final destination.
Seat Vice-president for Production and Logistics Dr. Christian Vollmer stated, "The renewal of the agreement is clear proof of Seat's commitment to rail transport and an example of the benefits of collaboration between the public and private sector. Seat is Spain's largest industrial export company and needs transportation infrastructure that contributes to generating wealth in society. Seat will remain committed to logistics to make the distribution of vehicles more flexible, efficient and sustainable."
According to FGC President Ricard Font, "This renewal demonstrates the trust that Autometro clients place in the freight transport service managed by FGC. The feedback we obtain from surveys for the renewal of our ISO 9001 quality management certification show high scores in key aspects for customers, such as compliance and punctuality, high reaction capacity for dealing with service contingencies, and fluid communication; a further example of the excellent service offered by Ferrocarrils and the human capital that makes it possible."
The consolidation of Autometro confirms Seat's and FGC's firm global commitment to the environment and sustainable mobility. Seat exports more than 80% of the vehicles made in Martorell and rail transport is ecological, profitable and efficient.
Furthermore, it contributes to reducing accidents, as the Autometro line alone does away with around 25,000 trucks annually on the route between Martorell and Barcelona. This service relies on a 411 metre train with articulated double-decker carriages that can carry 170 vehicles. This October, the Autometro line posted the figure of one million vehicles transported since it opened in 2008.
Seat is transforming its industrial processes to make the Martorell factory a benchmark in Industry 4.0. Automation and digitalisation are key factors for ensuring that the processes are more flexible and efficient and that they respond to customer demands.
Logistics plays an essential role in Industry 4.0, and for this reason Seat is soon going to inaugurate a new, completely automated logistics centre, the tallest in Spain, with a capacity for 119,000 boxes and a maximum height of 43.7 metres.
Moreover, Seat benefits from another FGC managed rail service as well, called Cargometro, which transports parts from the Zona Franca plant to Martorell. The company is also innovating in road transport and was ground-breaking in Spain with the use of 25.25 metre long gigatrucks for the transport of components. Currently in its testing stage is a duotrailer, a 31.75 metre long truck with a 60 tonne payload capacity.
"The Port of Brunswick achieved a solid performance across all cargo categories over the last fiscal year," Lynch said. "As GPA adds new terminal space, we will expand our service area in the Southeast and beyond."
During the event hosted by the Brunswick Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce, Lynch outlined a series of infrastructure projects that will increase capacity and provide new opportunities in Roll-on/Roll-off cargo handling.
Over the next 12 months, GPA will add 60 dockside acres to the Ro/Ro operation. The new space will increase car storage by 8,250 spaces. GPA also plans to add a new cross-terminal road linking the three vessel berths, as well as a new access road between the docks and the island's south side. These improvements will offer a more direct route to existing auto processing lots and new development on the south end of the terminal.
"Our ability to expand capacity on Colonel's Island is unmatched in the U.S." said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. "The strength of our ports is a result of the incredible team that makes it all possible – the GPA staff and International Longshoremen's Association, the on-terminal auto processors, our thousands of loyal customers, and, of course, the support we receive from elected leadership throughout the state."
The new dockside expansion will also double GPA's rail capacity and give Brunswick the ability to build up 10,000-foot long unit trains on terminal. These longer trains make direct service over greater distances more attractive to Brunswick's Class I rail roads, CSX and Norfolk Southern. This will allow the Port of Brunswick to expand service in markets west of the Mississippi River and into the American Midwest.
Vehicles crossing the Brunswick docks are already moving west in significant numbers, with 16,000 units sent to California from Brunswick and more than 4,500 to Texas during FY2018.
By 2019, the GPA will have added 250 acres, for a total of 550 acres of leasable space for auto processing at Colonel's Island Terminal. Current annual capacity in Brunswick is more than 800,000 units. GPA's plan is to utilise an additional 400 acres to bring annual throughput capacity to 1.5 million vehicles in the coming years.
"By tonnage, Brunswick is already the second busiest Ro/Ro port in the nation, behind only Baltimore," said Lynch. "As business grows to fill our expanding terminal, the Port of Brunswick will play an even larger role on the global trade in vehicles and heavy equipment."
Bulk cargo handled by terminal operator Logistec at East River Terminal totaled 1 million tons in the fiscal year ended in June, up 11%, or 101,000 tons. Of GPA's total Roll-on/Roll-off trade, Brunswick moved more than 590,500 units, or 1.25 million tons and flat growth for the fiscal year.
"Our success translates into more jobs and greater prosperity for the communities surrounding our terminals, and for the state of Georgia as a whole," Allgood told those gathered for the event. "As we make the preparations necessary to grow our cargo capacity at the Port of Brunswick, we anticipate economic opportunities will also expand."
With 25 people from 20 freight forwarders present, the event drew an interesting mix of attendees – from general managers and ocean procurement specialists to operations and business development experts.
As well as learning about the basics of RoRo sea transportation and the way RoRo vessels operate, attendees were also given an insight into how RoRo compares to other shipping methods.
The one-day event began with a general introduction to all things RoRo, including the kinds of shipments it enables, before moving on to RoRo operations, and the kinds of equipment used onboard to ensure crew and cargo safety.
It also saw two of the most talked-about issues in shipping – the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) and the upcoming Sulphur 2020 regulations – put under the spotlight by experts from WW Ocean.
"Attendance from so many customers at a senior level was excellent, particularly in a country where WW Ocean and EUKOR are both represented by an agent with no own commercial presence," said Nick Bryan, Vice President France, Benelux, Southern Europe/MED.
Reflecting on the day, attendee Mirna Palmiotto, an Italsempione Sea Freight Procurement Manager, said: "The event was very interesting and extremely useful for me, but above all, for my colleague, who's a newcomer to the RoRo and breakbulk side of shipping."
Gianfranco Righi SRL General Manager Marcello Giorgini said: "The event agenda was certainly very interesting, especially for those people who deal with both commercial and technical aspects of RoRo."
The training program is built around six exercises that teach the participants about the processes from start to finish by encouraging playful learning. The employee training course is currently available in German and English, and additional languages can easily be added.
A virtual reality (VR) version of the exercises is also in the works. Deutsche Bahn leads Germany in the use of VR for training purposes, since opportunities to train with real equipment during ongoing operations are frequently limited. In virtual environments, employees can be trained to complete tasks such as opening nose covers and operating wheelchair lifts on ICE 4 trains.
Now DB Schenker is drawing on this technology, too: its employees can don 3D glasses to step into a virtual world where they can interact with the training environment and even learn movement sequences. This makes it considerably easier for employees to navigate the transition from the virtual environment to the real one. The technology offers employees an opportunity to perform extensive testing on logistics processes that are still in the implementation phase before they advance to the next phase. In addition, training in a virtual environment increases the efficiency, quality and speed of training.
The training program was recently launched and is currently being used to train employees at DB Schenker's site in Leipzig. There are plans to expand the program to other contract logistics sites.
"We have been successfully collaborating with the Fraunhofer Institute for several years, and we have already jointly developed numerous transport and logistics solutions of the future. This innovative employee training program marks yet another milestone in the digitalisation of logistics processes and in DB Schenker's focus on Logistics 4.0," said Erik Wirsing, Vice President Global Innovation at Schenker AG.
"For us, the outstanding feedback from trainers and trainees on site has been highly gratifying. It was only by fusing research and development with the skills of employees on site and the department for process and efficiency management that we were able to succeed at developing this innovative and motivating learning solution," said Dr.-Ing. Michael Schmidt of the Intralogistics and IT Planning Department at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics.
On July 2 of this year, Rollinson began a three-month induction process in advance of the handover. "I'm delighted to be joining Dachser at this time, having witnessed the organisation's development and growth in the UK from an external viewpoint over many years," he says. "I do see enormous potential for further growth."
His predecessor, Nick Lowe joined Dachser's UK subsidiary as Managing Director in May, 2001. Highlights of his tenure included the opening of branches in Dartford, Rochdale, and Bristol as well as the new logistics centre in Northampton.
"Dachser's culture and values, the strength and quality of our network, and a loyal and hard-working team have all combined to drive our success in the UK," Lowe said. "Despite some challenging economic conditions from time to time, we have continually increased our market share with logistics solutions tailored to our customers' needs."
Dachser UK was founded in 1975 and operates from four locations across the country. In 2017, its workforce numbered over 400.