ARS Altmann AG already successfully organised and realised the first ever consistent automotive RoRo train from Bremerhaven to Chongqing via Altmann’s compound in Chernyakhovsk which can be approached both by European and Russian railway wagons. Now ARS Altmann AG joins forces with ICL to start establishing a hybrid solution which combines the usage of containers and double deck rail wagons to transport cars both from China to Europe and vice versa.
The route from the centre of Europe to the heart of China will go via Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland and is meant to process two complete block trains per week, i.e. up to 40,000 units per year.
“We attach great importance to the economic and technical growth of China and its automotive industry in particular and have – over the last two years – established a concept to provide our globally acting customers a solid and holistic solution to distribute their products in the corridor from Europe to China and vice versa. This offers our customers both – a door-to-door-concept between China and Europe using covered wagons on the entire route as well as the possibility to complement the container concept with rail car wagons, a so-called hybrid solution”, explained Frank Lehner, Chief of Internationalization at ARS Altmann AG.
If one looks at the shares of various modes of transport on the overland seaport-hinterland routes, then rail is in pole position in Hamburg with 48.2%, ahead of trucking with 41.4% and inland waterway with 10.2%.
In the first quarter of 2019, a total of 12.5 million tons of freight were transported by rail between the Port of Hamburg and destinations within Germany and Europe. This means an increase of 7.7%. The growth in container traffic was markedly higher. Here, in the first quarter of 2019, a total of 690,000 TEU – twenty-foot standard containers were transported by rail. This is a substantial increase of 13.6% on the first quarter of 2018. This growth in transport by rail is mainly due to the four new Trans-Atlantic liner services connecting Hamburg with the USA, Canada and Mexico, and new container block-train services.
“The Port of Hamburg is Europe’s leading rail port. Against the backdrop of overloaded roads and the desire for the most environment-friendly freight transport possible, in the coming years, rail will gain in importance in seaport-hinterland transport. To be well prepared for growth in freight quantities, it is not enough for the ports alone to invest in developing and modernising, as well as in digitalizing its infrastructure.
Both the rail network and the inland handling terminals have to have both their performance and capacity upgraded for the additional freight volumes,” stated Axel Mattern, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing – HHM. In his opinion, only with the full cooperation of all players in the transport chain will achievement of better utilization of existing capacity be feasible.
With a freight volume of more than 46 million tons carried annually on the tracks of Hamburg Port Railway, Hamburg is the largest rail-port by a long way. Some 12% of all rail freight services in Germany have their origin or destination in the port of Hamburg. In excess of 200 freight trains daily utilize the approximately 300 kilometres of rail network of Hamburg Port Railway and the large number of industrial sidings in the port. More than 5,000 freight railcars have to be reliably positioned everyday either in blocks or individually in the handling terminals and industrial premises. The number of rail transport operators utilizing this widespread rail network has risen in recent years to more than 150 companies. They, with their marketing organisations, provide a dense network of single railcar, shuttle and block train services throughout Germany and Europe. Within the port, companies take on marshalling duties. In all, some 2,100 marketed container-train services to and from Hamburg are on offer to the commercial shippers. This includes more than 200 container train services to destinations in China.
By sea, rail or air – the decision has to be taken frequently between these three modes of transport, when goods have to be carried between China and Europe. Here cost and time play an important role. Without a doubt, airfreight is the fastest means of transport, with import and export freight between Asia and Europe only taking one to two days. Albeit, air freight is also very costly. On the contrary, sea freight between the two continents is very low-priced, but it can take anything up to eight weeks till the goods reach their final destination. The third way, transporting freight by rail, closes the gap between sea and air freight: Trains take two to three weeks between Asia and destinations in Europe and lie between the two where transport costs are concerned.
On 3 June at 10 pm, an Antonov An-124 100 chartered by Rhenus took off from Cologne/Bonn Airport in the direction of Rio de Janeiro. After flying over Europe and Africa, the aircraft reached its destination in Brazil on 5 June.
The Antonov was fully loaded with 106 tons. The aircraft has a wingspan of 73 metres and weighs around 173 tons empty. In total, only 28 Antonov aircraft are currently in operation worldwide.
More than two years of productive collaboration between Car manufacturers (OEMs) and Logistics Service Providers (LSPs) has resulted in the creation of a recommended standard which could improve the quality of forecasting in the finished vehicle logistics (FVL) industry and consequently enhance overall efficiency and maximise capacity.
Inadequate forecasting is commonly identified as one of the greatest causes of inefficiency in finished vehicle logistics
Accurate demand forecasting is essential in any sector to ensure that throughout the supply chain, sufficient equipment, personnel and infrastructure have been made available to meet customer requirements.
However, it is even more critical in the finished vehicle logistics sector where the transportation of new vehicles requires expensive and specialised assets such as road transporters or dedicated rail wagons which normally cannot be re-purposed for other forms of cargo. If demand is underestimated, car manufacturers struggle to have their cars delivered on time. If it is overestimated redundant capacity means inefficient fleet utilisation and additional costs for the industry.
Members of the Association of European Vehicle Logistics (ECG) have long been aware of the consequences of inadequate forecasting and in October 2016 the ECG Industry Meeting launched the Capacity Working Group, chaired by Christian Lang, DB Cargo & Manual Medina, SEAT. This Working Group created ECG’s “Project Caesar” with the specific goal “to create a European industry standard for forecasting and volume planning as a part of our toolbox for members and OEMs” Wolfgang Göbel, ECG President.
In a first step OEMs and LSPs were surveyed to systematically analyse their forecasting mechanisms and practices - the results have led to a functional and pragmatic toolbox of observed good practices. The support of ICDP, an international research & strategy organisation specialising in automotive, was fundamental in this crucial stage.
In a second phase pilots were initiated on a one-to-one basis between OEMs and LSPs covering the whole delivery chain from short and deep-sea movements to rail and road. This included one between Mazda and Mosolf. As expected these pilots validated the developed toolbox of good practices and has resulted in the creation of the ECG Standard for vehicle logistics forecasting.
The recommended standard is a four-step monthly communication process which can be implemented by OEM and LSP regardless of the mode of transport. It provides a clear standardised format for the exchange of information and forecast data which in turn leads to more predictable and reliable forecasting.
Project Caesar is not the end… it is just the beginning
ECG stresses that the published standard is a starting point - it will be further improved as best practices are shared. A software may also be developed to support information sharing and the forecasting process.
ECG urges the industry as a whole to adopt this standard - better use of capacity and resources must be a priority for all actors involved in the sector in order to tackle this long-standing issue. Better forecasting will benefit everyone!
The buy-back programme will be executed under EU Commission Regulation No. 596/2014 of the European Parliament and Council of 16 April 2014 (MAR) and the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2016/1052 (the 'Safe Harbour Regulation') which ensures that A.P. Møller - Mærsk A/S - the Company, its Board of Directors and its Executive Board, are protected against violation of insider legislation during the share buy-back period.
The share buy-back programme is initiated pursuant to the authorisation granted to the Board of Directors by the Annual General Meeting in 2019, which entitled the Company to acquire treasury shares at a nominal value not exceeding 15% of the share capital at the market price applicable at the time of acquisition with a deviation of up to 10%.
The first phase of the programme will run from June 4, 2019, up to 1 November 2019. The shares to be acquired will be limited to a total market value of DKK 3.3 billion. A maximum of 208,168 A shares and 815,739 B shares can be acquired in the first phase of the buy-back programme.
The Company has appointed SEB as lead manager for the first phase of the share buy-back. SEB will make own trading decisions independently of and without influence from the Company and within the announced limits.
Prior to the share buy-back, the Company holds 50,806 B shares, equal to 0.24% of the share capital.
As announced earlier, the purpose of the programme is to adjust the capital structure of the Company and to meet obligations under long-term incentive programmes.
No shares may be bought back at a price exceeding the higher of i) share price of latest independent trade and ii) the highest current independent offer price on the trading venue where the purchase is carried out.
The maximum number of A and B shares that may be purchased on each trading day may not exceed 20% of the average daily trading volume of A and B shares, respectively, on NASDAQ Copenhagen or other regulated markets, on which the purchase is carried out, over the last 20 trading days prior to the date of purchase.
A and B shares will be acquired in a 20/80 split reflecting the current trading volumes of the two share classes.
The Company will fulfil its reporting obligations by announcing no later than every seventh trading day the purchases made under the share buy-back program.
A.P. Møller Holding A/S has committed to participate in the share buyback program by selling shares relative to its voting rights and relative to its total ownership in the Company. A.P. Møller Holding A/S intends to maintain its ownership of 51.45% of A shares and 41.51% of the total share capital in the Company.
The Company is entitled to suspend or stop the program at any time subject to an announcement to NASDAQ Copenhagen.
As part of the agreements, BCA will refurbish cars purchased by Cazoo at various BCA-owned locations, with UK-wide logistics support provided by BCA Automotive. In addition, BCA will provide part exchange disposal services for Cazoo using the BCA Consumer Appraisal and DealerPro product set, as well as its market-leading imagery solutions from AutosOnShow.
Cazoo secured £30 million ($38 million) of funding late last year, making it one of the UK’s best-funded start-ups and has already begun purchasing cars that are currently being refurbished and stored by BCA as Cazoo builds up its inventory ahead of its planned launch later this year.
Matt Bristow, BCA’s Commercial Director said, “We are delighted to be partnering with Cazoo on refurbishment, logistics and vehicle disposal. They have ambitious plans to grow their business over the coming years and we look forward to supporting them on their journey.”
Paul Whitehead, Chief Commercial Officer at Cazoo (pictured) said, “This is an exciting partnership for us as we develop the Cazoo business ahead of our launch later this year. BCA’s expertise in vehicle logistics, refurbishment and disposal will help us rapidly scale the Cazoo business as we seek to deliver the UK’s best-used car buying experience for our customers.”