Kolkata (KOA): APL Logistics VASCOR Automotive today announced it has placed orders with Kolkata-based freight car maker Texmaco Rail & Engineering for three rail rakes.
Each rail rake – equipped with 27 wagons – is capable of carrying more than 300 vehicles. The delivery of the first rake is expected in three months, with the remaining two rakes to follow in subsequent months. This investment by the Delhi-based joint venture between APL Logistics and VASCOR comes after securing commitments from global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for use of its AutoLinxSM solution, which is expected to be operational by mid-2014.
“The investment in the rakes is significant as it allows us to move closer to offering our customers in India another innovative solution in finished vehicle distribution,” said Bill Villalon, APL Logistics’ Senior Vice President of Automotive and Chairman of the joint venture. “We are looking forward to operationalising AutoLinxSM and helping our customers address supply chain complexities, adding further value to their businesses.”
AutoLinxSM is an innovative rail-based solution for more reliable, damage-free and cost-efficient distribution of finished vehicles across India. The solution features fully covered, double-decker rail wagons with adjustable middle decks and lock mechanisms. The complete door-to-door service will include collection of finished vehicles from OEMs plants, vehicle loading and unloading at terminals, long distance rail haulage, and last mile delivery. Complementary state-of-the-art systems with tracking and inventory management will also allow OEMs complete visibility of their finished vehicles.
APL Logistics VASCOR Automotive was the first international third party logistics provider to obtain in September last year the Automobile Freight Train Operator (AFTO) licence administered by Indian Railways. The AFTO licence provides an opportunity for logistics service providers to invest in rail transport and to market railway services, such as AutoLinxSM, to end users in the Indian automotive sector. With the AFTO licence, logistics service providers can help to facilitate bulk movement of automotive traffic by rail from the production hubs to consumer centres, as well as ports for export.
India is growing rapidly as a major global automotive manufacturer. By 2020, India is expected to be the world’s third-largest automotive industry, with an 8 percent share in the global passenger vehicle market.
The APL Logistics VASCOR Automotive joint venture draws upon and combines the international supply chain management expertise of two industry leaders. APL Logistics has extensive experience in auto parts logistics and already has intermodal rail capabilities in India. VASCOR is a long-standing logistics partner to global auto-makers and has industry-leading expertise in finished vehicle logistics. The joint venture works closely with OEMs in India to offer specialised supply chain solutions.