APL Logistics and the US-based Vascor have formed a joint venture to serve supply chain needs of India’s automotive sector. This collaboration marks the first major international third-party logistics (3PL) dedicated to the auto sector, said a company official.

The joint venture will be based out of Delhi and named as APL Logistics Vascor Automotive, according to a joint announcement.

Using their newly designed wagons that can accommodate a wide range of automobiles, including the fast-growing SUVs, the joint venture plans to introduce AutoLinxSM, which are rail-based solution for reliable, damage-free and cost-efficient distribution of finished vehicles and motorcycles across the country.

Trial runs of AutoLinxSM rail-based wagons will begin in early 2013 with full-scale operations slated to begin mid-2013 following regulatory approvals, the announcement says.

APL Logistics is a unit of Singapore-based Neptune Orient Lines, a global cargo transportation and logistics company while Vasco is a joint venture of Singapore-based supply chain management leader APL Logistics and Fujitrans Corporation of Japan. The latter offers 3PL to automotive companies in US and Mexico.

In India, APL Logistics’ international expertise is complemented by its inter-modal rail capability through IndiaLinxSM, which operates, dedicated container train services to northern India’s hinterland.

“This collaboration marks the first international 3PL to be dedicated exclusively to India’s auto sector, and underscores India’s growing importance as a major global automotive manufacturer,” said Bill Villalon, APL Logistics Vice-President for Automotive and Chairman of the joint venture.

The joint venture company plans to offer a full spectrum of inbound, outbound and aftermarket parts solutions. However, initially, the focus will be on providing finished vehicle logistics, specifically rail transportation, yard management, containerised transportation – via APL Logistics’ AutoDirect product and wagon for finished vehicle distribution, the announcement said.

raja.simhan@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on December 7, 2012)
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