Browsing Archive October, 2014

DHL launches North Asian multimodal service linking Japan to Europe

large_article_im3095_DHL_multi_modal DHL Global Forwarding has announced the launch of a multimodal service linking Japan to its existing rail solution from China to Europe. Using a combination of trucking, sea and rail solutions, the seamless, scheduled service offers customers in Japan access to DGF China’s rail freight solution which reduces the delivery time by up to half to between 10 and 21 days compared to solely using ocean freight and reduces costs by up to 85% compared to airfreight. In addition, customers seeking environmentally friendly solutions can also expect a fall of CO2 emissions of up to 90% compared to airfreight. 

Kelvin Leung, CEO, DHL Global Forwarding Asia Pacific, said, “We have established a North Asian multimodal network which connects the North Asian power houses – China and Japan – directly to any destination in Europe. Intra-Asia trade constitutes some 25% of Asia’s total exports due to the inter-connectedness of the supply chains in the region¹ and Europe-Asia trade still constitute some of the region’s major trade flows. Our new service linking Japan to our existing China rail network presents a truly innovative solution which offers cost and time benefits to customers across the region.” 

Moving Shipments Faster and Cheaper: Truck – Sea – Rail ride from Japan to Europe 
Businesses in Japan with goods to be transported to Europe can be picked up from anywhere across Japan by truck. Using 40-foot containers, cargo is then transported to any of four ports across Japan – Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Hakata. Upon arrival at the ports, cargo is transported by sea across the East China Sea to Shanghai. This enables goods from just about anywhere in Japan to reach any part of China via DHL’s multimodal sea-rail service. From Europe, the multimodal service is also available via China rail and sea to Japan for the import shipment. 
Connecting Japan to DHL’s established China Rail solution to Europe 
Within China, DHL Global Forwarding currently operates two routes: The first along the trans-Siberian North Corridor – the service taps the bustling production and commercial centers of Shanghai, Suzhou and its surrounding areas. The second, the trans-Kazakh West Corridor rail service originates from Chengdu – one of the most important distribution centers in Western China and a hub for high tech goods, automotive and other industries. 

A true door-to-door service, DHL’s multimodal solutions connect China to Europe by picking up goods from any location in China, taking it by rail through to Poland and offering last mile delivery by truck or rail to anywhere in Europe. 

Only in September, DHL Global Forwarding announced the expansion of the multimodal service by adding Suzhou to the departing points and is now linking Japan via China to Europe. In both Japan and China, the service is available for full-container services, known as DHL Railline, which enables customers to block out single containers, wagon groups or whole block trains. 

“Since our introduction of the first multimodal service in 2011, DHL Global Forwarding has been a pioneer in introducing new routes for multimodal services to Japan – to offer customers even greater flexibility and choice for their logistics needs. We are seeing a big potential of this innovative service for our customers in all sectors moving goods between Japan and Europe, especially in the electronics, automobile and the fashion and apparel industries,” said Mark Slade, President and Representative Director for DHL Global Forwarding Japan. 


Economic downturns affect MAN’s sales in Europe


For the MAN Group, the third quarter of the current fiscal year was again overshadowed by the difficult situation in the international commercial vehicles markets. In particular, the situation in Europe and South America — important sales markets for MAN — remains tense on the back of the economic downturn in these regions. In Europe, MAN is also still feeling the pull-forward effects from the introduction of the Euro 6 emission standard. Political uncertainties surrounding the Ukraine crisis and in the Middle East also had an impact.

It should however be noted that the previous year includes pull-forward effects in connection with the Euro 6 emission standard. MAN Latin America’s orders were also down year-on-year in the third quarter of 2014, declining by 26% to €534 million. This was primarily due to the significant deterioration in the market environment and the depreciation of the Brazilian real. In the Commercial Vehicles business area, order intake for the first nine months was 13% lower than in the previous year. By contrast, the order situation was slightly better in the Power Engineering business area, where order intake rose to €2.7 billion in the same period. MAN Diesel & Turbo’s marine business picked up again, lifting order intake by 7% to over €2.4 billion in the first three quarters. At €321 million, Renk did not match the prior-year figure.

The MAN Group’s sales revenue declined by approximately 5% year-on-year to €3.5 billion in the third quarter. The figure for the first nine months of 2014 was down 10% at €10.2 billion. The Commercial Vehicles business area generated sales revenue of approximately €2.5 billion in the period from July to September 2014. The Power Engineering business area saw sales revenue increase year-on-year and contributed €1.0 billion to the MAN Group’s sales revenue.

The MAN Group’s operating profit improved significantly as against the previous year, rising by €268 million to €304 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2014. The MAN Group’s operating return on sales was 3.0% (previous year: 0.3%). However, a look at the third quarter of 2014 reveals a different picture: The Commercial Vehicles business area recorded an operating profit of €18 million, while the Power Engineering business area generated an operating profit of €83 million. This corresponds to a decline of €80 million and €20 million, respectively, as against the prior-year quarter. This is largely attributable to the lower capacity utilization at MAN Truck & Bus and the significant decline in sales volumes at MAN Latin America.

In the past, MAN was able to rely on its business areas to compensate for difficult situations — and this is also the case today. For example, the Power Engineering business area accounted for the largest share of the MAN Group’s operating profit in the period from January to September 2014. However, MAN Diesel & Turbo’s operating profit also deteriorated year-on-year on the third quarter of 2014 and amounted to €59 million. By contrast, Renk reported a very good quarter, with operating profit increasing to €24 million.

Dr. Georg Pachta-Reyhofen, CEO of MAN SE, said: “Overall, our figures are certainly less than satisfactory. This is why we are doing everything we can to get back on track as soon as possible. For example, we have successfully introduced cost-cutting measures over the past few months such as changes to the production structure in the bus business, the introduction of short-time working in Steyr and Salzgitter, and strict cost discipline. Some of these cuts are painful. But they are necessary. The outstanding response to our products and services showcased at the SMM and the IAA — both large trade fairs — in September shows that we can look to the future with confidence.”

MAN is expecting a significant year-on-year decline in sales revenue and moderately higher operating profit for fiscal year 2014. The MAN Group’s operating return on sales will slightly exceed the 2013 figure.



Rimula - HWC UK 2014

During the final weekend of September, London was host to 13 nationalities, represented by over 140 participants who had travelled to take part in the Shell Rimula Heavyweight Driving Challenge. At the end of the exclusive driving experience, Mao Qinghai from China was crowned the 2014 Shell Rimula Heavyweight Driving World Champion.

Malaysia was represented by six participants – Mr Chan Meng Fei, 29 from Alor Setar; Mr Khoo Teik Seng, 39, from Pulau Pinang; Mr Liau Chia Chin, 40, from Miri; Mr Loh Yew Sing 53, from Sandakan; Mr Tan Chin Purn, 27 from Miri; and Mr Tang Chung Lay, 47, from Sibu.

They were the Grand Prize winners of the 2014 Shell Rimula ‘Win Your Place in London’ global promotion contest held from April 1 to June 30, 2014 and was open to all customers who purchased a drum or pail of Shell Rimula R4 X, R5 LE or R6 LM heavy-duty diesel engine oil.

Rimula - HWC UK 2014

The bespoke Heavyweight Driving Challenge in London was designed by Shell Rimula to let participants from all over the world put heavy-duty vehicles and their driving skills to the ultimate test. They navigated their way through a series of obstacles and trials with the guidance of expert instructors as they attempted to master driving accuracy, vehicle control and teamwork challenges in a bid to be crowned the Shell Rimula Heavyweight Driving Challenge World Champion.

During the challenge, guests experienced the vehicles’ power and gained an appreciation of the demands often placed on heavy-duty engines of tractors, excavators, dumper trucks, loader cranes, forklifts, articulated trucks and telehandlers when operating in real-life conditions – all protected by Shell Rimula heavy duty engine oil. Driver concentration and awareness were also put to the test in a number of precision and finesse driving challenges, as was the ability to work as a team to complete the various tasks.

Rimula - HWC UK 2014

The London adventure was not limited to activities behind the wheel. Guests were based in a luxury central London hotel from which they could explore the famous shopping streets and visit the iconic sights of the historic city. In the evenings they were treated to a little glitz and glamour at an array of exclusive dinners hosted by Shell Rimula.

At the finale of the unforgettable trip, the expert instructors revealed the competition winners at a dramatic prize giving where the overall World Champion was announced and the much anticipated winning nation was awarded to Thailand.

“It has been a very exciting few days in London and a great opportunity for us to be able to bring our valued Shell Rimula customers together from across the globe for such a unique experience. All of the competitors have been under the guidance of expert instructors and had the opportunity of a lifetime to experience – in such a fun environment – the broad range of heavy-duty vehicles that are protected by Shell Rimula,”  said Caroline Missen, General Manager Marketing – Transport & Industry Brands, Shell Lubricants.

Rimula - HWC UK 2014

Shell Lubricants Marketing Manager – Southeast Asia, Alex Lim, said, ”Once again, Shell Rimula has succeeded in reaching out to the many hardworking truckers out there via this increasingly popular global promotion, now into its third year.  This year’s prize of a VIP trip to London and the promise of a unique experience in the Shell Rimula Heavyweight Driving Challenge were very well received.”

Mr Lim further pointed out that the combination of technology leadership, innovative products that deliver tangible benefits and strong ground-level interaction that demonstrated empathy with customers have strengthened Shell Rimula’s market leadership position globally and also in Malaysia.

Shell Rimula is committed to research and development, investing heavily to ensure its heavy duty engine oils are tested in the world’s hardest working vehicles and driving conditions. It’s these learnings that are then applied to benefit Shell Rimula customers and offer them the most advanced lubricant products available in the world for all heavy-duty vehicles.



Continental wins Trailer Innovation Prize 2015


Continental has achieved second place in the environment category of the “Trailer Innovation” awards at IAA, for its new trailer tire Conti EcoPlus HT3.

The international industry award was awarded for the seventh time at the 65th International Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover. The award honors outstanding ideas and new products from the trailer and bodybuilding sectors.

Continental, the international tire manufacturer and automotive supplier excelled in the “Environment” category. The prize is awarded every two years by eleven renowned European transport magazines together with the VDA, the German Association of the Automotive Industry.

Dr. Marko Multhaupt, head of Sales and Marketing Bus and Truck Tire Replacement Business for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, sees the award as confirmation of the strategy that Continental is pursuing in developing the Conti EcoPlus tire range.

Dr. Multhaupt commented, “The Conti EcoPlus range is designed to provide the highest fuel efficiency and a long tire life. In a truck-semitrailer combination, around 60 per cent of the rolling resistance is attributed to the trailer tires, so optimizing the rolling resistance of these tires delivers the greatest economic benefit to the carrier. In comparison to previous tires, the rolling resistance of the Conti EcoPlus HT3 has been reduced by 26%.”


ZF introduces 8-Speed Automatic Transmission


The more demanding the requirements for comfort and efficiency, the more important are advanced transmissions – in passenger cars just as in light commercial vehicles. For this reason, the Italian commercial vehicle manufacturer, Iveco, chose the efficient, dynamic, and comfortable 8-speed automatic transmission (8HP) by ZF to shift gears in the latest generation of its Daily, a light commercial vehicle model with caravan body.

The transporter will in future even enhance the characteristics owing to which it was awarded the title “International Van of the Year 2015″ at the end of September 2014.

Image converted using ifftoany

The annual “International Van of the Year” award is conferred by a jury consisting of 23 leading journalists of the major international commercial vehicles trade magazines. Iveco Daily is the 2015 winner. The jury justified their decision by the high efficiency standards offered by the Iveco Daily and its contribution to sustainable goods transport.

This contribution may even increase in future as ZF’s 8-speed automatic transmission further enhances fuel efficiency and considerably adds to driving comfort at the same time. Thanks to its special characteristics like wide spread of gear ratios, outstanding efficiency, as well as shift times below the human threshold of perception, the ZF 8HP has become the benchmark among passenger car automatic transmissions.

Currently, it is used in more than 1 000 vehicle applications – from compact cars to full-size high-end luxury cars and pure sports cars. But Iveco and its new Daily with ZF’s 8HP prove that also completely different vehicle segments can benefit from these advantages. This is the first time an 8-speed automatic transmission is installed ex works in this model.

The eight gear steps together with the high spread of gear ratios guarantee that the engine speed and therefore also the fuel consumption stay at a low level. Not least, the 8HP always automatically chooses the right gear ratio to also tackle steep and twisty uphill routes with the vehicle without any problems.

Apart from the advantages on the road, there were some more important reasons for Iveco to opt for the advanced automatic transmission by ZF in the new Daily: It can be combined flexibly with all engines for this model – with the diesel and natural gas engines just as with each of the nine different power stages from 106 to 205 hp. The 8HP70 used in the Iveco can cope with very high input torques and is thus suitable in particular for the Daily and its permissible total weight of 7 tons.
But also drivers who still want to shift gears manually in the new light commercial vehicle by Iveco get sophisticated ZF driveline technology: As a standard, the Daily is produced with the manual 6-speed Ecolite transmission including the corresponding clutch system by the technology company. With regard to the chassis, the successful model is equipped with ZF dampers representing safety and comfort. The steering pump and the steering column, however, are delivered by ZF Lenksysteme GmbH, a 50:50 joint venture of Robert Bosch GmbH and ZF Friedrichshafen AG.


Volvo Sends iSTREC Challenge Winner to Sweden

Volvo Safety (Custom)

Following his deserving achievement winning the first prize of the iSTREC (Innovative Solutions to Reduce Crashes between Trucks and Motorcycles) Challenge which concluded early this year, Muhammad Isa Lim recently embarked on a unique and all-expense paid study trip to Volvo Trucks in Gothenburg, Sweden.

As the iSTREC challenge was very much focused on safety, the 21-year-old student from Universiti Malaysia Sabah embarked on a journey from September 2 to 7, 2014 to the second largest city in Sweden and was exposed to one of the safest countries in the world.

“Winning the study trip was exciting, but experiencing it was even more incredible. It was indeed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity as the unique and eye-opening experience changed my perspective on safety,” said Isa.

iSTREC or “Innovative Solutions to Reduce Crashes between Trucks and Motorcycles” is an initiative and collaboration between Volvo Trucks, AIM, UPM, Business Sweden and Vehicle and Traffic Safety Centre of Sweden (SAFER).

Officially formed in January last year, the mandate of iSTREC is to collaborate, seek and recommend solutions to reduce crashes and casualties between trucks and motorcyclists in Malaysia.

Outshining over 700 entries nationwide, Muhammad Isa Lim’s video presentation entry entitled “Highway travel time policy” looks at a solution from a policy angle – winning him the coveted prize of an all-expense paid study trip to Sweden. His winning idea proposed that in order to decrease the frequency of clashes between trucks and motorcycles, a policy must be drafted and enforced to separate the two types of vehicles traveling, specifically on highways.

Using a combination of existing tracking technology via GPS/toll system and tax incentives, truck companies can be encouraged to move their fleet at night, when there are far fewer motorcyclists traveling on the road. Truckers that travel during the day will have to pay higher toll rates compared to travelling at night, and will need to pay premium road tax.

“We underlined our commitment to safety by building safer vehicles as well as encourage safe driving behaviour among the public. We are pleased that we are able inculcate a sense of ownership amongst students on social issues and empowering them to take action for improvement. We are glad that our student winner took home important key learnings and we look forward to meeting more bright talents like him,” said Mats Nilsson, Managing Director of Volvo Malaysia.


Suzuki unveils new Vitara at Paris Auto Show


Suzuki announced that the all-new Vitara is a whole new compact SUV, which has evolved in every aspect such as driving, safety, and environmental performances, and design, while inheriting qualification as genuine four-wheel-drive vehicle and SUV derived from the Jimny, Vitara, and the Grand Vitara.

It has not only pursued excellent driving performance, but has been developed as a car that can reflect the user’s lifestyle.

At the press conference held on 2 October, Executive Vice President Toshihiro Suzuki said, “Suzuki had introduced the new and GRAND VITARA as the pioneer of the compact SUV. We believe that the new Vitara will be able to attract a lot of new customers.

The all-new SUV VITARA will be produced at Magyar Suzuki Corporation, Suzuki’s Hungarian subsidiary, from early 2015, and will be supplied throughout Europe.


Overall length: 4,175mm
Overall width: 1,755mm
Overall height: 1,610mm
Wheelbase: 2,500mm
Engine: M16A (1.6L petrol) and D16AA (1.6L diesel)


Fiat Professional named “Van Fleet Manufacturer of the Year”


Fiat Professional has been named “Van Fleet Manufacturer of the Year” in Britain at the prestigious Fleet Van Awards 2014, a significant accomplishment that not only highlights the great appeal of the Fiat Professional range’s versatility but also recognises the efforts of the brand to continually enhance the scope and quality of services it offers to all of its fleet customers in the UK.

Now in its seventh year, the prestigious annual “Fleet Van Awards” recognise the accomplishments of vehicle manufacturers, fleet operators and suppliers through a judging panel of international experts, including members of the Fleet News/Fleet Van editorial team.

In awarding FIAT Professional the “Van Fleet Manufacturer of the Year” award, the Fleet Van panel observed: “Last year’s ‘Highly-Commended’ fleet manufacturer finally secures top spot after further improvements in product quality and manufacturer support for fleets and the broader fleet sector. Fiat Professional’s incredible commitment to its fleet customers and its willingness to engage and act on fleets managers’ views, as well as its excellent model range, made it a worthy winner.”


The judges pointed to innovations such as FIAT Professional’s parts supply policy, which is reducing downtime and improving VOR, and the fact that its vehicles and engines form the basis for the models of many other manufacturers. The judges summarised by saying: “Fiat Professional is the benchmark by which to rate all van manufacturers.”

For the third year running, the Fiat Fiorino model has claimed the “City Van of the Year” title ahead of strong competition. Competing vehicles are compared across a number of core fleet criteria, such as payload and versatility, safety and technology, fuel efficiency and emissions, reliability and dealer back-up, comfort and performance and, of course, overall running costs. According to the panel: “The Fiorino has the ideal payload and configuration for city use and is backed by excellent manufacturer and dealer support. Strong, highly efficient engines and low SMR costs put it ahead on running costs and make it the perfect city van for fleets.”

The prestigious “Fleet Van Awards 2014″ received by Fiat Professional join another two important awards won recently by the brand in Britain. In July, the Fiat Doblò Cargo was named “Fleet Van Of The Year 2014″ by the panel of the “Motor Transport Awards 2014″, the most important recognition in the category of road-transport vehicles, while the Fiat Fiorino, for the third year running, was named “Best Light Van 2014″ in the “Van Fleet World Honours 2014″.


Mercedes-Benz Vans launches the new Vito

Mercedes-Benz is presenting an attention-grabbing marketing campaign on all channels to support the international market launch of the new Vito. In addition to print ads, moving images play a key role in the campaign. For example, a Web video enables viewers to interactively experience the van’s key features.

Moreover, several TV commercials are devoted to specific marketing topics. All of the measures aim to make the new Vito better known and to effectively communicate its claim to technology leadership. All of the video clips can be viewed at the Mercedes-Benz Vans YouTube brand channel at


Nicolai Berger, Head of Marketing Communications at Mercedes-Benz Vans, says, “The market launch campaign is an integrated and comprehensive communicative approach to clearly position the new Vito, along with its many new features and innovations, as the best and most attractive product that is currently available in the mid-size van segment.”

The new Vito is the versatile professional among mid-size vans weighing between 2.5 and 3.2 t GVW and boasting the highest levels of quality, safety, and economy. The new Vito is the first vehicle in the Mercedes-Benz product range to offer a choice of rear-wheel, all-wheel or – in a new development – front-wheel drive systems.

The new generation of the vehicle consumes 20 percent less fuel on average than its predecessor. When fitted with the BlueEFFICIENCY package, standard fuel consumption can be as low as 5.7 l, which none of the van’s competitors can outdo.


Mitsubishi Fuso and Nissan sign contract for van OEM supply for export

FUSO Canter Van for export

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Nissan) today announced they have signed a contract for OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) supply of finished commercial vans for export.

Under the contract, Nissan will supply its “NV350 URVAN” (GVW: 3.5 tons) commercial van to be sold by Mitsubishi Fuso as “Canter Van” in the Middle East starting in 2014.

Today’s final contract comes after the two companies’ signing of a basic agreement in September 11, 2013, and is based on the strategic partnership between Daimler AG and Renault-Nissan Alliance announced on April 7, 2010.

MFTBC and Nissan are already running a strategic OEM supply which includes Mitsubishi Fuso’s supply of its light-duty truck platform (payload: 2.0 tons) to Nissan and Nissan’s supply of its light-duty truck platform (payload 1.5 tons) to Mitsubishi Fuso, both supplies relevant for sale in Japan.

Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Daimler Trucks, said: “The agreement marks another strategic partnership by Daimler AG and Renault-Nissan Alliance. This is an important element for the growth strategy of Daimler Trucks in Asia. It is also another example of our proven cooperation with Nissan in the commercial vehicles sector.”

Dr. Albert Kirchmann, MFTBC President & CEO, said: “With the new FUSO Canter Van, we will be able to address new customer segments in markets like the Middle East where we already have an established network. It is the first time in the FUSO history that we offer a commercial van, and I am convinced that our customers will appreciate the wider choice.”

Mr. Guerin Boutaud, Nissan Corporate Vice President of Global LCV Business Unit, said: “We are very delighted that Definitive Agreement of NV350 URVAN supply has been concluded formally in addition to the first step of mutual supply of light-duty trucks ‘Canter Guts’ and ‘NT450 Atlas’ already running in Japan. We hope that the strategic partnership between Mitsubishi Fuso and Nissan in light commercial vehicles business is further reinforced by this and will lead to improved production efficiency in Japan.”