Thursday, April 22, 2010

Holy Rollers, GM Test-Drives Cars at Detroit Church

The auto showroom is the place most people see new cars up close and personal, but GM is taking a unique approach to moving cars to where the potential customers are. The eye-catching headline out of the Detroit News was of a “ride-and-drive” mobile GM showroom that was set up outside a Baptist church in Detroit on Sunday with the pastor’s blessing, aiming to expose people to GM cars that might not make their way into a conventional showroom. Less theologically-questionable ride-and-drives have been done in California outside of coffee-houses and Korean restaurants, as GM experiments with alternative marketing methods.

Alternative marketing might become more of an issue as GM dealers close up shop; GM is looking at online marketing tools and other non-traditional ways of marketing cars. One alternative that is rather old-school comes from Japan, where cars are sold door-to-door much as life insurance or cosmetics are sold in the US. Busy people might not want to spend time going to a car dealership, but if the cars are at church or at their favorite watering hole, they might stop by to take a look.

This brings some possible extra work for car haulers; unless the cars are individually driven out to the locations, there might be work opportunity for car carriers to get the cars out to the remote locations. Unloading the hauler could be problematic in some settings, but it could also be a conversation piece that would draw attention to the event-“What the *$&#* is that car hauler doing in front of the church?”

New Asia-Europe Service Shelved, New Asia-Europe service on hold?

Plans of one overseas shipping company to begin a new Asia-Europe service have apparently been either put on hold or shelved for good. A few days ago the overseas shipping company involved in this affair, the Containership Company (TCC), had announced company plans to begin providing shipping services for customers in the Asia-Europe market, but more recently the firm has decided that the time isn’t right for this move and they would put the start of their second service on hold for now. The Containership Company has stated that it still has designs on business in the Asia-Europe market and this still isn’t out of the question. Apparently, the company is still in talks to charter more vessels for their plans for their Asia-Europe service, so the company could be just preparing better for the implementation of the second service. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the future, to see if their plans continue to go forward though, and it’s always possible that they could drop these plans altogether.

This news probably isn’t that surprising to many watching the current situation in the shipping industry of the world, but it does kind of make you wonder what’s happening over at the Containership Company over the past few months. The firm does appear to be a little hesitant in many regards and backtracking is going to look a little suspicious to some customers that might have been looking forward the new service that the company had announced.

The timing of adding new shipping services is obviously very important to an overseas shipping company and they certainly want to be as sure of the demand for services as they can be, before beginning their plans. It could be that in a little while, the Containership Company will once again announce the start of the Asia-Europe service they originally announced, only it will be delayed a little, that’s all.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Containers Providing Shelter for the Homeless

he container manufacturing sector of the freight carrier industry is an essential industry within the business of freight and the building of specialized container transports designed for the specific transport requirements of particular kinds of freight allows for the transport of many kinds of volatile and sensitive cargo around the world. Containers for the transport of pharmaceuticals, sensitive plants, and volatile chemicals are normal in the world of container manufacturing, but now a new use seems to have been found for the containers that normally protect valuable freight loads as they move around the planet.

We’re talking about a new idea that we first noticed being implemented in Vancouver a few months back. A few months back one trucking services firm came up with a novel way to help alleviate the problem with homeless people on the streets of Vancouver. They took one of their containers and transformed it into a home for homeless people to live in during the toughest times of their lives. This idea seems to be catching on as now Sea Box Inc has recently been working with a military engineer trying to help the people of Haiti recover from their recent problems. Sea Box Inc shipped a special container they built loaded with the essentials of life that the people of Haiti need right now, along with one of their ShelterPak packages which will allow the container to be converted into a habitable shelter for people in need.

The idea of using containers to provide shelter for people in need during crisis times seems to be a very useful idea and in both instances reports are that the idea has met with applause and in the case of the container used in Vancouver to house the homeless was very successful in the task. We have yet to see how useful this idea is in Haiti, but it seems like a very feasible idea for quickly getting everything people need to survive during times of crisis to the people fast and efficiently. If successful, we could certainly see container manufacturers come up with a product that could meet the future needs of organizations that are tasked with reacting in times of crisis around the world.