Monday, June 28, 2010

Car Transport of Like About to Begin?

Car transporters in the United States could soon be taking a 5-seat electric vehicle based on the i-MiEv from Mitsubishi Motors Corp to dealerships. Called the Like, Mitsuoka Motor Co. has started putting the names and numbers down on their reservation list for this vehicle, because the first shipments aren't expected to be taken to destination by car shipping professionals, sometime near August, according to the latest sources around the car hauling industry. There could of course be delays in production and delivery of the Like in the days ahead, but so far, things are looking pretty good for automobile transport of the Like to begin soon.

The Like is going to be a little different vehicle in terms of size considerations for car shipping at 3,570 mm, which puts it about 175 mm longer than Mitsubishi Motor Corp's i-MiEV. The designers apparently expanded the rear seat area to three people, from two, which is an interesting change that should make the Like a different kind of car. The Like apparently also comes with metal-plated bumpers and other exterior modifications that could be a consideration for car movers that need to transport this vehicle. Either way, the arrival of the Like in a few months time is going to be a good day for the auto transport services tasked with taking them to destinations around the world.

There has been on confirmation the numbers of people that have put in a reservation for a Like, so far, but once Mitsuoka Motor Co. has something to talk about, you can be sure they'll be saying something. At US 47,000 for each Like, the company is certainly hoping to sell quite a few units of their 5-seat electric vehicle, and put a few dollars in the bank.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Let Car Shippers Decide on Transport Mode

Car transport professionals attending the Translog 2010 conference in Hamilton last week were probably happy to hear the comments by the deputy minister of Ontario's Ministry of Transportation Bruce McCuaig. Comments that were possibly directed toward a question asked during a presentation by the Rail Association of Canada on Tuesday advocating a national modal shift program to create incentives for shippers to use rail or marine transport over road transport vehicles. The presentation talked about strategies and tactics implemented by Alberta, the United Kingdom, and the European Union to decrease the volume of car hauling vehicles on the roads because of concerns about greenhouse gas emissions attributed to road transport vehicles. It also indicated that Manitoba, British Columbia and Ontario are all thinking about model shift programs of the type suggested by the RAC.

What did Mr. McCuaig have to say about implementing a national modal shift program to create incentives to get shippers to use more rail or marine transport in their business dealings? Mr. McCuaig indicated that he wasn't sure the province of Ontario should be trying to steer shippers toward on form of transportation over another. That as far as he was concerned the ministry wasn't in the business of picking the winners and losers in the battle between rail, road and marine transport modes and trying to orchestrate a modal shift might impinge on shippers's rights to select the transportation mode that's best suited for their business needs. That making choices to try to direct freight onto a particular transport mode probably isn't what the agency should be attempting to do.

Mr. McCuaig makes a lot of sense and he'll probably get the support of car shippers considering his comments and beliefs. He seems to have an understanding of some aspects of the transport industry, but his common sense seems to be a main driving force in his statements, and certainly he seems to have an idea of the place the ministry should play in trying to help transport firms make informed transport choices in the future.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Do Pirates Avoid US-Flagged Vessels?

US-flagged ocean automobile transport vessels could be under less of a risk of attack by pirates and hijacking if you believe the conclusions reached by a recent academic study on the subject? Apparently, some geniuses over at the University of Greenwich gathered together all the relevant data they could find on the subject and put it through a detailed statistical analysis.

What did the scientists conclude? According to the analysis of the scientists in question ocean car hauling vessels flying a United States flag might be less attractive to the pirates in the Gulf of Eden. Why would the pirates be less interested in trying to take US-flagged vessels? According to the scientists it could have something to do with the strong presence of the US Navy in the Gulf of Eden.
This of course makes perfect sense if the pirates have been evolving the strategies and tactics they use in their operations, which has been suggested could be the case in the past. The pirates are in a battle for their lives and the lives of their loved ones in many cases, despite what many might believe, and we can certainly expect them to be just as intelligent and adaptable to circumstances and their environment as all humans in a survival situation.

Statistically, according to the conclusions reached by the statistical analysis of the scientists over in Greenwich, it could be more likely for ocean car transporters registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Marshall Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Bahamas, to see pirates trying to board their vessel while traveling through the Gulf of Eden.

Shipowneres are intelligent as well, if slow to react at times, and we can certainly expect shipowners to catch wind of this statistical trend and possibly look at registering their ocean car shipping vessels under the flags of the countries that according to the numbers might have less risk of attack by pirates.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Car Carrier Asian Glory Freed

After six months in pirate hands, the car carrier Asian Glory was freed last week after the owners paid a ransom to the Somali privateers who had held the vessel since New Year’s Day. The Asian Glory was taking a load of Korean cars to Jeddah in western Saudi Arabia, which meant it had to run the vulnerable gauntlet area off of Somalia where the pirate presence is the strongest. Somalia is currently divided into a number of regional governments, some of which seem to encourage the pirates, who are a growth industry in that very poor country; a $5 million-or-so ransom payment goes a long way in a region wracked by civil war and without any major industry or export goods.

Without any opposition from the Somali authorities (such as they are), the pirate enclaves have been hard to stop. A multinational task force has been trying to keep the Somalis at bay, but the pirates often move to other areas to snag ships. While ransom is generally not encouraged by governments, it is often a viable business expense if the alternative is having a ship’s crew held captive and the ship’s inventory losing value while sitting in a Somali port or being used as a mothership for further raiding.

Car transporters moving cars from Asia to Europe have to make decisions on whether to use the Suez Canal and run the ship past the pirate’s home turf at the foot of the Red Sea or take a much longer route around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope. The Northeast Passage north of Russia and Norway might be a possibility in the future if sea ice continues to decrease, but it isn’t an option at present. Ice-breaking container ships are in the works for such an Arctic-skirting run; might an ice-breaking car hauler be too far in the future?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Recycling Car Carrier Wheels

Owner operator trucking professionals concerned about the environmental impact their waste tires might be having on Mother Earth can relax a little. The latest reports around the transport industry indicates that the tires your car carrier uses and then discards after a significant number of road hours may soon be recycled to produce hydrogen. A team of scientists at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom is presently working on a system that could produce significant amounts of usable hydrogen from the waste tires the car transportation industry discards.

In Europe they have a different way of taking care of waste tires from the car transport industry and other sources, they actually recover the materials and energy in the tires, while doing a significant percentage of retreading of old tires. In the United States we tend to use waste tires from the car shipping industry to obtain energy, ground rubber and other civil engineering applications. This could of course be changing in the years ahead, but this will of course depend on projects like the one being conducted in the United Kingdom on uses for waste tires.

The general rate of waste tires is also increasing in the United States and the world according to transport industry sources. In 2007, the volume of waste tires was around 4.6 million tonnes in the United States, around 3.4 million tonnes in Europe and more than a million tonnes in Japan and China. The volume of waste tires is likely to increase, so we need to find a solution that allows us to recover the materials and energy that we put into producing these tires, so that we can use it for other uses.

The goods news is that the scientists and researchers in the transport industry are at work on this problem and hopefully in a few years or sooner, they'll come up with other solutions to this problem of waste tires. This will certainly make vehicle transport professionals that have been thinking about the impact of their waste tires on Mother Earth and it should help them sleep better at night.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Urban Canadians and the Car Transport Industry

Car transport professionals that might have been concerned about the mood and attitude of Canadians living in urban centres of Canada towards auto transport carriers traveling through the area might be onto something. A recently conducted Leger Marketing poll in Quebec discovered that many people on the roads of Quebec feel that car carriers and other large trucks need to slow down when on the roads of Canada and that many of these professional vehicles follow too close to the vehicle in front of them and seem to forget that not every person on the road is as confident and skilled at driving as they might be.

The results from this poll weren't all bad though as the survey indicated that overall about 83 percent of those questioned had a positive attitude toward the transport industry and its work transporting on the roads of Canada. The survey according to some transport professionals also suggests that the individuals surveyed that were concerned about transport trucks on the roads of Canada could be living in an urban area already choked with traffic and construction that could definitely have changed their opinion. That commuters in traffic with a large transport truck might often feel a little apprehension no matter which side the truck is currently on, not just when they're coming up behind them, and that drivers often forget that large trucks can't stop and start on a dime.

This certainly seems to make sense when you consider the size of the trucks in question and the small room that's often available when you're driving next to one on the highway. It probably does seem to many drivers on the roads that the vehicle transport behind them is to close for safety and this could be the case in many instances. It would seem to be more concerning that drivers on the roads over estimate the ability of the large truck behind them to make a fast move when necessary, since this is wrong and could cause them significant physical harm.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Exhibits for car transport professionals

Car transportation professionals that were able to attend the Road Today Truck Show on May 29 and 30 at the Powerade Centre in Brampton, Ontario were treated to upbeat exhibits hinting that good times could be just around the corner for car haulers. Reports by those in attendance indicated that the mood was energetic and the exhibits were informative and entertaining on all fronts for car shipping professionals that were able to make the affair. There was a trade show going on, a show'n'shine event, CN Rail had a little Obie educational display for people to take a look at, there was a car exhibit, live music and even some ethic cuisine for you to enjoy.

The show trucks on display is what many came to see and they weren't disappointed as Ajaib Samra won the most acclaim with his truck that was chosen by attendees as the Public Choice Award winner and Best Light Show. Dan Prentice was the judges darling with the Judges Choice award and Hardeep Dayal was the top pick of the sponsors in attendance. The best owner operator trucking unit award went to Nick Pirone, while Avtar Chauhan won the Best Dump Truck category, and John Camposeo won the award for Best Company-Owned Truck and Best Truck Interior. Gursewak Singh won for Best Day cab, Carey Wojtaski took the award for best chrome on a truck, Randall Gerred had the Best Tanker, Paul Davidson sported the Best Antique award category and Shawn Bowles won in the Best Tractor-Trailer category. On the business side of the transport industry Jaswinder Shoker won an award for entrepreneurs, while Harpreet Garcha won an award for excellence as a dispatcher.

If you missed this year's Road Today Truck Show? There should be another show next year highlighting the top trucks in the business and entertainment for trucking enthusiasts. This will be your chance to check out some of the best looking trucks in the business and talk to professionals in the transport industry about some of the issues that might be keeping you up at night. We'll have someone in attendance next year, so we'll see you next year at the Road Today Truck Show.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Drivers Tailgating Car Carriers a Problem?

Car transportation professionals who think that texting while operating a car carrier is one of the most distracting activities a driver can do might want to rethink this idea if the latest study by a San Diego-based firm that manufactures driver-monitoring systems is right. In fact, if you're guilty of reading text while driving, you're only guilty of breaking the fourth commandment of transport trucking, according to the lastest study. This latest study also seems to indicate that activities like texting and talking on a cell phone might not be involved in as large a percentage of the crashes involving transport vehicles. This might come as a surprise to many car shipping professionals considering the attention regulators have paid to drivers using cell phones and texting and it wouldn't be surprising if they thoughts that driving while distracted would be involved in a large percentage of accidents.

What activity did this latest study find was involved in the greatest number of accidents involving transport vehicles? According to this study by DriveCam Inc. the latest data indicates that tailgating was responsible for about 27 percent of the accidents occurring on the roads of America involving a transport vehicle. This problem might not surprise many drivers of the vehicle transports on the roads of America who have to deal with commuters getting to close to their vehicle on a daily basis? Commuters or transports tailgating vehicles moving down the highways of America is certainly going to be of concern to the government agencies tasked with making the roads as safe as possible for all users. If the data turns out to be verifiable and correct than we can certainly at least expect the Federal transport authorities to take a look at the problem in the months ahead. It will take some time to check the data and the way it was collected, before we can say anything concrete about this latest study. For now, we'll just say that this latest study looks interesting, but it seems to indicate something that goes against logic?

Friday, June 4, 2010

UK Car Haulers and the T.27 City Car

Car haulers in the United Kingdom will be happy to hear that the money provided by the UK Technology Strategy Board to help the development work being done on the T.27 City Car appears to have a good investment. The T.27 City Car is being developed by a partnership lead by Gordon Murray and Zytek Automotive Limited, while technical support was provided by Michelin Plc and Continental Corporation. The sub-contractors involved in this program include MIRA Limited, Vocis Driveline Controls, VCA UK, and ENAX.

If work keeps progressing at the same rate we could see T.27 City Cars being taken to destinations on European car carriers in a few years time. The latest reports indicate that the first phase of the development work has been completed and they're ready to start phase two of their plans, which will be to find the business partners and funding they need to make the T.27 City Car a reality. They want to have a running prototype of the T.27 City Car completed by April 2011, so they have something to show investors one would guess, and to stay on schedule, which is always going to impress the money lenders. They have a lot of work ahead of them if they want to have a working prototype to show people by this time, but they appear to be preparing to ramp-up efforts to get the work done on time. Still, the progress is great news for the car shipping industry of the United Kingdom and Europe and gives them some cars to look forward to transporting in the future.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Vroon Still Shipping Cars

The international car shipping industry has been a tough business during the past 2 years of rough financial weather for the business of moving cars to market. New ocean car carriers are being ordered, built and delivered, but prospects for long-term work for new ocean car carriers are slim at present, unless you already have business dealings that will keep any new ships you order busy shipping cars to destinations around the world. Shipping lines that have good negotiators and have the necessary business connections could find short-term work to fill-the-void between now and the day the market begins to turn around and they find long-term work hauling cars.

Dutch shipowner Vroon currently operates around 7 ocean auto transport carriers, most of them are new and were built between 2009 and 2010. According to sources in the car hauling industry Vroon currently operates their vessels on short-term contracts due to the fact that long-term contracts are difficult to find in the current market.

Vroon is also expecting their newest ocean car carrier to be arriving around the second week of June, according to the latest reports from shipbuilders at Hyundai Mipo. Called the Imola Express, this 3,500-ceu Pure Car Carrier (PCC) is presently without scheduled work, but Vroon is expecting to find work shipping cars to market in the following weeks, according to officials at the company.

Vroon is also an active ship owner in other sectors of the transport industry, like bulkers and containerships, and according to the sources Vroon has recently jumped into the bitumen tanker sector with an order for 4 new bitumen tankers at the same Hyundai Mip Dockyards.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Key transport routes no longer in use

Car delivery services operating within the city limits of a major population centre of the world usually do so with restrictions that can include the use of specific transport routes through the city that have been approved by both city staff, consultation team hired to lend their opinion, and often the car hauling associations representing the car transport professionals in question. The removal or changing of traditional transport routes for services that play a key role in a city's business activities is only going to mean transports will have to use other key transport routes around the city and it could add unnecessary miles to a trip.

The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) had agreed to back the Hamilton Truck Route Master Plan Study, but has recently made comments that indicate some of the transport routes that were first suggested in the study were not in the final recommendations put forth by the Truck Route Sub-Committee of Hamilton.

Apparently, the City of Hamilton decided it wants to remove the transport routes in question for an 18-month test period, for reasons that haven't been forthcoming, despite the routes being recommended by the city staff and consultation team. The key routes in question include parts of Kenilworth Avenue, Upper Ottawa Street, Concession Street/Mountain Brow Blvd, Centennial Parkway and Dundurn Street.

What does this mean for auto transport services operating within the city limits of Hamilton? It might mean transports might have to take other routes than they normally would to get to destination, depending on the missing route they need to use? For example, it's suggested by some transport professionals that the removal of Centennial Parkway from the available transport routes will add an extra million kilometres of transport miles in the City of Hamilton annually.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Protecting International Car Shipping

Car transportation professionals concerned about Somalia's emergence on the world stage as a safe haven for terrorists linked to al-Qaeda will be happy to hear President Obama has apparently decided this is a possibility. The other day United States President Barack Obama issued an executive order allowing legal authorities to freeze the assets of individuals or groups with ties to Somalia pirates. In his statements President Obama termed the violence and ongoing problems with piracy off the coast of Somalia as a threat to the national security of the United States of America.

What exactly does this executive order do for the battle to protect international car shipping vessels traveling through the area where pirates operate? This executive order gives the United States Treasury authority to freeze the assets of individuals or groups known to have obstructed the transport of humanitarian assistance into Somalia. It also allows the United States Treasury to freeze the money of individuals or groups known to have provided arms or technical advice to Somalia.

What does this news mean for the worldwide car moving industry as we travel further into the century of the environment? At present maritime lawyers are pretty close-mouthed about the meaning these sanctions will have for the shipping industry in general. We can certainly expect a lot of uncertainty in this affair until the clouds of doubt surrounding any provisions in agreements are clarified. Once the lawyers have a better understanding of the possible implications this executive order has for the shipping industry though, we can expect the emotional turmoil around the possible problems sanctions could create for the business of transport to subside.