The APL Logistics subsidiary of NOL said it has introduced a service for moving automobiles by container.
A sister company of the container carrier APL, the logistics firm said its AutoDirect service uses "flexible but secure racks to safely and securely transport finished vehicles door-to-door."
The company said the racks can be configured to fit up to six cars in one intermodal container, compared to conventional fixed-rack container equipment which typically accommodates two midsized cars.
APL said the racks are removable, collapsible and returnable.
"AutoDirect is an innovative transport solution that can increase cost competitiveness compared to conventional containerized delivery," said Rinaldy Sudyatmiko, APL Logistics' director of business development for auto logistics for Asia and Europe. "This innovative solution is targeted to be the preferred solution for small to medium shipments by original equipment manufacturers (OEM), importers or distributors."
The company said it used seven 40-foot high cube containers and one 40-foot container in a pilot shipment to carry 28 cars in total from China to Laos,
The eight containers made their way from Yantai, China via Dalian and transshipment port Kaohsiung, Taiwan before arriving at Laem Chabang, Thailand. The vehicles were moved to their final destination in Laos.
While roll-on/roll-off transportation is widely used for vehicle shipments, APL said it "requires large shipment volumes and has more restrictive shipping schedules than container shipping."
APL said moving automobiles in containers allows more frequent shipping of vehicles from origin to destination as well as reduces transload times and handling which can lead to damage. - Chris Dupin