single-platform manufacturing so BMW, for instance, purely
produces the 3 series there; a lot of right-hand-drive cars for
markets such as Japan, New Zealand and Australia but also
left-hand-drive models for the United States. The export
market is extremely important to their on-going existence in
South Africa.”
Kar-Tainer has also worked quite extensively with Daimler
in South Africa. “We recently completed the transportation of
C-Class Mercedes from East London, South Africa to the UK,”
says Cox. “We shipped 116,000 vehicles over a =ve year
contract period. We also had similar contracts out of South
Africa with BMW and Volkswagen. South Africa is one of those
niche markets where a lot of parts come in from Europe and
there is an excessive amount of containers sitting in South
Africa to be repositioned. There are some good freight rates
going back to Europe and we are able to capitalise on that
niche and move the completely built-up cars back in those
boxes, three or four to a container.”
The company is also currently shipping MGs from
Shanghai to South Africa and is conducting tests with General
Motors to ship its SRX model from Houston to Shanghai.
These prospective moves are still at a test stage and the tests
so far have been completely successful,” says Cox. “The
customer has been very happy with the results: the prospect of
less damage and vehicles being delivered more quickly is
attractive to them, but at the moment everything is coming
down to the economics, and we are still working with them on
that process.
Containerised car transportation is becoming globally
suitable. One of the projects that we are testing for at the
moment involves vehicles coming out of Mexico bound for the
Far East. Thailand is now becoming the Detroit of the Far East.
It used to manufacture for its own consumption, or immediate
area consumption, but now it is exporting. Countries such as
this are becoming more and more involved and the RoRo
capacity is not increasing proportionately. The containers are
always there, because goods are being shipped in or out and
the Kar-Tainer product can provide the economics and the
security. It is an exciting time for us.”
Just-in-time delivery is very important because
there is a cost to having stock sitting around and
the container gets the cars to their destination
more quickly. ”
Richard Cox, Founder, Kar-Tainer International Ltd.