Consider World Automotive Logistics as the Most Considerate Industry Leader
|January 2, 2011||Posted by Ocean Shipping Communication China under Dialogue||
——Interview with Mr. Trond Tonjum, Managing Director for Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics in China
Journalist: Betty Chen
As an enterprise with a history close to 150 years, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) provides global factory-to-dealer transport solutions for the automotive, agricultural and construction equipment industries’ services.Employing 3,200 people and deploying between 55 and 60 modern eco-friendly car carriers and ro-ro vessels, WWL serves 20 trade routes to five continents and transports 3.3 million vehicles annually of which 1.7 million by sea and 1.6 million inland, which occupies an undoubted leading position in the world automotive logistics industry. This time on the Automotive Logistics China 2010 Conference, OSCC has the honor to take an interview with Mr. Trond Tonjum, Managing Director for Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics in China, to discover the secret of being the industry leader.
Journalist: Your company has products & services of supply chain management, ocean transportation, terminal services, inland distribution and so on. Why do you arrange your business sections like this?
Mr. Trond Tonjum: Our main product is ocean transportation. That is the biggest part. We transport vehicles between continents, with long distance and short distance. So that is the most important. But we see that the shippers might want to have additional services that all the vehicles have to be loaded and discharged. That is why we do terminal services, customs clearance and so on because they need to happen there. Some customers want us to handle the cars from the factory to the dealer. So we can offer that and we can offer the supply chain solutions, on what we organize for the Chinese manufactures from the port in China to the dealer on the other side. With the supply chain management we can give detailed information to know where the car is and where to be delivered and so on. That is how it works. Our products support each other in quite an efficient way to where the customer would like to deliver by combining the whole supply chain together. Then we can find the cost benefit that we deliver cheaper than shippers go to all the different companies for all the different services.That’s the benefit: if we consider the customer’s benefit to combine the services together, we can save cost.
Journalist: Would you please give an introduction about the vessels using in your ocean transportation?
Mr. Trond Tonjum: Wallenius Lines, as one of the earliest RoRo pioneers, introduced its first RoRo vessel “MS Aniara” in 1963 which is designed to carry 240 cars on short-sea routes on the growing demand for the deepsea movement of vehlcles by the 1960s. The latest generation of vessels, developed by WWL, are Large Car Truck Carriers and latest generation RoRo vessels are capable of lifting over 8,000 CEU with 3-5 liftable decks and ramp strengths of up to 500 tons. These vessels are designed to carry combined loads of cars,heavy rolling equipment and breakbulk cargos such as railcars and power generation equipment, with part of the weather deck strengthened to carry project cargos such as yachts, windmill blades and other cargo suitable for on-deck shipments.
In recent years WWL also have many of concept vessel features feed through into actual ship design. These concept vessel, such as E/S Orcelle, do not release any emissions into the atmosphere or into the ocean, more on reduction of emissions.
Journalist: Nowadays IT solutions become more and more important, such as the item Internet of Things. So do your enterprise apply this solution? How is the development?
Mr. Trond Tonjum: Yes we have a system that an be accessed online by customers. So when we receive the car, there is an event. So we can plan and if you want to ship your car from Tianjin to Brazil, normally that would be shipped from Tianjin to Panama, and to Brazil. Maybe we will change ship in Panama transhipment. IT shows when the car would be loaded and when it would be transhipped. So then the customers can follow. And if there is any delay or change, they can see updated information online. So we use buckles and scanners on vehicles when they are discharged. We can scan and then we get all these informations.
Journalist: In 2008&2009 we were experiencing the impact of the financial crisis. Do you think that the crisis is over now? What is your assumption upon the world market?
Mr. Trond Tonjum: It is not certain that whether the crisis has been over but of course it has big impact on cars transportation because of the financial crisis, and there’s big downturn on sales volume in the world automotive market except China. So for shipping line, 2009 is a very dramatic year. But we now see that in 2010 the market starts now and we see it’s better. We hope the crisis is over and if as so, around 2014 & 2015 we will reach another high point of car transportation the same as that we have in 2008.
On the assumption of world market, it is forecasted that the European sales will decline by 5% during 2010 because of taggered withdrawal of recycling incentives combined with more aggressive price incentives from manufacturers. We are more optimistic for the North American market where an earlier economic recovery and signs of pent up demand is expected to contribute to stronger sales in 2010. And Brazil, Russia, India and China should show positive growth, albeit slower than the incentive-charged expansion witnessed in 2010. After two successive years of decline,global light vehicle sales are forecast to expand by 4% during 2010.
Journalist: Your enterprise has an honorable long history. What makes you enjoy such business longevity?
Mr. Trond Tonjum: I think it is the owners. The company has a history close to 150 years. It has just be growing; and the investors reinvest in the company and modernize the company in IT when that is needed in new technology. And listening to the customers to considerate what they need also attributes the success to the longevity. We didn’t ship cars 150 years ago in 1860 and we started to ship cars only since 1960, 50 years ago. So we build the vessels and we load the cargos that we expect to come. We offer services to the ports where we know the manufactures will be shipping their products. All in all, the long history owes to that the owner of our company reinvest and listen to their customers to consider what they need.
Journalist: What do you think of Automotive Logistics China 2010 conference? And what is your expection upon this conference year after year?
Mr. Trond Tonjum: The conference is OK and I think that the CFLP’s participation in the conference’s export session is very good. I expect that a lot of people can meet here and not only will we meet all our old friends here but also more new friends.
Journalist: Thank you for sharing your experience in participating OSCC’s DIALOGUE.