The automotive manufacturing sector works on ‘Just-In-Time’ model for the supply chains of its parts and components. Automotive manufacturers require highly reliable logistics services that can move their raw material and finished products on precise schedules to ensure uninterrupted production processes.

For years several of these manufacturers based in and around Gurugram, northern part of India, have been dependent on staggered and unscheduled rail movement for their cargo going in and out of the country. Delayed imports hamper production schedules while delayed exports pile up inventories for the manufacturers.

In response to the needs of the automotive sector, Maersk India has launched the first ‘Automotive Express’ whose first run was virtually flagged off on 18th April 2021 by Denmark’s Ambassador to India, His Excellency Freddy Svane. “Manufacturing is an extremely important building block of our country’s economy. As a service provider to this critical segment, our goal is to streamline their supply chains and offer highest levels of reliability” commented Vikash Agarwal, Managing Director, Maersk South Asia. He added, “With the ‘Automotive Express’, we are not only simplifying our automotive customers’ supply chains by offering integrated logistics solution that bundles ocean and landside transportation, but are also driving cost and time efficiencies through precisely scheduled movement of their cargo.”

“GatewayRail is excited to jointly launch the new ‘Automotive Express’ with Maersk that connects customers to their global import and export destinations through the MECL and FI3 services at APM Terminals Pipavav Port. GatewayRail has been a pioneer in innovative intermodal services such as the ‘Ship to Rail Service’ and now the ‘Automotive Express’ and is proud to be the intermodal operator of choice for Maersk India” said Sachin Bhanushali, Director & CEO, Gateway Rail Freight.

This new rail service runs from the Garhi Harsaru Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Gurugram to APM Terminals Pipavav Port for exports and return with import cargo. It will have the capacity to move 180 TEUs (Twenty Feet Equivalent Containers) each way and will support more than 25 customers from one of the most important automotive manufacturing belts of India. The customers booking their cargo on ‘Automotive Express’ will also have priority discharge from the port for higher reliability and to keep their supply chains on schedule.

The ‘Automotive Express’ will connect the cargo to Maersk’s ocean transportation services from APM Terminals Pipavav to North American as well as Far East and South East Asian markets on the MECL service for exports and FI3 and MECL services for imports. With this new service, Maersk is taking a step forward towards strengthening its landside transportation offering in the country. By connecting key manufacturing hubs and ports through a solid network of trucking, rail and depots, Maersk is bringing a reliable and tailored solution to its customers.

Maersk also runs other dedicated rail services for its customers that offer the movement of agricultural produce, retail, apparel, furniture and stones from several states across North India for export and import. Maersk runs two dedicated rail services for exports and four dedicated rail services for imports in collaboration with GatewayRail and has completed around 200 dedicated trips in past two years.

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