Expansion underscores increased demand for rail transport of finished vehicles in India
APL Logistics VASCOR Automotive (“APLL VASCOR”), the leader in rail-based automotive logistics in India, has taken delivery of its sixteenth rake of specialised rail wagons.
The sixteenth rake is the first of five additional rakes scheduled to be introduced this year to APLL VASCOR’s AutoLinx℠ product. Each of these specialised rail wagons is designed to transport (up to) 318 passenger vehicles, but can also accommodate motorcycles and automotive parts.
“Our continued investment in these rakes reflects the increased adoption of rail-based solutions for finished vehicles transport by automotive OEMs”, said Umesh Bhanot, managing director of APLL VASCOR.
In 2014, APLL VASCOR was the first international 3PL to introduce rail transport of finished vehicles in India using Indian Railways’ policy framework for private companies to operate automotive trains under its Automotive Freight Train Operations (AFTO) Scheme. Today, the AutoLinx℠ product offers a comprehensive door-to-door solution that includes a network of 16 train sets, with nearly 60 services a month across most of India. AutoLinx℠ further includes a large fleet of captive car carrier trailers to support factory pickups and last mile deliveries, as well as best-in-class IT applications.
India is one of the fastest growing auto markets in the world. According to PWC Autofacts, vehicle production is forecast to grow 36 percent over the next five years, from 4.7 million units in 2018 to 6.4 million units by 2023. “Continued growth of India’s auto sector depends in part on reliable, cost-efficient, environmentally-friendly distribution of finished vehicles that only rail transport can bring”, said Bhanot.
“Indian Railways’ positive policy environment coupled with India’s implementation of its Goods and Services Tax (GST) scheme in 2017 have created favorable conditions for increased adoption of long distance transport of finished vehicles by rail”, said Bill Villalon, president of APL Logistics and chairman of APLL VASCOR. “GST has reduced the physical check points of cargo at state borders and enabled location of stockyards dictated by logistics considerations rather than interstate taxes. This in turn will enable faster supply chain lead times, larger transport lot sizes, and increased lane density. Both automakers and consumers alike will benefit”, added Villalon.