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Trans-rak International, leading designer and manufacturer of vehicle racking solutions for shipping cars in containers, has seen sales soar by 20% in the first half of the year. Managing Director Paul Donaldson says the company’s continued growth reflects the focus of OEMs on new and emerging markets.

“For traditional markets such as Europe and the US, RoRo remains the preferred option, however when vehicles are being transported into regions such as Asia, Russia and South America, shipping cars in containers is becoming increasingly popular,” he says. “Where there are long hinterland journeys involved, with poor infrastructure and/or concerns about security, containerising cars is the clear solution. It’s flexible from an intermodal point of view, with no direct handling of vehicles once loaded, so damage is lower and of course the vehicles are secure.”

As leading manufacturers like BMW opt to transport vehicles in containers by rail and road, costs are also driven down by reduced lead times for delivery. By using the Silk Road route instead of shipping by sea, transportation times have been massively reduced by over 70%, from around 55 days to 15. As a result, Trans-rak has seen a dramatic rise in demand for its removable and reusable R-raks, which allow extra vehicles to be loaded into each container.

Paul Donaldson concludes, “We are working around the clock to meet customer orders and confidently predict continued growth as OEMs build marketshare in new regions and the trend towards containerisation gathers momentum. Trans-rak is well on course to achieve its best year results yet.”


Pictured: Paul Donaldson, Managing Director, Trans-rak

Global automotive logistics provider GEFCO is undertaking trials on behalf of BMW to assess the reliability, lead times and quality control of a ‘Silk Road’ solution for transporting cars in containers by rail from Europe to China.

The pilot operated in November last year proved successful and now a second trial shipment of 40 vehicles of series 1 has been completed, moving the vehicles from Regensburg to Chengdu within just 15-17 days, compared to 55 days by sea.

Facilitating the movement of the vehicles by rail, GEFCO has worked in partnership with container racking specialist Trans-Rak, to ensure minimal handling, zero damage and optimal loading for the vehicles’ journey across continents.

Paul Donaldson, Managing Director at Trans-Rak, says: “The challenge for automotive manufacturers exporting into vast regions like China has been that the ports are situated in the West of the country and there is a lack of infrastructure. Traditionally, the solution has been to ship vehicles to the Eastern seaboard, but the opening of a new Inland Freight Terminal in Chongqing has for the first time made a pan-China road and rail solution viable, which reduces lead times, saves costs and is sustainable.

“We are proud and very excited to be involved in this prestigious project and welcome the opportunity to work with forward-looking European manufacturers and logistics providers to deliver a secure, reliable and cost-effective solution for delivering cars into China.”

Global vehicle shipping specialist AutoBox Logistics, part of the Cargo Marketing Group, relied on the inherent flexibility of the R-Rak vehicle racking system for a shipment of no fewer than six Caterham cars to Japan streamlining the process and saving on freight costs.

Thanks to the design of the highly adaptable, removable R-Raks, AutoBox Logistics was able to fit all six cars into one standard 40ft HC container, a feat unmatched by any other vehicle racking system on the market.

David Horwell of AutoBox said: “You can’t beat R-Raks for protecting the shipment of race cars, classic cars and other high value vehicles so they arrive in perfect condition for their discerning owners.  Being able to fit the order into a single container not only simplified the logistics but helped keep the freight costs down for our customer.”

Following their 5,700 mile journey by sea to Japan, the six Caterham 7 race cars were safely delivered to the dealer in Japan with further shipments to follow.

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