A shortage of shipping containers and essential equipment at Chinese ports, exacerbated by fluctuating international trading environments in the Covid pandemic, has meant inflation in international shipping rates. In November, rates for transporting containers between China and the east coast of the USA increased to $4,750 per container, 42 per cent up on July rates, according to RefinitivEikon data. The cost of shipping from China to the US west coast has increased 50 per cent to $3,878 per container. Europes Shanghai Container Freight Index (SCFI) spot rate index has risen sharply, with Northern Europe rates up 21 per cent and Mediterranean rates up 23 per cent, rates that have not been seen since the beginning of 2014. According to Trojan, a tyre marketing agent headquartered in Qingdao, China, shortages have worsened recently. This busy period for Chinese exports could see deficits continue to deepen into the New Year, meaning further price increases.
Yokohama control tyre for Porsche Sprint Challenge North America
A new all-Porsche racing series commences in the USA and Canada next year, and Yokohama will serve as control tyre. The Porsche Sprint Challenge North America is a three-class series contested by the current and previous generations of Porsche 991 GT3 as well as the 718 Cayman Clubsport. All cars will race on Yokohama Advan racing tyres, with the Advan A005 slick the rubber of choice on dry tracks and the Advan A006 serving as wet weather tyre.
European chip shortage is a challenge for China’s auto industry
China’s automotive production will have to overcome a shortage of European-produced automotive-related chips well into 2021, which could potentially set back industry recovery amid the pandemic, a report from the Independent Commodity Intelligence Services (ICIS) said in mid-December 2020.
Tyre importers should plan for lack of space on ships and freight increases
Back in April, Tyres & Accessories spoke to leading supplier of freight forwarding services to the UK tyre sector, Maritime Cargo Services about the perfect storm of circumstances complicating life for tyre importers. Then it was difficult to anticipate the logistical problems the industry would face by the end of the first quarter – at least far enough ahead to sidestep the issues entirely. Even armed with the expectation of disruption, the pressure has built at British ports throughout the year, especially in the last quarter as Covid began to spike again. As a result, Honda UK’s suspension of production became a high-profile symptom of the catalogue of issues causing bottlenecking and ultimately delays in the supply chain. With the end of the Brexit transition coming amidst the second spike of Covid-19 transmissions on 31 December, T&A asked MCS again about what difficulties distribution businesses need to plan for this winter.
State support for Apollo Tyres’ investment in Hungary production
Earlier this year Apollo Tyres announced it would transfer much of the remaining car tyre production in Enschede, the Netherlands to its factory in Hungary. To accommodate this change, the tyre maker has approved a HUF 4.4 billion (£11.2 million) investment to modernise and expand consumer tyre production at the Gyöngyöshalász site. Hungary’s government is supporting this project with a HUF 1.4 billion (£3.6 million) grant.
In addition to the leading tyre manufacturers ranked highly on the recent Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) ranking, tyre manufacturing material supplier Kordsa has scored well in the Climate Change and Water Security programs since 2016. This year, the company increased both its climate change and water security report scores from B to A- in the 2020 reporting period and therefore rose from management level to leadership level.
Triangle Tyre attended Bauma China in Shanghai on 24-27 November. The Chinese manufacturer is one of the world’s largest in the off-the-road sector, supporting construction, mining and port industries, and showcased the top of its product range from a 120sqm booth. Triangle exhibited its latest product technologies for earthmoving equipment, using its booth as a platform to explain its service capability and commitment to key players in the sector.
Toyo Tire Corporation and its Toyo Tire Serbia LLC Belgrade manufacturing subsidiary broke ground at the site of Toyo’s new tyre plant in Indjija City, the Republic of Serbia, on 15 December 2020. Toyo Tire’s eighth tyre manufacturing base is due to start tyre manufacturing operations in April 2022, with a capacity of 5 million passenger car tyres per annum by the summer of 2023.
Bridgestone in talks with 2 tyremakers about Béthune factory sale
Bridgestone announced plans to close Béthune, France factory back in September 2020. Now, however, the location looks likely to retain a role in the broader automotive sector after the Japanese tyremaker reported that it has identified 24 opportunities relating to the future of the site. Two of the options relate the sale of the site to other tyre manufacturers. Five of the identified projects concern the installation of new activities on the site in tyre and rubber fields as well as batteries and other sectors. Two of the proposals relate to “the installation of activities outside the site”. Nine projects are said to be in the study phase.
Toyota chooses Falken FK510 tyres for new Mirai model
Falken owner Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd has begun supplying Falken Azenis FK510 tyres to Toyota Motor Corporation for use as factory standard tyres on its new model Mirai, a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), which went on sale this December.
GT Radial-sponsored Boulbes wins 7th Elite French Drift Championship
GT Radial sponsored racing partner, Benjamin Boulbes has won his fourth consecutive French Elite Drift FFSA Championship. The Covid-19 shortened season comprised five rounds, in which Boulbes amassed 1,045 points, three podium finishes, and four pole positions. His 2020 triumph marks an unprecedented seventh championship for the driver, having won in 2010, 2013, 2014, and the last four years. Boulbes competes in a tuned BMW M3 E93M, which produces around 1,200CV/BHP through its Chevrolet LSX376 engine, running on the GT Radial Champiro SX2 tyre.
Spanish retreader is first in Europe to buy Vipal machinery
In November, Recauchutados Muralla SA (Remusa) confirmed its position as the first retreader to buy Vipal retreading machinery in Europe. The company invested in a VOC 760 Extruder, which has already been installed at the retreaders headquarters, located in Ávila, Spain.
TVS Srichakra Ltd., the two- and three-wheeler as well as off-highway tyre manufacturer, is planning a 10 billion rupee (£102 million; 112 million euro; US$135 million) investment programme. According to the company, the investment will increase two- and three-wheeler tyre production capacity by 25-30 and double of off-highway tyre capacity from current levels.
ChemChina entrusts Aeolus with Prometeon Tyre Group shares
Aeolus Tyre Co Ltd and its controlling shareholder, China National Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd (CNRC, which is itself owned by Chinese petrochemical giant ChemChina) executed a “share entrustment agreement” on 30 November 2020. According to the agreement, CNRC will “entrust” its 52 per cent shareholding in Prometeon Tyre Group Srl to Aeolus for three years. But the three-year term will be automatically renewed upon expiry.