RHA welcomes freight-only ferry route

The Road Haulage Association says it welcomes DFDS Seaways’ announcement that it will improve its ferry route from Rosyth, Scotland, to Zeebrugge, Belgium.  The firm aims to run the route on a freight-only basis, with four sailings a week rather than the previous four.  DFDS says the move will mean “dramatically improved” freight capacity and better service to its freight customers.  The new service will start in mid-December 2010.  “We are delighted that DFDS has acknowledged the importance of the route for freight traffic,” said Phil Flanders, RHA director for Scotland.  “For Scottish hauliers in particular, this route represents a vital gateway to the rest of Europe.”
More from Kate Gibbs on +44 (0)1 932 838 917 or kate.gibbs@rha.uk.net

Business booms for Enova

Business Wire reports that California’s Enova Systems has seen 257% growth in the second quarter.  The firm develops proprietary electric, hybrid and fuel cell digital power management systems and works with vehicle firms like Navistar, Smith Electric Vehicles and Freightliner.  It benefits from the US government’s support for all-electric trucks.  Smith recently ordered 50 drive systems as part an expected total of more than 250 for this year.  Enova manages a contract for US General Services Administration working with Freightliner on all-electric cargo vans for the Federal government.  New model year vehicles are on test with a production target of spring 2011.
More from Jarett Fenton on +1(0)310 527 2800 or jfenton@enovasystems.com

Volvos move bikes

Gloucester-based We Move Bikes just put two new Volvo FH tractors to work on contract to Harley-Davidson.  The two-axle, black-liveried trucks will tow trailer loads of the firm’s more exotic bikes to exhibitions across Europe.  The 500hp trucks are fitted for long-distance work, with dual 500l fuel tanks and extra large AdBlue tanks.  Creature comforts in the Globetrotter cabs include full leather interior, fridge, microwave, coffee maker and flat-screen TV.  Wales and West Truck & Bus Ltd did the deal and its Gloucester depot will handle the service contract.
More from Nigel Hanwell on +44 (0)1 926 414 210 nigel.hanwell@volvo.com

UPS offers 150m-strong returns network

UPS just said it is launching UPS Returns Flexible Access, a new service with a unique label that allows consumers to drop returns at any US Postal Service office or personal mailbox as well as UPS offices across the US.  The firm says the service offers more than 150 million points.  UPS began testing the service last year with firms like BuySeasons, the largest US retailer of costumes and party supplies on the Internet.  Because of the positive customer response, UPS now is making the returns service more broadly available.
More from Tyre Sperling on +1 (0)404 828 4626 or tsperling@ups.com

Thames Travel expands fleet with new Solos

Thames Travel Limited of Wallingford has taken eight new Optare Solo low-floor minibuses, growing its fleet by over 20% to 43.  The move will mean the Oxfordshire independent carries more than two million passengers a year.  The Solos will work from a new depot in Bracknell on recently won three-year tendered services contract for Bracknell Forest Council.  The company chose the 8.8-metre full-width Solo model for the services.  This has seating for 29 plus up to 21 standees, giving a total capacity of 50 to meet demand at peak times.
More from David Rowlands on +44 (0)2 074 948 050 or drowlands@automotivepr.com

Mission accomplished

Two Marines and a Truck just successfully did its 3,000th move and at the same time changed its name to Two Marines Moving.  The US firm, owes its origin to two US Marine Corps veterans who two years ago decided to bring Marine Corp values the removals business.  The firm has grown on the back of glowing praise from satisfied customers and now employs 40 people.  Nick Baucom, founder, owner and ‘commanding officer’ says he “looks forward to managing the next 3,000 moving missions.”
More from Nick Baucom on +1 (0)703 623 5288 or nick@twomarinesmoving.com

New Sprinter bus at IAA

Mercedes says its bus and coach display at Hannover’s IAA show will focus on greater efficiency and passenger safety.  The firm will show five buses and coaches, including the Sprinter City 77, which makes its debut at the show.  This new three-axle, Sprinter-based model is 8.7m long has a 6.8 tonne gross vehicle weight and seats up to 40 passengers, 10 more than the City 65.  It has two outward-opening double doors, a low-floor kneeling system and wheelchair bay with a ramp.  The separately mounted body is 1.99m wide on what is the largest minibus Mercedes-Benz range.  Its turning circle between walls is 17.28m and its emissions are to EEV standards.  The zero-emission Citaro FuelCell hybrid will also be on the stand in hall14/15.
More from Elizabeth Cole on +44 (0)2 476 626 050 or elizabeth.cole@daimler.com

Berlingos for FPS

FPS, which says it is the UK’s most successful automotive aftermarket parts distribution business is putting 163 Citroën Berlingo vans to work in its fleet.  The deal will mean that Citroën Berlingos form the bulk of the 260 strong FPS van fleet.  “In LX format, with the standard, fold-flat Extenso passenger seat, these vans can carry exhausts safely and securely inside,” says Stuart Collet, FPS’ fleet manager.  The vans have optional bulkheads with removable panels and ply linings and standard Trafficmaster satnav systems.  Lookers of Cardiff and Preston did the business, with the FPS Berlingos running on Burnt Tree two-year, 100,000-mile contract hire deals.
More from Phil Reed on +44 (0)2 086 684 048 or leadingpr@aol.com

Enova and Remy to tackle new electric vehicle markets

California’s Enova Systems says it is working with Remy, North America’s largest independent maker of advanced electric propulsion motors and recently got approval of a $60.2m grant from the US Department of Environment for the accelerated commercial development its electric motor technology.  The two firms aim to tackle markets in North America, Asia, Europe and India.
More from Jarett Fenton on +1(0)310 527 2800 or jfenton@enovasystems.com

Museum visitor numbers soar

The 2010 season has seen visitor numbers soar dramatically at the British Commercial Vehicle Museum in Leyland, Lancashire.  Its recent ‘Great British Lorries Day’ was so successful that the Museum will make it an annual event.  “Tourist Group Bookings and private functions for road transport industry related bodies are also up,” said Rick Roberton, speaking for the museum.  “We’ve also a stunning new diesel engine development display, starting with a full-size, three-metre tall replica of Rudolf diesel’s first engine and continues to the present day.  It ran on peanut oil, by the way.”  The BBC recently based on of its one-hour ‘Behind the Scenes’ programmes on the museum, boosting visitor numbers even more.
More from Paulette Abrahams on 44-(0)1 772 451 011 or enquiries@bcvm.co.uk