How WWL delivers trucks from factory to fleet

Unnoticed by many in Australia’s trucking industry, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) is a vital link in transporting new trucks from the point of manufacture to the local dealership and fitting them up to the customer’s special needs along the way. Although the main focus of WWL is on the massive roll-on roll-off (RoRo) ships moving both vehicles and equipment around the globe, the company is involved in many an aspect of the supply chain – especially in the truck distribution business.

The company originates in Scandinavia and was formed by the merging of two separate businesses in 1999. One owner is Norwegian corporation Wilhelmsen, the other a large Swedish family business, Wallenius, which was the first company to ever develop a car carrier when starting off in the 1930s.

Wilhelmsen, meanwhile, has been active in the maritime industry for over 150 years and was involved in the development of the first heavy RoRo ships featuring heavy-duty ramps, enabling the company to drive cargo on and off the ship instead of lifting it with a crane.

Modern car carrier ships still tend to have light-duty decks and ramps today, which is why the WWL business has specialised in the heavier end of the industry. The two owners have therefore built a whole fleet combining efficient RoRo processes and modern heavy vehicle transportation.

The joint business now operates more than 60 vessels, including some with decks as high as 7.1 metres and ramps that can carry as much as 500 tonnes. Apart from the many trucks they transport around the world, WWL also handles agricultural and mining machinery, as well as rail carriages and large ‘indivisible loads’.

One of the growth areas for the company in recent years has been value added services – meaning it will handle as much of the supply chain as its clientele may require. In Australia, for example, the company has specialised facilities to handle the preparation of trucks coming into Australia to suit local regulations, fitting locally sourced equipment like fuel tanks and bull bars, as well as making changes for ADR compliance.

Read the full story in the current edition of Prime Mover, out now.

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