Automotive Logistics Magazine - Summer 2023
The Summer edition of Automotive Logistics Magazine is focused on finished vehicle logistics and includes our annual reports on the top performing vehicle handling ports in Europe and North America. We also track the progress of localised EV and battery production in the US, and what that means for road, rail and short-sea transport, as well as looking at the driver shortage and what is being done to recruit and retain staff
As you will quickly discover, this summer edition of Automotive Logistics is very much focused on the finished vehicle sector, which has typically been seen as lagging other parts of the supply chain – notably inbound or in-plant logistics – in technology, precision and processes. Let’s put that to bed.
If the rumours were true before, the last three years has given those in vehicle logistics a crash course in how to quash that conviction. Carmakers are working hard to stabilise production, cut lead times on orders and rebuild dealer inventories. That calls for a close alignment of outbound supply chain operations. Not only does that benefit the carmaker in question, it benefits the logistics partners supporting operations, a collaborative effort that has brought benefits to Toyota in North America, as can be seen from our feature interview with Missy Pearlman, general manager of Toyota Logistics Services (TLS).
TLS is using the latest digital technology to refine a system of sequencing it has long practiced but is now focused down to the minute with real-time information for more reliable ETAs. Toyota is developing troubleshooting tools with its trucking partners in mind so it can optimise loads and waste no time in getting vehicles to market.
Toyota is also using Microsoft technology to train its workforce to troubleshoot frontline jobs in manufacturing and vehicle distribution. Using HoloLens augmented reality headsets and supporting Dynamics 365 software Toyota is not only speeding up and improving the quality of training, but also putting the collaborative problem-solving of tasks on a new interactive level that breaks the restraints of time and space.
Also in this summer edition, lucky readers get two for the price of one, as we bring our annual top North American and European vehicle- handling port reviews together. Port and terminal operators have been battling on both sides of the Atlantic with volatile volumes and capacity constraints but working with an agile mindset to manage the sporadic while investing for the return of stable volumes.
Over the last three years, carmakers and there logistics partners have had to deliver what was available as quickly as possible. This increased visibility in vehicle logistics processes, which exposed some weaknesses in operations and process. Now the sector can move ahead with stronger processes in place and a tech-savvy pool of talent to carry them out.
- Ford reports progress in sustainable electric vehicle supply chain
- Cost index shows FVL services increase
- First order of business at Toyota
- Looking through a new lens with Microsoft
- A stable workforce for vehicle logistics
- A digital means to do more with less
- Weathering a storm in the east
- Co-operation helps to calm the waters
- A changing landscape for imports and exports
- Opinion – Port logistics can empower Asian carmakers