The first full day of sessions at Finished Vehicle Logistics North America 2023 covered the major topics across the sector, including capacity shortages, long lead times, labour shortages, challenges from Mexico, as well as how the industry is preparing for electrification.

Executives including head of vehicle logistics in North America for Stellantis, Nick Thompson, and head of vehicle logistics and customs for Mercedes-Benz USA, Rory Hepner, pointed to opportunities in investment for better service and transport capacity. Thompson stressed the need for rail, ro-ro, off-site storage and Mexico, while Hepner added how important it would be to invest and train people to ensure quality and safety standards, especially for EV.

Anu Goel, EVP for group aftersales and services at Volkswagen Group of America, emphasised the nuances of improving ETA internally and for customers, as well as key measures needed to prepare vehicle logistics networks for high EV volumes. Other speakers and delegates also emphasised the need for greater standardisation: for example, in handing state of charge for EVs at ports and logistics centres.

Anthony Clevio, head of global vehicle logistics at General Motors, highlighted the flexibility and innovations needed to mitigate capacity shortages, such as switching a large share of vehicle exports from Mexico from rail to short sea shipping.

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