The US-based Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) is collaborating with the Association of European Vehicle Logistics (ECG) on a global standard for reporting damage to vehicles during transport.
The Global Standard Logistics Damage Codes have been developed by both groups in cooperation with ECG’s Quality Standard Working Group, as well as AIAG member companies including AutoComm, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota, Vascor and VW. The ECG’s Working Group includes ECG members, representative members from vehicle manufacturers and supplier companies.
The codes are designed to help improve the vehicle damage claim process, reduce the administrative burden of logistics suppliers dealing with a range of different standards, and ensure that damage is reported accurately. They will do this via a standard five-digit set of codes used to identify type, location and severity of damage.
“The AIAG has sent it out to their members and they have looked for their manufacturing partners to implement it into their systems by the January 1st next year,” the ECG’s Executive Director Mark Morgan told Automotive Logistics. “But essentially, the code is available now and they are being encouraged to use it as quickly as possible.
It’s the first time there has been a standard in Europe and logistics providers dealing with five or six manufacturers have had to comply with the as many different systems that need to be translated to their own model and then back to the individual manufacturer’s code at the end of the process.
“If the manufacturer wants the biggest flexibility in the number of LSPs they use then it would make sense if they all used the same codes,” Morgan continued. “Then you get interchange and multibranded sites working far more efficiently from day one.
The new codes now accommodate for certain differences in terminology between the US and Europe that have now been agreed upon and standardised. In Europe, the codes are part of a wider initiative undertaken by ECG and its affiliates to bring standardisation to the industry, including a general handling standard.
“We understand that some manufacturers have spent a lot of money developing their own systems because they thought that was the right way forward and they will be reluctant to do it again,” said Morgan. “But I think every company will see a benefit in terms of taking out administrative resources which they don’t need anymore and it will cut out a lot of unnecessary errors that happen with people trying to use different codes.”
Damage codes were originally established by the American Railroad Association in the 1970s but, after 30 years, changes to vehicles and accessories have necessitated a new set, the first set of to be adopted internationally.
“The vehicle damage codes are presently being used by all North American OEMs as well as by more than 900 vehicle inspectors. Now with the introduction of the global standard, we are looking forward to seeing the adoption of this standard to grow on a global basis,” said AIAG Program Manager Morris Brown.