Following last month’s survey update from the UK’s Automotive Council, which showed that the supply chain could benefit from an additional £3 billion in additional business, on top of the £26.6 billion potential spend by carmakers originally announced in May this year (read more), Gefco has outlined how it stands to benefit across its pan-European network.
The report highlights a “significant appetite for new and more localized UK content” and according to Bertrand DeTechtermann, automotive director at Gefco UK, the company has seen a significant increase in the volume of ‘near sourcing’ projects from OEMs involving tier one suppliers.
“Solutions currently being discussed with customers include the provision of overflow warehousing, re-planning of traffic flows, use of the Gefco network for LTL freight and supply chain optimisation to cope with business growth,” DeTechtermann told Automotive Logistics News.
Asked about the sort of investments Gefco was making to benefit from the growth in UK automotive manufacturing and what it was doing to support the industry in return, DeTechtermann outlined upgrades made during 2011 to its fleet of vehicle transporters which has enabled it to optimize load-carrying capacity, reduce damage risk and increase environmental efficiencies.
Amongst these fleet investments the company purchased 17 transporter units from Lohr last year and has earlier this year signed an agreement with French rail network owner and manager Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) to join the networks and operating rights of three European rail operators: Euro Cargo Rail, Europorte France and Colas Rail (http://www.automotivelogisticsmagazine.com/Newsitem.aspx?aid=1364#story)
Amongst the key findings from the initial Automotive Council report was that UK suppliers had lost business because logistics were not competitive. According to DeTechtermann while the UK logistics sector is efficient, productive and competitive within its operational framework of legislation and economics, labour and fuel costs are substantially higher than many European countries. He said that Gefco had addressed this by working closely with its Gefco partners in other countries to provide supply chain solutions.
This goes for export activity as well as inbound, something of note given that at the beginning of the summer the value of vehicle exports from the UK exceeded the value of vehicle imports for the first time since 1975.
“Gefco’s main strength is its pan-European network. so all export activity from the UK will benefit the rest of the Gefco group strengthening its position as a leader in both inbound and outbound automotive logistics, supporting all our customers activities on a global scale wherever required,” said DeTechtermann.
Gefco also provides bonded warehousing and other added value services including sequencing and quality control activities to assist the tier one suppliers that are importing directly into the UK to support locally based automotive manufacturing.