Ford makes Gartner Supply Chain Top 25
Ford has made it into the Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 ranking for the first time, reaching number 22 this year, up from 26 last year and number 51 in 2011. It is the only carmaker in the top 25 and has been the highest placed carmaker for two years in a row (agricultural and construction machinery maker Caterpillar is ranked at number 18).

Gartner is a research and advisory firm and the annual Supply Chain Top 25 is a cross-industry ranking of companies based on a composite score of asset, inventory and revenue results, as well as a combination of voting results from analysts, peers and supply chain executives.

At an awards ceremony held in Phoenix last week as part of the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference the firm’s vice president Ken Ruggles said Ford’s accomplishments include “managing product complexity, managing global manufacturing capacity and doubling down on China.”

“Ford is honoured to receive this award, as it is the result of adhering to the One Ford plan,” said Stephen Harley, executive director, global material planning and logistics and parts supply and logistics. “Around the world, we have a truly exceptional team of professionals specialising in every aspect of logistics and supply chain processes.”

With a total global buy of $90 billion, the Ford global material planning and logistics team manages 130,000 parts currently being manufactured, more than 500 production commodities and more than 600 non-production commodities.

According to Gartner the Supply Chain Top 25 is based on a composite score of return on assets (25 %), a Gartner analyst voting panel (25%), a peer voting panel of about 170 supply chain executives (25%), inventory turns (15%) and revenue growth (10%).

“Ford is constantly striving to be the best in the world in our manufacturing operations,” said John Fleming, executive vice president, global manufacturing and labor affairs. “The recognition of our strong global material planning and logistics team is confirmation we’re getting closer to that goal – not only in the automotive world, but across global industries.”

Unit throughput up at Vladivostok
For the first four months of this year the Commercial Port of Vladivostok reported handling 28,909 finished vehicles, which was a 26% increase over the same period in 2012. The port authority noted that demand for new imported cars and heavy duty vehicles is on the increase, with the port acting as a distribution hub for dealers in both Siberia and the Russian Far East.

To ensure growth continues in this sector, the port is to bring into operation additional storage areas to ensure there are no problems with congestion.

The overall marketing strategy being adopted by the Vladivostok port authorities also envisages attracting new partners. Indeed, recently, the port has handled nine Kato- and Sany-branded commercial vehicles, which are just beginning to enter the Russian market. The aim of these two manufacturers is to increase their presence in Russia, whilst deepening their relationship with the port.

In total, Vladivostok can handle 150,000 finished vehicles annually. At present, it receives calls from four shipping lines handling finished vehicles: Fesco Ro-Ro Line, Eastern Car Liner, SIEM Car Carriers and Fesco Russian Pacific Line. These connect the port with Japan, the US, South Korea and China.

Yusen expands distribution for Midwest with Chicago move
Contract logistics and freight forwarder, Yusen Logistics Americas, has relocated and expanded its warehouse operations in Chicago to increase automotive parts collection and distribution across the US Midwest region.

The new facility, now located 15km from Chicago O’Hare International Airport, is more than double the size of its previous site at 18,000 square metres, with an inventory storage area measuring 9,000 square metres.

The company said it has improved its management and other IT systems, and acquired TAPA and C-TPAT security certification.

It has also improved its cargo handling efficiency, according to a statement, by using a container freight station there for both air and ocean freight. Consolidated delivery and cross-docking of cargo that arrives on the same day from different transport modes has been made easier as a result, said Yusen.

The company is also expecting an increase in demand for its services for automotive across the US and Mexico, and is making plans to increase the number of shuttle trucks connecting the Chicago branch with the Laredo Logistics Center, a cargo gateway for the US and Mexico.

As well as a wide range of automotive parts, the facility handles aircraft parts and pharmaceuticals amongst other products.

Gefco offers prestige service in Russia
Gefco’s division in Russia has started offering a dedicated niche service across the country and into Europe for specialist vehicles. Called Gefco Spécial, the company said the service is designed for the safe delivery of rare vehicle models or concept cars within short deadlines.

“This new service caters for all the special requirements that come with the transport of exclusive goods, for which security and confidentiality are decisive,” said Maria Polyanskaya, automotive logistics manager at Gefco Russia. “For top of the range brands, the slightest scratch can indeed bring about a sharp drop in the value of the vehicle.”
Gefco Russia offers transport of the vehicles in special sealed trucks that are heavily protected and which use routes specially chosen by its security department. Rigid tarpaulins protect the vehicles from external threats, including damage, which may be caused by such problems as road chippings.

The company is employing specially-trained drivers who are supervised Gefco Spécial experts said the company.