GM teams up in Saudi Arabia to fight counterfeit trade
General Motors Middle East is teaming up with its largest dealer in Saudi Arabia, Aljomaih Automotive Company (AAC), to sponsor the Third Arab Forum for the Prevention of Commercial Fraud and Imitation and the Protection of Intellectual Rights, to be held at the Intercontinental Riyadh between 3-5 March this year.

The three-day event, which is organised by the Saudi Customs Authority, will focus on the global prevention of counterfeiting. Citing figures US Federal Trade Commission, GM said the illicit trade in automotive goods is estimated to cost the industry $12 billion. Around $1 billion of that sum is traceable to the Middle East. Furthermore, the WTO estimates total job losses at around 750,000 globally as a result of counterfeiting, with the auto industry loss estimated at some 250,000, according to GM.

As reported in the Jan-March edition of Automotive Logistics magazine, a recent seizure of aftermarket parts in Dubai contained more than 64,000 fake automotive parts worth $817,000, largely made up of duplicates. According to Middle East business resource AME Info, commercial fraud costs the United Arab Emirates around $136m a year, with the greater part of that figure attributed to counterfeit automotive parts, as well as electrical appliances, cosmetics and tobacco (read more here).

“The biggest concern for General Motors and all its dealer partners is safety. Counterfeit parts may be cheaper to buy, but in the long run could cost a lot more and even impact the safety of you and your family when you drive a vehicle,” said Ashwin Medhekar, Program and Product Development Manager (Parts) at General Motors Middle East.

To help tackle the issue GM has set up a Global Investigations team that is part of GM Global Security. GM Global Investigations works with a global network of brand protection investigators and partners, ranging from law enforcement, administrative authorities and customs agencies, to identify and remove counterfeits from the market.

Antwerp curbs trade in illegal secondary goods
The port of Antwerp in Belgium, which handled more than 1.2m new and used vehicles last year, has reported that regulations introduced at the beginning of 2012 to reduce the amount of secondary goods placed in the used vehicles have been successful.

The “Regulations for Handling Second-Hand Vehicles in the Port of Antwerp” define what can and cannot be shipped through the port and followed a notable increase in materials shipped with vehicles that had nothing to do with the vehicle themselves, according to the port authority.

“In recent years it became increasingly clear that car dealers were using the vehicles as ‘packaging’ for materials that to all intents and purposes are illegal waste,” said the port in statement. The regulations were designed to curb that waste.

To ensure compliance the Port Authority appointed additional inspectors. Following a six-month survey conducted by the Harbourmaster’s Office the amount of goods were shown to have fallen by 17% over that period.

To ensure efficient inspections it was also important for the vehicles to be easily accessible.

“Here too we are making progress,” said harbourmaster Jan Verbist. “The number of cars that cannot be inspected or that are difficult to inspect has declined by 15% on annual basis. This means that all parties involved, the terminal operators in particular, are taking steps in the right direction. However we will continue the inspections at the same high level so as to achieve even better results,” he said.

The port authority said the trade in second-hand cars has gained a bad reputation, partly because of the quality of the vehicles and partly because of secondary goods being shipped with them. It decided at the beginning of 2011 to introduce regulations specifying the conditions that had to be met by second-hand vehicles and any secondary goods shipped with them. The proposed regulations were further refined over the course of the year in consultation with the various competent authorities. The definitive regulations came into force on 1 January 2012.

CFLP award for Union Pacific
North American rail provider Union Pacific Railroad has received an award from the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) in recognition of its efforts to support development of services in China.

“Union Pacific Railroad has created strong brand awareness within the Chinese automotive industry,” said Cai Jin, vice president, CFLP. “Its commitment and efforts are well recognised by Chinese stakeholders.”

The company earned the Significant Contribution Company Award for work stemming from its participation on a benchmarking programme with a state-owned logistics company.

The company said its efforts in advancing logistics practices within China and international collaboration were two of the reasons for receiving the company award.

"Union Pacific strives to provide the best service to its customers and constantly looks for innovative ways to create value," said Linda Brandl, Union Pacific vice president and general manager - Automotive. "We remain committed to supporting the domestic and international supply chains for the automotive marketplace as a complete transportation and logistics provider.”

Michelin chooses JDA Sofware tools for supply chain
Tyre maker Michelin has employed additional transport planning tools from JDA Software that it said will improve service levels in its supply chain while reducing operating costs.

Michelin will use three products from JDA’s suite of transport software tools, each designed to streamline transport and logistics management.

JDA said the tools would help global order fulfillment, procurement and replenishment plans by automatically selecting the most efficient combination of modes, carriers, shipment schedules and routes, while consolidating shipments into cost-effective, lower carbon loads.

It will also use a product called Order Promiser, designed to allocate supply to demand while taking into account such factors as material availability, production capacity and constraints, manufacturing efficiencies, yields and lot sizes.

“A one-size-fits-all supply chain approach is no longer the best option for our customers,” said Pascal Zammit, downstream OPE program leader, Michelin.

“Through its partnership with JDA, Michelin is creating a customer-driven supply chain that is driving maximum value for our customers and stakeholders.”

Hellmann signs with Schoeller Allibert in UK
Logistics provider Hellmann Worldwide Logistics UK has established a new domestic road freight distribution contract with Schoeller Allibert, the UK’s largest manufacturer of reusable and multi-trip container systems, which serves the automotive industry amongst other sectors.
Hellmann will deliver goods across the UK and Ireland from Schoeller Allibert’s  warehouse and provide warehouse management control support, with the aim of optimising the company’s supply chain operations.

“Hellmann is able to offer a distribution service that is ideal for our domestic needs,” said Matthew Smith, head of Operations at Schoeller Allibert. “We want to ensure that our supply chain is lean and efficient, and Hellmann has a fantastic pedigree of providing exactly that. Ultimately, this is about raising quality and reducing operational expenses for the end user, so this contract is a great step forward.”

The latest deal follows Hellmann’s recent partnerships with Zufall Logistics in Germany, Itella Logistics in Scandinavia, and H. Essers in Belgium.

Schoeller Allibert was formed in January of this year following the merger of Linpac Allibert and Schoeller Arca Systems (SAS).