Horizon saved from bankruptcy
Horizon Lines, the US domestic ocean shipping and integrated logistics company, has concluded a comprehensive financial restructuring programme worth $653m to fund ongoing operations and protect the company from bankruptcy.
“We now have a new capital structure that eliminates the refinancing uncertainty faced by our company over the past several months and better positions us for the future,” said Stephen H. Fraser, president and CEO. “We have put in place a solid financial foundation that affords us the opportunity to grow our business and significantly reduce debt over time.”
Horizon has been struggling to address its financial position since pleading guilty last March to price-fixing on the Puerto Rico trade route. Horizon operates between the US mainland and Puerto Rico, Alaska, Hawaii and Guam, and from China to the US West Coast.
In pleading guilty to the price-fixing charge, Horizon accepted a $45m fine that threatened to put the company in default of its debt covenants.
Horizon had said that without the refinancing, it would have had to seek bankruptcy protection.
The Justice Department later agreed to reduce the fine to $15m saying that was all Horizon could pay without jeopardizing its viability.
ACEA guide shows latest export/import data for EU
The 2011 edition of the Auto Industry Pocket Guide is now available from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. It provides comprehensive data the automotive industry in Europe, including employment, production, vehicle registrations, vehicle use, taxation and trade.
The guide reveals that the majority of passenger car imports to the European Union still come from Japan accounting for more than 575,000 units in 2010 of a total global import of 2,221,532 units, though this is down for the third consecutive year. Imports from Japan dropped by 13.8% on last year’s figures.
Turkey is the second region of origin for most EU passenger cars, making a 5% gain on figures for 2009, with more than 330,200 vehicles exported to the EU last year.
South Korea comes third, accounting for more than 294,100 of EU imports but showing a substantial 16.3% drop on 2009.
The figures also show that the EU exported 4,266,198 passenger cars in 2010, a gain of 23.2% on the previous year. The top market for EU exports was the US, with 710,301, followed by China, with 345,573 (a gain of 99.7% on 2009), and Turkey in third place with 340,026 (another substantial gain of 99.3% on the previous year).
Surgere solution works for TS Tech
Packaging supply chain provider Surgere is working with tier one Honda supplier TS Tech at its Reynoldsburg facility in Ohio on the repair and replacement of returnables, racks and related dunnage.
TS Tech initially signed up Surgere to help resolve scheduling and resource issues, with components being supplied for the launch of the 2012 Honda CRV. Following success on that project the companies are now planning to expand the relationship to include Surgere’s Packaging as a Service (PaaS) portfolio.
“Surgere has done everything initially promised and more,” said Chad Englehart, material service manager at TS Tech. “Based on the scope of this initial success we have begun exploring other ways Surgere can improve our efficiencies in design, sourcing and procurement. Talks have also begun with them about expanding into our other TS Tech locations,” he added.
The company’s PaaS offering provides a suite of services including design, sourcing, procurement, delivery, tracking and loop management of returnables flowing between suppliers and their end-users.
Winners of supply chain competition announced
The winners of a The General Motors/Wayne State University Supply Chain Case Competition have been announced in Detroit.
Students from sixteen universities across the US were challenged with sourcing components for the Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle, which is being rolled out for national sale this year.
Working in teams, they were tasked to examine component and logistics costs, global procurement, sustainability and recycling. They developed recommendations from their investigations of the supply chain enterprise and presented their findings to a panel of supply chain professionals who judged the competition.
Bill Hurles, executive director for global purchasing and supply chain at General Motors, noted in his address to the students how important it is to demonstrate their ability to work in teams, and that technical skills are not enough to succeed in the industry.
Colorado State University, Texas Christian University, Western Michigan University, and Wayne State University were the regional winners, with Colorado State winning the final round and taking home the top prize.
Andre Alves, Kyle Fritch, Katherine Hartwig, and Luke Leins made up the Colorado State team.
“Detroit has so much to offer,” commented Hartwig. “I would love to visit the city again in the near future. Detroit has the potential to make a comeback from the reputation it had previously.”
Participants toured the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant where the Chevrolet Volt is manufactured, visited the Henry Ford Museum and attended a Detroit Tigers game.
Timothy Butler, associate professor of supply chain management at WSU’s School of Business Administration who helped plan the event, said it was “one of the most fantastic projects I’ve worked on since I’ve been at Wayne State.”
Butler said he looked forward to working on the competition again next year.
In addition to title sponsor General Motors, the programme was supported by Delphi, Ryder and the Detroit Regional Chamber.