Jaguar Land Rover could see changes to its parts export and import flows into and out of the UK and Europe in the coming years as it expands production in overseas locations, notably China. Growing exports of components could mean more balanced material flows in and out of the UK, and the potential use of different consolidation points and seaports, according to Andy Gallon, international manufacturing development manager (pictured).

Speaking at an Automotive Logistics Forum hosted by DP World London Gateway, Gallon said that the anticipated growth in overseas production could lead to a shift in the way that the British-based carmaker manages its material exports. Gallon, who is responsible for logistics global manufacturing development for the company as well as its component export operations, said that JLR’s ambitious plans for growth would potentially drive increased material exports and logistics activity to overseas operations.

“We have more than 40 product actions in the coming years, including new model launches and regular refreshes,” said Gallon. “That is increasing our logistics operations at both on and offsite logistics and packaging centres for exports.”

The carmaker, which is owned by India’s Tata Motors, currently has manufacturing operations in a variety of markets including Turkey, Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan and India. The Chinese government has also recently approved JLR’s plans to build a joint venture factory in China with Chinese OEM Chery.

The company’s growth has led to consideration for other markets as well. “Jaguar Land Rover has ambitions to expand its manufacturing footprint and increase production in markets outside of Britain, particularly in China,” Gallon said.  

The carmaker also ships aftermarket parts to the nearly 180 countries in which it currently sells its vehicles.

A chance for more balanced flows for Britain
JLR’s traditional supply chain is already quite global, said Gallon. The company has about 300 suppliers in the UK, 400 in Europe and a small number of others from global locations. JLR currently consolidates all of its global and European material in the UK. Material from global locations arrives by container, while most of the European content arrives in trailers aboard ro-ro vessels. The carmaker brings the international and UK material to one of three packaging facilities located close to its three British manufacturing centres at Castle Bromwich, Solihull and Halewood. It then ships out to its global network.

With rising exports across its supply chain, Gallon said that the carmaker could look to consolidate its European suppliers directly at a European location and ship from there, as well as from the UK. He also saw increased parts exports as an opportunity for more balance in the supply chain. “Any new production facilities may see a more balanced flow [in and out of the UK] for the material we are moving for production as well as for the aftermarket,” he said.

"We have more than 40 product actions in the coming years...that is increasing our logistics operations at both on and offsite logistics and packaging centres for exports" - Andy Gallon, Jaguar Land Rover

Gallon, who was speaking at the site of the London Gateway port, which is scheduled to open its first berth in the fourth quarter of this year, said that the new port could have the potential to benefit JLR and its supply chain. “We already import and export a lot of material, and we’re growing, so there will be opportunities,” Gallon said.

London Gateway, which is about 40km east of central London on the north bank of the river Thames, is expected to have 1.5m TEU capacity by next year, and eventually 3.5m TEU when all of its berths open. It also has plans to build Europe’s largest logistics park (read more here and see an exclusive webinar here).

Gallon also emphasised the important role that logistics providers would continue to play in its export supply chain and the decisions it makes for consolidation or shipping locations. “Lead logistics providers play a major role for us, and we will continue to rely on their expertise for our material exports,” he said.

Jaguar Land Rover is also keen to grow its in-house logistics organisation. “We are currently recruiting and seeking out the very best talent in the industry to help us deliver our planned growth and future logistics’ opportunities and challenges,” said Gallon.

Read here about the DHL union dispute that could disrupt JLR production in the UK.