Crisis in Europe could breed greater cooperation in outbound logistics
As ECG celebrates 25 years, carmakers may be more open to the idea of volume guarantees, while the EU is more supportive of harmonised truck lengths.
Watch: Thank you for joining us at Finished Vehicle Logistics North America 2022!
Christopher Ludwig closes out the 2022 Finished Vehicle Logistics North America conference, which was the most important gathering of vehicle logistics executives in more than a decade.
Watch: Welcome to a new world of finished vehicle logistics
Christopher Ludwig kicks off Finished Vehicle Logistics North America 2022, where the industry came together to address improving ETA accuracy, managing built-to-order vehicles, ensuring capacity and managing cost rises.
Watch FVL highlights: ETA, capacity, driver shortages and collaboration
Christopher Ludwig summarises key takeaways from FVL North America, where vehicle ETA, capacity and costs were major concerns, but so were finding practical ways to work together.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a long-term risk for the automotive supply chain
The impacts stretch beyond inflation and corporate retreats to critical shortages upstream for semiconductor and EV supply.
On the sidelines at ALSC Global Live: the calm before the perfect storm
Christopher Ludwig introduces Automotive Logistics and Supply Chain Global Live in Detroit, as the industry meets in the midst of massive disruption and change across automotive supply chain.
On the sidelines ALSC Global Day 1 in review: logistics data, mitigating shortages and managing the chip crisis
Christopher Ludwig recounts highlights of the first day of Automotive Logistics and Supply Chain Global Live, picking out highlights and learnings from OEM, tier supplier and logistics providers at the event.
Goodbye from Detroit at Automotive Logistics and Supply Chain Global Live
It’s time for a new beginning in supply chain partnerships if the industry is to manage through current disruptions and meet the changing needs of electrification, sustainability and new technology.
On the sidelines ALSC Global end of conference wrap up: this is only the beginning
Christopher Ludwig recounts highlights of the first day of Automotive Logistics and Supply Chain Global Live, picking out highlights and learnings from OEM, tier supplier and logistics providers at the event.
Parts suppliers need to understand rules of origin
Parts suppliers in the UK need to understand a few priorities about the rules of origin by the end of this year if they are to correctly assess the tariffs that will be applied
Real-time visibility platforms keep automotive supply chains moving
The global automotive market is competitive and volatile, and manufacturers and OEMs were already under pressure thanks to new market challengers such as Tesla, and consumer preferences shifting towards electric vehicles (EVs).
Comment: It’s supply chains that are competing now
Before coronavirus, companies would assign top priority to areas such as manufacturing efficiency, process optimisation and smart sales and marketing. Not anymore. Today, in a world where even the biggest and best-organised corporations are scrambling to survive, the focus is squarely on the supply chain.
Comment: Crisis leads to change
In ordinary times, when we talk about something being viral we normally mean social media – a wildly popular video of someone falling over, or perhaps a puppy montage. In the extraordinary times that we now find ourselves, the meaning of the word has reverted back to being deadly serious. The emergence of Covid-19 (coronavirus) this year has ravaged the global population, sent entire nations into lockdown and brought business virtually to a standstill.
Comment: Slow-growth China holds more challenges for OEMs than coronavirus
Coronovirus and its sudden impact on the Chinese economy might be occupying the news headlines, but there are broader changes afoot over the longer term. After many years of enjoying high-speed growth, the automotive industry is facing its third consecutive year of shrinking vehicle sales in China. For foreign vehicle-makers operating in the country, this is a challenging situation, and while most will be planning to tough it out, some could be forced to exit the market – requiring a shift in patterns of production and logistics.
Part and parcel of the problem: why tier 1 supplier logistics will face a squeeze
As OEMs and automotive parts suppliers see their margins decline, cost pressures are going to increase on logistics operations and service providers further down the supply chain
Explaining EU vehicle emissions targets: can OEMs avoid heavy fines?
The new average fleet targets that came into force in Europe on January 1st 2020 are having big impacts on the supply chain, pushing OEMs to produce and sell more hybrids and EVs. But the rules are complex and varied by brands, volume and sales. Here we provide a summary of the key rules and terminology.
Clubbing together in challenging times
We at Automotive Logistics like to think that we manage to stay ‘on trend’ and I reckon our latest print issue could finally prove it: not only topical and timely content, but two different brands packaged into one product. We felt that – as with any synergy – we could provide a stronger offering, increase customer satisfaction and improve productivity, among other things. By ‘on trend’, I mean that consolidation is a major theme of today’s automotive industry…
Uber Freight: will it get the gig?
Novel freight-on-demand services such as Uber Freight are helping to connect shippers and hauliers, promising to help transport operators to optimise the capacity of their vehicles and increase profit margins…
A new dawn of maintenance for the EV aftermarket
The EV revolution is great for the planet but problematic for many dealerships that must now reconcile the unique technical complexities of a variety of engines all at the same time
What took the air out of Dyson’s electric car project?
The iconic manufacturer of vacuum cleaners has cancelled plans to develop and build an EV. That was probably a smart decision, considering the huge costs, competition and struggling market that Dyson would have been entering.
Hunkering in a bunker for Brexit
I type this surrounded by tins of baked beans, a stack of chocolate bars and a few bottles of merlot – not my usual ‘writing supplies’ (although, close), but the contents of my Brexit bunker in which I am waiting for the end of life as we know it. For it’s slightly over a month to go before the UK is due to leave the EU and what will happen next is still unclear. Deal? No deal? Riots in the streets? Right now, it is anyone’s guess…
Teenage dreams and EVs – why it's not as simple as Thunberg thinks
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words… How dare you continue to look away and come here saying that you’re doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight?” With such powerful language did 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg reproach world leaders at the UN’s Climate Action Summit last month. The ferocity of the pink-cheeked teenager provoked a tidal wave of reactions. I have a few observations myself….
Comment: It’s carmaking, Jim, but not as we know it – Grenadier turns industry logic on its head
Led by Jim Ratcliffe, chemicals company Ineos – which also has interests in cycling and football – is now diversifying into the automotive industry. But the economics of its project to build a successor to the Land Rover Defender are questionable in terms of the logistics and also the current trading environment faced by Brexit Britain…
In an age of disruptive change for the automotive industry, digital manufacturing technology is coming to the rescue
Demands from buyers for the latest vehicle technology and custom options are having a significant impact on automotive manufacturers and their partners.
Why the UK’s aim to be a world leader in EVs is nothing but a dream
We haven’t yet heard from members of the UK’s new, Boris Johnson government on its vision for EVs, but every time a member of Theresa May’s government spoke about the car industry, you were almost guaranteed to hear them say that the UK was going to be a world leader in electric vehicles (EVs). The idea is, in fact, laughable…
Non-EU markets will not save UK automotive in a no-deal Brexit
One of the regular mantras repeated by proponents of Brexit is that ‘global Britain’ will be able to exploit the many opportunities of free trade open to it when the country leaves the EU, whether on World Trade Organization (WTO) terms or not. As far as the UK’s automotive manufacturing ...
A letter to the UK’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson, from the SMMT
Mike Hawes, CEO of the UK’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) explains to the country’s new leader why the automotive industry should be one of his top priorities, especially in the drive to deliver Brexit.
Heading for the EV tipping point
It would be nonsense to envisage a time when pure electric cars cost the same as traditional ones but life continues as normal. Around 2025, the up-front price of pure electric (PE) cars will drop below that of internal combustion engine (ICE) ones, and the fundamentals of the upcoming transition ...
Five ways vehicle subscriptions will impact dealerships by 2020
When is the last time you bought a CD or DVD instead of streaming directly from Spotify or Netflix? Today’s consumer is becoming increasingly interested in subscription-based services and the concept is quickly making its way into the automotive space.
The miracle of packaging
At first glance, the arrival of Easter eggs in spring seems like a miracle, but on reflection it clearly has less to do with an oversized rabbit than it does with packaging. What a product to have to deliver! A thin, curved, meltable confection that must survive the journey from manufacturer to retailer in one piece (literally), in order to join the serried ranks on our supermarket shelves. Hats off to the unsung packaging experts who make that possible…
Thinking inside the box
Thinking outside the box is generally applauded, but thinking inside the box is becoming increasingly common. And no, I’m not only talking about the UK government’s unimaginative strategising as the nation stumbles towards Brexit. Where once ro-ro transport was the undoubted method for moving finished vehicles, containerisation is increasingly becoming a viable option as the industry decentralises its production and also shifts towards different types of vehicles…
How IoT is the next step in tracking components
As vehicles incorporate more new technologies and highly sophisticated components, it has become increasingly complicated and expensive to ship these parts. Consequently, the risks for OEM shipments have increased proportionately. A sea container packed with $20,000 worth of car engines may take six weeks, or even longer, to travel from ...
Calling on OEMs, LSPs and carriers to help fight people trafficking
Every day, victims of human trafficking are forced to sell sex at truck stops, rest areas, hotels/motels and other locations within the transportation network. Every day, members of the trucking industry are in these same places – and in a position to make a difference. Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is ...
The importance of connecting
“Only connect,” said EM Forster. Actually, the automotive industry has been trying to do just that. Every major OEM has been developing connected models that enable access to the internet, superior navigation and better safety systems onboard, plus communication between cars and infrastructure too. This is great for tech lovers – and a nightmare for anyone who hates the idea of inanimate objects ‘talking’ to each other…
Value of stability in the push for progress
I first visited Brazil in 2014, touring a variety of vehicle and component factories on behalf of our sister magazine, Automotive Manufacturing Solutions (and to think, some people go to Rio). I came back home, made a magazine about my trip – and then the market dropped and Brazil entered the worst recession in its history. But now the signs are that Brazil is on its way back up…
How industry 4.0 will disrupt automotive supply chains
From Henry Ford’s assembly line to the emergence of electric cars decades later, the automotive industry has always been defined by change and industry 4.0 – the fourth industrial revolution – is poised to bring the next big wave.
Economic nationalism to force a lane-change
Typically, the world experiences waves of economic nationalism every three decades but these are often limited to one region each time. Today we’re experiencing a global wave of economic disruption across multiple regions simultaneously. In reaction, automotive manufacturers are having to increase the flexibility and agility of their supply chains ...
Stockpiling strategies to survive Brexit
The prospect of Brexit in just a few months, deal or no deal, has focused minds on the inevitable consequence of supply chain interruption. The British media have begun to report the likelihood of stockpiling goods and even panic buying of certain products such as pharmaceuticals and food – although ...
Bordering on Brexit – why it pays to be prepared
The Eurotunnel has carried more than 26 million trucks and more than 340 million tonnes of freight goods since 1994. A total of 25% of trade in goods between the UK and continental Europe goes through the Channel Tunnel, representing a total value of around 115 billion euros per year. ...
EU workers are key: don't close the UK's door
According to the Department for Transport’s official statistics, more goods were imported by road into the UK than exported last year, with 10,000 lorries making their way through Dover Strait per day alone. Up to 86% of cargo exported from the UK went to the Irish Republic (23%), France (22%), ...
Blockchain can disrupt the auto industry
Blockchain has built its reputation as a distributed ledger platform, which provides a framework for securely using and trading cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. However, its potential extends far beyond financial services.
New magazine, new Nafta
Revamped at last, after months of discussion, much to-ing and fro-ing between the parties involved, and some eleventh-hour tweaks – yes, the new-look print edition of Automotive Logistics is finally here. I do hope its arrival doesn’t overshadow that other thing that was redesigned recently – the free trade agreement which has governed business between the US, Canada and Mexico over the past 24 years…
Ports in a political storm
Any port in a storm, they say. But what if that port is being battered by problems of its own? Several speakers at our Import Export summit in a thankfully balmy Baltimore this August warned about congestion, lack of capacity in road and rail links and limited funds for infrastructure development – longstanding issues that are now being exposed to an increasingly tempestuous global trading environment…
Don't hope for a trade war truce
This is just the beginning. Unless an agreement can be reached, the ongoing trade war is likely to incur additional tariffs on Chinese products, and businesses at the lower end of the supply chain will face serious consequences.
Deal or no deal – LSPs should prepare for Brexit now
Logistics providers reading the headlines about Brexit may well feel uncertain about how their business needs to transform. A range of potential outcomes, from a soft Brexit to no deal, makes it difficult to know what the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU will look like. Although much is ...
WLTP: lower emissions, greater challenges
Emissions targets for OEMs are tighter and the method for testing efficiency is more stringent than ever before. As of the start of this month (September), all new vehicles must adhere to New Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) standards, which provide ‘real world’ fuel consumption figures and, therefore, ...
True business doesn’t have only one winner
The competition has been fierce, various people have taken a kicking and at least a few own goals have been scored; the global trade war, much like this year’s FIFA World Cup, has made for compulsive viewing. This tariff battle, principally between the US and China, has gathered pace so fast that it’s difficult to comment on the state of play – and amid the lingering suspicion that it could all be over at the drop of a tweet…
Opening up the doors to global trade
They do say that as one door closes, another one opens. And so, as US President Donald Trump puts up barriers to trade (if not yet a wall) in his bid for greatness, one of his principle targets for tariffs – at the last count $250 billion worth of them – is opening up for business. As delegates heard at our AL China conference, the country will reduce its duty on vehicle imports at the same time as removing a cap on foreign company ownership…
Brexit’s unaccustomed burdens
Nine months before the UK’s planned departure from the European Union, uncertainty over customs arrangements is emerging as one of the major concerns of manufacturers – perhaps just as much, if not more so, than the prospect of tariffs and taxes.
SMMT calls for end to Brexit uncertainty
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has joined major manufacturers in calling for the British government to end uncertainty over the UK’s trading relationship with the European Union after Brexit, and to ensure the frictionless flow of parts and vehicles.
Digitalising the automotive supply chain
Digitalisation of the automotive industry is a topic that has been high up on most OEM and tier one supplier agendas for some time. However, the digital age is transforming at such breakneck speed that there is the continual fear of being left behind, or even worse, of deciding on ...
Keeping up with the pace of change
The automotive industry used to be thought of as slow moving. Until fairly recently, it was not much of a stretch to say that the motor car, for all its improvements in safety and technology, had not fundamentally changed in a century. Vintage car owners could easily point to hundreds ...
Bringing the IoT to the automotive supply chain
Since Toyota first pioneered its innovative Lean production system in the 1930s, the automotive industry has been a trailblazer in developing data-driven strategies to optimise manufacturing processes
Changes and challenges
We are living in an era of great change, which is both exciting and a little bit unnerving. On the technological front, developments such as the emergence of autonomous and electric vehicles could support cleaner and more efficient transportation of both people and goods. In parallel, cultural shifts such as increased ride sharing may have implications for automotive sales and, of course, design, production and logistics. That’s the exciting stuff. The unnerving part is…
Think macro, not micro
Modern consumer habits are constantly changing. As technology evolves and demand increases, supply chain managers face new challenges, as they attempt to compete on a global level.
Avoiding supply chain disruptions with effective legal planning
Even the greatest logisticians at the world’s most prestigious automotive companies can’t predict the future. Economic downturns occur, suppliers falter and disputes occur that endanger just-in-time manufacturing. While these disruptions in the supply chain are inevitable, they do not have to be catastrophic.
China leads the car-sharing market, despite the challenges
The Chinese government is using car-sharing – short-term car rental, usually charged by the hour – to stimulate the new energy vehicle (NEV) market and increase individual mobility efficiency. In June 2017, the central government released draft guidance for the car-sharing industry, outlining some supporting policies. The guidance specified certain ...
Facing digitalisation-driven disruption
Historically, traditional logistics players such as DHL, Kuehne + Nagel, DB Schenker, UPS and Nippon Express have operated in a stable world, where efficiency, standardisation and low cost have been the keys to success. Digitalisation, however, has begun to change this focus, transforming the market. New, digital-native entrants are better ...
The secret to fine-tuning your supply chain
‘Disruption’ is a word we’re beginning to see a lot more of on global, political and industrial fronts and these all impact on the supply chain. In order to thrive, today’s automotive supply chains must be built on resilience and flexibility, as events tomorrow could have a direct impact on ...
How autonomous vehicles will impact on the supply chain
There’s a huge buzz in Silicon Valley about electric engines, ride-hailing and driverless cars, with Uber, Tesla and Waymo all making waves. Morgan Stanley sees a major transformation taking place and recently predicted that Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous driving unit, could be valued at $70 billion by 2030.
Getting better with age
It has been an incredible journey over these last 20 years working on Automotive Logistics, expanding both our publications and our conferences around the world.
Still breaking down barriers in automotive supply chains…
What has changed in 20 years of covering the automotive supply chain?
Building trust with blockchain
Car clocking is a trend that is on the rise, with HPI Check reporting that in 2016, one in 16 cars were affected, an increase of 20% from 2014.
A digital platform for changing the outbound sector
Fracht SIA’s transport management software is able to handle everything from purchasing, transport scheduling to route data services, accounting and more
EDI to facilitate ever more sophisticated sequencing
While few OEM plants run totally ‘make to order’, it is becoming more common that each successive vehicle build on an assembly line will be different. This requires the delivery of parts to line side in an exact order, planned in ‘time buckets’ of as little as four, or even ...
Keeping taxes and duties in mind
For so many businesses, success can be attributed to how effectively the supply chain is managed and its impact on growth, costs and profitability. So many aspects including overall cost, supplier sourcing, manufacturing strategies and distribution network structure are impacted by the accelerating globalisation of business combined with taxes and ...
How finished vehicle logistics can shed its laggard reputation
Vehicle logistics has long been accused of lagging other parts of the supply chain – notably inbound or in-plant logistics – in technology, precision and processes. OEMs and providers complain about the same problems, year in, year out, from poor visibility to a lack of common standards.
Digitalisation: for better or for worse, you can't just ignore it
Disruption or continuous improvement? That is the question over what digitalisation, autonomy and electrification will do to automotive logistics. Will new players swipe away older ones as though deleting undesirables on an app, or will technology improve efficiency and customer reach?
Air charter services for the automotive sector are flying high
IAG’s perspective is just one of many in a competitive automotive air cargo market but there are clear trade flows emerging that show how automotive manufacturers are currently using air cargo services. We have identified five: Germany to China; China to the US; China to Japan; Germany to the US; ...
Keeping the heat on
The summer of renegotiation is upon us. Officials and policy wonks in the UK and US have invited their counterparts out of the sun and into shaded rooms, red pens in hand, trade and multi-lateral agreements spread on the table. For their sake, we hope the rooms are all air-conditioned.
How to make the most of the quiet times
There is not much doubt that after five years of relatively solid growth in the Middle East, the automotive market has suffered over the past 18 months. This inevitably affects all aspects of the industry including traditional logistics, ultimately the key component in delivery and arguably the link which is ...
Making a success of collaboration
The automotive industry is in the midst of massive change. From ride-sharing services, advances in mechanical innovation and autonomous vehicles, and shifts in fossil fuels and hybrid power, these disruptions are helping to fuel some amazing transformations.
Three steps to ensuring supply chain success
Making the supply chain a success is extremely important for everyone involved. To achieve this is usually complex and dependent on a number of factors.
Why supply chain digitisation can mean making the best of what you already have
There is nowhere to turn in the vehicle logistics sector without encountering ‘digital transformation’, whether related to autonomous and connected vehicles, or optimising data.
A back-to-the-future approach to connectivity
Resolving the connectivity required in tomorrow’s logistics networks is a challenge. But there’s no need to look to future technology on this score, as a highly appropriate solution is already in our hands.
In these uncertain days, supply chain reaction times are critical
Given current political and economic uncertainties, there may be many twists and turns in the track ahead... making it all the more important that supply chains can plan and react with real efficiency
Trump’s campaigning ignores supply chain might
The president’s relentless criticism of trade terms and regulation often ignores some of the automotive industry’s most important developments for the future
How logistics automation can revolutionise the aftermarket
Automation of logistics processes is the key to an efficient automotive aftermarket supply chain.
Vehicle logistics: Why the only certainty is uncertainty
Constantly shifting political, industrial and logistical currents will ensure change remains the only constant in vehicle logistics
ECG column: More of the same or all change?
This year will be one of substantial change, but change brings opportunity… including the opportunity to treat our drivers better
It may not be popular, but collaboration is still the only smart option
Despite the rise in populist protectionism so clearly underlined by the UK's recent vote to leave the EU and Donald Trump's surprising US election win, working together remains the only sensible way forward
Brexit: Why a nod of recognition is not enough to calm the nerves
Insights from British prime minister Theresa May this week into how she sees the UK's exit from the European Union panning out have done little to address the main concerns of the automotive sector
Self-driving vehicles will do more than just reinvent road transport
Autonomous vehicles will do much for road safety but their benefits will extend far beyond this, with particular gains for businesses managing fleets of mobile service engineers...
Building momentum in the high and heavy sector
After years of decline, increased demand for mining equipment shows Australia’s raw materials producers are gearing up for growth
What to watch in 2017
The automotive supply chain could take several knocks in 2017 from rising protectionism and regulatory changes. Automotive Logistics consults its crystal ball to highlight some of the potential hotspots…
Emerging trends of a modern, agile supply chain
The automotive industry is evolving. The pressures experienced by suppliers are altering, to which manufacturing and supply chain strategies are having to adapt.
India’s logistics landscape is set for structural change
New rules designed to support transport safety and simplify taxation are helping to create new multimodal opportunities in the nation
Brexit: Are you ready for the impact?
In light of the recent Brexit vote and looming technology advances, those in the UK’s automotive logistics sector would be well advised to take some bold decisions to prepare themselves for the future...
Why getting outbound logistics right can take a lot of time
Clearly, vehicle logistics is tactically important in the successful launch and sale of new models. OEMs need sufficient logistics services in place to meet campaign dates and, most importantly, get vehicles to end customers as promised.[in_this_story align="right" border="yes"]
'Brexit' may mean 'Brexit' – but then again, it may not
After the shock result in the UK's referendum on membership of the European Union back in June, many questions still remain about the implications for the country's relationship with the EU...
WWL ASA poised to shape the future of vehicle logistics
Having recently taken over as joint chief executive for WWL and Eukor Car Carriers following the company’s restructuring news, Craig Jasienski shares some of his thoughts on the ro-ro shipping market, his career so far and priorities ahead of the WWL ASA listing next year
Last Mile: Another brick in the wall?
We should celebrate the breaking down of barriers in trade and business, not encourage their construction through stubborn rhetoric and isolationist policy.
The new industrial age – are you prepared?
The impact of automation on society in general and on industry in particular – especially the automotive and logistics sectors – is growing, suggests Dr Julian Francis (pictured)
ECG column: Evolution, not revolution
Newly elected ECG president Wolfgang Göbel believes the industry’s mood of optimism in Europe is the perfect backdrop against which to make progress during his tenure
Last mile: Blocking errors bit by bit
Block chains, the technology that powers the virtual bitcoin currency, could be used to simplify and revolutionise information exchange in the automotive supply chain in the near future
Are 4PLs an effective solution for the automotive industry?
The automotive industry has one of the more multifaceted supply chains within manufacturing, involving hundreds of suppliers spread across multiple countries and continents. As such, a service-driven, robust and efficient transport management process is required.
Blocking errors bit by bit
Block chains – the technology that already powers the virtual bitcoin currency – could soon be revolutionising information exchange in the automotive supply chain.