Mercedes-Benz’s engine, axle and transmission plant at Untertürkheim near Stuttgart has received second prize at the European Logistics Excellence Awards for its global outbound parts logistics activity. The awards, which were held during last week’s bestLog Conference in Brussels, recognised the operation for meeting established economic and ecological objectives outlined by bestLog, the EC-financed project which was set up to maintain a European platform for logistics best practice.
Untertürkheim received the award for fulfilling best practice criteria thanks to the Mercedes-Benz Central Shipping Department, which has replaced the shipping areas of each of the seven sub-plants in the Neckar valley and centralised activity at Stuttgart’s inner harbour.
Since its completion in December 2007, axles, transmissions and engines have been leaving the plant via the new site to destinations all over the world, including the US and China.
The new location, close to the transhipment terminals of SCT (Stuttgart Container Terminal), enables the efficient use of multimodal transport. Following the implementation of the Mercedes-Benz Central Shipping Department, the share of alternative transport carriers (including inland waterways and rail) rose to 75%.
Thanks to the centralisation, the same amount of powertrain units can now be handled with fewer forklift trucks, reduced storage capacity and less transport. This has led to annual savings of €7.5m ($11m), down 30% on previous expenditure according to the company.
Furthermore, thanks to the tri-modal set up between rail, inland waterway and road at Stuttgart terminal, the number of long-haul trips by road to the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp has been reduced in 2008 by 5,000 trips, which is equivalent to a reduction of approximately 5,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
SFS Unimarket, a leading supplier of fasteners, tools, architectural hardware and chemical/technical products, took the first prize for its turnLOG project.