Supply chain service provider Panopa has opened a plant consolidation centre (PCC) in Hambach next to smart’s French plant. Panopa Logistique France SARL will provide logistics services in connection with production of the new smart fortwo model series for the Daimler division, on an area of 17,000 sq.m. The Hambach plant produces around 100,000 vehicles a year.

“The modern logistics centre was created out of the former production facility for printed matter that we acquired in 2013 and then professionally rebuilt joint with our partner Panopa Logistique France,” said Dr Joachim Betker, president of smart France. “With the PCC we are now able to carry out our logistics processes even more efficienctly.”

Amongst the services that Panopa will provide for smart at the centre are vehicle parts storage, empty packaging management, transport of swap bodies and trailers on call, as well as containerised sequencing of component delivery and just-in-time delivery to the assembly line.

According to Panopa, more than 260,000 load carriers are handled every year in receiving goods, while outgoing goods account for 220,000 large and 700,000 small ones.

Furthermore, we are also responsible for complete transport control in smartville,” added Charles Braun, managing director of Panopa Logistique France SARL. To handle this, the company has set up a ‘one entry point’ via which it will centrally control all incoming and outgoing shipments and empties pickups for smart and its system partners at the plant. The company is also planning to handle complete trailer  yard management with RFID support.

Panopa Logistique France has already invested in a range of technical equipment, including the IT system and a rack facility with more than 2,100 slots and scanners, among other items.

Up to 30 new jobs, created within the scope of the new PCC contract, will be set up at the end of the expansion phase. Panopa Logistique France will then have a total of 140 employees.