Imperial Logistics subsidiary Panopa has expanded its Eastern European operations to support a new container management contract with Daimler in Kecskemét, Hungary. The company has established a new division called Panopa Logistik Magyar to support the new business.
The three-year contract involves returnable container handling in support of Daimler’s rollout of the next generation Mercedes-Benz B-Class from its Kecskemét plant, which begins in the first quarter of next year.
“Through this contract, Panopa is responsible to centrally collect, clean, bundle and sort the returnable containers in which material is supplied directly to the line before they are provided to the suppliers again,” explained Panopa Logistik Polska CEO, Rémy Hoeffler. “By means of a barcode the empties can be identified and traced along the supply chain.
Panopa’s business in Hungary also includes a facility in Györ where Audi makes engines and assembles the TT and A3 convertible models.
“We see Hungary as a major growth market,” added Hoeffler.
Two of the four new models from the next generation B-Class will be built at Kecskemét while three will be built at the Mercedes plant in Ratstatt, Germany. Production at Ratstatt commences this autumn.
“This approach significantly increases the production network’s flexibility, as it enables capacity to be optimally utilized at both plants,” said the company in a statement.
The most important market for the B-Class is Germany, which accounts for about one third of the series’ sales worldwide, followed by China and Italy. More than 700,000 B-Class cars have been delivered to customers worldwide since the vehicle was launched on the market in 2005.