Automotive Logistics

Weekly News

Tuesday March 28th, 2023

From the Editor
At this year’s Automotive Logistics and Supply Chain Europe conference, which was held in Bonn, Germany last week, it was clear that mitigating ongoing disruption in inbound and outbound logistics was very much tied in with the latest digital technology. Those tools were also central to tying greater efficiency in operations with ambitious sustainability targets, which carmakers are pursuing despite the distractions of a disrupted supply chain.

In his keynote speech to open the conference, Dieter Braun, head of supply chain at Audi, outlined the carmaker’s four-point strategy to make good on its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement it signed in 2021.

Jean-François Salles, global vice-president of supply chain at Renault Group, also outlined the carmaker’s Digital Control Tower and how it is feeding into its wider Industrial Metaverse, which creates a digital twin of factories and supply chains, and gives the carmaker the ability to diagnose, predict and remedy any disruption to the flow of goods. He was joined by Manzell Bandur, vice-president of transport management and interlogistics solutions at Bosch, who described the tier supplier’s platform for partner integration and collaboration across transport flows.

In terms of outbound logistics, Giulia Gherardi, global head of outbound logistics at Volvo Cars, said the carmaker was rethinking its outbound logistics in the face of a significant ro-ro capacity crunch and leveraging digital tools for as much transparency as possible to identify bottlenecks early and act upon them.

Closer collaboration between carmakers and their suppliers is also helping to deal with supply chain disruption. Levent Yuksel, freight operations director, at Jaguar Land Rover joined the stage with Etienne Jacob from Plastic Omnium to discuss how more proactive collaboration between OEMs and suppliers was bringing improvements to the bottom line.

In terms of personnel, there also need to be more supply chain and logistics professionals in the top executive positions at the carmakers. Martin Corner, head of supply chain and logistics at Aston Martin, told delegates at last week’s event supply chain and logistics should be represented as a standalone function in the C-suite, while Jean-Christophe Deville, head of production and vehicle logistics at Toyota Motor Europe, said the voice of the supply chain had to be credible at the executive level.

Also in the news this week, Turkey has halted onward shipments of vehicles and parts destined for Russia, and in our latest feature on sustainability, vehicle makers including Daimler Truck, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota explain how they are working with logistics providers to clean up the movement of parts for EV production.