End-to-end automotive logistics for a seamless supply chain

With global finished vehicle supply chains under pressure, choosing the right logistics partner is crucial for OEMs looking to retain and grow their market share.

MG SAIC Zeebrugge 3

To manage the operation that gets vehicles from the factory to the dealer network, carmakers can rely on us for end-to-end support across the finished vehicle supply chain, from plant logistics to dealer distribution.

“For us, the end-to-end (E2E) supply chain means integrated systems, agile processes, and collaboration for all supply chain functions, from order planning and scheduling, shipping and vehicle processing to final delivery to the end customer or dealer,” explains Charles Elliott, business services manager, WW Solutions, North America.

From start to finish: Introducing the streamlined supply chain

Right now, the biggest challenge facing global logistics is lack of space on vessels. Our end-to-end logistics services help to address this by allowing us to work very closely with the OEM right from the forecasting and planning stage up until delivery of the vehicle.

“The benefits for carmakers of using the same provider for logistics and processing are clear: efficient communication, quality control, and visibility across the supply chain,” says Rider Liu, VP sales development, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, EMEA. “All of this helps to minimise delays and reduce risks.”

With an expansive fleet of RoRo vessels and a global trade network that includes deep sea and short sea services, we support OEMs to ship large volumes to their key markets across the world. Beyond that, our inland distribution network means we can help manufacturers with the final leg of the journey, too, safely transporting vehicles to end customers by rail and truck.

But getting vehicles to their end destination is only one piece of the puzzle – making sure they’re in dealer-ready condition is of the utmost importance. Vehicle processing centres (VPCs) offer valuable support for OEMs, carrying out both technical work and pre-delivery inspections.

Our skilled teams do everything from fitting electronic accessories such as radio, GPS and alarms, to other items like splash guards, electrically controlled mirrors, tail spoilers, fog lights and floor mats, and paint touch ups. We can also oversee more complex technical work.

But our involvement with a vehicle will often have started earlier – when it comes off the production line. Our teams perform inspections, mask wheels, apply undercoat and label parts. We also drive vehicles to dedicated storage areas, where we offer 30, 60 and 90-day maintenance programmes, washing services, and quality control.

Meeting demand in the electric vehicle market

Increasingly, expansions to our services cater to the growing demand for electric vehicles. We have extensive experience transporting and handling not just electric cars, but also vans, trucks and buses. We’ve designed infrastructure and developed pre-delivery inspection and yard management processes specifically for handling EVs.

Our VPC at the Zeebrugge terminal is one example, which can be the gateway to Europe for EV manufacturers. Our facility is one of our most well-equipped to service EVs including inspection of state of charge, high voltage charging capability, storage and software updates. We’re also able to maintain visibility for manufacturers using portable scanners that provide updates on each activity carried out on the EV, explains Antonio Essolito, general manager Europe, EPC / VPC.

The scope and capabilities of our services for auto OEMs are expanding all the time, supported by cutting-edge technology like our new visibility tool that allows for the seamless orchestration of the end-to-end process.

“Carmakers coming to us know they have a partner who can deal with every aspect of the global supply chain. Offering them full sight of each vehicle throughout the supply chain can be particularly valuable for OEMs entering a new market, where operational efficiency is incredibly important,” explains Liu.

How our network supports the global automotive industry

  • Our ocean services include three sailings a month from Asia to Europe, four sailings a month from Asia to North America, and two to three sailings a month from Asia to central and South America.
  • We have 28 vehicle processing and distribution centres in the US, teams at 11 ports, and more than 5,000 employees
  • We distribute vehicles to a network of over 1,000 dealers in the US
  • Our operations in Mexico serve 11 vehicle manufacturers, employ 1,800 people, and boast 12 facilities processing more than two million vehicles a year.
  • In Thailand, our large fleet of car carrier trailers distributes around 120,000 cars each year domestically and across borders to Laos and Cambodia or to port for overseas exports.

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