Antalis Packaging warns 'keep a close eye on quality' amid corrugated hikes

Antalis Packaging warns 'keep a close eye on quality' amid corrugated hikes

With 2017 having seen some of the first corrugated cardboard price hikes to hit the sector for almost four years, Antalis Packaging says that it is now more important than ever for companies to be watchful on their corrugated box specification and quality.

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In a shock move for the industry, Q1 2017 saw manufacturers from around the world announce price hikes for all kraft and recycled paper, the key component in corrugated box making. This was followed by news of further increases in Q2 and the consensus is that this trend may continue.

The rationale behind this is a complex set of global and continental factors. Fundamentally, issues with capacity and shut downs at various mills globally, has caused major issues around capacity and supply, resulting in extreme price volatility. Factored in with this is an extraordinarily high level of corrugated demand, particularly in Europe and China.

Also, the wider political agenda has had an impact. Among other factors, the post-Brexit sterling devaluation has echoed through the packaging supply chain, while Trump's presidency has also shaken up trade.

Scott Tuckey, Packaging Product Manager at Antalis commented: "Robust demand and the insufficient factory production of kraft paper has inevitably rippled down to corrugated cardboard, which is typically made up of around 50% of paper. This has resulted in relentless price hikes to help cover short supply and disruptions in the supply chain, which the industry, unfortunately, has no other option but to pass on to customers.

"For buyers, the inclination and pressure might now be to try to source a lower cost option, with some corrugated manufacturers reducing their paper weight or grade in order to offset any further price hikes. However, this is a false economy; even a slight deviation in material could impact the strength of the corrugated board which could lead to an increase in damages and, in turn, complaints."

Typically, cardboard boxes have a test paper inner liner, and a kraft paper outer. These papers are provided from a paper mill and transported to a corrugated or 'fluting' plant where they are crimped to create an inner "fluted" layer which makes corrugated cardboard extremely strong. The quality of the kraft and test paper is key to the integrity of the overall corrugated structure.

Scott added: "At this turbulent time we would encourage all buyers and warehouse managers to keep a close eye on the quality of their cardboard boxes, with any changes in weight, colour or thickness possibly indicating a potential change in specification. If in doubt, our team of packaging experts can provide support as well as consultancy on bespoke packaging solutions that may help to streamline packaging processes and reduce operational cost."

Imperial and DB Netze sign an agreement covering the railway sidings at Wallersdorf

Imperial and DB Netze sign an agreement covering the railway sidings at Wallersdorf

DB Netz AG, Imperial Automotive Logistics GmbH and the property investor DIBAG Industriebau AG are supporting the BMW Group as it switches its transport operations away from trucks to rail services.

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The agreement sorts out the responsibilities and obligations in conjunction with operating new railway sidings on the site of the BMW Group's spare parts warehouse in Wallersdorf (Dingolfing-Landau Rural District), which was opened last year, and an electronic signal-box in Landau. The sidings are being planned and financed by DIBAG. Imperial will use them. The logistics company is managing 178,000 square metres, the lion's share of the BMW spare parts warehouse, which measures 208,000 square metres. Its range of services includes incoming goods, storage, picking, packing and outgoing goods.

The sidings being relocated by DB Netz AG will connect the BMW spare parts warehouse to the route network operated by DB Netz AG on two sides and link it to the line that runs between Landshut and Plattling. In addition, the train operating system requested by the BMW Group requires a new electronic signal-box, which DB Netz is currently building in Landau. The electronic signal-box will enable far more train operations at the sidings. The tracks and signal-box are due to go into service at the beginning of September this year after a construction period lasting more than two years. Once the system is operating, as many as four trains a day are due to travel from the BMW Group's largest spare parts warehouse in the world at Wallersdorf to the port of loading and back. The project involving the switch in the means of transport will mean about 17,500 fewer truck journeys and therefore a reduction in emissions of 88 tonnes of CO2 every year.

Thomas Grupp, Head of Central Spare Parts Sales in the BMW Group, said: "We're delighted that our parts warehouse in Wallersdorf is now being connected to the main network of routes operated by DB Netz AG, as planned. The sidings and the associated switch in the means of transport to rail services will significantly reduce the volume of truck traffic and therefore CO2 emissions."

Stefan Kühn, Head of Sales and Timetable, Southern Regional Area, DB Netz AG, commented: "We're pleased that BMW is relying on the safe, efficient, environmentally-friendly and sustainable mobility of the rail transport chain by making use of further sidings."

Christian Seidl, Director Automotive/Western Europe at Imperial, added: "When the warehouse is working at full capacity, as many as 100 freight containers will leave the parts centre heading for the port of loading every day. Thanks to the new sidings, we can load the container consignments on to railway wagons inside the building. The logistics sector has once again proven that it can make tangible contributions to easing the pressure on traffic and the environment through projects that involve a change in the mode of transport being used."

Yusen Logistics wins Gold Award from Toyota Motor Europe

Yusen Logistics wins Gold Award from Toyota Motor Europe

Leading automotive supply chain provider, Yusen Logistics (Europe) BV has received a major award from Toyota Motor Europe (TME) at the Toyota Motor Europe Annual Business Meeting & Supplier Award Ceremony in Brussels.

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Presented by Masahisa Nagata, TME Executive Vice President R&D, Purchasing & PE, the prestigious Gold Award recognises the way in which Yusen Logistics has managed the recent acquisition of Transfreight Automotive Logistics Europe, also a key supply chain provider to Toyota Motor Europe.

Commenting on the award, Jean-Christophe Deville, Purchasing Director, TME praised the smooth transition, timely and clear communications and excellent delivery and supply capability shown by Yusen Logistics.

On receiving the trophy, Ian Veitch, CRO Yusen Logistics Europe, commented: "I am absolutely delighted to receive this award on behalf of Yusen. It is great to be recognised by TME for the smooth integration of this acquisition. The Transfreight business offers an excellent fit for Yusen Logistics, with a service offer and regional focus which complement Yusen's infrastructure. We will ensure that TME continue to benefit from the combined organisation's industry expertise and broad based supply chain solutions."

This expanded infrastructure enhances Yusen's existing automotive network capability by adding key network consolidation points in Western Europe, as well as multi-modal possibilities running between Northern and Southern Europe. In particular, the acquisition boosts Yusen Logistics' footprint and skill base in Northern France, an area with a high density of automotive players (tier ones and OEMs).

Truck industry gears up for wide-spread introduction of semi-automated convoys by 2023

Truck industry gears up for wide-spread introduction of semi-automated convoys by 2023

On May 9, Europe’s truck manufacturers revealed a detailed timeline of steps leading up to the introduction of convoys of semi-automated trucks on Europe’s motorways before 2025.

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Truck platooning is the linking of two or more trucks in convoy, using state-of-the-art connectivity technology and driving support systems. The truck at the head of the platoon acts as the leader, with the vehicles behind reacting and adapting to changes in its movement – requiring little to no action from drivers. The first real-life tests with truck platooning are already underway.

Platooning allows trucks to drive closer together, thereby significantly reducing their air-drag friction – which in turn can reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10%. Given that braking is automatic and immediate, truck platooning helps to improve safety too. Platoons of trucks also use roads more effectively, thus delivering goods faster and reducing traffic jams.

Speaking at the European Parliament today, Erik Jonnaert, Secretary General of the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) presented the 'EU Roadmap for Truck Platooning' to policy makers. The roadmap provides an overview of the steps that are necessary to implement multi-brand platooning by 2023. Jonnaert said: "The technology for platooning with trucks of the same brand is already available today. But clearly customers will need to be able to platoon with trucks of different brands, so our next objective is to introduce multi-brand platooning."

"By 2023, it should be possible to drive across Europe on motorways with multi-brand platoons, without needing any specific exemptions for crossing national borders – a prerequisite for international transport." Subsequently, allowing the driver of a trailing truck to rest might come under consideration. However, full autonomous trucks will only come later, Jonnaert stressed.

While manufacturers are already exploring the business case for truck platooning with the logistics sector, certain conditions that need to be met before 2023 are beyond the control of the truck industry. Erik Jonnaert commented: "That's why we will also need to strengthen cooperation between all players involved, including operators of road infrastructure, transport companies, regulators and insurance companies, but policy makers in particular."

Europe will need to create a supportive regulatory framework before truck platooning can become a common sight. "And that's exactly where the policy makers come in. They will need to develop new rules, make changes to existing legislation, and harmonise international and EU rules," said ACEA's Erik Jonnaert.

At the same time, it will be imperative to get political support for promoting the wide-spread introduction of platooning. Governments should, for example, introduce incentives, such as toll and tax reductions, CO2 bonuses or flexibility in driving time, to stimulate the market uptake of truck platooning.

Jaxport serves as Southeast US entry point for new Alfa Romeo Giulia

Jaxport serves as Southeast US entry point for new Alfa Romeo Giulia

​Jaxport will be the Southeast distribution point for the Alfa Romeo Giulia, the FCA US new premium mid-size sedan manufactured in Italy.

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The line-up includes the 280-horsepower Giulia and Giulia Ti as well as the 505-horsepower Giulia Quadrifoglio. The vehicles are transported to Jaxport via Grimaldi Lines. APS Stevedoring handles the offloading and the vehicles are processed at Jaxport by Amports.

The first shipments of Giulia sedans began arriving earlier this year and were processed for immediate delivery to dealerships. Jaxport has a long-standing partnership with FCA US, serving as a major import/export port for many of the company's well-known brands and models.

Jacksonville is one of the nation's busiest ports for total vehicle handling. In 2016, Jaxport moved more than 636,000 vehicles.

Mercedes-Benz Vans Sales Germany is thinking beyond the van itself

Mercedes-Benz Vans Sales Germany is thinking beyond the van itself

In cooperation with sales partner Fahrzeug-Werke LUEG AG, Mercedes-Benz Van Sales Germany is starting an innovative and completely new operator programme at the recently inaugurated Amazon Logistics Distribution Centre Bochum.

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In addition to parking space rentals, it comprises other service modules that provide support for the logistics companies and their drivers operating at the location. A chip on the number plate gives delivery vehicles automated access. Entering vans will soon be checked for potential damages by means of an innovative vehicle scanner. In addition, maintenance and repair services for the van fleets are available in the nearby Commercial Vehicle Centre of LUEG AG. An offer for renting Mercedes-Benz vans to bridge short-term bottlenecks in fleet availability is planned. The operator concept for parking areas is part of a comprehensive Logistics Partner Programme, with which Mercedes-Benz Vans responds to the trend of the changing transportation and logistics industry.

"With the bundled range of services in combination with the parking space rentals, we are breaking new ground in van logistics", states Stefan Sonntag, Member of the Board of Management and Head of New Vehicle Sales at Mercedes-Benz Van and MPV Sales Germany. "We are delighted that, in cooperation with Amazon and our sales partner LUEG AG, we have the opportunity to implement this extensive operator concept and to support the logistics partners and their drivers."

Stefan Jansen, Head of Commercial Vehicle Sales and Member of the Management of sales partner LUEG AG: "The innovative concept brings us even closer to our customers and enables us to implement comprehensive digital solutions – that creates advantages for both sides. In light of the increasing importance of alternative powertrains, we will – together with a partner – furthermore develop an innovative concept for securing the charging infrastructure at the location. With this we make e-mobility more and more practical for everyday use in the logistics field."

Bernd Schwenger, CEO of Amazon Logistics Germany: "Innovation on the last mile is of great importance to Amazon Logistics. Mobility and especially e-mobility play an important role in this regard. Thus we are delighted about such newly developed concepts which benefit the end customer."

An industry in transition

The growth in online trade and same-day delivery is changing the courier, express and parcel industry (CEP, for short). The CEP market has been exceeding all expectations for years: in Germany, the volume of parcel shipments has increased by 75% in the past 15 years. According to forecasts, it is set to double yet again by 2025 to an estimated volume of almost six billion delivered parcels. The main players in the CEP services market are increasingly smaller, more flexible companies working as logistics partners for larger parcel services or mail-order companies. They take care of last-mile deliveries to the end customer. As a result, large logistics and distribution centres not only serve as distribution warehouses but also as the interface between mail-order companies and such smaller delivery services.

Complete range of offers for CEP businesses and their drivers

At the Amazon Logistics site in Bochum Mercedes-Benz Vans and LUEG AG for the first time employ a comprehensive operator concept for a parking area of 6000 square metres in direct vicinity of a distribution centre. The concept offers the locally operating CEP delivery services a holistic solution. The drivers are offered on-site parking spaces for their own private vehicles and future plans call for lounge and food-service areas for their breaks to be added. A host of service offers for the administration of and care for their van fleet is available to logistics companies. This includes options for vehicle cleaning and tyre pressure checks on site. A vehicle scanner will soon inspect delivery vehicles entering the site for potential damages. This so-called Digital Vehicle Scan is a digital measurement collection and imaging system in one. It was initiated by Daimler Business Innovation and is being piloted together with the Mercedes-Benz Paul Service Centre in Passau, Germany. Detected damages can be repaired at the nearby location of the Mercedes-Benz Commercial Vehicle Centre of LUEG AG, saving time and money. All standard maintenance work and inspections can also be carried out there. A range of Mercedes-Benz vans from the innovative Daimler mobility concept CAR2SHARE cargo available on site offers flexible and smartphone-based rentals to ensure mobility in the event of a vehicle breakdown or to cover order peaks. The logistics partners can save time and money as a result of avoiding additional empty or private runs, prompt detection of damages and a comprehensive product range related to the vehicle. At the same time, the extensive package of services and the associated improvement of the vehicle condition also ensure compliance with the quality standards of Amazon as the client of the transportation services providers.

One of the first logistics partners that will use the operator concept in Bochum is AZ-LogistiX GmbH from Berlin. CEO Petra Frönicke is enthusiastic about the planned concept: "As a young company in the rapidly growing market of transportation logistics, this innovative concept provides us with outstanding support in ongoing operations and an additional level of safety for potential vehicle damages or order peaks. Our drivers' workplace environment and thus their job satisfaction are also improved."

Mercedes-Benz Vans as logistics partner

For Mercedes-Benz Vans, the operator concept is part of a comprehensive partner programme in the logistics field (Logistics Partner Programme), which is currently being developed in cooperation with the sales network. As a service interface between mail-order companies and the carriers hired by them, the automotive manufacturer will in future be offering special leasing and service terms for Mercedes-Benz vans.

Panalpina expands footprint in Denmark

Panalpina expands footprint in Denmark

As part of its global growth strategy, Panalpina has acquired Carelog, a Danish freight forwarding and logistics company with a strong foothold in ocean freight and roots in the western part of Denmark.

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Carelog and Panalpina complement each other ideally in terms of geography, product strengths and customer mix.

Panalpina World Transport (Holding) Ltd. has acquired a majority stake in Carelog Freight Service A/S and its subsidiaries. The transaction was completed yesterday in Copenhagen, Denmark.

"We want to increase our market share in Denmark," says Stefan Karlen, Panalpina's CEO. "The country has many export-oriented companies and its biggest industries, namely manufacturing, consumer, retail, fashion as well as healthcare, are industries that we focus on and serve globally."

Founded in 2008, the Danish freight forwarding and logistics company started out with customers in the furniture and fashion industry and then expanded to other sectors such as machinery and agriculture. While Carelog is especially strong in ocean freight, Panalpina is traditionally strong in air freight. The merged company employs approximately 70 people that provide ocean freight, air freight and logistics services from six locations in all regions of Denmark including in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Odense.

"Carelog has a very healthy customer base while Panalpina has the global network and profound industry expertise that will together allow us to service the international companies optimally. We are proud to become part of a larger family and reputable brand. And although we may merge with a global player we will always be conscious of our roots and stay flexible for and committed to our existing local customers," adds Lars Engbo, managing director of Carelog. Engbo, who was one of the founders of Carelog, has been appointed as managing director of the new company that operates under the name of Panalpina Carelog.

"Panalpina and Carelog together create a respectable mid-sized freight forwarding and logistics company in Denmark and provide a solid foundation for further growth," says Volker Boehringer, regional CEO Europe at Panalpina. "In a market that is dominated by few enterprises, we have now a broader geographical footprint and a stronger, more balanced product offering. The ambition is clearly to become a leading player in Denmark."

The two companies have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the deal.

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