The 2017 Automotive Leaders Summit - Europe
The 2017 Automotive Leaders Summit - Europe was held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Vienna, March 14-15.Read Now
The event started with a visit to the LKW WALTER headquarters in South Vienna on March 14, which was attended by many of the delegates who found it most interesting and informative.
This was followed by an evening networking drinks reception and then a networking dinner in the hotel.
The morning of the 15 March saw delegates gather for the presentations, panel discussions and extensive networking opportunities.
Themes that emerged from the presentations and panel discussions included the urgent need for greater connectivity in the supply chain, with more synchronised systems between OEMs, tier suppliers and logistics providers. The rise of autonomous vehicles and its impact on every area, from yard management to the last mile, was high on many speakers, panelists and delegates minds. Added to this interesting mix was the debate on platooning and combining this with autonomous trucks and passenger cars led one panelist to comment that, "Platooning is already possible today and it is only the beginning, however there are challenges we must face in order to succeed. Platooning is at only level 2 today, requiring a driver, so we are not saving on driving time, despite this great technology. We need higher levels of automation to achieve level 4 automation. Full autonomous trucks are still years away, and may not be seen before 2022, following passenger cars, that we might well see by 2020 or 2021."
Other topics discussed included the excellence of workforces available in Central and Eastern Europe, the need for infrastructure development, better border management and the challenges of transporting electric vehicles.
Europe's place on the world stage
Christoph Stürmer of Price Waterhouse Cooper opened the event with a presentation on Europe's place in the global automotive landscape. He spoke of growth in various regions and how we can expect to see still further shifting of production from Europe and the northern US to Mexico and the southern US and commented on markets as diverse as Russia, Brazil and China.
Connecting freight distribution
The second session was entitled The Future of Freight Distribution and started with a presentation on how the physical internet is the long term vision of efficient freight transport and how the next level of connectivity, IoT and big data analytics is a necessity and to achieve this,logistics providers need to have many IT capabilities. You have to know where your stuff is, a lot of data needs to be processed."
Elements such as drive style optimisation, real time traffic information, predictive maintenance, remote diagnosis, location based services, fleet management, cooperative services and connected drivers were discussed by the panel. Drones and the last mile were subject high in the minds of the panelists and the delegates and was cited by some as the possible answer to the driver shortage situation.
Digitising the supply chain
This session saw some lively debate between OEMs, tier suppliers and logistics providers.
Topics included the importance of digitisation and the need for transparency down the supply chain for better synchronisation of processes and one panelist commented that: "If we had optimised processes like transparency, we wouldn't have the problems we see today and it will benefit everyone in the supply chain. We need a connected process to speed up our operations."
Cost was another factor seen as hampering improvement, with comments that every OEM is doing a lot of visionary stuff but the question is at what cost? The industry is still spending a lot through a lot of separate systems but this was generally seen as an opportunity rather than a challenge.
Finished vehicle distribution
Logistics company executives and shipping experts joined moderator Sam Ogle, the Editor of Automotive Purchasing and Supply Chain magazine to discuss issues such as capacity and driver shortages. The overriding theme that emerged was the need for streamlined communication and complete supply chain visibility.
Standardisation of communication protocols was also seen as an important factor but the panelists agreed that one software system was likely an impossible dream.
Ogle asked the panel several searching questions, including, "Is there is enough capacity, both on land and at sea? Panelists spoke of investment now being focused on networks and the design of networks rather than the cost and the need for commitment from customers. The problems of the length contracts from customers, of ports' performances, driver shortages and streamlining logistics in the 'last mile' reared their head again.
A presentation on how smart cities will create a world of interlinked, smart transportation started this session. It looked back at the hundred year history of what the speaker called "dumb" transportation, which was never designed to be used within the cities. The presenter pointed out that in Vienna 25% of people walking, 7% travel by bicycle, 39% by tram and 28% by car and asked if this is a reflection of the space given to infrastructure?
It touched on the 'death of diesel' and whether fleet managers are unsure as to whether they can continue to buy and rent diesel-powered vehicles. It showed another part of the puzzle, that of how smart infrastructure is dependent on smart energy and how the industry needs to look at turning problems like roads into part of the solution, using solar roads to give energy back to the vehicle through inductive charging. Some smart infrastructures were illustrated, including an EV coach/bus in Geneva that recharges its battery in 15 seconds as it picks up pedestrians.
New mobility versus old automotive
'Game changers' in transforming transport was the theme of this session, with a presentation stressing how future transport must be digital, clean, service orientated, safe and secure.
It talked of mobility services that can be harnessed such as traffic management, freight demand and delivery management, car sharing and connectivity, and the need to lay down architecture to support these services. We need to find out who has what role in this new mobility era.
A panel discussion followed, with OEMs and transport providers debating whether urban dwellers are truly likely to opt for a car-free life, with shared autonomous mobility, and if people will eventually rely on driverless cars as a mobility solution, especially in cities.
The panel concluded that governments have to change in order to help increase this transition and how the automotive industry is going to change more in the next decade than the last 100 years.
The summit was rounded off by a panel discussion between several OEM executives and a tier supplier, with moderator Sam Ogle. Panelists talked about the steps the industry needs to take and the vision needed to improve the supply chain, one stating that, "We should not ignore the little things that can help us find a solution, we should not always be looking for massive technological overhauls."
The panel agreed that, as the cost of EVs falls as demand and thus production rises, this type of mobility will thrive on collaboration across all modes, in order to create an efficient global supply chain. They concurred that investment in both vehicles and infrastructure should come from the private sector, without putting further demands on public funds.
Workforce and infrastructure
An OEM panelist stated that the workforces [in Central and Eastern Europe] are, "definitely not a problem. We export jobs which means we eliminate our own sales, training people in other regions who can ultimately take over the jobs of our employees. Technology gets exported, knowledge gets exported; you have global standards on how you want to produce cars and if you go into another country you provide these capabilities for them." This brought the discussion on to infrastructure and another OEM executive said: "We invested heavily in recent years. Infrastructure is a problem with difficulties on the road and on the rails. There needs to be more intermodal methods. There is high potential, there is belief on growth, but there needs to be a significant improvement in infrastructure in order to meet our goals. This is a key issue that we all need to look at collectively."
The panel then discussed border issues within the CEE region, how freight must pass through a number of different countries, in a way that differs from any other area in the world. Established OEMs are producing all over the region with a range of facilities and a range of suppliers and the executives agreed that this is where Eastern Europe thrives, as border control is much easier than that of the West.
EVs and the Russian experience
Then the panel moved onto logistical problems with EVs. They felt that there are no major issues as automakers like Renault have established good relationships with their component suppliers. However, as one major OEM panelist illustrated, the rapid evolution of battery technology will cast doubt over long term relationship as battery technology could thrive in, say, Asia, so they will have to change suppliers and regions.
The Russian automotive market has shown indications that it may be returning. The general consensus was that Russia is a one-to-one market and not considered as a European market and that the market there will recover, with sanctions set to be lifted which will allow automakers to move in and out more easily.
Cooperation and relationships
The panel was unanimous that the industry needs to continue to grow the cooperation between OEMs and the transport companies, so that they do not go 'blind' once the vehicle comes off the ship, train or truck and felt that it is not harnessing connected supply chain technology as effectively as it might, to get a better aligned approach.
One of the senior OEM executives summed things up with the observation that success in tomorrow's industry will hinge on fostering good relationships, saying: "Go and visit your customers, go and build that relationship. Then, if there's a problem, you can trust in one another that it will be sorted out. Trust must be built from both sides."
INTTRA acquires Avantida
INTTRA, the world’s ocean shipping electronic marketplace, announced that it has acquired Avantida, the European market leader in empty container management for ocean carriers.Read Now
Enhanced coordination of land and ocean container movements generates efficiencies and reduces costs, and INTTRA's entry into landside container logistics will provide additional value for existing and new customers. Avantida's core business – digitised, automated container reuse and repositioning – addresses a major challenge for ocean carriers, transport companies, terminals, depots, and other stakeholders. Industry experts estimate that empty container positioning costs the ocean shipping industry up to $20 billion a year, approximately 40% of handling costs.
"Avantida, an industry leader in digitised container logistics, has products and customer bases that are highly complementary to those of INTTRA. Acquiring Avantida advances our strategy of extending our reach into the intermodal value chain, enabling INTTRA to better serve our customers. With cutting-edge, cloud-based technology and a unique business model, Avantida enhances efficiency and delivers substantial value to carriers, shippers, and other landside transport companies," said INTTRA's CEO, John Fay. "I am very pleased to welcome Avantida's team to the INTTRA family and I am confident that they will continue to execute on their mission supplemented by INTTRA's resources."
"We are excited to join forces with INTTRA," said Luc De Clerck, Avantida's CEO. "Together we can leverage technology innovation to digitise and transform a multi-billion dollar market that is central to global trade. INTTRA's global network will enable us to accelerate product adoption in Europe and around the world. Our combined offering will further benefit numerous stakeholders within and beyond ocean shipping and container logistics, including reducing CO2 emissions and congestion at ports and surrounding communities."
Avantida will operate as an INTTRA-owned company and customers should continue to use the same sales and service contacts.
Car Delivery Network targets China product roll-out
Car Delivery Network (CDN) has formed a joint venture with Shanghai KaQu Information Technology, as it plans the roll-out of its electronic proof of delivery (ePOD) software products in China.Read Now
The new JV, KaQu Delivery Network (KDN), will market electronic real-time OEM vehicle delivery tracking, damage reporting and delivery sign-off for car carriers using the company's vinDeliver application.
vinDeliver is currently used for one in every six new cars delivered in the US, according to CDN.
It will also offer customers CDN's vinDispatch application, which matches delivery demand with available truck capacity in real time, driving up delivery vehicle utilisation.
Owen Xie, the former CEO and president of NYK Autologistics in China, will run KDN.
The first customer, who has already been secured, runs more than 500 trucks and handles a million units a year, according to CDN.
"Going forward, the company will be targeting a wide range of companies, from giant carriers to individual small fleet owners," it stated.
Mike Thorby, chief technical Officer at CDN, said: "We are very excited about taking our offering into what is the largest new car market in the world. We see China facing a number of critical issues in terms of new legislation on truck dimensions and continued market growth."
Mosolf reactivates rail traffic to Düsseldorf
Following a break of five years, the Mosolf Group is relaunching regular railway transport services at its business site in Düsseldorf.Read Now
The test phase from January onwards had shown that the reactivation of the sidings would optimise sustainable transport flows in the long term. A weekly departure from the Mosolf business location in Kippenheim, Southern Germany, to Düsseldorf has now been introduced as a fixed element in the automobile logistics specialist's route plans.
The Mosolf Group handled 67,000 vehicles at the port of Düsseldorf last year. There are plans to process far more than 70,000 in 2017. Inland waterway vessels move 49% of the total volume; in future, 17% will be transferred from road to rail services and trucks will handle the remaining 34%. The new rail concept therefore supports the move to switch traffic from the roads to sustainable modes of transport. The newly launched scheduled rail service means that more than 12,000 vehicles can be transported between the Black Forest and the Rhineland district by rail every year. The local transport fleet, which currently comprises 40 vehicle transporters, then deals with the final mile to customers from Düsseldorf.
"In addition to the environmental benefits of rail services compared to trucks – after all, a block train with 250 cars is roughly the equivalent of 35 truckloads, depending on the load factor – the concept also makes sense from a logistical point of view. The prompt, regional deliveries provided by the routes from Düsseldorf also enable more efficient and faster vehicle distribution," said Wolfgang Göbel, Chief Sales Officer at the Mosolf Group.
Peter Jacobs, Head of Railway Operations North at the port and railway operator RheinCargo, also underlines the importance of this means of transport for the port of Düsseldorf. "We're delighted that Mosolf is now once again focusing on railway services to a greater degree in Düsseldorf alongside its inland waterway operations and that we're able to support the company both with port logistics and railway services. This is also strengthening the port of Düsseldorf, which offers the best links to the pulsating Rhine/Ruhr business region as a trimodal logistics site at the heart of the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia," said Jacobs on the occasion of the first shipment.
The major focus of the multimodal hub at Düsseldorf will continue to involve handling goods arriving and departing by inland waterway vessels. Mosolf transports cars and commercial vehicles to Rotterdam and Antwerp several times a week on board the MS "Terra" and its sister ship, the MS "Terra 2".
The Mosolf branch at Düsseldorf not only offers vehicle handling facilities, but also additional services. Mosolf provides technical or optical value-added services for about one third of the vehicles. They include managing rental and fleet vehicles that are starting or completing their service, handover checks and wheel changes or installing special equipment.
Ultra-Seal tyre treatment wins new OEM customers with product for trailer tyres
Schmitz Cargobull and Kögel Trailer have started filling tyres on new trailers at the factory with puncture prevention, wear extender and pressure stabiliser Ultra-Seal.Read Now
Ultra-Seal is systematically acquiring full European network coverage by contracting Europart Denmark and Eurotyre Belgium for the distributorship rights for the sale of Ultra-Seal. Furthermore, Schmitz Cargobull and Kögel were also added to the customer base, to provide end-users with tyres filled with Ultra-Seal on their new trailers, enabling them to benefit from maximum tyre wear reduction, fewer punctures and optimum tyre pressure.
In January 2017, DSV Road issued a gigantic order of 3000 new trailers for 2017-2018, to Schmitz Cargobull. DSV requested Ultra-Seal in addition to the standard factory trailer specifications at Schmitz Cargobull. All 3000 new trailers that will leave the Schmitz Cargobull premises in the next 2 years will be equipped with Ultra-Seal-treated Westlake tyres, since Westlake has given its official approval to use Ultra-Seal in its tyre brand.
Kögel Trailer GmbH & Co. KG
Kögel has also started ordering the Ultra-Seal products to serve its customers' needs. ICTS and Amco Logistics, amongst others, are requesting that Kögel equip their new vehicles with Ultra-Seal-treated tyres. Amco Logistics is one of the first English customers that started using Ultra-Seal. With 180 employees and facilities in Newbury, Felixstowe and headquarters in Dervy, Amco Logistics focuses on transport for predominantly automotive, rail and exhibitions throughout Europe.
Ultra-Seal has come to an agreement with Europart Denmark for the resale of Ultra-Seal to end-users. With 75 employees, Europart Denmark is the largest parts and spare parts dealer of Denmark, with its Danish headquarters in Kolding.
The Belgian tyre specialist group Eurotyre will start offering Ultra-Seal to its customers throughout its network in Belgium and in the south of Holland. The international group of independent tyre service centres offers tyres for every vehicle and provides numerous services for breakdown, maintenance, repair and professional advice. The entire Eurotyre organisation consists of 69 tyre centres throughout Belgium and the Netherlands, and completes its truck network with 40 regular tyre centres specialised in tourism vehicles.
'The ultimate tyre life extender' is a preventative tyre sealant liquid which was invented to protect tyres from leaks, punctures and blowouts. It seals most punctures as they happen, it ensures heat reduction, extends tyre life by keeping the air pressure in the tyre, minimises tyre wear and reduces fuel consumption.
It remains effective for the complete life of the tyre, without having to undergo extra maintenance. Ultra-Seal is environmentally friendly and provides the driver with an extra safety factor.
Eurotunnel welcomes 25 millionth truck
Eurotunnel welcomed the 25 millionth truck to use its LeShuttle Freight service since the service began on 25 July 1994.Read Now
This 25 millionth truck, from the fleet operated by UPS, the express courier specialist, was carrying packages from Germany, many containing items such as clothing, shoes or electronics purchased the previous day via the Internet. The rapid growth in e-commerce, between 20-30% per anum, shows how essential the Channel Tunnel has become in the transport and logistics infrastructure linking the United Kingdom to continental Europe.
Approximately one million e-commerce packages transit via the Channel Tunnel every day. EY, in its research paper, "Economic Footprint of the Channel Tunnel", published in November 2016, estimated that goods linked to express and courier services transported through the Channel Tunnel have a value of around €30 billion per year and are responsible for 272,000 jobs across Europe.