Forty-five additional wagons will make the journey from Saint-Nazaire port in France to Tangier port in Morocco by the end of 2019. A total of 47 wagons will transport new vehicles on the railway connecting Tangier to Kenitra, where Groupe PSA will inaugurate a new plant. Production capacity for the Kenitra plant is expected to reach 200,000 vehicles per year by 2020.
A unique challenge in terms of industrial requirements and capabilities, this project demonstrates the strong partnership between Groupe PSA and GEFCO.
The connection between Kenitra and Tangier will help Groupe PSA meet its ambitious goals for the new plant. Production in Kenitra is expected to reach 100,000 vehicles per year in 2019 and then 200,000 from 2020 onwards.
GEFCO’s team across the world collaborated to ensure the success of every step of this complex operation: routing wagons from Saint Nazaire port in France, refurbishing and customising the wagons, loading them onto a ship and delivering them to Tangier port. The wagons will be operated by Moroccan National Railways Office (ONCF), transporting vehicles from Groupe PSA’s plant in Kenitra to Tangier port, before they are exported to Europe.
“We’re very pleased Groupe PSA has trusted GEFCO with this exciting project and we’re confident we have the right expertise and capabilities to make it a success,” explained Anne Lambusson, Executive Vice President in Charge of the Groupe PSA account at GEFCO. “GEFCO’s unique supply chain expertise enables us to rise to this extraordinary challenge and we’re very much looking forward to contributing to our customer’s growth strategy.”
Through this project, GEFCO is supporting Groupe PSA’s ambitious development strategy in Morocco and in Africa more widely. The car manufacturer plans to make Kenitra a leading industrial hub and has already started developing a dedicated network.
This project will also further reinforce GEFCO’s position in Morocco. In January 2018, GEFCO announced its acquisition of GLT, a Europe-Morocco transport specialist and a leading operator of the gateway between Algeciras and Tangier. Today, GEFCO Morocco is one of the leaders in the country’s supply chain sector and expects to double its workforce soon to support its future growth.
“With the acquisition of Ring Automotive, we are further expanding our aftermarket portfolio and can at the same time use stable distribution channels in the United Kingdom,” says Hans-Hans-Joachim Schwabe, CEO Osram Automotive. With 160 employees, Ring Automotive achieved annual sales of around £40 million ($52.8 million) in 2017.
By acquiring Ring Automotive, Osram is investing in the future: the British company has an established, valuable brand and a well-placed sales model in the automotive aftermarket sector. In addition, Ring's product portfolio goes far beyond classic automotive lighting and complements Osram’s product range. Ring, for example, is particularly successful in the field of electronic car accessories and is represented by over 3000 specialist dealers in over 60 countries with around 6,000 products.
In addition, Osram will give the ring portfolio access to the US market via the established Osram Sylvania channels and opens up new sales potential in Europe and the rest of the world with a differentiated brand strategy.
George Skalski, Managing Director of Ring Automotive said, “We look forward to working alongside Osram and believe that the transaction is very positive news for all of our colleagues and customers. The acquisition secures continued investment in the business, which will support our future growth plans and our leading-edge product innovation.“
The parties, including the seller Rubicon Partners, have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the transaction, which also requires the approval of the antitrust authorities.
“The level of business Georgia has captured is a testament to the world-class service provided by our stevedores, ILA, pilots, other port stakeholders, and our partners at Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Georgia’s unrivaled connectivity to Atlanta, Memphis, Charlotte and beyond allows port customers to reach new and growing markets.”
In December alone, the Port of Savannah handled 351,366 TEUs, an increase of 8.7%, or 28,250 TEUs. It was the Authority’s busiest December ever, and capped a year with nine of the GPA’s 10 busiest months on record.
“The reason Georgia’s ports remain the fastest growing in the nation is because we are quickly adding capacity to our operations,” said GPA Board Chairman Jimmy Allgood. “The leadership model our ports and elected officials have put into place is forward thinking and works hard to build for the next wave of growth.”
Allgood said the ports made several strides in infrastructure development during the last year. In February, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed outer harbor dredging at the Port of Savannah, marking the midpoint of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. The federal government provided $101.12 million to continue SHEP construction this year, and inner harbor dredging is on track to start this year.
During the meeting, Lynch informed board members the expansion of Gate 8 had been completed, and will increase overall gate capacity by 16 percent, for a total of 56 lanes. The expanded gate will open next month.
In addition, the Authority has ordered 12 new rubber-tyred gantry cranes to serve the Port of Savannah, bringing its fleet to 158. The first 10 new RTGs will arrive and be commissioned in July. Two will be commissioned in September. Construction on six ship-to-shore cranes slated to arrive in 2020 is now 45% complete. The new cranes will bring the Port of Savannah’s fleet to 36 and allow the port to increase big ship capacity.
The Port of Savannah handled its most ever containers by rail in 2018, moving 478,669 containers – approximately 860,000 TEUs – via Class I rail providers Norfolk Southern and CSX. The rail volume represented a 19% increase compared to 2017. To handle the additional intermodal volumes, GPA will complete Phase I of the Mason Mega Rail project in October of this year, and Phase II by October 2020. When complete, the project will double current rail capacity at Garden City Terminal from 500,000 to 1 million containers per year.
In Brunswick, autos and machinery increased by 6.4% (18,911 units) in the first half of Fiscal Year 2019 (July-December 2018) for a total of 315,611 units. At GPA’s Colonel’s Island, the single largest autoport in North America, expansion projects are under way that will double GPA’s rail capacity and significantly increase near-dock storage. The Authority also plans to develop another 400 acres to bring annual throughput capacity to 1.5 million vehicles in the coming years.
“Brunswick’s proximity to Southeastern dealerships and auto manufacturers, combined with its ability to reach important inland markets via CSX and Norfolk Southern, makes it the ideal autoport for import cargo,” Lynch said. “Nine ocean carriers serving our 1,700-acre terminal means Brunswick has the global connections to efficiently move exports, and the space to take on new business.”
December also closed the second quarter of the GPA’s fiscal year. For the first half of Fiscal Year 2019 (July-December 2018), the Port of Savannah moved 2.2 million TEUs, up 176,800 TEUS, or 8.6%. In total cargo, GPA handled 18.1 million tons for the first half of FY2019.
While in the first phase, the RDC only focused on supporting its export markets, it will now cater to Volkswagen Group India customers across all regions in the country. Spread over an area of 25,000 square metres in the premises of Volkswagen Pune Plant, this is an important milestone for the company in India in its plan to emerge as a stronger player in the country.
Present at the inauguration were Mr. Gurpratap Boparai, Head of Volkswagen Group India, Mr. Justin Nolte, Director – After Sales & Vehicle Logistics, Volkswagen Group India and Mr. Vinod Prakash Shivhare, Head – Parts & Vehicle Logistics, Volkswagen Group India.
The state-of-the-art RDC facility has been designed in co-operation with Volkswagen AG worldwide. The RDC will now distribute parts to its Parts Distribution Centres in NCR region as well as Bangalore from where further supply to all the dealerships and service stations in those regions will take place. For the dealerships in Western & Central India, RDC would directly supply spare parts to ensure that customers get one-day delivery thus improving satisfaction levels.
Speaking on this occasion, Mr. Boparai said, “Customer satisfaction is one of our top-most priorities in India. With the expansion of operations from our Regional Distribution Centre in Chakan, Pune, we have taken an important step towards this goal.” He further added, “Volkswagen Group is committed to the Indian market and with these steps we are reinforcing our promise under our India 2.0 project.”
Explaining the expansion at RDC, Mr. Nolte commented, “This centre will provide spare parts for all models available in India under the Volkswagen Group including brands Volkswagen, Skoda, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini. We are listening to our customers and taking the steps in the right direction to address their concerns. With one-day delivery of spare parts, we are sure to see a dramatic improvement in customer satisfaction.”
With its strategic location, the RDC in Chakan, Pune will significantly contribute in reducing current lead-time in providing genuine parts to the dealers across the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. This is aimed to improve Volkswagen Group after sales service offering, investing in creating world-class infrastructure and striving to remain a step ahead of the customers’ requirement by anticipating and offering them genuine parts by making it readily available.
A brand new centralised Warranty Parts Return Centre was inaugurated at the RDC facility as well by Mr. Gurpratap Boparai, Mr. Justin Nolte and Mr. Shriniwas Chakravarthy, Head – Technical Service, Volkswagen Group India.
All warranty return parts from pan-India dealer network will be collected at this centralised facility in Chakan, Pune. The WPRC has ample facilities for inspection and analysis of such parts. Technical Service, Field Quality and Suppliers will jointly undertake the activities at the WPRC.
This will further strengthen the robust process for part analysis and corrective measures wherever required aiding product improvement. The underlying goal for the WPRC is contributing towards enhancing customer satisfaction.
“Pat is a highly respected leader in US-Mexico relations,” said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of International Affairs for the US Chamber of Commerce. “Not only does he lead a company that connects the integrated North American economy, but he has also demonstrated a continuous commitment over many years to promoting and strengthening the bilateral relationship through engagement with government officials, private-sector peers, and the public. The Council will benefit greatly from his leadership and vision during this important period.”
As US Chairman of the US-Mexico Economic Council, Ottensmeyer will preside over the US-Mexico CEO Dialogue, which occurs twice annually, and he will oversee the Council’s extensive agenda of engagement with public- and private-sector leaders in the US and Mexico in an effort to strengthen bilateral commercial ties.
“I am honoured to accept this opportunity to continue the important work of the US-Mexico Economic Council, to ensure both a strong economic and trade relationship between the two countries and that North America remains the world’s most competitive, integrated trading block,” said Ottensmeyer. “The Council and it’s US- Mexico CEO Dialogue are comprised of committed business leaders, who have been working together for more than five years and who provide a unique connection between private-sector leaders and government policymakers.”
The US-Mexico Economic Council serves as the premier business advocacy organisation dedicated to strengthening the economic and commercial relationship between both countries.