Wherever organisationally possible - and subject to respective legal and official requirements - the company is pursuing the clear goal of maintaining its service network across Europe with up to 3,000 centres. Corresponding plans are being drawn up for its own companies and for partner companies. The teams rely on pragmatic and uncomplicated solutions to keep customers' vehicles running and supplied with spare parts.
"Our colleagues in our service facilities make a significant contribution to ensuring our society can cope with the current state of emergency as well as possible, and we therefore thank these everyday heroes from the bottom of our hearts," said Martin Daum, Chairman of the Board of Management Daimler Truck AG.
Trucks and buses are particularly important given the current situation. Right now commercial vehicles for transport and logistics must be available to ensure supply and disposal, as well as emergency services. Therefore it is crucial that our service centers remain in operation wherever possible.
At the same time, all necessary measures are being taken by our company to ensure the protection of our customers and employees at our service locations that remain open.
Furthermore, the staff at its dealerships is taking all necessary steps to ensure that the service workshops and showrooms are completely sanitised. All delivery and test drive vehicles are being swabbed with disinfectant before delivery at customers’ homes. The company is also taking necessary preventive measures to make a safe environment for dealership employees in order to ensure their health and well-being.
Gaurav Gupta, Chief Commercial Officer, MG Motor India said, “As a responsible organisation, we are committed towards the safety and health of our customers, dealer partners, dealer staff and employees. In times like these, ensuring the well-being of people that we care about becomes paramount. Safety being our topmost priority, through the Disinfect and Deliver Programme our focus is to sanitise throughout the value chain. Thus, we will have limited staff to support essential and emergency services during this period. We regret any inconvenience caused to our customers in advance. However, we will try our level best to satisfy our customers as always.”
The carmaker has also completely digitised the process of bookings and delivery of MG cars, enabling its customers to book their HECTOR and ZS EV online and get them delivered at their doorstep.
Its customer contact centre (Pulse Hub) executives continue to operate from their homes 24/7 while providing emergency customer services like Roadside Service Assistance (RSA). Only need-based staff is being deployed at dealerships at different intervals to ensure their health and safety.
“With slowing demand related to the coronavirus, port users need space to stage their cargo until that demand returns,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Griff Lynch. “With these new container stack areas, Savannah is delivering the flexibility our customers need.”
GPA recently added container slots totaling nearly 5,000 TEUs of space to its operation. By mid-April, more than 6,000 TEUs of capacity will go into service, for a total of 11,130 TEUs of new container stacking space. These additions will increase Savannah’s annual capacity by 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units, for a new total capacity of 6 million TEUs per year.
“Our terminals continue to function with operational ease and efficiency,” said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. “From time to time, spikes in demand occur because of new customer needs or other factors impacting the global supply chain. Through the Authority’s steady investment in capacity, GPA is able to handle unexpected surges in container yard demand, whatever the cause.”
At 1,345 acres, the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal is the largest single-operator container terminal in North America. Its nearly 10,000 feet of contiguous dock space is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. This allows greater scheduling flexibility for the 36 container ship services that call on the Port of Savannah. Garden City Terminal also features on-terminal rail service from CSX and Norfolk Southern, three major truck gates and 50 truck lanes.
As the products are becoming increasingly complex, the automotive supplier needs longer dies for the increasing number of forming steps – and therefore a press with a larger clamping surface. Since the beginning of this year, a Schuler MC 400 automatic blanking press with a table size of 3,000 to 1,400 millimetres has been in operation there in newly built hall.
“For many parts we now achieve significantly higher output rates on the Schuler automatic blanking press,” said Plant Manager Jörg Monsig. Although the products made of stainless steel and other heat-resistant metals are relatively small with an average size of 100 to 200 millimetres, they combine an increasing number of functions in line with customer requirements.
Lang Metallwaren's existing machine park also includes a 160 ton and a 250 ton press from another manufacturer. Compared to them, set-up on the Schuler machine from die to coil is also faster, said Monsig: “The coil loading chair simply saves time.”
Thanks to a touch-sensitive monitor with a diagonal of 18.5 inches, the system can be operated intuitively and easily, allowing employees to familiarise themselves with the machine in a very short time. Monsig is also very satisfied with the progress of the project: “It worked out perfectly.” Only because of site-specific conditions for the foundation, the schedule has been thrown back by some time before the project started.
With automation by robots and other acquisitions, the plant manager has gradually made the site fit for the future in recent years. For Monsig, Schuler's automatic blanking press represents a further investment in the company's competitiveness: “We already have initial orders for the new press until the end of the year, and naturally we hope that this will lead to many more.”
“There have been zero incidents of live stink bugs present in cargo unloaded at Oceania so far this season,” said Sunil Dhowan, Head of Port and Cargo operations, Oceania, WW Ocean. For Dhowan and his team, that statistic is the result of a lot of hard work behind the scenes by all involved.
Ensuring customers deliver pest-free products is a priority for the company. From the strict requirements it imposes regarding certified treatment, to the continuous communication with customers about the regulations, the company goes above and beyond to ensure everyone involved in the supply chain is working towards the common goal of preventing stink bugs reaching Australia and New Zealand.
WW Ocean only accepts cargo for shipping to Oceania that has been certified according to the Department of Agriculture’s regulations, and continues to take additional measures to ensure that all cargo onboard the vessels are free of biosecurity risk, whether at the terminals, during transit and on arrival at the destination port. Preparations to deal with the stink bug threat at the company's terminals began well in advance of the 2019-2020 season.
There are now 7,900 square metres of fumigation and heat treatment facilities at the dedicated treatment facility at the port of Zeebrugge, where more than 21,000 units of cargo have been treated since the start of the season. A number of improved processes have been put in place here for the current stink bug season, explained the terminal’s general manager Emmanuel Van Damme, including hard stops to avoid non-treated cargo being placed onboard a vessel, and a redesign of the terminal for improved segregation of cargo, which reduces the risk of cross-contamination. All of this activity is captured and controlled by the new global iTOMs terminal system, which was introduced at Zeebrugge last year.
Meanwhile, at the stink bug fumigation and heat treatment centres in Baltimore, the company recently added insulation and replaced heaters and doors to make treatment more sustainable and efficient, says Steve O’Malley, general manager, Mid-Atlantic Terminal.
Looking ahead to the 2020-2021 season, a new BMSB heat treatment facility is under construction at its terminal in Southampton in the UK. “It’s uncertain whether Britain will be added to the list of high-risk countries by Australia or New Zealand, but we will begin precautionary treatment regardless,” said Head of Terminals Brett Bennett. “When it comes to stink bugs, there is too much risk and potential cost for our customers and us to not be ahead of the game.”
Preparation for stink bugs doesn’t begin and end at the terminal, however. As Sunil Dhowan explained: “We need all legs of the logistics chain to manage biosecurity – from the customer’s factory and transport to the terminal and vessels themselves.”
The aim is always to deal with any bugs prior to the products being loaded onboard a vessel. But an extensive biosecurity management plan has also been developed to treat vessels before loading, which includes cleaning, inspections and insecticide spraying.
During transit, crew members conduct daily stink bug inspections on all cargo decks and vessels send ‘Daily Bug’ search reports via an online reporting system, which is tracked to ensure any bug activity is monitored. Vessel cargo holds are also fogged to rouse any remaining hibernating bugs so they can be dealt with prior to arrival in Oceania.
“Before cargo is discharged in Oceania, insecticide spraying and fogging of decks takes place in transit ports to ensure no live bugs are present,” explained Dhowan. A regulatory report is then provided to the authorities in Oceania, which is assessed before directions for berthing are issued. On arrival, quarantine inspectors carry out a thorough inspection before permission is given to allow products to be discharged. “We have put contingency plans with certified treatment providers in place to deal with any incidents,” added Dhowan.
“The 2019/2020 BMSB season has been uneventful so far,” concluded Bennett. “By reviewing the prior season’s performance, enhancing our processes and introducing new technologies, we have been able to provide effective treatment while meeting the growing volume demands and needs of our customers.”
Operating on behalf of customers in the automotive, aerospace, computer and hi-tech electronics sectors, the charters are designed to prevent production lines from stopping and to provide urgent stock replenishment for those which could not otherwise be supplied.
Working in close collaboration with its customers to meet their demands, CEVA has been able to move more than 4,700 tonnes of airfreight to date. More than 58 flights have already been completed, with an additional 28 to come over the coming seven weeks and many others to follow if necessary.
The majority of eastbound flights originated in Shanghai or Hong Kong and were destined for Chicago in the USA. A smaller number of flights were bound for Amsterdam, Bangkok, Brussels, Chennai, Dallas, Rickenbacker, Rockford, Sao Paulo, Singapore and Tokyo. Eastbound and other charters included East Midlands to Bangkok, Hong Kong and Brussels, Hanoi to Singapore, and Hong Kong to Tokyo.
Guillaume Col, CEVA Logistics’ Chief Operating Officer, says: “Working extremely closely with our customers, we have been able to deliver a robust charter programme to adapt to these difficult circumstances. Acting in close collaboration with the rest of the CMA CGM Group, we are striving to offer fast and accessible alternatives to our clients throughout the world in order to help keep the global economy moving.”