Five to six trains per week have been using this route since summer.
Combined with a local "door-to-door" service, this alternative offering reduces congestion on European roads as well as the carbon footprint of freight on this corridor.
This new transport service is aimed at companies that export goods from Spain and Portugal to the north of France, Germany, Benelux countries and Eastern Europe, or that import from these countries, for sectors such as retail distribution, automotive and industrial.
The service is operated by Geodis which provides an end-to-end logistics solution with a 1,100 kilometres railway line between Hendaye and Metz, with local delivery by road for the final miles. In the long term, a Paris stopover at Geodis' logistics platform in Bonneuil-sur-Marne is planned.
"This new multimodal service will take up to 11,500 trucks off the road each year," said Olivier Royer, Executive Vice President Road Transport at Geodis. "Beyond the driver shortage and road congestion situation which we are currently facing, we will see a real impact on the carbon footprint of freight between France and Spain by significantly reducing CO2 emissions per ton transported."
The "door-to-door" service operated by Geodis includes cross-docking in its own warehouses located at each end of the line, as well as freight transport from Metz to final delivery points in Northern Europe or the Iberian Peninsula, using its own fleet of vehicles.
"This multimodal solution makes it possible to achieve flows with a transit time similar to that of road haulage," explained Olivier Royer. "In this way we can guarantee high volume transport at a reasonable cost, while eliminating certain factors such rising diesel prices, seasonal fluctuations in heavy goods vehicle transport or the cost of return trips that normally impact transport by truck."
A freight tracking and management system has also been set up to allow customers to learn the location of their shipment in real time. Geodis also ensures its customers guaranteed service by offering alternative transport by road with the help of 3,800 vehicles from the Geodis fleet or from its transport partners in the event of an incident.
The drone is a result of collaboration between the Škoda brand's logistics department and the Czech company Robodrone, and is paving the way to implementing drone-assisted stocktaking in everyday operations in future.
Michael Oeljeklaus, Škoda Auto Board Member for Production and Logistics, stressed, "We are continuously working on improving the efficiency of our everyday production processes and making work easier for our employees. Drones assist with and speed up the stocktaking process. As a key pillar of our 2025 Strategy, such processes will take place completely automatically in everyday operations in future."
With its six rotors, the drone based on Robodrone's 'Kingfisher' model can fly up to 20 km/h and can carry a load of up to 5 kg. During the current testing phase, it fully autonomously records the number of empty containers outside a factory hall in Mladá Boleslav three times per day. The data are then automatically transferred to the IT systems at Škoda Auto's logistics department, where they can be processed.
As GPS is not precise enough to determine the locations of the containers, the drone is equipped with LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology to accurately measure speed and distance. A LIDAR sensor captures up to 300,000 images per second. The drone navigates using a 3D map, which is created based on this technology. Simultaneously it detects and counts the equipment containers all thanks to algorithms.
Up until now, this kind of technology was not available on the market – Škoda Auto therefore developed the algorithms specifically for this application in collaboration with Czech company Robodrone Industries. In total, the car manufacturer invested around 200,000 euros in this technological innovation.
Test operations have been running since May. In the medium term, the drone will be seamlessly integrated into regular operations – in the second development phase, the 'Kingfisher' will get its own 'nest': the battery-powered device will then be able to autonomously navigate to a charging station. This will also be equipped with a weather station which will provide the drone with information about the weather at short notice.
Furthermore, the Board of CEVA Logistics has agreed to CMA CGM's offer to CEVA Logistics' shareholders wishing to exit their investment in CEVA Logistics to purchase their shares for CHF30.00 per share ($30.00). The Board of Directors unanimously believe that the partnership with CMA CGM will provide an attractive value proposition to shareholders in the mid and long term. CEVA Logistics and CMA CGM have agreed that CEVA Logistics will remain a listed company with an arm's length business relationship with CMA CGM.
CEVA Logistics and CMA CGM are convinced of the substantial growth and value creation potential of this joint industrial project and future strategic collaboration. The industrial project between CEVA Logistics and CMA will generate new commercial opportunities supported by an investment in digital transformation and further increased operational efficiency to deliver a strong and sustainable value creation to shareholders and customers.
As part of the broadened partnership, CEVA Logistics has agreed to purchase CMA CGM's freight management business at a price to be agreed upon (failing agreement to be determined by an independent appraisal) for cash or shares. CMA CGM's freight management business is a highly synergetic addition to CEVA Logistics.
CEVA Logistics shareholders with a preference for a short term exit will be provided with an alternative of CHF 30.00 per share in cash. This exit alternative will be provided in the form of a tender offer by CMA CGM which is open to all shareholders. CMA CGM is contractually obliged to formally publish the offer by means of a pre-announcement at the latest on 30 November 2018.
As a condition for CMA CGM agreeing to transfer to CEVA Logistics its freight management business and its obligation to offer an exit option to shareholders at CHF 30.00 per share, the Board of Directors of CEVA Logistics AG has agreed that CMA CGM's tender obligation in case of a third party offer is waived with immediate effect, but shall be reinstalled if the offer of CMA CGM is not carried out as agreed.
Work began on the construction of the facility in July; Imperial Logistics will take over its operation in April 2019. From JadeWeserPort, parts will be despatched to over 25 locations in 15 countries including Mexico, China and the United States.
Explains Thomas Zernechel, head of Volkswagen Group logistics: "The decision to locate the facility in Wilhelmshaven is of strategic importance for the Volkswagen Group. The JadeWeserPort is the only deep-water port in Germany. With this new packaging site we will create a direct link to a port which enables us to transport parts using the largest vessels in the world."
Adds Remy Hoeffler, Director of the automotive business unit at Imperial Logistics International: "We are happy and proud to have been selected to manage and operate this new and important packaging centre for the Volkswagen, Audi and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands.
"The contract complements our existing relationship with the Volkswagen Group at ten other locations in Germany, Poland, Hungary and South Africa, employing a combined workforce of 3,600. We look forward to this further new opportunity to support the global expansion of the Volkswagen Group with efficient logistics services."
The Packaging Centre will include four halls with a total area of more than 40,000 square metre. Around 7,000 different Audi, Volkswagen and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles parts will be delivered in to the Willhelmshaven facility, and will then be loaded into some 250 containers per week; this corresponds to more than 12,000 40′ high cube containers per year.
The Packaging Centre will create approximately 500 new jobs at Imperial Logistics, which is staging a local recruitment drive.
In doing so, Continental is pooling its in-house expertise in original and aftermarket equipment for automotive drive systems under a single strong brand.
Rolf Sudmann, who is responsible for the aftermarket business for drive systems at Continental, explains why that makes sense: "The automotive innovations of today are the workshop business of tomorrow. Thanks to our corporation-wide synergies, our customers can have confidence in our ability to promptly adapt current OE trends to the special needs of the aftermarket. That means we can offer demand-driven solutions that will prove a hit for distributors with their workshop customers."
During the brand shift, Continental has also updated its packaging design, with large-format images on the boxes illustrating which products they contain. Furthermore, the packaging is unaffected by oil and dirt, meaning that important information retains long-term legibility even in the harsh conditions that are part and parcel of workshop life.
The popular QR codes providing a cross-reference to free-of-charge installation tips and additional services are included on the new packagings, too. Distributors will also benefit from the new design because they can now distribute all aftermarket parts for automotive drive components from Continental under the same brand. "That will definitely ensure greater clarity on the shelf," said Sudmann.
Modern vehicle technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Hybrid and high-voltage technology, intelligent assistance systems and connected electronic systems pose significant challenges automotive workshops have to face.
On top of this, there is a vast variety of versions for each vehicle model and type. The first challenge for the service technicians is to locate the component in question in first place.
Combining Augmented Reality applications with the ActiveSchematics technology, vehicle-specific wiring and block diagrams can now be visualised case specific and in real time. For service technicians, this results in faster repairs and prevention of mistakes during the specific tasks.
Bosch performed a field study in order to analyse the benefits of using Augmented Reality applications in everyday workshop life. Augmented Reality allows time savings of 15% in average per step taken – even on common vehicles and in case of less sophisticated repair tasks such as e.g. removing specific components.
Once the service technician points his tablet computer or smart glasses onto an area on the vehicle's engine compartment featuring AR information, useful information is added to the real image. In this manner, even the location of components hidden behind panels can be displayed visually.
Once the service technician identifies the vehicle, its equipment and its technical peculiarities by means of the VIN number, he will only receive the information required for the specific vehicle as he continues with the following steps. For this purpose, Bosch combines two of its solutions: ActiveSchematics and its Augmented Reality Platform (CAP). Once the error pattern has been read out of the fault memory, ActiveSchematics creates the relevant wiring diagrams for the specific error pattern.
Doing so, it only takes those components into consideration that are actually installed at the vehicle. This allows displaying a case specific overview while the Augmented Reality application shows the information right at the place where it is needed by the service technician. For straightforward content generation, Bosch imports the data directly from engineering. This reduces the creation efforts and allows immediate and flexible implementation and release of technical advancements.
It eases both the fault isolation and the identification of the components affected. In addition, it saves time as service technicians don't have to go through various manuals to find the problem resolution, but can start repairing right away. Therefore, focusing on information relevant for the specific vehicle and error pattern, the combined use of Augmented Reality applications and ActiveSchematics also help avoiding unnecessary repair steps, mistakes and thus save costs.