Automotive Purchasing Weekly 22 February 2016 - page 22

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Mercedes-BenzusesSlovenianport
inKoper to transport passenger cars
17 February 2016 | Supply Chain
Mercedes-Benz has set up a new hub for
transporting new vehicles from Europe to
Asia. The started operating at the end of
2015.
This measure is part of the strategic
realignment of Mercedes-Benz Cars’ Supply
Chain Management function in connection
with the “Mercedes-Benz 2020” growth
strategy.
“The opening of our hub in the port
of Koper is the latest milestone in the
ongoing development of our global logistics
network,” said Alexander Koesling, Head of
Supply Chain Management Mercedes-Benz
Cars. “This new Mediterranean hub gives
us a southern route with major advantages
in terms of flexibility and costs for shipping
connections between Europe and Asia. The
port of Koper has service providers with a
great deal of experience with automobile
shipments,
and
offers
outstanding
infrastructure. This makes Koper the ideal
partner for us as a premium manufacturer.”
After
Bremerhaven
(Germany)
and
Zeebrügge (Belgium), the Slovenian port
is the third important European hub for
Mercedes-Benz for exporting vehicles to
overseas markets.
Vehicles from various European plants
will be shipped to China, Singapore and
Brunei via Koper. Most of the vehicles
shipped via Koper come from the Mercedes-
Benz plants in Sindelfingen, Rastatt and
Kecskemét (Hungary), as well as the smart
production plants in Hambach (France) and
Novo Mesto (Slovenia). Koper complements
the existing shipping ports Bremerhaven,
which still handles the largest volume of
vehicles, as well as Zeebrügge, which still
serves destinations such as Australia, South
Africa and Mexico via a western route.
The
Supply
Chain
Management
specialists at Mercedes-Benz Cars analysed
numerous Mediterranean ports over the
last two years before choosing the location.
The decision was made in favor of Koper,
which lies south of Trieste on the Adriatic
Sea. The location significantly reduces
transportation distances on land and above
all at sea. Depending on the destination, the
transferring freight via Koper can significantly
reduce transit times by up to one week.
The new concept also offers substantial
benefits from an environmental perspective.
Depending on the destination country, the
transfers per ship circuit are up to 8,800
km shorter than the previous transfer from
Bremerhaven, saving around 60,000 tons of
CO2 emissions per year.
Koper is one of the largest Mediterranean
ports for automobile transportation. Until now
it was used as a base to serve Mediterranean
connections in Europe, Turkey and North
Africa, and to process imports from the Far
East. The Mercedes-Benz hub now adds
overseas vehicle exports to the list. The
contracting partners are the port Luka Koper,
the Slovenian logistics service provider
Intereuropa, the RoRo Carrier MOL, the rail
service providers Schenker and Altmann, as
well as numerous forwarding agents.
Paragonopensoffice inChina
16 February 2016 | Supply Chain
Paragon, the UK’s leading provider of routing and scheduling software solutions, has set up
a wholly owned subsidiary in Shanghai as part of its continued commitment to the Chinese
market.
This latest development will enable
Paragon to contract directly with local
businesses or international organisations
operating within the country, supporting its
global growth strategy.
After initially operating via the China-
Britain Business Council’s launchpad
scheme, Paragon has completed the formal
processes that are required to operate in
China as a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise
(WFOE). This status enables companies
to operate as a full legal entity in China
allowing them to employ their own staff and
enter into contracts directly instead of via an
overseas-based parent company.
“We have an expanding presence in Asia,
but our projects in China to date have all
been contracted through the UK business,”
explained William Salter, Managing Director
of Paragon Software Systems. “We wanted to
be in a better position to serve our customers
on the ground by delivering a direct service
and local support. Shanghai was selected
as the location of the office based on
the number of international companies
launching their Chinese operations there.”
The logistics industry in China is facing
some significant challenges. With tighter
emission controls in many cities, there
is now a serious shortage of compliant
commercial vehicles, while restrictions on
deliveries during normal business hours has
created planning difficulties when operating
in densely-populated urban areas. When
combinedwith increasingwages in the sector
this is driving the need for greater levels
of transport optimisation. Furthermore, an
expanding middle class has led to growing
domestic spending power, added consumer
expectations and changing buying habits,
which has placed added pressure on the
supply chain.
“With the growing need for local
transport operators to be more efficient,
it is an ideal time for us to open our China
operation. We are now well-placed to help
these organisations make best possible
use of their drivers and vehicles, delivering
benefits including improved service levels
and reduced costs,” commented Salter.
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