Tailored Container Management for the Automotive Industry

Supply chain management in the automotive industry is extremely complex. Globalisation, increasing levels of individualisation and new powertrain concepts are just some of the trends making for challenging conditions in the field of production logistics. Only with the aid of expertly networked processes, can OEMs and suppliers deliver seamless vehicle production, as well as “just-in-time” and “just-in-sequence” delivery to the production line. Again and again, the industry is faced with the question of how to optimise logistics processes and reduce costs.

CHEP Automotive and Industrial Solutions sees plenty of untapped potential in container management. Vehicle manufacturers and suppliers can save up to 25 percent of all logistics costs along the value chain by using load carriers from a multi-user shared container pool. The rental of standardised reusable containers from an external pooling provider has a great many benefits – it dispenses not only with the cost of purchasing in-house containers, but also the expense associated with transport, handling and loss. The concept is also environmentally friendly, as transportation routes can be reduced significantly.

The specialist service provider has many years of experience in the automotive industry, and helps OEMs and suppliers alike to increase the efficiency of their global flow of goods. Among the customers of CHEP Automotive and Industrial Solutions is vehicle manufacturer Opel/Vauxhall – with one million vehicles produced in 2012 – CHEP’s second largest customer. In 2012, CHEP saw an average of around seven CHEP containers per vehicle delivered to Opel/Vauxhall assembly lines. In 2013 CHEP celebrated twenty years of partnership with Opel/Vauxhall.

Frank Reibold, Supervisor Container Management at General Motors says, “Within its supply chain, GM uses only the most cost-effective, efficient and innovative methods. Sustainability is especially important. For the last 20 years, CHEP has been helping us manage the empty container flows in a manner that not only keeps costs down, but also conserves resources. Every day, we benefit from the reusable containers provided on-demand, the professional service and the short transportation routes that the company is able to offer on account of its global network. Recent years have seen CHEP support us again and again with new, individual solutions, ensuring that this partnership remains an important element of our supply logistics.”

CHEP established its automotive division in Europe in 1993, meeting the supply-chain needs of the Opel factories in Rüsselsheim and Bochum with small and large-load carriers. Over the years that followed, both companies continuously expanded their cooperation until Opel decided in 2006 to use CHEP’s large-load carriers for goods transportation from the USA and Canada to Strasbourg. In 2008 the collaboration was extended by CHEP offering a Managed Service solution for the container management of Opel/.Vauxhall-own assets. A few years later, standardised small-load carriers from the pooling provider were also introduced into the Strasbourg and St. Petersburg plants. The current contract between Opel/Vauxhall and CHEP is running until 2016, and CHEP is keen on continuing and further developing this successful partnership.

Luca Rossi, Vice President Automotive and Industrial Solutions at CHEP, explains, “We see ourselves as a full-service provider and can do more for our customers than rent containers. We work together to develop tailor-made solutions that offer real added value all the way along the supply chain. In 2008, for instance, we implemented an SAP management system at GM that enables real-time inquiry in all European factories and provides an overview of container inventory and movements. In 1998, we also set up a managed service for GM. Within this model, we manage customer containers that can’t be pooled, allowing them to concentrate fully on their core business.”

Since 1975, CHEP Automotive and Industrial Solutions has helped car manufacturers, automotive suppliers and companies from other industry sectors with its environmentally friendly, cost-saving, multi-user shared container pooling service to reduce their total supply chain cost per part while improving their efficiency and environmental footprint. Today, four of the 10 largest car manufacturers and nine of the top 15 Tier One suppliers use CHEP’s service. CHEP is part of Brambles Limited, headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

Source: CHEP Automotive and Industrial Solutions