Keeping critical materials moving from Morocco to Portugal

Every year 150,000 ships pass through the Straits of Gibraltar. As a crucial shipping lane which connects Europe to Africa, severe weather can have a significant effect on the automotive industry which relies on just-in-time deliveries from North Africa. One OEM manufacturer was facing significant delays in March 2023 with just-in-time materials, that needed to get from Morocco to Portugal within a strict deadline. If the parts failed to get there; the financial impact would be substantial.


European automotive manufacturers were starting to use safety stocks and facing a backlog of materials due to several delays caused by the changes in weather patterns. The severe weather meant the region’s automotive supply chains had reached a standstill. With time of the essence, suppliers and manufacturers turned to time-critical logistics to ensure their shipments arrived on time.

An Evolution Time Critical OEM client was experiencing significant challenges with just-in-time materials that cross the Gibraltar straits. To maintain production, the client urgently needed to transport their goods from Morocco to Portugal by air to avoid the incredibly rough seas.

  • Critical materials needed to be moved from Morocco to keep production lines operating.
  • Road transport was not possible due to the disruptions caused by the severe weather making crossing the Gibraltar Straits very difficult.
  • Queues were building up at the ports awaiting the weather clearing up.
  • Morocco to Europe is a high-traffic lane; air transport is the only option when there is disruption.
  • Complexities with Morocco and European customs need to be managed, along with traffic rights for aircraft and crew duty hours. This results in a complex operation with many moving parts that need to come together at the right time

Overcoming a complex challenge

When the OEM client first contacted Evolution, our experienced analysts assessed the challenge. With a team that has extensive knowledge in multi-modal transport methods, Evolution created a bespoke transport solution including:

  • Immediately sending collection vehicles to collect the goods before the warehouse and customs closed for the evening.
  • Sourcing the most appropriate aircraft and applying for flight permits.
  • Briefing the arrival airport and applying for late arrival of the inbound aircraft.
  • Booking and positioning collection vehicles to ensure the fastest offload possible.

Evolution’s team designed a transport plan ensuring the complex moving parts came together to provide an ultra-smooth operation.  The goods arrived at the airport to meet the aircraft on time and were immediately loaded. The aircraft departed as Evolution had planned and arrived within minutes of the scheduled time. Once offloaded, customs were completed quickly so the delivery vehicle could drive straight to the manufacturing facility to meet the team to unload the vehicle and escort the goods directly to the production line.

Consequently, production was upheld without interruptions.


The results of an intricate operation

The OEM client saw significant benefits from working with Evolution, and they met their deadline precisely as planned.  Our unwavering dedication to our clients ensures their supply chains’ resilience. McKinsey reports have revealed on average, 45% of a year’s profits for companies can be jeopardized due to disruptions in production lines. Time-critical logistics served the OEM client to diminish chances of financial impact, leading to key strategic goals being achieved.

  • The entire operation, including customs formalities, was completed in less than 8 hours from collection to delivery.
  • Communications and paperwork were prioritised to ensure the loading and delivery were completed, which meant the client was delighted.
Designing a bespoke operation in minutes

Precision execution and communication

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In these challenging times, Evolution Time Critical is committed to providing reliable and efficient premium logistics services to ensure that our clients' shipments reach their destinations on time, every time. Contact us today to learn how we can help you meet your urgent logistics needs.
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