2016 new model launch intensity poses fresh challenges for automotive supply chain

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AutomotiveContingency LogisticsPremium Freight

Emergency logistics expert ready for increased OEM demand ahead of bumper automotive production year

Major vehicle manufacturers are already teasing multiple new model launches a month ahead of the Geneva Motor Show, inspiring consumer interest in 2016 range introductions and updates. However, emergency logistics expert Evolution Time Critical warns that the continued time contraction of automotive production timescales, which is required to meet evolving manufacturer demand, is placing increased pressure on a globalised supply chain. As a result, heightened production flexibility in 2016 must be supported by strategic supply chain focus and the continued emergence of innovatively robust contingency.

“Global vehicle production is intensifying in established locations and rapidly growing production hubs in emerging countries such as India, which is representative of global vehicle demand for the newest model or latest trim options pack,” says Evolution Time Critical managing director, Brad Brennan. “Such issues drive time contraction in the industry, which is a trend that we first identified in 2015. We introduced new emergency logistics methods as a solution, and we expect demand to be intensified throughout 2016.”

In the last year the increase in demand for emergency logistics expertise has mirrored automotive industry growth: as the industry has expanded Evolution Time Critical experienced a 19% yearly revenue increase. “Figures support what we have experienced in the last 12-18 months: that the automotive industry now better understands the benefits of emergency logistics provision, to not only protect against supply chain fractures but enable ambitious new production schedules,” continues Brennan.

“Evolution Time Critical has been called on to help make strategic use of production downtime, rather than serving only as a dependable, ultra-time-sensitive logistics provider,” he explains. “We’ve completed a number of complex shipments of vehicle tooling to either enable specification upgrades or optimise production start-time, using innovative methods to complete projects that have previously not been possible: we’re no longer expected to just provide the components, but the ability to manufacturer them. As the industry becomes increasingly busy and suppliers are placed under intensified pressure, we anticipate an increase in demand for such critical projects.”

The provision of premium freight may also grow in prominence as a primary logistics route for high-value components, the emergency logistics expert advises. Vehicle manufacturers cannot risk jeopardising low stocks of high-cost, potentially fragile components such as high-resolution touchscreens destined for use in premium models: “As a result, premium freight provides an attractive option that safeguards delivery and protects components from damage in transit – premium vehicle manufacturers would rather pay a high price for a premium service, rather than face the potential downtime and subsequent reputational damage caused by part failure and delivery delays,” concludes Brennan. “It is an attitude that is representative of an exciting, innovative and busy year ahead.”

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