Continued ETC growth, from Europe to America.
Following its acquisition by North American Metro Supply Chain Group, Evolution Time Critical has been able to maintain client focus and further enhance its supporting infrastructure: new Manchester offices have recently opened and the company is close to making a major announcement regarding its US presence.
“We are delighted by the continued business growth experienced in 2016, and proud that this has further enhanced Evolution Time Critical’s ability to provide bespoke solutions to new and long-standing clients exponentially,” says Evolution Time Critical managing director, Brad Brennan. “As a Metro Supply Chain Group company was have been able to continue as we were, but with greater capacity and capability to offer customers more. Our new offices in Manchester provide a leading-edge working environment for our specialists and are in line with the premium services we offer.”
Evolution Time Critical is also a Gold Sponsor of the inaugural UK Automotive Logistics Conference, as a demonstration of the company’s ongoing commitment to support the logistics and automotive industries. The conference, which is one of a global series in Detroit, Mexico, Germany, Russia, India and China, is held in October and attracts senior figures from vehicle manufacturers, Tier suppliers and logistics specialists.
Calais disturbance puts OEMs on standby
Following the latest Calais disturbances, a repeat of 2015’s Operation Stack could cost the British road freight industry up to £1m per day. The threat of tunnel and port delays, and subsequent potential temporary lockdown, is expected to heighten before the French government begins demolishing the Calais migrant camp – potentially as early as October 7th – which has been the focus of the latest cause of disturbances following a series of roadblocks. The aim is to reduce the number of migrants inhabiting the camps from around 9000 to 2000.
“The potential exists for a greater impact than the protracted Calais disturbances in 2015,” says Evolution Time Critical head of business development Graham Little. “At that time, as the tunnel was not a viable crossing point, we devised a new solution that intercepted road shipments in Europe and diverted to a centrally positioned air charter to allow us to fly over the blockades with sufficient components to enable continued production, but if new blockades were to affect both port and tunnel, we would foresee a much higher dependence on air freight. Evolution Time Critical continues to closely monitor the situation and analyse the most suitable emergency logistics resolutions should there be any escalations in the weeks ahead.”
Maritime freight stand-off raises supply chain issues
The financial problems affecting one of the world’s largest container shipping lines, Hanjin, and the resulting on-going impact on shipments currently at sea has been well-documented by news media. The situation is posing a number of questions for the automotive supply chain as uncertainty continues. At the time of publishing, reports cite cargo valued at $14 billion dollars and including automotive components as being stranded at sea within Hanjin vessels that are being refused permission to enter port.
“The current situation is effectively a stalemate, with many vessels unable to dock as ports and cargo handlers express concerns about how the issue will be resolved,” says Evolution Time Critical operations director, Andrew Hampson. “Fortunately, automotive components travelling by sea are subject to longer lead times, which buy vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers a window of opportunity; during this period, they can wait for a natural resolution, but if cargo is not released soon then contingency options must be sought.”
Hopes remain that the Korean government may agree a deal that could save the shipping company and enable the safe release of cargo. If this solution fails to materialise, premium freight alternatives would be able to bridge any gap in the supply chain resulting temporarily undeliverable sea freight, ensuring that vehicle manufacturers need not face potential production downtime.
Heightened pressure on air freight ahead of new mobile phone launch
The fever pitch launch of the new iPhone 7 threatens to place a premium on air freight, increasing prices and reducing availability. Previous Apple launches have led to the electronics giant requiring abnormally large air freight capacity, threatening to usurp standard air cargo.
“The market is warming up ahead of the new mobile phone launch, and we expect activity to increase significantly in the coming weeks,” says Evolution Time Critical Germany director, Steve Risby. “Availability of space coming out of Asia is expected to be tight in a month’s time, but at the moment it is not anticipated that it will affect existing shipments. Subject to the success of the new phone it is expected that rates and capacity would be affected proportionally as it continues to ship in increased numbers. Nevertheless, we continue to monitor the situation and the dedication of our team of experts ensures that there is always a contingency air freight option available to Evolution Time Critical.”