GEFCO pushes envelope as OEM needs evolve

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“Automotive manufacturing is a key part of the GEFCO portfolio” – GEFCO UK commercial director John Stocker

Logistics provider, GEFCO, says one of its key challenges in the frenetically advancing world of new vehicle technologies is how to maintain its position at the head of the queue when it comes to OEMs or suppliers choosing its delivery systems.

As vehicles move from conventional fossil fuels to a cocktail of petrol, diesel, hybrid, pure EV and possibly even hydrogen at some point, supply chain logistics have to factor in that mosaic of energy requirements to move cars to their final destination, whether that be an initial shipping port or final dealership.

“If I take a longer-term view, it is a logistical challenge to maintain our position at being at the forefront of supply chain logistics, working closely with manufacturers as technology changes,” GEFCO UK commercial director, John Stocker, told just-auto.

“The OEM will work in partnership with their suppliers – some customers we work exclusively with – others we are with a number of distribution partners they use.

“People tend to think of it as parts going into the factory, but it is a flow of vehicles going out. [Some] 80% of vehicles from the UK are exported. It [logistics] is fascinating- we are on this cusp of large technological moments – it is starting to become reality.

As well as addressing the new challenges posed by electrification, GEFCO has been particularly active of late, announcing the construction of a new GBP10m (US$12.2m) supply centre near the UK city of Liverpool creating 100 jobs and close to Jaguar Land Rover and Vauxhall.

Opening in August this year, the new 12,000m² facility marks the next step in the development of a blueprint for GEFCO’s supply chain programme, which will be rolled out in other locations worldwide and in which the logistics specialist is seeking to provide more in-depth services to customers.

“It is on track to be up and running [in August],” added Stocker. “The important thing – we tend to look for business where we add value. [We are] building this centre [Liverpool] to provide a range of value added services. The people [staff] will be warehouse operatives predominately, but they will be upskilled to perform a range of activities.

“Our business is geared around logistics for manufacturing and automotive manufacturing is a key part of the GEFCO portfolio. In Liverpool we are specially focussing on OEMs and Tier 1s. We [also] have a significant portfolio of business outside our traditional PSA base. This facility is designed for more than PSA activities. 

“The decision to be based in Liverpool was based on the market – that is where the clients are and where we had existing business. It is clearly generated by the fact we have significant business with a number of large OEMs some of which are UK-based.”

GEFCO is 75%-owned by railways giant, RZD, which, with 1.2m employees is the largest employer in Russia. PSA divested its majority stake in 2012, but recently inked a colossal EUR8bn (US$8.5bn) deal with GEFCO to manage the automaker’s entire global manufacturing supply chain for five years.

GEFCO will design and implement global logistics and transport solutions for the three PSA Group brands, Peugeot, Citroën and DS, as well as manage and optimise the entire supply chain, from sourcing components for production and assembly plants to distributing finished vehicles.

In addition to these outbound and inbound logistics services, GEFCO will be responsible for distributing spare parts.

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