[AL AWARDS Stories #4] Cross-docking deployment in Europe

31 May 2018

Cross-docking deployment is the fourth GEFCO finalist entry for the Automotive Logistics Awards Europe 2018, in the category “Inbound network optimisation award”.

Our experts have been challenged by a large car manufacturer to  deploy cross-docks all around Europe, involving  automotive expertise and continuous improvement goal.

What were the business challenges of this project?

GEFCO’s client is a large car manufacturer. Its suppliers are located across Europe, and are supplying almost 20 plants all around the continent. Supplying flows to the plants are organized based on volume, from smallgroupage to full truck loads.

Thegroupage alone represents a total of 1150 suppliers located in 14 countries. More than 6,500 tons are transported each week.

Initially, all supplier’s collection was divided between 25 different cross-docks in Europe, from which a large scale of linehauls were going to plants. 
With a focus on Inbound flows, our teams had to meet such customer’s expectations:

  • optimise and adapt groupage organisation to current volume
  • keep the same delivery frequencies 
  • keep the same transit time from suppliers to plants.

How did we make it more efficient?

FTL linehauls to all plants have been organized from a single point in each area. To make it possible, the collection is now done on 13 cross-docks instead of the initial 25.

This also involved the change management: 

  • collection had to be organised earlier due to distance increase for the 370 suppliers 
  • GEFCO had to align all plants frequencies 

This solution involved cross-dock knowledge, automotive expertise and continuous improvement goal. 

Performance and results

This reorganisation allowed the client to:

  • save on groupage flows
  • decrease the number of unloading points in its different plants
  • benefit of a faster delivery frequency (in average). 

Also, the number of GEFCO control tower was reduced to one instead of five for the first area (south of France), and 8 for the second one (eastern Europe).