WLTP deadline and diesel sales downturn heighten auto industry premium freight dependence

The rise in prominence of Low Emission Zones (LEZ) in major cities and the future banning of older diesel vehicles is driving a downturn in diesel sales and a sharp rise in the popularity of gasoline and electrified vehicle powertrains. This shift in consumer buying habits is placing added strain on OEMs and suppliers of key emissions reduction components for gasoline engines, resulting in an increased reliance on emergency logistics expertise to sustain progressively lean supply.

The change in consumer buying is further compounded by New Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) standards, which all new vehicles must adhere to from September 1st. All new vehicles will publish new WLTP-measured fuel consumption figures from January 1st 2019 and are required to meet stringent new CO2 emissions targets 12 months later. According to emergency logistics expert, Evolution Time Critical, some large-scale vehicle manufacturers are facing additional downtime while switching to WLTP, while major Tier suppliers are expediting shipments using premium freight in order to meet the rising demand of components that enable reduced emissions and greater efficiency under the new standards.
“Suppliers of components that are vital to achieving reduced emissions under WLTP procedures have experienced an increased demand and an expectation for reduced lead-times as manufacturers battle to meet new legislation and consumers are physically buying more gasoline-powered cars,” says Evolution Time Critical managing director, Brad Brennan. “This has led to a perfect storm scenario whereby manufacturers are facing two separate requirements for increased short-term capacity: preparation for new legislation and the growing consumer demand for non-diesel powertrain. Put simply, nuanced new car demand exists that could not have been previously accounted for. We have consequently been working proactively with a number of suppliers who are seeking premium freight options that accelerate shipments through air charter to manufacturers.
“In recent years,” concludes Brennan, “vehicle manufacturers have identified the vital safety net provided by working with an ultra-responsive logistics partner; such safeguarding can become a vital competitive advantage when the industry is adapting to new legislation. We will continue working proactively with manufacturers to avoid prolonged interruptions that could lead to finished vehicle shipment delays.”

cargo-partner sees revenues rise on airfreight growth

Austria-based logistics firm cargo-partner has posted a 2% rise in its consolidated turnover for 2017, at €698m. Net profit for the year totalled €6m.

Chief executive Stefan Krauter said: “We had a successful start into the business year and have achieved volume growths in all our business areas. The general upward trend was further strengthened by the global economic upswing.”

Cargo-partner handled a total of 1,001,500 shipments in 2017, 90,000 more than in the previous year.

The logistics provider’s airfreight volumes rose by 23% to 171,000 tonnes over the 12-month period. Its sea freight and trucking divisions also registered growth, handling 1,831,000 tonnes and 1,018,000 tonnes of cargo respectively.

cargo-partner highlighted several developments that contributed to “substantial growth” in its contract logistics activities. For example, it recently invested in a new 1,500 sq m warehouse in Sofia and expanded its logistics centre in Dunaiska Streda from 7,200 sq m to 14,200 sq m. The latter will grow by a further 4,000 sq m by the end of this year.

 The company has built a new 12,200 sq m iLogistics Centre near Vienna Airport; that facility is set to open this Autumn. This Winter will see the opening of a new 3,000 sq m warehouse in Hong Kong while a 25,000 sq m warehouse in Ljubljana will commence operations in 2019.

New warehouse locations added in 2017 included Hamburg (4,900 sq m), as well as Clarksville, Tennessee and Chicago, Illinois (14,000 sq m each).

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76% of employees in the travel, transport & logistics industry are looking for better physical and mental wellbeing support in the workplace

With a rise in workplace-related stress, illnesses and mental health issues, 52% of working adults in the travel, transport and logistics industry believe that businesses are not doing enough to support the physical and mental wellbeing of their employees, according to a new study.

Current treatments such as health check-ups, cognitive behavioural therapy and chiropractic treatment are provided by the NHS, through National Insurance contributions, but 80% of those surveyed by Westfield Health stated that the NHS does not have the budget to provide wellbeing services like these.

So is National Insurance becoming unfit for purpose? Employees in the travel, transport and logistics industry don’t seem to know, with only 24% of employees knowing how much National Insurance they pay and only 40% knowing how much of the contribution goes where, be it the NHS, social security or their state pension.

With an ageing workforce and more hours spent in the office than ever, should the NHS’s frontline resources continue to be used for wellbeing services? The research found that 72% of workers in the travel, transport and logistics industry would like to see the Government do more to promote their physical and mental wellbeing. And the vast majority 76% believe that their employers are specifically not doing enough to help employees deal with work-related stress, anxiety and other mental health issues.

Similar to the recent rollout of the workplace pension opt-out, could a government-backed auto-enrolment scheme for wellbeing programmes – funded by employers and by a portion of employees’ National Insurance contributions – be one of the solutions to address the NHS’s long-term financial needs?

Certainly the appetite is there in the travel, transport and logistics industry with employees particularly prone to sedentary behaviour, poor nutrition and sleep deprivation, impacting on their overall health and productivity. As a result, 68% of employees stated they’d use wellbeing services if their employer provided them.

The top things they would like to be offered are:

  1. Health check-ups 53%
  2. Back care and posture 53%
  3. Access to a gym 41%

David Capper, Commercial Director of Westfield Health, said: “The total number of UK working days lost to stress, anxiety and depression resulting from long working hours is 12.5million days. Therefore, it makes sense for employers to relieve some of the pressure through wellbeing initiatives. Not only would they be supporting our economy, they’ll make huge cost savings by looking after their staff’s health, with presenteeism now costing businesses up to three times more than absenteeism**.

“From sleep to nutrition and mental health to physical fitness, there are so many elements that contribute to your overall wellness, happiness and healthiness. In the travel, transport and logistics industry, staff are particularly prone to being sedentary for long periods of time without a break at work, which puts them at serious risk of developing health problems such as heart problems, diabetes, cancer and weight gain.

“As business leaders, we need to create a culture where our people’s health and wellbeing is prioritised to drive confidence, capability, inspiration and ultimately prosperity.”

Research conducted by Westfield Health in April 2018, surveying 2,025 UK employees.
*Source – Active Working Survey, 2017
**Source – Deloitte UK Mental Health Monitor, October 2017