Imperial and Sincero set up a joint venture in China
“We’ve been able to consolidate our position with OEMs as a strong and competent concept provider through Sincero’s exceptionally well-developed infrastructure and Imperial’s many years of business relations with German automobile manufacturers,” said Rémy Hoeffler, Imperial’s Automotive International Director, during the signing of the contract on 15 March this year in Shanghai. Hoeffler continued, “We’re transferring our specialist knowledge and our experience in automobile logistics to the Chinese market in conjunction with Sincero.”
“We’ve been working with Imperial Shanghai in other divisions in a reliable business relationship based on trust for several years,” Sincero’s CEO Jiang Jun added. “It was therefore only logical that we would place our partnership in the automobile logistics field on a more solid footing and gear it towards the future,” Jiang Jun continued.
Imperial has been operating in the Chinese market through its subsidiary Shanghai Imperial International Freight Forwarding Co., Ltd since 2012. Imperial decided to move to the Chinese market thanks to a customer in the Retail & Consumer Goods business unit; Imperial was supporting its expansion in Asia with logistics services. Alongside this, Imperial diversified its business operations. Freight forwarding services for overland traffic and sea and air freight, warehousing, customs clearance and organising integrated supply chain solutions are now all part of the range of services provided by Imperial Shanghai. The company is also certified as a Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) in China. Other customers are found in the chemical and steel industries. The company operates its own warehouse in the Baoshan district of Shanghai and can make use of a network of eleven more warehouses in various Asian countries like Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea along the industrially developed coastal zones.
The Chinese corporate group Sincero focuses on five divisions: imports and exports and international freight forwarding (air and sea freight), automobile logistics, integrated logistics, contract manufacturing and pre-assembly work for precision components for the automobile industry and customer support. Jiang Jun is the company’s CEO. Automobile logistics is the largest division within the Sincero Group. Its customers in the automobile industry include well-known OEMs like the Chinese auto manufacturer Dongfeng, Honda, Nissan and PSA (Peugeot Société Anonyme), but few European OEMs. The partial services provided in the automotive division include vehicle, production and spare parts logistics. Sincero makes use of an extensive vehicle fleet and a dense network of 11 regional distribution centres among whole China. Sincero serves 327 cities in 32 provinces in its vehicle logistics business.
Imperial Logistics International
As a wholly owned subsidiary of the South African company Imperial Holdings Limited, Imperial Logistics International is responsible for coordinating and managing all the international logistics business of Imperial Holdings Limited outside Africa. The varied portfolio of services at Imperial Logistics International, which has its headquarters in Duisburg, is separated into two divisions: the Group pools all its transport services in the Shipping, Road and Express Freight business units in the Imperial Transport Solutions division. The Imperial Supply Chain Solutions division covers all the services in the contract logistics, contract manufacturing and warehousing sectors for the Automotive, Industrial, Retail and Chemicals business units. Working together, both divisions provide a full and transparent range of services from one source along the complete supply chain. Beyond its pure logistics services, Imperial Logistics International has also become established as a process consultant for third parties, a fleet manager for outside car fleets and a provider of insurance services related to particular sectors. Imperial Logistics International employs more than 8,300 people and, including the new acquisition, Palletways, generates turnover amounting to EUR 1.6 billion at 170 business locations. www.imperial-international.com
Imperial services for the automotive industry
Imperial handles complex procurement, production and in-plant logistics on behalf of renowned automobile manufacturers in Germany and Eastern Europe. Its logistics centres and automatic, small parts supply facilities close to assembly plants form the basis for this. It copes with complicated planning operations for shipping and warehousing and ensures that the information channel is maintained between the first-tier parts suppliers and the auto makers. To achieve this, it makes use of the skills of more than 3,500 employees at 22 sites in Germany, the Czech Republic, England, France, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
Regardless of whether this involves wiring harnesses for the vehicle’s electronics, parts for engines or steel rollers used for bodywork – Imperial monitors receipt of the parts and components, places them in temporary storage and provides pre-assembly services. It places construction components and pre-assembled modules in standardised containers designed to meet the needs of production. They are then forwarded to the assembly line just-in-time or in exactly the sequence needed for production. It also makes JIT deliveries of steel coils used for bodywork from its consignment warehouses to carmakers’ press shops. This also involves comprehensively managing returned shipping equipment and transferring goods between plants and suppliers. If required, it can act as lead logistics provider (LLP) to manage and coordinate the entire supply chain for all the incoming and outgoing components for a car model. Its computer-support warehouse management system, which is networked with customers, forms the heart of this strategy.
Imperial’s portfolio of services for the automotive industry includes:
Procurement logistics and warehouse management
In-plant logistics: managing incoming goods, storage, outgoing goods
Transferring items to standardised, small parts containers provided by OEMs
Managing empty containers and racks, including recycling and sorting empties
A flow of information alongside the flow of goods
Just-in-time and just-in-sequence deliveries to assembly lines in small batch containers
Shuttle transportation between logistic centres, outside warehouses and connected plant sites
Handling traffic at plant sites
Automated, sequenced loading of tugger trains, including transfers to vehicle manufacturers
Supplying assembly operations using automated small parts warehouses