Three big companies, Schenker, TNT Logistics and Exel, have emerged as leaders in Europe's auto logistics.
Schenker's business has grown considerably since it was bought last September by Deutsche Bahn, the German state railroad.
Deutsche Bahn, which sold Schenker in the 1990s, admitted the sell-off was a "strategic mistake." The German rail operator has now chosen Schenker to spearhead its new-look logistics business, focusing on the automotive, high-tech, consumer and industrial sectors.
Schenker has close ties with German automakers while rivals TNT Logistics and Exel have customers spread throughout Europe.
Automakers such as Volkswagen and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen also act as their own logistics companies.
By the end of 2004 General Motors aims to manage 90 percent of its logistical needs through Vector SCM, its joint venture with CNF.
Schenker, TNT and Exel are present in the lucrative aftermarket but general logistics companies such as DHL are also players.
Automakers are starting to realize they need big companies to support them in new, low-cost manufacturing locations such as central Europe or China. As manufacturers diversify their supply chains in those regions they will count heavily on large logistics firms for help.
2002 auto-related sales: E1.1billion
Schenker is perceived by industry observers to be less aggressive than its big two rivals, but its advantage is the volume of business that it does with the big German vehicle manufacturers. Unlike both Exel and TNT logistics, Schenker has a strong presence in finished vehicle logistics as well as inbound logistics and the aftermarket.
45130 Essen, Germany
Tel.: + 49 201 878 10
2002 European sales (auto-related sales not available): E2.4 billion
TNT Logistics is one of the world's largest logistics companies. The automotive sector is central to TNT Logistics' business. TNT Logistics doesn't have a presence in Europe in finished vehicles, but has strong capabilities in both inbound and aftermarket services as well as areas such as packaging/pallet services and tires. Unlike Schenker, its customers are spread fairly evenly across various European countries and companies.
TNT Global Head Office
2132 JA Hoofddorp, Netherlands
Tel +31 080 012 34
2002 auto-related sales (estimate): E750m
Exel's ability to support its customers in so many locations around the world is one of its great strengths. Exel has successfully repositioned itself as a logistics manager rather than simply being a provider of physical assets. The best example is the Ford "Nirvana" contract in which Exel is responsible for the management and purchasing of Ford's inbound logistics services in Europe. Rather than having a strong base in one country Exel has a presence across the continent and is well represented in locations such as central Europe.
RG12 1AW, United Kingdom
Tel +44 134 430 2000
Other important auto logistics suppliers
Logistics is an important sector for all vehicle manufacturers, despite the auto industry's trend to outsource. The large logistics organizations that are partly or wholly owned by the vehicle manufacturers rival even the three top independent logistics companies.
Vector SCM is General Motors' joint venture with CNF. GM says that 90 percent of all its transport needs will be managed and purchased through the joint venture by the end of this year. This will account for spending of about E1 billion.
Vector SCM GmbH
Frankfurter Strasse 71-75
65760 Eschborn, Germany
Tel +49 619 676 99100
Volkswagen Transport, a subsidiary of the VW group, is an important player for almost all types of logistics services. For example, VWT charters its own shipping services from Germany to Mexico and operates one of Europe's largest packaging fleets. VWT is essentially a management company so it gives VW group the ability to work the logistics market -- leading to frequent complaints from other logistics companies that they don't know whether VWT is a customer or a competitor.
Volkswagen Transport GmbH
Hesslinger Strasse 12
38436 Wolfsburg Germany
Tel +49 536 126 31110
Automotive aftermarket logistics is a far easier market for general logistics companies to enter and succeed in than the field of vehicle logistics. As a result the sector is much more fragmented. The big players include Schenker, TNT Logistics, Exel and the following:
2002 logistics division sales: E9.1 billion.
DHL has a major warehousing and transport capability in Europe and across the world. This makes the company a big player in aftermarket logistics services. Large customers include Fiat and Bosch.
Peter Merian-Strasse 88
4002 Basel, Switzerland
+41 612 747 474
2002 estimated logistics division sales: E1 billion (55% auto-related business)
CAT Logistics is the service parts arm of Caterpillar. The company has used its considerable expertise in warehousing and worldwide presence to aggressively enter the aftermarket. CAT already has important contracts with Ford and DaimlerChrysler. It is likely that CAT will benefit from any consolidation in the sector. The company has previously considered major acquisitions but says it currently is not considering any.
1800 Vilvoorde (Koningslo), Belgium
+32 226 346 22
2002 sales: E793 million (auto activities account for 30%-50%)
Christian Salvesen does not have the resources of its bigger rivals in aftermarket logistics, but still has important business with customers including DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Mazda, Volvo and Toyota. Christian Salvesen has had a difficult time recently and it would be a good candidate for acquisition by one of the big players looking to expand market share.
Northampton, NN5 7TU, UK
+44 160 475 9900
2002 vehicles moved: 4.5 million
2002 sales: E1 billion
AutoLogic has aggressively grown by acquiring logistics companies throughout Europe. It now has operations in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands. The group has not yet integrated all its new national companies but is undoubtedly the leading independent distributor of finished vehicles in Europe.
One of AutoLogic's most important investments was in Groupe CAT. Formerly part of Renault, Groupe CAT is one of the most sophisticated finished vehicle businesses with a volume of 2.6 million vehicles in 2002. Autologic owns 40 percent of Groupe CAT.
5 Upper St Martins Lane
London WC2H 9EA, UK
Tel. +44 207 420 0555
82 Rue du Pont du Jour
92017 Boulogne-Billancourt, France
Tel. +33 141 037 001
2002 vehicles moved: 3 million
2002 sales (automotive logistics-related business): approximately E1.1 billion
Schenker is a leader among large car movers in Europe by road or rail. Schenker is owned by the German national railway company Deutsche Bahn and has close ties with German automakers. The question for the future is whether the company will be responsive enough to grow as part of a state-owned enterprise.
45130 Essen, Germany
Tel.: + 49 201 878 10
2002 vehicles moved: 2.6 million
2002 sales (auto logistics-related business): E300 million
The STVA Group is a subsidiary of SNCF, the French national railway company, and is the leading carrier for Ford France and Opel France. STVA is in charge of shipping all the cars these two manufacturers produce for the French market. STVA shifts large volumes of cars by rail but has started to buy into road-based companies such as Egerland to become more responsive to automakers' logistical needs.
Immeuble Le Cardinet BP 826
75828 Paris Cedex, France
Tel. +33 144 855 678
2002 vehicles moved: 3 million
2002 sales (automotive logistics-related business): E987 million
GEFCO, one of Europe's big logistics operators, is also the transport arm of PSA/Peugeot-Citroen -- and that is its problem. Other auto manufacturers are often reluctant to become too reliant on GEFCO.
77/81 rue des Lilas d'Espagne
F-92402 Courbevoie Cedex, France
Tel. +33 149 052 121
2002 vehicles moved: 1.5 million
2002 sales (auto logistics-related business): E1.2 billion
Grimaldi dominates vehicle logistics in Italy with substantial shipping, road transport and storage capabilities. Grimaldi is Fiat's main logistics partner and its traffic has fallen in recent years due in part to Fiat's difficulties.
Grimaldi Compagnia di Navigazione SpA
Via Marchese Campodisola 13
80133 Naples, Italy
Tel. +39 081 496 226
About 8 million vehicles are moved between the Far East, North America and Europe each year using special "roll-on, roll-off" vessels. The three biggest players in this area are:
NYK Bulkship (Europe) Ltd.
57 Berkley Square
London WX1, UK
+44 207 663 8100
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Lines
1324 Lysaker, Norway
+47 675 841 00
Mitsui OSK Bulk Shipping (Europe) Ltd
6th Floor, Dexter House,
Royal Mint Court
London EC3N 4JR, UK
+44 207 265 768 2
Schneider Logistics is a new entrant to the European market. It is a subsidiary of Schneider National, one of America's biggest logistics providers. Its biggest US auto customer is General Motors. Schneider helps design and manage GM's aftermarket supply chain.
Schneider Logistics Europe BV
PO Box 240
5900 AE Venlo, Netherlands
Tel. +31 773 248 080