DB Cargo's component transports supply two automotive plants in Shenyang in the Chinese province of Liaoning. These primarily produce sport utility vehicles (SUVs), which the Chinese market can't get enough of. Since 2011, DB Cargo Logistics GmbH has been using this service to transport BMW components by rail for vehicle production in China. The containers pass through three countries along the way (Poland, Belarus and Russia) and switch track gauge twice. Under the existing contract, which has now been renewed, two to three trains normally run from Regensburg and Leipzig to China on a weekly basis.
DB Cargo Logistics' train system is also open to third parties and offers a high level of flexibility. "BMW AG gives us weekly reports on its transport volumes, which makes it possible for us to market spare capacity on the train, for instance to other automotive manufacturers," says Ina Schollen, Senior Account Manager, DB Cargo Logistics. "That way, we can make sure that there is always sufficient capacity available for BMW to transport its cargo to China."
For Martin Fildebrandt, Head of the Sales & Operations Centre Components at DB Cargo Logistics, being flexible while maintaining process stability is central to the long-term strategic partnership between BMW and DB Cargo Logistics and is also a major reason why the contract for one of DB Cargo Logistics' largest single transactions on the Eurasian land bridge has been renewed for another three years.
Rail can position itself between ocean and air freight as a cost-effective alternative. It has very clear cost benefits compared to air freight. The advantage compared to the long ocean voyage is the maximum journey time DB Cargo Logistics guarantees for rail-based transport – just half the equivalent for ocean freight. When transporting the components, DB Cargo Logistics sets great store by the estimated time of arrival. There has also been a key innovation in the transports for BMW: from now on, DB Cargo Logistics will equip the transport containers with GPS trackers. This will ensure maximum transparency in the future, with BMW given direct access via the LINC platform to the tracking data obtained. LINC is DB Cargo Logistics' internal order processing tool for all component transports. It integrates all the service providers involved in the transport.
"We are pleased that BMW has renewed the agreement and will continue to take advantage of the strong performance by DB Cargo Logistics in transporting goods to China. This opens up a new chapter in our excellent collaboration with BMW," says Martin Fildebrandt.