The award ceremony from the European Logistics Excellence Awards took place during the “bestLog Conference” in Brussels. The Mercedes-Benz Plant Untertürkheim as a finalist, received the 2nd price for its successful centralisation of its global outbound logistics activities based on economic and ecological objectives. The plant has centralised its global outbound logistics activities during the last years at Stuttgart’s inner harbour. The Mercedes-Benz Central Shipping Department replaces the shipping areas of each of the seven sub-plants in the Neckar valley. Since its completion in December 2007, axles, transmissions and engines have been leaving the plant via the new site to destinations all over the world. The decision leading to the centralisation of global outbound logistics was based on economic, ecological and socio-economical ojectives.

The new location close to the transhipment terminals of SCT (Stuttgart Container Terminal GmbH) enables the efficient use of multimodal transportation. Thus, after the implementation of the Mercedes-Benz Central Shipping Department, the share of alternative transport carriers (inland waterways and rail) rose to 75 percent. The centralisation also resulted in various synergies. In comparison to the previous situation the same amount of powertrain units can now be handled with fewer forklift trucks, reduced storage capacity and less transportation. This has led to annual savings of €7.5 million, equivalent to a cost decrease of over 30 percent.

At present, 330 employees work at the Mercedes-Benz Central Shipping Department. They ensure the supply of international customers, such as Mercedes-Benz US-International (MBUSI) in Tuscaloosa/USA or BBDC in Beijing/China with powertrain components. Their tasks go far beyond the conventional understanding of outbound logistics including e.g. the preservation and packing of parts and kits as well as quality management and packaging development.

Sustainable outbound logistics
Due to a trimodal transport concept (rail, inland waterways, road) the number of long-haul trips by road to the ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp has been reduced in 2008 by 5,000 trips, which is equivalent to a reduction of approximately 5,000 tons of CO2 emissions.