One of the crucial success factors for any After-Sales Service is the comprehensive and prompt supply of replacement parts. At Daimler AG, this is achieved by a high-performance logistics system. The Global Logistics Center (GLC) in Germersheim in the Southern Palatinate is the hub that ensures this parts supply.

The central depot was taken into operation 20 years ago, on July 16th, 1990. Since then, Daimler AG’s GLC, located on a peninsula in the Altrhein River with an area of 1.8 million square meters, has been serving 1,400 customers worldwide with parts and accessories for Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicles and passenger cars. From its inception, it was Europe’s largest and most modern distribution center for car parts.

Andreas Moch, Head of the Global Logistics Center: “Pooling the global replacement parts supply for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars and commercial vehicles in one location was the right step, taken at the right time. Today, we are the largest central depot for car parts in the automotive sector, and we are well prepared to meet any challenges the future may have in store for us. Thanks to our flexible and highly motivated employees, and thanks to our modern logistics systems, we are fully able to meet the demands of our customers.”

Today, the central depot is also responsible for the supply of spare parts for other brands, including Maybach, smart, Mitsubishi FUSO, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge. Since the plant began operations in 1990, the GLC was expanded in several stages, and the storage area has since doubled in size. Together with its branch locations in Wörth, Ettlingen, Offenbach an der Queich and Hatten in France, the GLC has more than a million square meters of storage area, which makes it the largest central car parts depot in the automotive industry worldwide.

Committed employees and a global service network
Germersheim is supplier to the Group’s distributors in Europe and overseas. Overall, the GLC provides more than 1,400 customers in all countries with parts and accessories. From wheel nuts for the smart to a complete bodyshell of the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren sports car, the GLC keeps all parts on store – more than 520,000 different parts are available at all times. Another 500,000 parts can be procured upon customer request. Around 2,900 qualified employees work in the GLC. Equipped with mobile communications systems, high-performing materials handling equipment, driverless transport systems and automated order picking systems, they dispatch more than 50,000 order form items per workday. The goods are forwarded by truck, ship or plane. On average, 325 truckloads with a total weight of approximately 1,500 tons leave the GLC each day. Since it began operations in 1990, the GLC has shipped more than 240 million part items all over the world. “Our logistics systems allow us to provide the customers of our premium models with the corresponding premium service”, said the Head of the GLC, Andreas Moch. “These immense flows of goods can be handled because of our sophisticated processes and global network.”

Excellent energy efficiency
Sustainability is firmly entrenched in the day-to-day processes at the Global Logistics Center: Its energy and water consumption, as well as its emissions, are constantly being improved. The energy consumption of the storage area was reduced by more than half in the past twenty years with more efficient facilities and systems being installed. Already in designing the central depot, in the early 1980s, the architects paid attention to ensure that the environment would be subjected to as little strain as possible by the construction and operation of the facility. Approximately EUR 1.8 million were invested into planting the island with trees and shrubs.

24/7 supply with replacement parts
In order to keep replacement part availability worldwide for prompt shipment, and to put vehicles back on the road as quickly as possible, the GLC provides its spare parts services on a 24/7 basis. On-call staff ensures that in emergencies, a large share of the product range can be ordered and delivered even on weekends or public holidays.

Replacement parts are available many years after end of production
Besides ensuring that the current model series have spare parts available, the GLC also keeps the classic products of the company in its sights: replacement parts will be kept available long after the production for a model series has ended, depending on the requirements of the market and demand for the parts.

Facts and figures
– Approximately 2,900 employees
– 1,400 customers in all countries
– Around 1 million square meters of effective storage area
– Around 520,000 parts kept in store
– 50,000 order form items shipped per workday
– 325 trucks per day; outgoing goods have a shipping weight totaling 1,500 tons

Chronicle of the Global Logistics Center
10/1981: Design of a central depot for replacement parts for Daimler-Benz AG passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

01/1983: Daimler-Benz AG purchases the 180 hectare site on the “Insel Grün” island from the municipality of Germersheim. At the time, this is the largest single industrial area in the Federal Republic of Germany.

06/1984: First ground breaking ceremony and start of earth moving work.

04/1986: Official start of construction for what was then the largest construction site in Europe; in the course of the project, 1,000 construction workers poured up to 1,000 m³ of concrete per day.

July 16th, 1990: The central depot in Germersheim is taken into operation.

1994 – 1996: First extension of the Global Logistics Center by 47,000 m².

11/2000: First ground breaking ceremony for the next extension of the GLC by an additional 295,000 m² of storage area and areas housing mechanical facilities.

12/2001: The GLC accessories storage in Offenbach an der Queich is taken into operation.

12/2001: Construction of the branch warehouse in Hatten/France is commenced.

11/2002: The branch warehouse in Hatten/France is taken into operation.

06/2005: The newly constructed service center with an employee health center is inaugurated.

07/2009: The warranty inspection center (GBZ) by which the Offenbach branch was expanded is taken into operation.

03/2010: Decision to construct a day nursery on the plant site for employees. Construction is set to commence in autumn of 2010.

Source: Daimler AG