Mercedes-Benz has set up a new hub for transporting new vehicles from Europe to Asia. The new hub in the Slovenian port of Koper started operating at the end of 2015. This measure is part of the strategic realignment of Mercedes-Benz Cars’ Supply Chain Management function in connection with the “Mercedes-Benz 2020” growth strategy.

“The opening of our hub in the port of Koper is the latest milestone in the ongoing development of our global logistics network,” said Alexander Koesling, Head of Supply Chain Management Mercedes-Benz Cars. “This new Mediterranean hub gives us a southern route with major advantages in terms of flexibility and costs for shipping connections between Europe and Asia.The port of Koper has service providers with a great deal of experience with automobile shipments, and offers outstanding infrastructure. This makes Koper the ideal partner for us as a premium manufacturer.” After Bremerhaven (Germany) and Zeebrügge (Belgium), the Slovenian port is the third important European hub for Mercedes-Benz for exporting vehicles to overseas markets.
Vehicles from various European plants will be shipped to China, Singapore and Brunei via Koper. Most of the vehicles shipped via Koper come from the Mercedes-Benz plants in Sindelfingen, Rastatt and Kecskemét (Hungary), as well as the smart production plants in Hambach (France) and Novo Mesto (Slovenia). Koper complements the existing shipping ports Bremerhaven, which still handles the largest volume of vehicles, as well as Zeebrügge, which still serves destinations such as Australia, South Africa and Mexico via a western route.

The Supply Chain Management specialists at Mercedes-Benz Cars analyzed numerous Mediterranean ports over the last two years before choosing the location.
The decision was made in favor of Koper, which lies south of Trieste on the Adriatic Sea. The location significantly reduces transportation distances on land and above all at sea. Depending on the destination, the transferring freight via Koper can significantly reduce transit times by up to one week. The new concept also offers substantial benefits from an environmental perspective. Depending on the destination country, the transfers per ship circuit are up to 8,800 kilometers shorter than the previous transfer from Bremerhaven, saving around 60,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

Koper is one of the largest Mediterranean ports for automobile transportation. Until now it was used as a base to serve Mediterranean connections in Europe, Turkey and North Africa, and to process imports from the Far East. The Mercedes-Benz hub now adds overseas vehicle exports to the list. The contracting partners are the port Luka Koper, the Slovenian logistics service provider Intereuropa, the RoRo Carrier MOL (Mitsui O.S.K. Lines), the rail service providers Schenker and Altmann, as well as numerous forwarding agents.

Source: Daimler AG