BLG Automotive Logistics confident about North American market . . .

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Intermodal News  International Trade  

BLG Automotive Logistics confident about North American market Shippers concerned about US port congestionBy Manik Mehta, AJOTBremen based BLG Automotive Logistics, the automotive business division of BLG, is confident about the North American market despite the current economic uncertainties coupled with a weak US dollar which would normally have a restraining effect on imports into the United States. “Exports from Germany to North America have been growing despite the strong Euro and the economic problems in the United States. Imports of American OEM products from the United States and Germany have declined (particularly Chrysler cars). German car manufacturers producing in the United States have recorded increased exports to Germany,” Wolfgang Stoever, the sales director of BLG Automotive Logistics, told the American Journal of Transportation. German car exports to the United States are generally much stronger than imports from the United States, according to Stoever. BLG Automotive Logistics posted a nine percent growth in Bremerhaven for the first four months of the current year. The company recorded a growth of four percent in traffic to North America. About 400,000 vehicles were shipped from Bremerhaven to North America in 2007. Automobile production in Germany continues to be strong, driven mainly by exports rather than domestic demand. “It remains to be seen how the North American market progresses further as we go along. Compared to the American and Asian producers, the German manufacturers have not – yet – been affected by market downturn,” Stoever added.
According to BLG Automobile Logistics, German shippers report about frequent congestions at ports in the United States, and call for modernization and expansion of the existing infrastructure that is inadequate to cope with the pressures of increasing traffic. “Naturally, we do not ourselves experience the problems at American ports … we get to know about them indirectly, for example, in talks with shipping companies. We get to hear that there are bottlenecks in capacity and space availability. We experience this when we are requested, for example, to keep cars longer in warehouses here in Bremerhaven because the capacity of American ports to accept them is limited. Models (of cars) introduced in the market are, in principle, kept here in warehouses and also buffered instead of in America. We also experience, from case to case involving large shipments, that it is not possible to have a meaningful, timely technical processing (in the United States), the main reason for this being the need to clear the terminals in the United States. A concrete reaction to the bottlenecks was, according to our information, a partial shifting of the shipments of BMW cars to the USA from Charleston to Brunswick,” Stoever explained. The Bremen based BLG Automotive Logistics integrates all services of vehicle logistics. Besides handling, storage and technical preparation in sea terminals, river and inland terminals, it provides transport services by rail, road, inland and coasting shipping, and a host of other services are offered, “A fleet of over 450 vehicle transporters regularly services more than 7,000 dealers in Europe. This represents a complete logistics chain from the automobile manufacturers to the end customer. In 2005 some 4.6 million vehicles were handled. That makes BLG the market leader in Europe,” says a BLG spokesman.
As one of the world’s biggest automobile shipment ports, Bremerhaven is used by European manufacturers who mainly ship their products to North America, East Asia and the Middle East. Imports originate mainly from Asia and the US. Some 1,300 automobile carriers annually dock at the terminal. With the migration of German automobile manufacturers to foreign sites, German brand vehicles are also being imported via Bremerhaven, as is the case with BMW and Mercedes vehicles that arrived from manufacturing facilities of the German automakers in the United States. Bremerhaven also operates in-house technical cent

American Journal of Transportation