General Motors Spain receives the ‘Excellence in Supply Chain Award’ for its “Mokka Project”

First edition of this recognition of the excellence of a supply chain within the framework of the European Supply Chain & Logistics Summit

The project involves the transportation of parts from Korea to the Port of Barcelona by sea and from there by rail and truck to the Opel plant in Zaragoza

The European Supply Chain & Logistics Summit, held in Barcelona from 15 to 17 June 2015, today presented the automobile company General Motors (GM) with the ‘Excellence in Supply Chain Award’, in recognition of the excellence and innovation demonstrated at all stages of the supply chain of the project for the production of the Opel Mokka in Spain. The prize, awarded for the first time within the framework of the 17th edition of the annual conference of the European Supply Chain & Logistics Summit, was collected by the CEO of GM Spain, Antonio Cobo.

The ‘Mokka Project “(working title “Production Project of Opel Mokka in Europe”) was conceived in 2013. The overall objective, with a completion time of one year, was to reduce delivery times for orders from European customers. To do this, a new production base was identified on the continent and – what is the reason for this award – the application of a concept of an adequate supply chain was defined; all with the date of completion scheduled for September 2014.

General Motors chose its plant in Figueruelas (Zaragoza) as the production site because of its high quality standards, productivity and professionalism. Moreover, the facilities and services offered by the Port of Barcelona and its rail link with Zaragoza were determining factors in choosing this port as the entry point to the Iberian Peninsula.

In June 2013 a multidisciplinary team involving GM and GEFCO (European logistics operator for GM) was established, with the aim of preparing the logistics architecture and supply chain management necessary to bring the vehicle components from Korea.

The supply chain concept implemented is KD-PBP (Knock Down-Part by Part). Through this system, GM Korea consolidates in a KD centre the parts needed from Korean suppliers for the assembly of vehicles and performs weekly container shipments by sea. Container occupancy is maximized through the use of various types of packaging according to the geometric characteristics and gross weight of the parts.

In September 2014 the “Mokka Project” began to be successfully implemented, with the European manufacture of the Opel Mokka at the GM Spain plant and a reduction in the delivery time of five weeks.

WTG Events chose this project as worthy of the award in recognition of the complexity of its supply chain, with a tight delivery time and the search for continuous improvement of model efficiency. Since the launch of the project, measures such as the internalisation and relocation of the supplier, packaging analysis, and direct shipments have been successfully implemented.

As the CEO of GM Spain, Antonio Cobo, said, “A key element to the success of the project Opel Mokka was the launch in record time of the supply chain of the components that come from the Asian country. The joint work carried out with GEFCO and the collaboration of companies and agents that are part of the supply chain such as the Port of Barcelona, ​​Maersk, Salvat, TMZ and Sesé, among others, has been fundamental”. “It is a well-synchronized configuration of cogs that help us sustain our industrial and commercial activity and that work with precision, reliability and consistency. A robust network of cogs that helps us on our way to creating the future,” said Cobo.

Regarding the “Mokka project”

Here are the different stages of the supply chain applied.

1- KD Centre of GM Korea

The KD centre (packaging and shipping warehouse) of the Korean subsidiary of General Motors is in charge of receiving the components needed by the Spanish subsidiary for manufacturing. The parts are sent weekly by container shipping. GM Korea delivers the goods to the port of Incheon on FOB terms (Free on Board), to ensure better coordination between the supplier and the shipping company.

2. Shipping

Maersk is the shipping company chosen by GM/GEFCO to carry out the transportation of containers from the port of Incheon (Korea) in Barcelona. The containers are transported by feeder services from Incheon to the Chinese port of Ningbo, where they arrive in Barcelona on a transoceanic container ship. The total time of the sea leg is 39 days. The service includes all connections until the container is loaded on the train. The standard transport equipment chosen for this project is a 40ft container of greater volumetric capacity.

3. Land transport to destination

The land transport service from the Port of Barcelona to the Deconsolidation Centre (managed by the Sesé group) is also the responsibility of Maersk.

Every day, complete trains are loaded at the Port of Barcelona, operated by TCB Railway, which are sent to the maritime terminal of Zaragoza (TMZ). If necessary, several daily departures can be made. The additional volume of the operation Mokka has consolidated the TMZ terminal as the second domestic maritime freight terminal in Spain. There is a commitment to unload all the containers received in Barcelona during the weekly stopover before the arrival of the next ship. The containers are transported by road to the Deconsolidation Centre as soon as possible.

Once they arrive at TMZ, the containers are stacked according to the day of arrival, under a FIFO system (First in, First out), with an estimated stay of one week. The containers are transported 24 hours a day on platform trucks from TMZ to the Deconsolidation Centre.

Maersk has created a personalised web tracking tool for this project, to facilitate communication between those involved, and has launched an intranet to enable the exchange of documents.

4- Deconsolidation Centre

The company designated by GM/GEFCO to manage the Deconsolidation Centre is the Sesé group, which manages a building of 30,000 m2 in the industrial estate of El Pradillo near the plant of GM Spain. The main activities of this centre are: deconsolidation of sea containers; repackaging and/or transfer; and regulation of material according to automated requests for material issued by GM Spain.

All this works within a framework of electronic data interchange (EDI), using advanced digitising and inventory management systems. The warehouse stores a safety stock of one week for each reference and has implemented a system of minimum stock enabling them to act quickly in case of a contingency. The Deconsolidation Centre operates in three shifts and their activity levels are set by the production program of GM Spain.

Customs Clearance

Customs clearance of all products is carried out in a specific department in the facilities of GM Spain. GM/GEFCO has entrusted the operator Salvat with issuing the simplified rail traffic documents between the Port of Barcelona and TMZ. It is also responsible for issuing the document T1, relevant in the case of urgent transport by road, and for coordinating with land transport agents and customs authorities.

Source and photo: Port of Barcelona

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