Wissmann: Partnership key to successful logistics
Logistics Congress with VDA President Wissmann and State Secretary Scheuer
Berlin/Wolfsburg, 21 February 2011. "Logistics is a top-level factor affecting employment in Germany,” said Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), at the VDA’s 10th Logistics Congress in the German town of Wolfsburg. With 2.7 million employees and a turnover of 200 bn euro in 2009, this industry represents a very significant pillar within the German national economy. "Germany is the most successful logistics nation in the world; it comes top in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index. Our logistics sector leads the world in punctuality and quality,” Wissmann stressed.
"For the automotive industry, logistics is the belt that drives the supply chain. This is where all those involved in the production and delivery process meet – from the manufacturers and the suppliers to the logistics providers. Partnership and good co-operation among all the players in the supply chain are the keys to successful logistics,” Wissmann continued. It had been shown, especially during the economic and financial crisis, "just how important it is to have stable customer-supplier relations, to be able to react to volatile market requirements in a concerted manner at any time.” Falling production had resulted in the supply chains being cleared out. "In 2010, however, the markets expanded surprisingly strongly, and demand made a quantum jump. The logistics providers had to switch, as it were, from hard braking to full acceleration,” VDA President Wissmann emphasised. He added that both industry and logistics service providers had made an excellent job of overcoming this challenge.
A suitable infrastructure, Wissmann continued, was also necessary for high-performance logistics that could meet the demands placed on climate-friendly transport. He stated, "Every day a portion of the savings achieved in fuel consumption is wiped out again in congestion. We are therefore pleased to see that as of 2011 the toll revenues are being spent on the road infrastructure.” He went on to say that another possible way of reducing CO2 emissions from freight traffic was to use longer truck combinations, which could transport the same quantity of freight in fewer vehicles, emitting less carbon dioxide. "It is therefore right and proper that the German Government wishes to keep the field trial with long trucks going,” the VDA president said.
Andreas Scheuer, member of the German Bundestag and Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Traffic, Building and Urban Affairs, paid tribute to the important role of the automotive industry and logistics for the German economy, and the good co-operation and close dovetailing of the two branches of industry. Scheuer, who is also the German Government’s co-ordinator for freight transport and logistics, added: "The automotive and logistics industries are the forces driving economic growth in Germany. They have made a good recovery from the financial and economic crisis and are now running at full speed again.” He also emphasised the automotive industry’s major role in the development of alternative powertrains: "The automotive industry has a strong drive for innovation and over and over again it finds solutions to the challenges of the time, especially in the area of electric mobility,” he said. "The Government supports this development. We are promoting environmentally friendly vans and trucks, for example in the government project entitled "E-Stadtlogistik” ("E-Urban Logistics”) in Berlin. Parcels and goods are delivered by electric trucks and electric vans. That reduces the noise and exhaust that people are exposed to.”
The VDA’s Logistics Congress has been an annual event since 2002 and is Europe’s most important forum surrounding logistics in the automotive industry. More than 250 logistics experts are meeting at the VDA’s 10th Logistics Congress – which has the slogan "Logistics on the move – partnership for flexibility and efficiency.” It is being held on the MobileLifeCampus in Wolfsburg on 21 and 22 February 2011, and provides the participants with an opportunity to exchange experiences and to attend specialist events on the topics of contract logistics, supply chain agility, intermodal transport, aftermarket, packaging management and RFID. The congress is organised by the VDA in co-operation with DB Schenker, DEKRA, ITA, Lufthansa Cargo and Volkswagen.