Reporting 2020

On the move

BLG LOGISTICS is one of Europe’s leading automobile logistics companies. Almost five million vehicles were handled, trans­ported or technically processed in the Group’s network in 2020. Using all forms of transportation – road, rail and water – the company covers the entire service chain from the manufacturer to the final customer. Read on to find out about four locations in our widespread network.

vehicles can be parked at the auto terminal

These are exciting times in automobile logistics. E-mobility is competing with the internal combustion engine, standards of climate and resource protection are rising and the digital transformation is creating new business fields. In 2020, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in the Asia-Pacific region created the world’s largest free-trade zone, with currently 2.2 billion people. And then a global pandemic arrived on top of these fundamental transformations – triggering volatile reactions on the markets.

As a global logistics service provider, BLG is in the business of negotiating these opportunities and risks. The company loads and unloads more than 1,400 car carriers and operates 1,500 of its own AutoRail wagons, 560 trucks and seven barges on the Rhine and Danube per year. At BLG, the wheels never stop turning. Not least because we don’t just react to change, we proactively shape the future ourselves. With smart digital solutions and sus­tainable concepts for climate-friendly transport. The company consistently develops and expands its logistics network so that it can offer services on all forms of transport from one source.

Transports go through a large number of national and international BLG locations. Here, we take a closer look at four examples: The first is Bremerhaven. It’s the largest hub and a base for international departures and arrivals. St. Petersburg, the gateway to Russia, the Caucasus and other CIS states. This is a market BLG penetrated even further in 2020. Falkenberg is the heart of our rail-bound logistics, an area which is becoming increasingly important for our customers’ climate goals. The inland port of Duisburg is a modern turnstile for vehicles from the factories of various car manufacturers in the Czech Republic and Slovakia – and the German terminus of the New Silk Road.

1st station: Bremerhaven

On outdoor parking lots and in multi-story parking garages, the AutoTerminal in Bremerhaven provides space for up to 95,000 cars ahead of handling. With a ground space larger than Monaco, Bremerhaven is one of the world’s largest automobile ports.

Automobile handling is becoming ever more complex. That’s because today there are more suppliers, more destination ports and vastly more vehicle models. BLG has made this complexity manageable with a new, intelligent control system in Bremerhaven. The relevant research project has been underway since 2018. Its name is ISABELLA. In various phases, Isabella integrates a large number of additional aspects which will also change the work of the employees at the terminal. The basis for the new technology is an order planning control system.

In Russia, BLG sends off more than 70 car transporters every day
St. Petersburg

Vehicles arrive at the port by ship from manufacturers in the USA, Mexico or Asia. Then they continue on their journey to European dealers by road or rail. Conversely, European manufacturers ship cars from Bremerhaven to destinations around the globe. For our customers, we move hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year. Even for smaller orders, the BLG promise to provide the right routes and manage complex tasks applies – whether the job is for 100 or 100,000 vehicles.

Since 2020, BLG has been supporting the Chinese startup Aiways with its market entry into Europe. After customs clearance and quality inspection by BLG in Bremerhaven, goods travel by road to the stores of electronics retail chain Euronics, the sales partner of the Chinese electric car manufacturer.Transparency is important to BLG. Customers can track their transports in real time. The coronavirus pandemic is highlighting just how robust and high-performance the BLG network is. Despite the difficult conditions, BLG performs orders flexibly, on-schedule and reliably.

2nd station: St. Petersburg

Vehicles are regularly shipped from Bremerhaven to the strategically important port of St. Petersburg. Then the vehicles are further transported from the port of St. Petersburg using all the transport carriers in the BLG portfolio. Mainly by truck or van, BLG delivers the vehicles for example to Moscow, and since last year also over thousands of kilometers to the Caucasus or countries such as Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. This means BLG’s international transport network stretches over six time zones from Western Europe to deep in the East.

Via St. Petersburg, BLG LOGISTICS delivers vehicles produced overseas or in Russia to Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Every day, BLG sends more than 70 of its own vehicle transporters as well as trucks belonging to subcontractors onto the roads in Russia. This figure has almost doubled since 2017.

In the Caucasus, the transports take five to seven days. The route snakes through remote and spectacular landscapes, past majestic mountain ranges. What delights the eye represents a major logistical challenge that can only be surmounted with cutting-edge technology such as vehicle tracking systems. This tech is installed in all BLG trucks in Russia. During initial trips on new routes, the company gathered important information about permits, border crossings and optimal routes.

The Caucasus region has massive potential as part of China’s New Silk Road project. What is possibly the greatest infrastructure project of all times is building a network that stretches from Java to Kazakhstan, and from Djibouti to Duisburg. In the future, shipments will also travel from St. Petersburg to the Caucasus by train.

km of rail track are installed on the site in Falkenberg

3rd station: Falkenberg

The current trend in automobile logistics is to transfer more volume away from the roads and onto railroads. That supports climate protection goals. In Falkenberg/Elster, a goods train rolls in, carrying 240 vehicles. Away from the picturesque cities, the train has traveled through Kutna Hora and Usti nad Labem to cross the border for the last time in Decin. The BLG railway junction in Southern Brandenburg provides inter­national connections to and from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. Every week in Bratislava, BLG takes over more than 500 rail wagons of new vehicles, then assembles them into trains for national and international destinations in its own marshalling yard in Falkenberg.

Smart return-shipment concepts cut down empty trips, with an extensive logistics network ensuring the necessary capacity utilization. Our customers are always at the center of what we do and can rely on a tailor-made solution every time.

Now in its tenth year in 2021, BLG RailTec is embracing alternative drive concepts beyond the internal combustion engine. For example, it is converting rail wagons to run exclusively on batteries and fitting them with rack systems. The company operates its own workshop with ten work stations and mobile deployment teams. This ensures perfectly timed throughput for the most reliable wagon service in Europe.

vehicles handled per year

4th station: Duisburg

Duisburg is a relatively recent addition to the BLG network. More than 150,000 vehicles per year pass through this logistics hub for rail, road and waterway transport. The range of services includes cargo handling and storage, inspection, repairs, installations and modifications as well as refinishing and smart repairs. In 2017, the technical processing area was increased to 7,500 square meters. For remarketing purposes, there is even a studio that can provide 360-degree images of interiors, exterior views and manual detail shots of the vehicles.

The location is also equipped for processing electric cars. In 2020, more than 1,000 vehicles from the Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Aiways arrived at the Duisburg hub. Sustainability is also an important consideration here: waste water is purified so that all work at the terminal requires a proportion of just 14 percent of fresh water.

square-meter technical center

5th station: Back in Bremerhaven

Included on site are three technical centers where more than 300 BLG employees carry out technical conversions at the request of customers. They install air conditioning and entertainment systems, navigation systems, leather seats, sports rims or spoilers. On an area of more than 300,000 m², BLG offers its customers an extended workbench with several car wash lines, finishing booths, underbody coating systems and lifting platforms. Every year, Bremerhaven upgrades some 400,000 vehicles ahead of further transport. This makes the BLG facility in Bremerhaven one of Europe’s largest automobile workshops.

The BLG Group, with its AUTOMOBILE Division, is ready for all changes – technically for topics such as e-mobility, in terms of its network for challenges such as the New Silk Road or the major Asian free-trade zone and on rails for climate-friendly transports. Because BLG plans to stay on the move in the future.