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The following information is an outline of the articles to be featured in the Packaging & Container Management supplement, which will be published in January with the Jan-March issue of Automotive Logistics and Finished Vehicle Logistics magazines

This page will be updated regularly as  new stories are developed and confirmed.

If you would like to advertise in the supplement or know more about sponsored content opportunities, then please contact:

Gavin Andrews
Account Director
Tel: +44 (0) 208 987 0908
Email: gavin.andrews@automotivelogistics.media

If you would like to receive a copy of the supplement, then please subscribe to Automotive Logistics and Finished Vehicle Logistics.

Editorial Summary


Standards in packaging and labelling


Containers and packaging for inbound parts need to be properly managed so they are available where and when needed. This relates to standardisation in two key respects: there needs to be proper trackable labelling of the packaging to make the process of managing parts deliveries more efficient – something packaging suppliers are already helping to drive; and a more universal standard of packaging onto which those labels are put.

This article will focus on tier suppliers in North America, looking at how they are working with the OEMs and their packaging suppliers – as well as associations such as the AIAG – to bring greater standardisation to packaging in the interests of a more efficient inbound supply chain.


EV battery packaging – a safer way to move dangerous goods

Forecasts suggest there will be 10m electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by 2020, with China and Europe leading the trend backed by government regulation to cut emissions. This means more lithium batteries moving around in their own dedicated supply chain. As hazardous cargo, however, there are special considerations for the packaging provider when dealing with batteries.

In this article, we look at the main considerations an OEM and their packaging provider need to keep in mind and the regulations governing the shipment of lithium batteries, including how the packaging supplier works with the battery supplier, logistics provider and carmaker in safely transporting lithium batteries from point of origin to EV assembly plant.


Expendable vs returnable in the global supply chain

Expendable packaging is traditionally the primary choice for moving automotive parts on global lanes in ocean containers because of the costs and logistics hurdles involved in shipping returnables back. Maintaining visibility over returnable containers on intercontinental delivery routes is also difficult.

Expendable packaging is wasteful, however, and not as good at presenting components to the line. On top of that, returnable packaging lasts longer, increases quality in parts delivery and improves cube optimisation. Moreover, 3PLs now have better asset management systems for tracking them and pooling networks offer manufacturers the chance to use returnable equipment on a rental basis.

This article will look at the moves towards using returnable packaging on intercontinental flows, what the main reasons for doing so are and how pooling systems can help to control and manage packaging assets.


Smart packaging for the aftermarket

The traditional idea of vehicle ownership is shifting towards something more like fleet ownership, as shared and fractional ownership schemes take off and ride-hailing services proliferate. Vehicles will require more regular servicing and uptime of the vehicle is a major priority, meaning so too is the timely delivery of aftermarket parts to service centres. What role does packaging play in this and how can the latest packaging technology help to ensure fast and accurate delivery of parts to the dealers? This article will examine smart packaging for the shipment of aftermarket parts and what the main priorities are for the OEM and suppliers of those parts.


VW’s cross-brand export plan

VW is opening a packaging centre at Jade-Weser-Port in Wilhelmshaven in 2019 that it says will bring greater efficiency to container management for global exports of parts from Germany. One change the carmaker is instituting with this centre is a cross-brand approach to parts shipments. It will package up to 7,000 different part lines for Audi, Volkswagen and VW Commercial Vehicles. This article will focus on VW’s export packaging strategy and outline the advances the Wilhelmshaven facility promises.


Priorities for knockdown packaging

Many OEMs transport complete knockdown kits (CKDs) of their vehicles overseas in containers for reassembly in the markets in which those vehicles are sold. There are various reasons for this, including lower tariffs on imported kits in containers, compared to those on finished vehicles.

Those kits need to arrive in the same mint condition in which they left, with all components intact, and they need to do so in a cost-effective way, making the most of the space available. This requires attention to the frames and packaging used to protect them in transit and the way in which they are fitted into containers.

This article will consider some of the latest developments at the established CKD centres that European vehicle-makers have, whether run in-house or by their logistics providers. It will also look at the main considerations for those managing a CKD packaging facility and their top priorities and concerns when packaging kits for overseas.


Other articles include:

  • News roundup of relevant automotive packaging news
  • Report from the dedicated packaging lab at Automotive Logistics Europe
  • Top five packaging challenges and objectives
  • Out of the box – five futuristic packaging concepts
  • A look ahead at future trends, such as sensor-based packaging for tracking and 3D printing, amongst other creative ideas
  • Industry leaders’ Q&A: dow do you become an automotive packaging engineer?