Friday 28th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Heavy snow puts the focus on emergency logistics

Evolution Time Critical, the emergency logistics specialist, is reporting an upsurge in demand for its services as a result of the heavy snow across northern Europe, and reckons it has saved customers some 30 million euros by preventing line stoppages.

The company has made multiple urgent deliveries across Europe as manufacturers strive to keep production lines running amid traffic difficulties caused by the heaviest snow experienced in some parts of the continent in nearly 50 years.

In some cases it has used helicopters or arranged air charters to ensure on-time delivery at the manufacturers’ premises to ensure deadlines are met.

“It’s a highly challenging period for transport and logistics companies as many are not used to dealing with such treacherous conditions,” says managing director Brad Brennan.

“Many manufacturers are counting on emergency logistics providers to help keep production lines running as the traffic chaos increases the strain on already stretched supply chains. We calculate that since the snow disrupted European road networks we have helped manufacturers to avoid line stoppages of up to 30 hours, which, with line stoppages costing anything up to 20,000 euros per minute, represents a significant saving. In one instance we saved a UK-based manufacturer £270,000 by helping to prevent a 30-minute delay to their production line.”

Evolution’s team responded to the manufacturer’s request and delivered the critical components all within the space of three hours, sending a vehicle to the supplier’s warehouse to collect the goods after the original haulier turned back due to treacherous driving conditions. The cargo was then loaded onto two helicopters for immediate delivery to the customer’s site.

In another instance, a shipment of components was delayed at Dover as the haulier reported that he would struggle to make the delivery by the customer’s 5pm deadline due to problems on Britain’s disrupted road network. With the customer’s permission, Evolution had the trailer diverted to a site where the goods could be loaded onto a helicopter, arriving at the customer’s site with over 20 minutes to spare.

Evolution also dispatched an emergency sprinter van from France in the past week to rescue a shipment of parts en route from a supplier in Spain to a UK-based manufacturer.

Having received the call mid-afternoon, Evolution dispatched a local French sprinter van to intercept the trailer carrying the shipment from the supplier in Barcelona. Evolution’s team of analysts rapidly calculated that the customer would require two to three hours of buffer stock to keep their line going before the van arrived, and while the interception in Caen was being planned, they simultaneously arranged for a vehicle to collect further parts from the supplier’s site.

These parts were then driven to a local airport where Evolution had positioned a light aircraft to transport them to a regional UK airport. Once in the UK, an Evolution vehicle was standing by at the airport to rush the parts to the customer’s factory, arriving at 4am, two hours in advance of the sprinter van, allowing their production line to continue unaffected.