AutoRevista.- What role will GEFCO play in the logistical management of the supply of components and dispatch of finished vehicles for the PSA Group's new plant in Kenitra?
Ronan Roussin.- From GEFCO's point of view, this is a very complex project due to its breadth and the range of services we provide to PSA as it covers all the supply to the factory and the departure of finished vehicles. To do this, we had to put in place in record time an entire environment and services that would allow us, and PSA, to operate with complete normality as it already does in any other European country.
Specifically, GEFCO's specific role is divided into two main areas:3PL for the entire international part: Within the operational transport plan, we will collect the supply from Europe, consolidate it through the cross-dock platforms and organize direct transport from these platforms to the factory, with the return of all the associated packaging and the complexity involved in managing an international flow, with a section by ship crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, with several customs offices to cross and in a transit that is quite tense and complicated to manage.
In addition, we have implemented a supply system through our advanced warehouses (MAF). We have set up a MAF in the free zone that is close to the port of Tangier. It is already up and running and has about 40 suppliers, essentially of two engine models, with whom we work to meet the needs of PSA in Kenitra, but also to supply European factories with parts from suppliers who are in Morocco. This same warehouse also receives PSA-owned parts from Latin America (mainly Brazil and Argentina) that are the largest and heaviest parts of the engines. And to make it even easier for PSA suppliers, we have set up a second MAF in Ontígola (Toledo), where we also carry out all the customs formalities before sending the goods to Morocco.
4PL for all supply and domestic activity. Our objective is to launch a tender to select the most suitable 3PL suppliers to supply the Kenitra plant, within a timeframe compatible with the factory's activity.
''We have launched a second MAF in Ontígola (Toledo), where we also carry out all the steps before sending the goods to Morocco''
AR.- What investment has the project entailed and what are the human resources available?
R.R.- The GEFCO Group has made and continues to make large investments in this market to accompany the growth of its customers. Beginning with the acquisition of GLT, the import of wagons carrying cars for the outflow of vehicles, the specific accreditation of GEFCO Morocco with the Customs of the Kingdom of Morocco, the creation of an entity in the Kenitra Free Zone, etc. In addition, GEFCO Morocco plans to double its workforce in the next two years to incorporate its full range of services. We have grown steadily over the last two years, but we still have a lot of work to do and we are already preparing our professionals to take on these challenges.
''GEFCO Morocco plans to double its workforce over the next two years to incorporate its full range of services''
AR.- What is the situation now? Are you starting to work with series production by the Kenitra plant? When does GEFCO estimate that there will be a tense flow in the operations of plant supply and vehicle dispatch?
R.R.- Today, our agency in Tangier works perfectly in coordination with GEFCO subsidiaries around the world and pulling out all the flows. We have had to do a lot of preliminary work over the last few months. One of the first things we had to do was to import all the computer systems, from both GEFCO and PSA, and the entire Group's expertise in automotive flows, tax and customs formalities, etc. This has involved training many people in Morocco with the aim of creating a perfect ecosystem to make sure everything would work perfectly. We have also recently validated the creation of GEFCO in the free zone.
With regard to the Kenitra plant, mass production is scheduled for this summer, although GEFCO is already operating reduced volume transport plans to carry out the current pre-series sourcing and updating of our processes. The first vehicles are expected to come out in the second half of 2019.
''We are already operating with reduced volumes some transport plans to carry out the supply to PSA in Kenitra''
AR.- How is the flow that will make it possible to connect the ports of Saint Nazaire and Tangier with 45 vehicle carriages at the end of 2019 working?
R.R.- The flow is running smoothly and we are importing wagons, operated by ONCF, to take the finished vehicles that leave the factory to the port of Tangier. We have already imported the first two and will import 45 more before September.
AR.- What has the acquisition of GLT meant for GEFCO's better positioning in Morocco?
R.R.- We did indeed acquire GLT, which was an operator with more than two decades of experience in logistics flows linking Europe and Morocco and was recognized as the largest specialist in logistics flows through the Strait of Gibraltar.
The company has now changed its name to GEFCO Lorry and Transport and is now part of GEFCO Spain, which means that we have become the main access operator between Algeciras and Tangier, with a volume of more than 16,000 crossings, 75 trucks and 380 trailers.
However, beyond these figures, the acquisition of GLT is allowing us to strengthen our position in the Moroccan market and expand our customer base, particularly in the fashion, automotive and retail sectors. We are aware that some of our major customers in automotive, aeronautics, retail and industry are already investing heavily in Morocco to increase their production capacity.
By capitalizing on GLT's knowledge, we are now in the best possible position to take advantage of the opportunities offered by these developing businesses.
AR.- What additional impact for GEFCO will this project have?
R.R.- Beyond what the PSA Project in Kenitra is assuming, the truth is that we have a unique opportunity to grow and grow many of our current customers.
On the one hand, PSA has attracted with it a number of suppliers that have or will have in the near future a certain production capacity, which could lead to a process of export from Morocco. Within this context, we are collaborating with various players in the automotive market to study different supply schemes and synergies in the corridor.
On the other hand, our current ability to offer complete traceability, the management of all customs processes, certificates of origin or tracking activity opens tremendous potential for all types of customers, regardless of the sector. We must not forget that PSA has the same level of demand in Kenitra and with Moroccan suppliers as in any other factory and with any other supplier no matter where it is located. It requires us to work with the same systems, the same information and the same rigor as anywhere else in the world and this places us as the best reference for the management of logistics flows in the country.