Kurbads in Automotive Logistics Conference in Hamburgn

The annual ECG (Association of European Vehicle Logistics) conference “Digitalization and Modern Trends” was organized in Hamburg in the end of October. Transport company’s “Kurbads” warehouse manager Uldis Čalpa and logistics manager Jurģis Ansfelds were among 270 delegates from Europe.

Despite recent economic recovery and relatively strong growth, the European finished vehicle logistics industry could become a victim of technological change. If it doesn’t adapt to new demands of customers and find ways to innovate in the age of technology, the next crisis will follow.

Shift to digital technology in the wider automotive industry, for example, online vehicle shopping, could offer logistics providers new business opportunities and ways to add value to the vehicle purchase and delivery experience.

“The number of new cars sold online is growing rapidly in Europe. It means transportation of the vehicle from factory straight to the client’s backyard. We haven’t experienced such occasions in Latvia, but we have to be ready to personalize our customer service,” global trends are connected to Latvia’s specifics by Uldis Čalpa. 

EU countries need to be much more united in their decisions to accelerate the development of automotive logistics industry. But, it’s not that simple. For example, the e-CMR protocol has been ratified by only ten countries in Europe so far. The industry will be held back as long as major automotive markets such as Germany refrain from ratifying the protocol.

“The industry talks about e-CMR for quite some time now. I am glad that in Hamburg it was special topic and I think that this is the first step in the era of digitalization. Supply chain will become faster, there will be less confusion in CMR forms, also paper mountains will become smaller” “Kurbads” warehouse manager counts this as a priority.

The slow transition to modern technology was pointed out by Wolfgang Gobel, president of ECG: “The automotive logistics sector has been slow to innovate and invest in new ideas and technology. While part of the reason has been a prolonged slowdown in the European vehicle market that has only recently begun to reverse, along with the sector’s low margins and high asset costs, he also pointed to a particular “lack of fantasy” and risk-taking in vehicle logistics. 

“At the moment we are developing a united electronic system in “Kurbads” with one target – everybody will know everything. When a car is unloaded from the truck, the driver will use the system to send the information to logistics center and warehouse. The same will be done with accepting the vehicle in the warehouse,” Uldis Čalpa talks about “Kurbads” priorities in modern technology.