The Mercedes-Benz Global Logistics Center Germersheim is celebrating its 30thanniversary this year and the inauguration of a new, state-of the-art warehouse complex. The After-Sales location began operations in 1990 as back then Daimler-Benz AG’s central warehouse for spare parts supply and has since been expanded in several stages. The commissioning of the new warehouse complex with its latest storage and materials-handling technology ensures that the site remains technologically state-of-the-art. As the competence centre for global parts logistics within the Daimler AG After-Sales supply chain network, the site supplies its partners in more than 150 countries with parts and accessories for commercial vehicles and passenger cars under the Mercedes Benz, smart and FUSO brands. The important function of the Global Logistics Center for the mobility of vehicles, especially for system-relevant areas, is demonstrated also during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The importance of the Global Logistics Center for the global supply of spare parts and the great commitment of our employees has again been impressively demonstrated over the past few months, in which we ensured the mobility of ambulances, emergency services, delivery services and many other customers despite extremely difficult circumstances,” says Thomas Schulz, Vice President Global Service & Parts Operations. “A good and reliable supply of spare parts from the Global Logistics Center goes hand in hand with the longevity of our products. Employees can rightly be very proud of this.”
At its opening in July 1990, the Global Logistics Center was one of the largest and most modern distribution centres for vehicle parts in the automotive industry. Automated materials-handling technologies, such as driverless transport systems and storage and retrieval devices, were already used extensively at the time, and still are today: since then, the central warehouse has been extended and modernised several times. The commissioning of the new warehouse complex, with its state-of-the-art storage and materials-handling technology, marks another milestone in the continuing development of the site.
“The Global Logistics Center Germersheim looks back on a successful and important history. The continuous and high level of parts availability ensures that our After-Sales location remains a reliable partner. In cooperation with our global logistics network, we ensure the prompt availability of spare parts anywhere in the world, even in challenging times. With commissioning of the new warehouse complex we are creating additional, dynamic storage area and preparing our Germersheim site for the future,” says Klaus Ziemsky, Site Manager of the Global Logistics Center.
New warehouse complex with high-bay storage facility
The latest warehouse expansion was put into operation in conjunction with the anniversary of the Mercedes-Benz After-Sales location Germersheim. The new warehouse complex has a storage capacity of 80,000 m². The central element of the new hall is a 40-metre-high high-bay storage facility for medium-sized and bulky parts: it is supplemented by a 12-metre-high central part picking storage area for medium-sized parts – both equipped with high-performance storage and retrieval devices. State-of-the-art technologies, such as an in-floor conveyor system, are used to remove and store components quickly. Parts are picked fully automatically through integrated conveyor technology, using a combination of chain conveyors, hydraulic and electric pallet conveyors to access the high-bay areas directly. Efficiency and ergonomics were taken into account during the design of workplaces for employees, ensuring highly ergonomic workplaces based on the ‘goods-to-man’ principle. In all, around 100 million euros were invested in the expansion and modernisation of the Global Logistics Center.
“By opening the new high-bay storage facility, we are continuing the tradition here at the Global Logistics Center Germersheim of setting the standard in the automotive After-Sales industry with the latest automation technology for vehicle parts logistics. In doing so we have set the next milestone in the technical and digital transformation of our location,” says Ingo M. Flachs Nóbrega, Head of Steering & Design, Global Parts Supply Chain Network.
From the Island Grün out into the whole world
The Global Logistics Center is located in Germersheim in Germany’s southern Palatinate region on Island Grün – a peninsula between the Rhine and Old Rhine river branches. Together with its satellite locations in Offenbach an der Queich, Wörth, Ettlingen and Hatten/France, the central warehouse in Germersheim holds around 500,000 different passenger car and commercial vehicle parts as well as Mercedes-Benz Accessories ready for retrieval at a moment’s notice from an area of more than 1.4 million square metres. As the competence centre for global parts logistics, the Global Logistics Center controls the worldwide After-Sales supply chain of Daimler AG. The site supplies the Group’s wholesale level in Europe and overseas. On average, more than 40,000 consignment note items leave the Global Logistics Center every day. Deliveries are shipped by road, ship, rail or air and even by express delivery service in case of an emergency. Besides supplying parts for the current vehicle range, the Global Logistics Center also serves the company’s classic vehicles: replacement parts remain available long after a model series has been discontinued.
The Global Logistics Center employs around 3,100 people. The rapid supply of service outlets all over the world is ensured by the 40 affiliated wholesale locations – including five German logistics centres in Hanover, Cologne, Nuremberg, Mainz and Reutlingen – with a range specifically put together to reflect each respective market.
Harmonious interplay between people, nature and technology
Sustainability is firmly integrated into daily operations at the Mercedes-Benz Global Logistics Center: energy and water consumption as well as the emissions output are constantly being optimised. Over the last 30 years, energy consumption per square metre of warehouse space has been reduced by more than half through the use of efficient equipment and systems, as well as technical know-how. On the roof of one of the logistics halls, a photovoltaic system made up of more than 5,000 modules over an area of 15,000 m² produces more than 1.3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. In addition, the on-site combined heat and power plant supplies a major proportion of the heat and power needs of the Germersheim plant, saving some 2,800 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Even when the central warehouse was being designed in the early 1980s, its planners made sure to minimise the environmental impact of the site’s construction and operation. Considerable investments were made 30 years ago into the landscaping of the peninsula. In 2019, a temporary, varied biotope was created in the middle of the site over an area of 19,000 m² – offering the employees a place to work in the open air. Great care went into selecting the most suitable tree, shrub and bush species to ensure the availability of flowers and blossom for insects all year round. Trees, flowers and shrubs were planted and green areas were landscaped with special attention to biodiversity. Workpods fitted with shade sails enable staff to work and hold meetings outside. Green roofs, too, have been planted in recent years, providing a habitat for indigenous species of flora and fauna. The Global Logistics Center is thus playing an important part in maintaining biodiversity.