This was an opportunity to offer Ford our expertise to solve a very complex logistics challenge.

It's no secret that Ford Motor Company has exacting standards. Even more so when it comes to the transport of their new vehicles to markets around the world. So when Ford considered selling the Ford Ranger in Central America and the Caribbean, ocean transportation was the way to go.  Unfortunately there was no regular service in place which could serve all of the desired markets from locations where the Ranger was manufactured.

Wallenius Wilhemsen Logistics (WWL) was approached to find a solution and knew this would be a complex challenge.   “I believe in taking healthy risks," said John Speakman, WWL's Director of Network Development and Supply Chain Solutions in America. "This was an opportunity to offer Ford our expertise to solve a very complex logistics challenge."

The solution WWL presented to Ford has the Ranger vehicles collected from Durban, South Africa and then routed via various ports to their destinations via RoRo connecting carriers. In order to manage this complex flow on a daily basis, WWL assigned a dedicated contract manager to monitor each unit from collection to their final destinations.

Ford's FTC Traffic Manager for Asia Pacific, said this solution solved their main concern that was getting one service in place for the region, as the Caribbean markets are widespread and relatively small.

The solution also gave Ford improved delivery and reduced lead times to these markets.

"Using WWL’s owned and operated terminal services in Zeebrugge meant we could guarantee space on relay vessels across the Atlantic," said Speakman, "and that we could handle Ford's delivery schedule. Often we'd receive a shipment destined to multiple markets. Because we have our own space in Zeebrugge, we are able to stow by port of discharge, so when the vessels come to load for the next leg, it's an efficient production."

In truth, John Speakman's "healthy risk" was far less risk and much more considered judgment and calculation.

Ford’s Traffic Manager, said that what particularly impressed her about the WWL project was that the team "investigated rates in each market to find a viable solution, whether RoRo or container. They also hired staff to facilitate this end-to-end solution to ensure that transhipments (sometimes triple) were properly handled."

And from WWL's side, Speakman said he is very pleased that not only could they start transport almost immediately after reaching an agreement with Ford, but they were also able to come in well below the delivery time given from pick up to delivery.

"On the whole, we provided Ford with a service that delivered their product into a growing strategic market – and this was something no-one else was able to offer."

Fact boxes:

WWL's SCS Services
- Order Planning and Execution
- Event Management
- Visibility & Reporting
- Performance
- ReportingNetwork Optimization (optimal port ofdischarge)

Double Act
Ford and WWL have a long history together, and currently WWL moves vehicles via land transport and via ocean to virtually all continents for Ford. WWL processes units through its vehicle technical service facilities, which include performing services such as: washing vehicles; inspections; installing electronic components; and performing complicated modifications in order to meet specific market demands.

Ford at a glance
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan. When Henry Ford founded the company in 1903, he became the first person to manufacture a vehicle that was affordable to middle-class Americans. He coined the phrase – "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black". Today Ford has around 164,000 employees, about 70 plants worldwide and a range of vehicles in a very wide colour palette. The company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln.