Each year more than 400,000 vehicles roll off the assembly line at Bremen's Mercedes-Benz plant. This is a vast logistical operation, since all the individual parts have to be delivered to the plant beforehand. Over 1,000 external companies supply the plant, which sees thousands of delivery trucks come and go on a daily basis.
Many of these suppliers have based themselves in close proximity to the automotive giant, with more than 700 located within a 200 kilometre radius. In Bremen itself there are over 40 companies specialising in vehicle components, parts logistics, automotive engineering and plant engineering. Together they employ more than 4,000 people.
Impressive figures that attest to Bremen's standing as an automotive city. The suppliers are integral to all stages of the production process – from steelworks and logistics right through to electronic systems and roof systems. The majority have opened facilities in Bremen Hansalinie Industrial Estate, close to the Mercedes-Benz plant. Our article on the industrial park explains how this set-up runs so smoothly.
The following overview demonstrates the wide range of companies and technologies that make up Bremen's automotive supply chain.
1. BLG Logistics Group AG & Co.
This logistics giant is one of the world's biggest service providers in the automotive logistics sector, as evidenced by the AutoTerminal in Bremerhaven – Europe's biggest car park. BLG Logistics Group also undertakes important tasks for the Mercedes-Benz plant, such as the distribution of car parts in the factory. The company oversees goods coming in and out of the plant, and organises the repacking and storage of parts as well as the production processes (sequence planning). It also operates several huge storage facilities in Bremen – in logistics depots near the Cargo Distribution Center and in halls at Neustadt harbour.
2. Hella Fahrzeugkomponenten GmbH
If a part in your car moves or lights up, then it probably came from Hella. The company's Bremen plant, which employs more than 500 staff, produces actuators, wash systems, engine pumps and switches. Bremen is also Hella's flagship plant for sensors.
3. Lear Corporation GmbH & Co. KG
The Lear Corporation is one of the biggest automotive suppliers in the world. The American company acquired a plant in Bremen in 1997, from which it produces car seat units and seating systems for Mercedes-Benz on a just-in-time basis. The company has more than 850 staff working in close proximity to the Mercedes plant.
4. Magna Car Top Systems GmbH
Magna puts a roof over drivers' head – and takes it away again. The company produces fabric and metal folding roofs for convertibles and roadsters for various car manufacturers. Its Bremen facility produces, among other things, retractable hardtops.
5. KUKA Systems GmbH Assembly & Test unit
KUKA is a leading manufacturer of automotive robotics, which are now indispensable in the industry. Inside the company's assembly and test centre in Bremen, it designs and manufactures robots for use in the factories of major vehicle manufacturers and automotive suppliers. There is a particular focus in Bremen on components such as drive trains, engines, cylinder heads, axles, transmissions and steering mechanisms.
6. DRÄXLMAIER GmbH
DRÄXLMAIER produces instrument panels, on-board power supply systems and integral electric and electronic components for premium car manufacturers all over the world. In November 2016 the company opened its new logistics facility in Bremen Hansalinie Industrial Estate, having outgrown a smaller site with insufficient capacity for their just-in-time and just-in-sequence processes. As of May 2017 the new facility will employ around 60 people.
7. Wagon Automotive Bremen GmbH
Wagon Automotive hails from Nagold in Baden-Württemberg, south-west Germany, but since early 2017 the supplier has been producing mudguards, doors and boot lids from its new 10,000m² facility in Bremen. Bremeninvest was integral to the company's arrival in Bremen, as one of Wagon's managing partners Thomas Eisseler explained to a local newspaper in the Black Forest: "The close collaboration between the city council and the regional development agency made our decisions much easier and helped us greatly with this strategically important project in Bremen."
8. ArcelorMittal Bremen GmbH
This Bremen-based steelworks also plays an important role in the city's car industry. With a workforce of more than 4,500 people and an annual production volume of 3.5 million tonnes, the plant is one of Bremen's biggest employers. Some of the steel produced here is used by local automotive suppliers to manufacture components.
9. LOREL Logistik GmbH
In more than 100,000m² of warehouse space at its Hansalinie site, LOREL Logistik GmbH gathers together components from over 200 parts manufacturers from around the world. The parts are then prepared for delivery to the assembly line on a just-in-time basis. The company is far more than an interim storage facility. In its supplier logistics centre, it oversees stock deliveries and splits them into new sets ready to be used straight away on the production line. This ensures the assembly line never stops. 400 LOREL employees work in up to three shifts every day. Read our article for more information on LOREL: Many strings to its bow – Innovative Logistics at the Bremen Hansalinie Industrial Estate
10. Robert Bosch Automotive Steering Bremen GmbH
Wherever you want to go, you need a steering system to get there. Established in 1969, the Robert Bosch Automotive Steering plant in Bremen and its workforce of nearly 300 people produce more than a million steering columns per year. This internationally operating company also manufactures intermediate shafts and universal joints.
For further information on the automotive and logistics sectors, please contact Kai Stührenberg, tel: +49 (0)421 361-32173, firstname.lastname@example.org
The production line hardly ever stops at the second-largest Mercedes Benz plant in the world. Thousands of components have to be delivered to the right place at the right time – there is no room for errors or delays. LOREL Logistik GmbH undertakes a huge logistics operation every day to ensure that everything runs like clockwork.
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