EvolutionUK – The specialist logistics company, which has British and German locations, recently delivered body panel press tooling to the UK from China by air, cutting the transport time by three weeks compared with sea freight and eliminating any risk of delay to a vehicle launch.

“This project has been a huge undertaking for Evolution Time Critical, with on-time delivery the culmination of months of meticulous planning,” commented Brad Brennan, managing director at Evolution Time Critical. “Even for a company with our depth of expertise, the combination of the sheer physical scale of the shipment and the intricacies of scheduling brought new challenges.”

In an operation described by Evolution as “one of the largest air shipments ever for a vehicle manufacturer”, a total of 200 tonnes was shipped, with each of the pressing stamps and dies weighing over 20 tonnes. The equipment was transported by two chartered An-124 aircraft and one 747F.

Evolution has undertaken similar projects for automotive OEMs over the past 18 months, and Brennan believes that faster freight solutions are becoming more important for the industry.

“Globalised automotive production strategies are becoming increasingly reliant on the ability of OEMs and tier suppliers to demonstrate sufficient agility to move production across continents at short notice, without jeopardising supply chain integrity,” he said.

“With new vehicle introductions and model line updates now much more frequent, the automotive supply chain is coming under increasing pressure to provide greater flexibility while at the same time minimising risk.”