Auto giant relies on port for efficient delivery of production and service parts

The Chrysler Group moved some 13,100 import and export TEUs (20-foot equivalent unit containers) through the Port of Montreal in 2013. These boxes carried automotive production and service parts along with empty racks that are returned to suppliers for shipping.

Through Montreal, Chrysler receives parts from its European-based suppliers, primarily from the ports of Antwerp, Genoa, Lisbon and Hamburg. Shipments out of North America originate at Chrysler’s U.S. Midwest plants and consolidation centre for export to European suppliers, parts distribution centres and assembly operations in Venezuela and Egypt. The major ports of entry are Puerto Cabello, Genoa, Cairo and Antwerp.

Advantageous transit times are one reason why Chrysler relies on the Port of Montreal.

“The short transit time between Europe and North America is a fundamental reason the Port of Montreal is important in this segment of the Chrysler supply chain,” said Joe Heck, Chrysler’s manager of international procurement and Mopar, based in Auburn Hills, Michigan. “The direct ocean service and the rail connection to the Detroit area for onward delivery of containers to our assembly and parts operation are excellent.

“The export flows to offshore Chrysler operations and parts distribution centres from Montreal are afforded the same advantages as the imports with the rail and direct service.”

The Port of Montreal’s strategic location and market reach are also important to Chrysler.

“Montreal allows us to expedite by truck a critical container to a Midwest plant or, conversely, from a Midwest location to make a sailing for export when rail will take too long,” Mr. Heck said. “The terminal will work with our ocean carrier to ensure a critical container will be processed even after hours.”

Reliability is also a key part of Chrysler’s decision to use the Port of Montreal.

“The weekly dedicated service provided by our core ocean carriers and their relationship with the Port of Montreal and the rail provider allow for a streamlined process for the import and export of Chrysler shipments,” Mr. Heck said. “The port operations are maintained even in the severe winter weather, which assures the cargo will continue to move without interruption.”