Chinese celebrations of Lunar New Year (25 January) were muted this year by the emerging coronavirus crisis, with the huge amount of personal travel associated with the holiday period down around 45 per cent. Yet global business’s reliance on China’s manufacturing meant that large orders were, as usual, preplanned to take into account the two to three weeks of manufacturing slowdown at this time of year. In the UK tyre sector, the result is that a large number of tyres that will likely exceed some distributors’ warehousing capacity are now arriving at UK ports. Freight forwarder, Maritime Cargo Services is offering one solution to companies experiencing this problem.
Bridgestone Americas is expanding warehouses at two of its passenger car and light truck tyre manufacturing facilities in the USA. It will invest a total of US$72 million at its Aiken County, South Carolina and Wilson, North Carolina sites; the aim is to “enhance operational excellence” and “further increase the company’s ability to serve North American tyre dealers and customers.” This investment builds upon current and ongoing expansions of both plants.
A giant new warehouse complex built by Michelin in the USA is now operational and capable of supplying tyres to up to three thousand regional customers. The Michelin Woodruff U70 distribution centre is, at 3 million square feet, the Michelin Group’s largest distribution centre.
The million square foot (92,900 square metre), centrally-located warehouse that Cooper Tire & Rubber Company erected near three of its factories in the USA is now in operation. The new warehouse in Byhalia, Mississippi employs approximately 100 people and is Cooper’s largest distribution centre nationwide.
Petlas Tire and Trade Corp. reports that it recently completed its Final Finish Sorting System (FFSS) and also started to build a fully automatic warehouse.
With that smart warehouse Petlas aims to have product traceability feature from production line to delivery to all its customers around the world. In addition, the smart warehouse means less space and effectiveness compared with other conventional solutions.
Cooper Tire & Rubber is in the process of expanding its warehousing capabilities in the USA. A new facility is currently being built in Byhalia, Mississippi, a location the tyre maker selected for its proximity to the Cooper tyre factories in Findlay (Ohio), Texarkana (Arkansas) and Tupelo (Mississippi). When completed this autumn, the 1 million square foot (92,900 square metre) warehouse will be the largest distribution centre for Cooper in the country.
Grouptyre has continued to invest in warehousing – overall it has 40 local/regional warehouses operated individually by its 10 regional members – and its e-commerce system, GroupLink, this year. The group reports a turnover of more than £310m, and collectively employs more than 1,200 people, of which 42 are business development managers; three regional sales managers cover the country. A nationwide fleet of more than 450 vans make, on average, deliveries to tyre retailers at least twice a day, with greater frequency and on-demand deliveries in some areas.
Galgo has opened new European headquarters (including warehousing and offices) in order to expand the company’s retreading coverage and sales presence. This expansion takes the company from Tongeren to the Ghent-Antwerp-Brussels triangle in Belgium, close to inland Beverdonk and the Meerhout container terminal.
Hankook Tire’s Daejeon South Korea factory has suffered a fire, the company confirmed on 1 October. The fire is not expected to disrupt production since the damage is mostly to its warehouse. However a fifth of the warehouse has reportedly been lost along with some 180,000 tyres. According to local news reports, the warehouse held products destined for both domestic and overseas markets.