Observations from Finished Vehicle Logistics North America Conference

This year MetroGistics was once again a Gold sponsor of the Finished Vehicle Logistics North America conference (FVLNA) in Newport Beach, California.

Several members of our Sales Team attended this industry event that brings together more than 350 industry professionals for two full days of presentations, roundtable discussions and networking.

According to our staff, here are some of the major takeaways from the conference:

  • May sales were down 6 percent year over year but have not changed the top line forecast. 2016 is forecasted to be the peak year for vehicle sales in the United States, at 17.8 million units. However, we will see a dip in the sales forecast for 2017, at 17.4 million units, and in 2018, at 16.5 million. We won’t get back to 2016 levels until 2022, at 17.9 million units. North American vehicle output is also expected to increase from 17.5 million units in 2015 to 20 million by 2022, with Mexico capturing most of the growth. Source: PwC Autofacts 2016 Q2 Forecast Release
  • While so much has been done to optimize the automotive supply chain, empty miles is still an issue that plagues the automotive transport industry. One solution presented was the use of convertible trailers by CTM Worldwide (Convertible Trailer Manufacturing). In December of 2015 President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.  The legislation includes specific authorization for automobile transporters to haul general freight on backhaul trips so long as it complies with weight limitations for a truck tractor and semitrailer combination. The Act also amends the definition of backhaul to “the return trip of a vehicle transporting cargo or general freight, especially when carrying goods back over all or part of the same route.”
  • Steve Tripp, vice president of global strategy and execution with ICL Systems, proposed a “haulaway™ load exchange” that would allow carriers and OEMs to collaborate on co-loading opportunities. Per Mr. Tripp, this idea is a win-win-win solution. OEMs would get vehicles to dealers faster, rail facilities would have space freed up quicker, and haulaways would be able to optimize deliveries across multiple brands and destinations. While both convertible trailers and load exchanges offer viable solutions, much still has to be considered in order to minimize disruptions in the distribution network.
  • Many of the OEM panelists stated that they continue to work with rail and truck suppliers to find and fix inefficiencies in their delivery networks. Improved technologies are allowing for more collaborative efforts to finding innovative ways to further optimize the distribution network.

If you did not have an opportunity to meet us at the FVLNA conference, gives us a call at 877-571-6235 and ask to speak to a member of our Sales Team. We welcome the opportunity to discuss ways MetroGistics can help you optimize your vehicle-distribution network. You can also email us at info@metrogistics.com.

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