Tlatli said shipping everything from pre-production parts to test cars for press launches via air, rail, road and sea was currently worth "hundreds of millions" of euros to the company. He wants that to rise to more than one billion euros in the future but declined to give a time frame. He added that the work DHL does on vehicle launches represents 10 to 15 percent of the firm's automotive airfreight business.
"Very often, launch logistics tend to be neglected as a total approach," said Tlatli, adding that this can increase costs if a contingency plan is needed.
"If you are not prepared, then you have to take anything available and you don't know what the options are," he said. "This way you tend to have more alternatives."
DHL's integration can go as far as having a representative sit in on meetings right at the car's planning stage to give logistics advice, Tlatli said.
The increasingly global nature of new-car launches can bring extra problems, particularly if there are small regional variations, according to the company. "Sometimes it requires some parts adaption of the vehicle."
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