How 3PLs Help Optimize Automotive Logistics

Posted by Port City Logistics on Mar 10, 2023 12:22:58 PM

The automotive industry has probably one of the most elaborate and complex supply chains on the planet. Just stop and think about all the different components that go into the manufacturing of a vehicle: metals, plastics, semiconductors, tires, batteries, light bulbs, and speakers; brake systems, engine components, safety features, cooling units, gas tanks, exhaust systems, and everything else that goes into a car. All of this is sourced by literally thousands of companies that make up the various tiers within automotive production. Many of these materials are manufactured overseas or cross-border in cities across Mexico and Canada. And when the vehicles are finally assembled, they are transported elsewhere for various consumers across the globe.

Various transportation service providers handle these enormous operations required to deliver sourced materials to car manufacturers and then have the finished product delivered somewhere else. The major problem found within automotive logistics is that carriers are usually siloed to manage only particular shipping lanes. Sourced equipment might be transported by a few carriers; the warehousing is outsourced to another company, and any drayage is controlled by someone else.  With all the various components that go into automotive logistics, shipping directors spend most of their days coordinating communication between various parties. They are constantly emailing or calling to determine when their loads will arrive. This article will describe how single-source logistics providers are helping automotive shippers optimize their supply chains and ultimately make their jobs easier.

What Exactly is Automotive Logistics?

There are so many different market components that make up automotive logistics. Tier 1 suppliers, OEM companies, tire and battery producers, aftermarket companies, and other part companies collectively contribute to the automotive logistics industry. Every piece of equipment that goes into making a car requires careful logistical requirements. The major roadblock (yes, it’s a pun) that hinders car companies from executing their supply chains as efficiently as possible are current market conditions, which are affected by things like fuel prices, demurrage and detention costs, capacity sourcing, and service issues, among other things. 

Automotive shippers prefer working with fully integrated transportation service providers that can handle the broad range of requirements necessary to support complex supply chains. Port City Logistics specializes in automotive logistics, offering a range of services that help ensure dedicated capacity, warehouse and distribution, and drayage service for all major North American ports.

Dedicated Capacity

Car shippers can gain a lot of added value by partnering with a 3PL specializing in automotive logistics. It starts with capacity sourcing. Car manufacturers need dedicated transportation solutions for their high-volume lanes, whether for an FTL or a partial LTL. And by streamlining your transportation needs through a single source provider, your company will eliminate the most common problems found when working with multiple vendors, most notably in communication and visibility. Port City Logistics offers:

  • Their own fleet of assets and equipment to handle local and regional hauls
  • Full FTL domestic service for reefer, dry van, and flatbed equipment
  • LTL solutions
  • Specialized Service, including Hotshot & Expedite
  • Hazardous Transportation 

Warehouse Space and Distribution

Many car manufacturers outsource their storage and distribution services to third-party vendors as it's more cost-effective than building and maintaining their own brick-and-mortar facilities.Car shippers use warehouses as areas to stage the next steps within their supply chain. Near the Port of Savannah, Port City Logistics owns and operates 4 million square feet of industrial warehouse space, providing car shippers with transloading, cross-docks, and storage space. On top of that, Port City Logistics offers:

  • Best-in-class port proximity
  • Advantages of a Free Trade Zone
  • Advantages of a Customs Bonded Warehouse
  • WMS Digital Inventory Management
  • DOT/IMDG Hazmat
  • EDI & Barcoding


Port Drayage

Automotive companies depend on drayage service to import and export auto parts and automobiles. For example, automaker BMW exports 60% of their vehicles manufactured in the United States out of Inland Port Greer and the Port of Charleston. As a company specializing in automotive logistics, Port City Logistics helps car shippers connect global supply chains with U.S. markets. For example, In 2022, Port City Logistics hauled 56,000 containers from The Savannah Port alone, demonstrating why they are the preferred provider for customers who depend on drayage service.  The company also has:

  • Company-owned trucks
  • Company-owned chassis and vans
  • TWIC-certified and bonded drivers
  • Port-to-door service
  • Transloading
  • Final Mile Solutions

Automotive Shippers Depend on Port City Logistics

Port City Logistics is a single-source logistics provider that helps automotive companies simplify their operations, streamlining every aspect required to connect global supply chains with their manufacturing centers. Since 2001, Port City Logistics has gained notoriety in the automotive industry as a dependable provider dedicated to handling its customers' unique operational requirements. Port City Logistics will deliver your parts and automobiles, whether it’s port drayage, warehouse and distribution, cross-border freight, or final mile. Set your freight to cruise control with Port City Logistics and contact them today!