Both classic and more contemporary trucks can experience the odd problem once in a while. And since trucks only earn money when they are on the move, an impeccable parts service is a fundamental factor in cost-efficient operation. The secret of such a service is clever logistics. Just a few miles down the road from the Wörth plant, the Global Logistics Center (GLC) in Germersheim acts as a worldwide replacement parts supplier for commercial vehicles and cars of the Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, Smart and – outside North America – Chrysler/Jeep. With a total warehouse area of about one million m², the Global Logistics Center is the world's largest automotive parts warehouse of its kind.
Parts availability close to 100 percent
Mercedes-Benz has an excellent, hard-earned reputation on the important question of parts supplies. 98 percent of all required parts are available within 17 to 36 hours. Located in the southern Palatinate area of Germany, the Germersheim central warehouse is the logistical nerve centre behind these impressive figures. Built at Insel Grün in a bend in the former course of the Rhine, it began operation 15 years ago. Germersheim supplies the group's logistics centres in Germany, Europe and overseas, from Hanover to Dubai, and from Warsaw to Singapore. More than 400 centres, in more than 180 countries, are supplied with parts and accessories by the GLC. These centres act as the first point of contact for the service workshops of the various group brands.
For the Mercedes-Benz brand alone, the Global Logistics Center (GLC) Germersheim has some 355,000 parts in stock and immediately available, 170,000 of them for commercial vehicles. Including the nearby central warehouse branches in Wörth, Ettlingen, Offenbach (Palatinate) and Hatten (Alsace), the GLC has a total warehouse area of one million m². The largest individual warehouse building covers an impressive 74,000 m². Inside, the warehouses are permanently buzzing with activity. Radio-controlled fork lift trucks, driverless conveyor systems and roller conveyors are on the move constantly, transporting parts to and from the various storage areas by the quickest possible means.
283 truckloads of parts leave the GLC every day
The GLC 's workforce of around 3,000 people coordinates the dispatch of some 16,000 commercial vehicle parts daily. An average of 283 truckloads of parts leave the GLC every day. The parts are then shipped to their destination by truck, by ship or by air, if necessary by express delivery. It's not just the numbers that are impressive but also the variety of the parts. The shipments include everything from humble screws to complete truck cabs. On the inbound side, the GLC works with approximately 2,700 suppliers. Incoming deliveries amount to an average 375 truckloads every day.
Parts stocked for at least 15 years after a model is discontinued
As well as parts for current-model vehicles, the GLC also meets the needs of the company's more mature vehicles, maintaining stocks of genuine parts for at least 15 years after a model series is discontinued, while more commonly required parts are available for even longer. This means for example that even today, the owner of a truck from the SK series – discontinued ten years ago – can still look forward to many more years of trouble-free spares service.
Special spares agreements with customers can also be arranged, guaranteeing parts supply for significantly longer periods still. Such arrangements are of particular interest to public authorities. Moreover, almost all parts are covered by a special phase-out management process which ensures a continued supply of parts for older commercial vehicles as they advance on their way to becoming classics.