Kiekert AG has been writing automotive history for 165 years – and a. hartrodt has been contributing to the company's success for over a decade. As a technology leader for intelligent safety closure systems and drive units with 5,300 employees, Kiekert works with over 60 car manufacturers and numerous suppliers worldwide. All required components must always be available for the production plants in China, Germany, Mexico, the Czech Republic and the USA. "We cover the entire supply chain from the supplier to specific Kiekert factories," explains John Boelts, Managing Director at a. hartrodt Czech Republic in Prague. The Czech city of Přelouč is home to the world's largest plant for safety closure systems.
Strategic partner for sea and air freight
"In the parts supply business, adherence to schedules and price stability are key," explains Thorsten Heller, Director Global Logistics at Kiekert AG at the company's headquarters in Heiligenhaus near Duesseldorf. European and North American plants are supplied with electronic components from China, among others. To ensure this despite increasing sea freight disruptions, the global tier 1 automotive supplier must be able to rely on a. hartrodt as a strategic partner for sea and air freight.
Fast solutions through close communication
For example, if goods are left behind in China due to local Covid lockdowns, Kiekert needs a fast solution. The head of logistics relies on a. hartrodt's "creativity" and global network. "When there is a shortage of freight capacity", the freight forwarder reacts "immediately and in a very solution-oriented manner". As the central contact person for the automotive customer at a. hartrodt, Boelts keeps all the strings together across all countries. For buyer's consolidation, he is in close contact with suppliers and logistics managers at the Kiekert plants. In the future, a. hartrodt will inform Kiekert about the global supply chains in real time via the supply chain platform CargoWise One.
Thorsten Heller attributes the good cooperation to a similar company structure at Kiekert and a. hartrodt: "Both are medium-sized companies with a long company history and German management abroad. As a result, we communicate and act as equals."