FORD TEAMS WITH UPS LOGISTICS TO SHRINK LEAD TIMES
Ford Motor Co. and the logistics subsidiary of United Parcel Service have formed what they are calling an alliance to shrink vehicle delivery times in North America by up to 40 percent.
Ford says it delivers vehicles to dealers in 14 to 15 days. Its desire to improve vehicle delivery comes as the world’s automakers prepare themselves for online car purchasing by consumers. Ford said it hopes to significantly reduce inventory costs by meeting predictable and precise delivery times for dealers and consumers.
“Think of it as going from mass distribution to a plan for every vehicle,” said Frank Taylor, Ford’s vice president of material, planning and logistics.
UPS Logistics will help Ford orchestrate the delivery of Ford, Lincoln and Mercury cars and trucks in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The alliance will reengineer the Ford transportation network of rail and haulaway carriers to optimize speed, precision and reliability, the companies said.
The distribution network will be launched in phases beginning in March. The first phase will focus on the western and southwestern regions of the United States. The network is expected to be fully operational in 2001.
Ford and UPS also plan to launch a web-based tracking system to allow Ford, its dealers and consumers to track individual vehicle status from production through final delivery. The companies expect to complete the online dealer systems later this year, with consumer systems coming after that.