Comau Group saves time and money using UPS CrossBorder Connect® for its LTL (less-than-truckload) shipments
A worldwide leader in automation and services solutions, Comau Group faces the challenges of cross-border trade on an almost daily basis. With four decades of experience developing advanced manufacturing systems, Comau contin- uously looks at ways to streamline its operations, including supply chain and logistics processes.
One of those ways was with UPS CrossBorder Connect.Comau’s robotic assembly facility in Mexico City was looking for a cost-effective solution that would decrease the transit time of cross-border LTL shipments from Detroit to Mexico City. Designed to accelerate U.S.-Mexico trade, UPS CrossBorder Connect is a ground freight service that bundles UPS’s transportation and customs brokerage expertise north and south of the border to boost speed to market, drive cost effi-ciencies and reduce supply chain risk.
A Borderless Business
Comau, a division of FIAT, has a strong history in the automotive industry. With headquarters in Turin, Italy, the compa-ny has 24 locations in 13 countries and offers a broad array of industrial robot-ics and service solutions for industrial automation. “Our facility in Mexico City has about 250 employees devoted to the assembly and testing of robots used on automotive assembly lines throughout the Americas,” said Gustavo Ramos, Comau Import & Export Coordinator.
“We’ve worked with UPS for over a decade, so we were very interested when they brought us a new crossborder solu-tion that offered faster ground service.”
From Motor City to Mexico City
Since Comau’s Mexico City facility receives many of its assembly and spare parts from manufacturers in Detroit — ap-proximately 400 LTL shipments a year — it needed a faster service than traditional cross-border LTL, but without the speed and cost of air freight solutions.“These parts are vital to the assembly and testing of Comau’s products,” said UPS International Manager Fred Jas-so. “The longer it takes for shipments to move between Detroit and Mexico City, the greater the risk for production slowdowns or delays. Comau came to us looking for a solution that fell in between traditional LTL ground service and air freight service.
That solution was UPS CrossBorder Connect.” Traditionally LTL shipments from Detroit to Mexico City could take anywhere from six to seven days, with large lead times often resulting from complex customs regulations and multiple hand-offs at the U.S. and Mexico borders. An LTL shipment arrives at the U.S. border, the shipment is unloaded and re-leased to a Mexican broker. The shipment is then tendered to a third-party dray-age provider to present the freight and documentation at the border gate.
After entering Mexico, the freight is then cross-docked and transferred to a Mexican trucking company for transportation. Us-ing the UPS CrossBorder Connect service, Comau’s LTL shipments from Detroit to Mexico City now take about three days. “Most of the time savings with this service come from UPS’s ability to eliminate many of the processes and hand-offs that take place at the border,” explains Jasso.
Results Prove Time is Money
“The greatest benefit we’ve seen with this service is really monetary,” said Ra-mos. “We are able to increase the speed of our cross-border shipments without impacting our bottom line. We began using UPS CrossBorder Connect in 2012, and now our shipping department prefers to use it anytime we have a need for ex-pedited service.”While cost is important another key benefit is the ability to cut transit times by 50 percent for shipments between the U.S. and Mexico. “When you are involved in manufac-turing the timely movement of goods and parts is vital to production,” said Jasso. As cross-border trade continues to grow in popularity with many companies nearsourcing operations to Central America, so will the value of streamlining ground shipments between the U.S. and Mexico