Supply chain retooling is Airbus' greatest challenge
The airplane manufacturing industry is big news these days.
We’ve already reported that Boeing is hoping to add supply chain visibility to increase its production, but now rival Airbus is embarking on a similar path.
Airbus has plans to ramp up its production of its popular midsized A320 aircraft from 36 a month to 42 by October 2012. In order to reach that goal, however, the company is going to have to retool its supply chain.
European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. serves as the parent company of Airbus, and chief executive Louis Gallois thinks the company needs to focus on its supply chain.
“The main constraint is the supply chain; it’s not the assembly line,” Gallois said of the plan of increased production in a conference call with reporters. “That doesn’t mean we don’t have to look at the assembly line. This is the main bottleneck. Airbus is looking at that very carefully.”
SEE OTHER TOP AIR FREIGHT STORIES IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN DIGITAL CONTENT NETWORK
While the assembly line is capable of increasing production to 42 and beyond with a little capital investment, Gallois added that the supply chain reconfiguration would likely be Airbus’ greatest challenge.
“We have to be sure that we’re not oversizing the supply chain and we have to be sure that the supply chain is able to follow,” Gallois said.
Gallois added that with Boeing expecting to ramp up its own production of the popular 737 model, the two airline manufacturers could be competing for similar parts, including CFM International engines.
Uber Freight to Acquire Transplace in $2.2bn Deal
Uber Freight is to acquire logistics technology and solutions provider Transplace in a deal worth $2.25bn.
The company will pay up to $750m in common stock and the remainder in cash to TPG Capital, Transplace’s private equity owner, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.
“This is a significant step forward, not just for Uber Freight but for the entire logistics ecosystem,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, and former founder of the Uber-owned trucking start-up Otto.
Uber’s Big Play for Supply Chain
Transplace is one of the world's largest managed transportation and logistics networks, with 62,000 unique users on its platform and $11bn in freight under management. It offers truck brokerage and other capacity solutions, end-to-end visibility on cross border shipments, and a suite of digital solutions and consultancy services.
The purchase is the latest move by parent company Uber, which launched as a San Francisco cab-hailing app in 2011, to diversify its offering and create new revenue streams in all transport segments.
Transplace said the takeover comes amid a period of “accelerated transformation in logistics”, where globalisation, shipping and transport disruption, and widespread volatility are colliding.
Uber Freight plans to integrate the Transplace network into its own platform, which connects shippers and carriers in a dashboard that mirroring the intuitive experience found in its consumer vehicle booking and food ordering services.
“This is an opportunity to bring together complementary best-in-class technology solutions and operational excellence from two premier companies to create an industry-first shipper-to-carrier platform that will transform shippers’ entire supply chains, delivering operational resilience and reducing costs at a time when it matters most,” said Ron.
Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, said the resulting merger will offer enhanced efficiency and transparency for shippers, and benefits of scale for carriers. “All in all, we expect to significantly reduce shipper and carrier empty miles to the benefit of highway and road infrastructures and the environment,” he added.
History of Uber Freight
Uber Freight was established in 2017 and separated into its own business unit the following year. In 2019 the company had expanded across the entire continental US, established a headquarters in Chicago. Later that year it launched its first international division in Europe, initially from a regional foothold in the Nertherlands, and later moving into Germany.
The logistics spinoff attracted a $500m investment from New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group in October 2020, and launched a new shipping platform for companies of all sizes in May, partly in response to a driver shortage in Canada.