During these days, when Nina Cordes-Klasing powers up her laptop in her home office in the morning, the first thing she looks at is her inbox. “There have been a lot of unpleasant surprises recently,” says the 44-year-old, who works in Overseas Vehicle Logistics at Volkswagen. Together with her colleagues from Planning and Transport Management, she coordinates the Group’s worldwide vehicle shipments. Be it from South Africa to Australia, from Germany to the USA or from Mexico to Japan.
Last year, around 2.7 million Group vehicles, or about one in four of the almost 11 million vehicles delivered, first went on a sea voyage before being put on the world’s roads.If these vehicles – from the Seat Leon to the Volkswagen Tiguan to the Porsche Taycan – were lined up side by side, this would roughly correspond to the distance from one of the poles to the equator. Volkswagen books some of these vehicles onto scheduled ships operated by shipping companies that transport all kinds of rolling cargo. So, the T6 from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles sometimes travels side by side with excavators and tractors from Europe to Asia or Africa.
Eleven own charter ships operate for Volkswagen worldwide
However, the Volkswagen Group is the only car manufacturer to use its own charter ships – and has been doing so since the 1960s. Eleven of these charter ships are currently in service for the company worldwide, each of them offering space for up to 4,700 vehicles of the various Group brands. “The advantage of having our own charter ships is that we can determine the schedules ourselves,” explains Cordes-Klasing.