Case Study: Eberspächer

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Innovative system significantly improves intercontinental logistics

Eberspächer is one of the world’s leading system developers and suppliers of the automotive industry. With its three divisions – Exhaust Technology, Climate Control Systems and Automotive Controls – the company is a valued innovation partner and pacesetter for automotive manufacturers worldwide. Although much of its business is in Europe and North America, recent years have seen significant expansion into Asia. The Group maintains around 70 locations in 28 countries worldwide. Based on an existing business relationship, Eberspächer approached CHEP Automotive to assist it in reviewing the disposable packaging system used on one of its intercontinental lanes, the aim being to improve cost-effectiveness and sustainability, and with a view to expansion across further lanes.

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Customer facts about Eberspächer

  • Established in 1865
  • Revenues of 4.3 billion euros in 2016 with more than 9,000 employees
  • Approx. 40 manufacturing facilities worldwide
  • Headquarters in Esslingen (Germany)
  • Products for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, special purpose vehicles, buses and coaches, as well as boats
  • Development partner and system supplier to many of the world’s leading OEMs
  • Aftermarket supplier

This innovative logistics solution holds enormous potential for expansion up and down the supply chain, to OEMs and tier 2 suppliers. We are working with CHEP to pursue these opportunities for improved efficiency across the entire market.

Oliver Hermes Director Global Production Control & Logistics

The challenge

Having used CHEP’s pooling solutions within Europe, Eberspächer came to CHEP in 2014 seeking to develop an intercontinental logistics service that would not only replace its one-way packaging system with CHEP’s reusable containers, but also build on the CHEP pooling principle to create a bespoke, all-inclusive logistics service. Eberspächer wanted to begin with a real-life trial on one lane for transporting catalysts from its production plant in Port Elizabeth (South Africa) to Neunkirchen (Germany).

The aim was to fully overhaul the existing system to achieve significant optimisation of key logistics figures, including a reduction in direct packaging and storage costs, waste elimination, improved ergonomics and process efficiency, minimisation of part damage and a reduced carbon footprint.

The solution

CHEP and Eberspächer worked for a full year to develop an interconnected vertical cooperation for the trial lane, which included from the very start the flexibility necessary to roll it out into other intercontinental lanes. Exploiting the proven benefits of CHEP pooling and using it as a taxi service, the innovative solution incorporates the CHEP IcoQube container into the Eberspächer process chain, complete with RFID for asset tracking, SAP integration, the myCHEP asset management system and a suite of customer support and consultancy services.

The benefits

After a year of running the South Africa/Germany lane, the customer was extremely satisfied that the system works with the desired results, that it is replicable and therefore can easily be transferred to other lanes. All of the original goals have been met in terms of reliability, sustainability and cost-effectiveness. Material savings were significant, while trip volume (truck) and waste went down substantially. Savings were also realised with regards to rent (warehousing) and sea freight optimisation.


  • Approx. 193 tons of waste avoided per year (1 lane)
  • Sustainable solution with substantially lower carbon footprint
  • Lower pipeline inventory
  • Improved transparency in supply chain
  • Well adopted by employees
  • Improved workplace safety
  • Increased workforce awareness of supply chain efficiency
  • Lower administrative effort
  • TCO reduction
  • Already expanded into Czech Republic
  • Further expansion planned into China, USA and other European locations

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