French logistics group Geodis has been opening what it calls ‘centres of excellence’ (CoEs) in the belief that these hubs enable their customers to make better supply chain decisions.

In an exclusive interview with The Loadstar, Geodis EVP for supply chain optimisation Eric Gerbi said the main aim behind the CoEs was to provide shippers with visibility to help decision-making on the spot.

Geodis’s newest CoE opened in Bangalore, India, on 21 December, joining the five others in the US, Mexico, France, Serbia and China.

Mr Gerbi explained that the CoEs use GeoFlow, Geodis’s proprietary visibility platform that he said combined real-time data to provide end-to end visibility and traceability.

Eric Gerbi    Photo: Geodis

The availability of such data allows the CoEs to provide customised dashboards and metrics, said Mr Gerbi.

“What sets Geodis CoEs apart are their abilities to enhance the resilience and agility of our customer’s networks in the mid- and long-term horizon. Through our digital twin solution, we can execute a virtual simulation model of the real supply chain, enabling our customers to evaluate end-to-end supply chain options through stress tests. This allows our customers to anticipate risks and optimise their supply chain assets and, in the long-term, design the optimal and sustainable network using historical data and market trends.”

Working closely with customers, Geodis experts can optimise operational processes for more control of the supply chain, which improves resilience as well as accelerating the decision-making process.

“These are crucial outcomes, particularly in today’s complex and global supply chain ecosystems. Our goal is to ensure we build and run a collaborative and innovative network that gives our customers, their partners, and their end-customers a competitive advantage in a dynamic business environment,” he explained.

Mr Gerbi said orders leaving India for Mexico were managed by the Bangalore CoE at origin, ensuring orders are picked up and uplifted.

“Upon arrival in Mexico, our Guadalajara CoE takes over to make sure orders are delivered on time to their end destination. Our CoEs, working in tandem, deliver a ‘follow-the-sun’ solution to our customers.”

Despite being landlocked, Bangalore was chosen to house Geodis’ Indian CoE because it has the greatest number of universities in India, and many graduates choose to stay and work in the area.

Mr Gerbi added: “Bangalore is also well known for its strong outsourcing and BPO industries. Furthermore, Geodis already had a sizeable team there that had the requisite experience, know how and ambition.”

While the major liner operators are adding air freight to their vertical integration strategy, Geodis, which acquired its first air freighter in August 2021, does not plan to expand its air cargo fleet. Mr Gerbi said: “We continue to run different Air Direct programmes on transatlantic, transpacific and Europe-China-Europe routes. .

“We’re analysing the market and the different opportunities in correlation with our customers’ needs and we do not yet plan to add more aircraft into our fleet.”

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