Forwarders can play a key role in supporting the logistics industry as it moves to a sustainable future – evidenced by an agreement between Airbus and Gefco. 

Gefco is to supply the aerospace company with reusable packaging, phasing out the currently used disposable material. 

Gefco, which has more than 30 years’ experience in re-usable packaging, is to use foldable containers for the movement of Airbus parts. 

Peugeot’s former logistics company began managing Airbus’s reusable packaging in January, to move components from suppliers across Europe to 10 assembly plants in France, Germany, Spain and the UK. Eventually, sustainable packaging will be available to all Airbus’ European sites and suppliers. 

Not only can the containers be re-used, but the move will reduce the number of trucks on the road as the boxes are foldable. 

Gefco has six packaging management centres dealing with ordering, collection, loading and transport of the reusable boxes,  which are tracked by the Netbox IT system. 

“We are very proud of the trust Airbus has placed in us and we are delighted to bring our unique reusable packaging expertise to this ambitious project,” said Emmanuel Arnaud, Gefco executive vice president sales & marketing 

“Our international network of experts and our renowned operational skills, particularly in the automotive sector, enable us to confidently take up this challenge with a partnership approach, in line with our ‘Partners, unlimited’ brand signature.” 

Gefco, meanwhile, is to postpone its planned IPO.

Gefco is 75% owned by Russian Railways (RZD) and 25% owned by PSA Group. Both parties said last year they wanted to launch an IPO for the logistics company and reduce their shareholdings.

However, last month RZD’s first deputy general director, Vadim Mikhailov, told media it would not happen this year.

“There is no market,” he said. Once the IPO market has returned, RZD would revisit the plan, he added.  

RZD bought its stake in Gefco in 2012 from PSA. It had planned to sell at least 25% of the company, but not more than 35%. PSA aims to reduced its stake to 10%. 

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