The 3PL Panalpina is adding what it calls "Logistics Manufacturing Services (LMS)" to its operations for the Brazil services for a large telecommunications company.
Panalpina did not disclose the identity of the company, but said it is now managing the assembly of semi-knocked down units for base stations at cell phone towers.
"Panalpina not only executes the final assembly, but takes full ownership of the whole process – from planning to quality control," the company said, adding that this is "one of the first times that a telecoms company has successfully outsourced manufacturing to a 3PL.
"Logistics is changing — rather than simply transporting goods from A to B, there is a growing trend for partners to take more ownership and responsibility for their customer’s supply chains," Panalpina said.
At a facility near São Paulo, Panalpina now handles assembly, warehousing and outbound delivery of telecommunications equipment. Operations once performed at five warehouses have been consolidated in a 344,000-square-foot facility.
Panalpina takes care of all the planning that goes along with high-quality manufacturing, and it says order cycle processes can be run in parallel instead of in a sequence, which has reduced order fulfillment times.
While facility handles cell phones, tablets, modems, spare parts for terminals, spare parts for finished goods, Mike Wilson, the global head of logistics at Panalpina, said assembly of semi-knocked down (SKD) base stations accounts for 140 job of the 200 jobs at the facility.
"SKD alone consists of five different assembly lines. In the final assembly and testing line, Panalpina staff assemble base station boards and cabinets, and run software updates and tests," the company said in a statement. "Finished products are then packaged, labelled and passed to the warehouse next door for outbound delivery."