European Logistics

Co-ordinating our movement of parts and vehicles across the region

The Toyota Parts Centre Europe is our central distribution centre, at the heart of our parts supply chain. Located in Belgium, it ships thousands of parts every day to our regional depots across the region.

The growth of our European manufacturing and sales means we have had to develop an efficient way of handling increasing numbers of parts – receiving them from our suppliers and shipping them to our workshops. This task is co-ordinated by the Toyota Parts Centre Europe, in Diest, Belgium.

The centre was opened in 1992 and underwent significant expansion in 1999 and again in 2006, increasing its warehouse space from 38,000m2 to around 100,000m2. It is at the heart of a supply chain that also includes 13 regional depots in countries across greater Europe, from Portugal to Kazkhastan.

TPCE stocks 205,000 different part numbers, received from 180 suppliers in up to 100 truck movements every day. It operates around the clock, shipping items to more than 660 delivery points.

What does TPCE do?

TPCE is responsible for Total Supply Chain Management – that means it organises both when and how parts are received into the warehouses, the process by which they are selected, picked and loaded to meet orders, and the transport logistics required for shipping them efficiently to the right place, at the right time.

The office part of the operation looks after matters such as procurement, inventory control, customer support, quality, packaging and planning. Meanwhile the team in the warehouse is responsible for receiving, sorting, storing, picking, packing and loading parts for shipment. On average, around 527,000 parts and accessories are received and shipped each day.

Green logistics

Every delivery counts

The transportation of parts incurs significant costs and also contributes to the carbon emissions we produce as a business. That makes it an important area for identifying where and how we can make improvements to save money and protect the environment.

The Toyota Parts Centre Europe focused on this issue, involving all its departments and European stakeholders in a thorough review. They concluded that valuable benefits could be gained from rethinking the way trucks are loaded, to make the best possible use of the space available.

It is a “lean” solution to the problem, just like the principles we apply in the Toyota Production System Thanks to great teamwork, the project was rolled out to other facilities in our Parts Supply Chain Group so that they could take up new best practice methods.

For example, our parts centre in Germany has already been able to save more than €350,000 a year by using boxes that can be returned, extending their lifetime. The new boxes are also designed with better ergonomics so they are easier to handle and allow for more efficient use of space. This means more parts can be loaded in each shipment, ultimately reducing the number of vehicle movements we have to make. And, of course having fewer trucks on the road means fewer emissions.

These changes had an immediate impact for our supply chain group, in the first year alone saving almost 1.6 million tonnes of CO2.

Learn more about the environmental performance of Toyota's business operations

Here comes the sun

100% Green energy to power our warehouse

One of the biggest arrays of solar panels in Belgium can be found up on the roof of our warehouse at TPCE. Installed in 2010, it extends to 80,000m2 – the size of more than seven football pitches – and captures enough energy from the sun to meet up to 20 per cent of the site’s electricity requirements.

TPCE annual CO2 savings.
Toyota Parts Centre Europe.

We worked in close co-operation with specialist partner Blue Planet Solar NV, which financed and now operates the €7 million installation. The array is made up of 12,800 individual panels which together can produce peak power of 1.84 megawatts and up to 1,620 megawatt-hours of electricity a year. That gives TPCE the potential to save 1,700 tonnes of CO2 from its power demands each year.

The performance of these panels contributes to the fact that all our facilities in Belgium have been 100% powered by green energy since 2007. This is in line with the targets we have set in the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 to cut the carbon emissions from our factories to zero.

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