EKOL Logistics: Thinking Outside the Box
This case describes Ekol, an intermodal transportation and logistics company, and how it manages capacity planning. Its busiest routes linked motor vehicle assemblers in Germany and Turkey with many of their parts suppliers, but it had also developed key links in fast-fashion supply chains. It used combinations of land, short-sea, and rail routes to provide different levels of service. The challenge was maximizing utilization of its trucks and trailers, especially on key bottleneck links, in the face of unbalanced traffic. To address the issue Ekol developed a consolidation center in Turkey and a cross-dock deconsolidation center in Germany, its largest market. As Chairman Ahmet Musul and his team looked at ways to squeeze out more capacity, they reconsidered their planning model and whether they should build more consolidation/deconsolidation centers to optimize costs and wring out more efficiency in its operations.