Battery manufacturer ARTS Energy, a premium supplier of all kinds of energy storage solutions, makes its products in a rural French village. These solutions power its customers in Europe and around the world. Global logistics company Dachser has handled the logistics for the last four years. The transport of batteries and energy cells requires specialist knowledge and stringent compliance. Dachser South Africa customers benefit from the company’s global network, expertise and systems when transporting energy-related products.
Lithium batteries, the battery of the future, is a technology that is truly taking off. In Nersac, a town of just 3,000 people in the Charente department in western France, nearly 300 people work for ARTS Energy—a company that in 2013 was spun off from battery manufacturer Saft, in which mineral group Total holds a majority stake. What makes ARTS Energy special in the market is that it is the only company of its kind that manufactures its products in Europe; the rest of the competition is based in Asia.
At the heart of this energizing business idea remains rechargeable nickel and lithium-ion batteries, which ARTS Energy delivers from rural France to all of Europe and around the world. Transporting them has been the responsibility of DACHSER’s Niort branch for the past four years, taking note of special requirements for the transport of lithium batteries.
At the end of 2014, DACHSER initially handled 20 percent of overland transport, delivering to the battery manufacturer’s customers in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Spain. A year later, that number had grown to 50 percent.
Today, in addition to the home market of France, DACHSER supplies customers primarily based in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, and Spain. DACHSER also became the company’s exclusive partner for sea freight in 2018. From Nersac the goods are transported by truck to the port of Hamburg, and from there to the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, and Singapore. And when time is tight, DACHSER can also organize air freight services.
Shorter transport times
Delivery speed is also important to ARTS Energy, and thanks to DACHSER, it could reduce transport times to Austria from four to two days, and also cut delivery times in half for transports to Hungary and Romania. This calls for a high degree of reliability, transparency, and of course an equally high standard of quality. DACHSER constantly strives to achieve this with its own software, such as the MIKADO warehouse management system and its DOMINO transport management system.
Before lithium batteries and cells can be transported, they must pass certain tests. These tests simulate various conditions with regard to, for example, pressure, temperature, crushing and impact that may arise during shipping. On January 1, 2020, more stringent requirements concerning lithium batteries and cells came into effect for all modes of transport worldwide. A test summary compliant with UN 38.3.5 must be submitted for all lithium batteries and cells manufactured after June 30, 2003. Doing so is the joint responsibility of the manufacturers and the distributors of these goods. Customers make these documents available to Dachser so that the team can, in turn, make them available throughout the entire supply chain.
“In DACHSER, ARTS Energy has found a partner that is always interested in improving its processes and the quality of its services,” says Anthony Mériet, head of logistics at ARTS Energy.
As the company continues to grow, it relies in no small way on logistics—and its partner DACHSER. After all, ARTS Energy generates 70 percent of its revenue (EUR 38 million last year) from exports, and all signs point to further growth. At the moment, the company’s top priority is expanding its business in North America. A joint venture with Amigo Tec in the US should considerably increase the share of revenue generated there, currently at 12 percent. In other words, the success story continues—with full power, at top speed, and with all the electric momentum of the energy transition.