Automotive Logistics Case Study: Import Transformation

How one of the oldest automotive manufacturing companies transformed their business into a top‑tier importer with the help of fully outsourced trade management from GEODIS.

GEODIS provides a range of customs brokerage, foreign trade, Foreign-Trade Zone, and import services. This supply chain case study details how we used our international expertise to deliver substantial efficiencies for a large automotive client. 

Key takeaways


  • A large automotive manufacturer needed support from customs and trade services to import products into the U.S. 
  • GEODIS provided these services while the manufacturer was going through a pivotal reorganization
  • We decreased their workload while supporting a 119% increase in revenue
  • We helped to grow our client's reputation as a best-in-class automotive importer and set them up for further success

Facts about our automotive client


  • One of the world’s longest‑running automotive manufacturing companies with a national and international presence
  • Specializes in interior electronics, automotive safety, and other automotive technology
  • Going through a pivotal re-organization—strategically outsourcing trade services meant they could focus on reshaping their company
  • Searching for a third-party logistics provider that could sustain their growth during a challenging economic period

Automotive logistics import challenges

Our client's importing presence began to grow drastically during a period of economic uncertainty. They needed a third-party logistics (3PL) provider with the experience and resources to handle all U.S. import-related trade services. The 3PL needed to provide comprehensive trade services throughout the reorganization.


Automotive logistics import solutions

Our client was searching for a logistics partner who was knowledgeable, efficient, cost-effective, and who could quickly get up-to-speed with their business and industry. The GEODIS Trade Services team features experts from varied backgrounds, including customs brokers, customs auditors, retail management, CPAs, attorneys, and others.


We were able to supply our client with a very diverse, collaborative, and knowledgeable team to take the day‑to‑day import workload off of our client’s plate. We provided robust trade services and compliance management that fit our client's growth goals. Our customs brokerage and trade services solutions included:


  • Helping with product classification
  • Determining preference eligibility
  • Dealing with NAFTA and USMCA solicitations
  • Keeping and sharing accurate records
  • Managing key aspects of the import process
  • Completing broker reviews
  • Assisting with Customs and Border Protection audits
  • Complying with import and export requirements
  • Training employees
  • Managing duty drawbacks and recovering fees
  • Reconciling imports, exports, and inventory
  • Managing post‑entry actions


Part of our responsibilities were to resolve questions from customs brokers holding up the release of cargo, guarantee goods were properly classified, satisfy NAFTA requirements, maintain import documentation for suppliers, ensure compliant entry declarations, and much more.


Automotive logistics import outcomes


  • Time savings: decreased their day‑to‑day workload through integration with a dedicated GEODIS trade services team
  • Increased capacity: allowed our client to prioritize strategic initiatives
  • Increased internal controls and compliance: managed audits, product classification, export compliance, and preference eligibility guidance resulting in the filing of thousands of successful transactions
  • Boosted revenue: more than doubled revenue growth through our partnership

Automotive logistics import results

Our deep trade services and import expertise supported our client during a significant company reorganization. It provided stability for their business during an economically challenging time. Results included:


  • A 119% increase in revenue
  • Annual revenue of €24 billion
  • A 77% increase in headcount
  • Growing the company’s status as a significant importer
  • Setting them up for future success on their importing journey

How GEODIS can help

GEODIS is one of the biggest logistics and transportation providers in the U.S. and around the world. Get in touch with GEODIS to see how we can meet your customs brokerage and trade service needs.