Maersk Line, Kuehne + Nagel, Lufthansa Cargo and Ardo Group to share their experiences of shipping and handling temperature-controlled cargo at the 7th Cool Logistics Global conference
LONDON, 16.04.2015 – Ole Schack Petersen, Global Head of Commercial Reefer Management at Maersk Line, the world’s largest reefer carrier operating around 230, 000 reefer boxes, and Frank Ganse, Global Director Reefer Logistics at Kuehne + Nagel, the premier logistics service provider for all kinds of perishable goods from ‘high volume’ items such as fruit and protein to more specialised temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals moving by sea, will address the 7th Cool Logistics Global conference in Bruges, 29 September – 1 October.
Shipping of perishables has had a rough time in 2013 and 2014, largely because of overcapacity in container shipping, leading to blanked sailings, unreliable schedules and disgruntled shippers, not to mention the lingering effect of the ban of Russian food imports.
In theory, bigger vessels should lead to lower costs without hampering service levels. But with every new mega container ship being, freight rates have taken another beating, dragging schedule reliability down to new lows.
“Reefer container shipping service quality on the traditional South-North routes has held a steadier course during the same period. However, the cascading effect of bigger container vessels now being increasingly forced onto secondary shipping routes, coupled with more slow steaming, is now leading to a greater insecurity and risk, ” said Alex von Stempel, Managing Director of Cool Logistics Resources. “Without the existence of dedicated conventional reefer shipping, which still commands substantial volumes within the fresh produce sector – such as bananas from Latin America and kiwis from New Zealand- schedule reliability on the South-North routes would be even more unreliable”, added von Stempel.
Encouragingly, some of the container lines have started to invest in new boxes and withdraw older and weather-beaten stock. Nevertheless, as demand patterns for reefers are becoming increasingly diversified, thanks partly to trades between emerging economies, there is a heightened risk of imbalances and ensuing box shortages.
Also, without investing in new reefer boxes, providing ‘zero transshipment’ guarantees and higher standards for time-sensitive perishable cargoes, how can shipping companies be serious about courting new products such as pharmaceuticals, which are still largely moving by a combination of air and truck?
These are just some of the issues that will be raised at the annual reefer ocean freight debate on the afternoon of the first conference day, the traditional high point of the 3-day perishables industry gathering.
Other speakers who have already confirmed their participation include Jan Debaillie, Group Logistics Director of the Ardo Group – one of the largest frozen vegetable shippers in Northern Europe – and Jef Huyben, CCO of European Container Services, who will explore the hidden opportunities of reefer intermodality.
Rounding off the list of key speakers will be Oliver Blum, who heads up the perishables team at Lufthansa Cargo, one of a handful of airlines prepared to redouble their effort to claw back some of the territory lost to ocean freight in recent years and one of the driving forces behind the perishable centre at Frankfurt airport.
As in previous years, Cool Logistics Global will provide three days packed with debates and tailor-made sessions on commercial, operational and technical challenges, covering all angles of perishable logistics including the latest thinking about how bottlenecks at sea, land or air can be resolved in the future.
Key sponsors this year include the Port of Zeebrugge as host port and Agro Merchants Group and PSA Zeebrugge as platinum sponsors.
7th Cool Logistics Global
- 29 September – 1 October 2015
- Crowne Plaza Bruges