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Building cold chains across the globe at Cool Logistics Global Conference

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Building cold chains across the globe at Cool Logistics Global Conference

LONDON, 28.08. 2019 Listening to the constant stream of news bulletins, one may be led to believe that ‘East is East and West is West’, that the world is becoming increasingly de-globalised and about to be broken up into smaller bits that no longer fit together.

The 11th Cool Logistics Global conference in Valencia next month sets out to prove that at least in terms of the cold chain and perishable logistics this impression may need a bit more nuance.

“The availability of new technology, growth of cross border e-commerce, shipping industry fundamentals and increased consumer consciousness about waste, ethics, provenance, social and environmental impact are converging to push everyone to tackle endemic inefficiencies in international reefer container supply chains from all angles, “ says Alex von Stempel, Managing Director of Cool Logistics Resources. “And today’s intelligent reefer boxes will tell you that they  – like the mega container vessels plying the oceans – cannot hang around empty for too long. “

Professor Alfred Cheung, Founder of Japan China Food Republic and Mark Buhl with his colleague Ryan Clark at DataHarvest will open the pre-conference Cool Logistics Workshop on the 17th September and stretch the imagination on how the Internet of Things (IoT) and allied digital technologies like blockchain are conquering one field of application after another, in an ‘algorithmic blood-rush to the brain’ spanning food production, e-commerce and reefer containerisation in one fell swoop.

Some people may wonder what e-commerce, the cold chain and perishable logistics have in common, especially in the context of cross-border trade. However, food is one of the fastest growing areas of e-commerce – even though most of it is currently limited to a 30-mile radius.

China and Asia represent huge opportunities for food e-commerce and Cool Logistics recently took part in the debates at 1st Cold Chain Summit during the 2019 ICEE/ICEF – Guangzhou International Cross-border E-commerce & Goods Expo. You can read a full report on the Cool Logistics blog.

But is there an argument to be made regarding the global aspect of the cold chain? Is there an underlying desire for cross-continent food e-commerce? Yes, is the short answer, because the underlying fundamentals of global perishable logistics remain intact, as on the third day of the conference, Robert Sappio, CEO of leading reefer container lessor SeaCube, will stress.

“The rise of the middle class and the rise in world population in general remains one of the key drivers of reefer containerisation,” observes Mr. Sappio. He and others believe this underlying fundamental may mean that the upcoming IMO 2020 low sulphur fuel rules for shipping will not act as hammer blow for reefer box shippers and smaller reefer logistics specialists, as many have suggested. It has also been argued that the current shortage of reefer boxes may not last into Q1 2020 as there is currently “a lot of pent up demand.”

Sebastian Cameron, Director of Generation Investment Management will tackle perhaps the biggest global challenge of all: the need to decarbonise capital.  Cameron will present a new report on sustainable trends and highlight some of the environmental steps that will need to be made to combat waste in both food production and distribution.

“But who actually controls (i.e. buys) the freight?”, Steve Alaerts of food logistics specialist foodcareplus pointedly wrote in a recent letter to the editor of the Cool Logistician newsletter published by Cool Logistics.

Mr. Alaerts agrees with Ole Schack Petersen, COO of LCL – who chairs the opening day of the main Cool Logistics Global Conference on 18 September – that “ocean carriers do not hold all the cards.”

Cool Logistics Global will seek to balance out views between the large reefer container operators, including Maersk, MSC and CMA CGM, and the larger and smaller perishable logistics providers, in a series of sessions and debates over three days in Valencia, including an entire session on Cool Rail, which will spell out in detail a modern approach to perishable supply chain intermodal integration with Fred Lessing, Manager International Flows, Euro Pool System, Mar Chao Lopez, Commercial Director, Port of Valencia and Anne Saris, Business Manager, Agrifood & Distribution Containers, Breakbulk & Logistics, Port of Rotterdam.

Throughout the event there will be ample opportunity for fresh produce shippers to air their views as in the opening session featuring Francesca Hopkins, Head of Logistics at Jupiter Group,  with production facilities in several countries including the UK and the Netherlands and Juan Puchades, General Manager of Bollo, a leading Spanish melon producer.

Indeed, how producers are becoming increasingly empowered to by-pass the traditional importer base will also be the subject of Genevieve Leveille, CEO of AgriLedger, who will seek to prove that Haitian mango farmers might be able to determine and directly secure payments from US importers.

On the final session of the conference Franklin Ginus, Chief Mission Officer of start-up BeFrank, will analyse how crippling logistics costs are putting fair trade bananas at a distinct disadvantage compared with more established banana producers in Latin America.

As global perishables logistics, shipping and reefer transport face change on virtually every front, including disruptive technology, the 11th Cool Logistics Global offers a unique platform for all the stakeholders  – including brand new entrants – to debate the issues, and walk away with fresh insights.

The latest programme and speaker line-up can be viewed at www.coollogisticsglobal.com/programme

Delegates can book to attend the full event, 2-day conference only or 1-day workshop only at http://coollogisticsresources.com/global/register .

11th Cool Logistics Global

17-19 September 2019
Hotel Meliá
Valencia, Spain

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