The future is not orange
Ahead of Fruit Logistica in Berlin from 5 – 7 February, the Cool Logistics Global team explores the key themes up for discussion and debate
London 4 February 2020 – Producing reliable harvest forecasts is becoming more and more difficult due to increasingly erratic irrigation patterns alternating with prolonged drought periods. And it is this unpredictability that now makes fresh produce production and export volumes a hit-and-miss game, says Oliver Huesmann of Fruit Consulting.
Whilst the fresh produce sector faces its own particular supply chain challenges, there may be no better time for shippers to engage with the perishable logistics industry in order to ensure the smoothest possible transition into the 2020 Southern Hemisphere season, than at the forthcoming Fruit Logistica in Berlin, 5-7 February,
Alex von Stempel, Managing director of Cool Logistics Resources will be priming the pump at the Logistic Hub event and drive home the need for a continuing dialogue between produce shippers and the transport and logistics sector at a time when several factors may well collide to create a ‘perfect storm’ later this year: reefer equipment shortages, the reality of IMO 2020 and climate crisis are just such factors and are high up the agenda at both Fruit Logistica Berlin and at Cool Logistics Global in Rotterdam from 13-15 October
The theme of this year’s Cool Logistics Global event will be ‘re-designing the coldchain’, emphasising the need for imagination and transformation in order to provide a fully-functioning and more systematic approach to the logistics of handling not just chilled produce but also deep-frozen cargoes.
“Until now purchasing managers in the retail sector could simply substitute one country of origin for another. Given that agricultural productivity levels have kept ahead of demand due to advances in crop science, retailers have always been able to rely on the ‘security of over-production’ ”, von Stempel adds.
However, with everything in flux and lingering trade imponderables, peppered by continuing political risks, shippers and logistics service providers will need to focus both on the big and the small pictures.
Until now producers were prepared to take the risk of losing a certain percentage of the harvest. However, with the reality of climate change now being regarded as an actual climate crisis, everyone could lose out: producers, exporters, the logistics sector and, of course, ultimately the consumer.
If there is not enough fresh produce volume to transport from the Southern hemisphere to the Northern hemisphere, ocean carriers and logistics service providers who until now could rely on more than abundant transport capacity including reefer containers, some of the leading players may think twice about whether it makes sense to simply bank on volume cargoes such as citrus fruit, bananas, or pineapples. Take the continuing demand for protein in the New World of China and beyond.
Cool Logistics Global is sponsored by the avant-garde and some of the main players in the industry, including Fruit Logistica itself, Kuehne+Nagel, SeaCube and Visbeen.