THE 7th Cool Logistics Global conference will be held in Bruges, the capital of West Flanders in Belgium from September 29 - October 1.
Bruges is located in the heartland of Belgium's vegetable production and is the leading region in Europe for the frozen vegetables industry, a statement from the organisers of the event said.
The conference will focus on the trend towards increasing regionalisation of perishable trades given that the distribution of fresh or frozen produce over shorter distances continues to grow much faster than long distance shipments.
"As the European economies are slowly emerging from the global recession, there are early indications that both food and non-food perishable supply chains are emerging relatively unscathed from the gloom. Intermodal trade is also set to increase significantly in the short and medium term," the release said.
Confirmed speakers include head of Operations, Fresh/Time definite & Cross Functions at Lufthansa, Oliver Blum; global director of Reefer Logistics at Kuehne + Nagel, Frank Ganse; global head of Commercial Reefer Management, Maersk Line, Ole Schack Petersen; director of Supply Chain Advisors, Phillip Damas; and director of Logistics, Ardo Group, Jan Debaillie.
This year's conference will be opened by Joachim Coens, chairman of Port of Zeebrugge, conference sponsor, who will address the key challenges faced by 21st century perishable distribution and the role of ports.
On the first two days, the conference will assess the impact of these factors and analyse new trends in global perishables distribution.
Sessions will also tackle perennial issues such as investments in new cold storage capacity in emerging markets and in new reefer boxes and technology, which should benefit shippers and freight forwarders alike after a protracted period of notorious under investment in the sector.
The conference will also provide an analysis of perishables being transported by short sea operators as well as intra-European container services.
Discussion of the cascading effect of bigger vessels being deployed on north-south routes will feature a new twist: Have ports become the Achilles heel of the perishable supply chain?
Other questions to be asked are: How will smaller ports be affected, especially as the new shipping alliances are concentrating their services on the biggest ports, which have sufficient draft?
Or are we witnessing a bonanza for short sea and feeder operators as a result of this or are the restricted sulphur emissions in northern Europe leading to perishable cargo being driven back onto the roads.
Source : HKSG.