Logistics meets Innovation
October 7th, 2015
Vlerick Business School, Brussels, Belgium
About the conference 2015
The problem of low capacity utilization is much bigger than many realize – the number one commodity shipped in EU supply chains is air. According to the World Economic Forum, 24% of the road freight kilometers in Europe are covered by trucks which are completely empty. When carrying cargo, the trucks are full to only 57% of their gross weight capacity. The estimated annual losses amount to €160 billion. Logistics companies can no longer solve this problem by adding extra shipping capacity because this is not a sustainable solution. There are several trends underway in Europe including the massive growth of e-commerce, limitations on building new transport infrastructure, and pressure to cut CO2 emissions. These developments are pushing supply chain players to seek better, more innovative and more sustainable solutions.
The first Logistics meets Innovation conference on “Improving Transport Capacity Utilization in the Supply Chain” was held on the Brussels campus of Vlerick Business School. The conference was organized by Transmetrics and TRI-VIZOR, both founded by Vlerick alumni, and was moderated by Prof. Robert Boute. The official partners of the conference were the European Logistics Association (ELA) and Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP Benelux Roundtable). The conference was sponsored by Vlerick Business School and Ahlers.
The event brought together over 40 representatives from three different parts of the supply chain: shippers, freight forwarders, and carriers, who looked at the problem of capacity utilization from their own perspective.
About the Presentations
“Why Do We Need a Change to the Intermodality Approach?”
“Improving Transport Capacity Utilization in the Supply Chain - a Forwarder’s Point of View”
“Achieving Higher Load Factors by Forecasting”
The Key Takeaways
During the panel discussion, the audience had a chance to share their thoughts on issues in the supply chain. There were several main trends mentioned during the debate including the need for better data quality, confidentiality issues when sharing data, and the fear of anti-trust regulation as a barrier to innovation in the industry. The audience and the speakers agreed that focusing on IT and ‘Big Data’ in the industry is the right direction to follow but that mindsets about data sharing and collaboration have to change faster. Audience-members represented well-known Belgian and global companies including Sony, Nestlé, Ahlers, Katoen Natie, Vandemoortele, Cargill, Wim Bosman, and others.
“For the first time in the history of logistics, we have a level playing field for horizontal collaboration in Europe and a possibility to create a paradigm shift. All the pieces of the puzzle are there, we just need to stop talking and start acting. It is great to see that some big names like P&G, Nestlé and PepsiCo are taking the lead,” said Sven Verstrepen, TRI-VIZOR.