Worry that the current cost structure of the shipping industry is forcing increasing inefficiency and risk in the cold chain, with the potential to compromise quality for the end customer, is spurring some perishables shippers to reach out to shipping lines to find better logistical solutions. This current concern about the ocean freighted perishables industry forms the backdrop of the annual ‘Great Reefer Debate’ at the 10th Anniversary edition of the Cool Logistics Global Conference & Exhibition in Antwerp, running from 2-4 October 2018.
Not only is there increased concern that refrigerated containers are so often not where they are needed, when they are needed, but there are increased reports of ships not sailing when they are scheduled to. Unacceptable delays are forcing more shippers to claim, and while some logistics service providers are developing new and better solutions, there is growing frustration that these are not always able to be utilised when ships are late.
What this will mean for the ocean freight cold chain is ultimately in the hands of all the parties involved. Can the industry work together to ensure better reliability? Can new sustainable technological solutions be adopted to deliver better quality perishable produce? Or is the maritime industry looking at a swing from fresh to frozen – and will airfreight carriers be the winners?
Shippers and retailers will raise topics such as transport capacity, cost implications of environmental shipping regulations including the Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECA), disruption as a function of new technologies, retail cost pressures and implications of e-commerce.
Reefer shipping, technology and trade facilitation, including a focused look at port logistics and the potential of digitilisation to improve container access. A view at achieving greater supply chain transparency, facilitating perishable trade flows and implications for future cold chain investment.
Topics will range from reefer box access and whether or not there really is a box shortage, to delays and transshipment, rolled boxes and specialised reefer shipping.
Cool Logistics Global, the annual conference and exhibition for perishables, shipping and logistics people, will seek once more to tackle the most important issues facing the global cold chain industry. Bringing key executives together for high level debate, the conference on 3-4 October, plus technology workshop on 2 October, will cover issues including the latest trends in reefer logistics, shipping and handling, infrastructure and distribution planning, the intelligent reefer unit, logistics opportunities in fresh value projects financed by the World Bank Group, blockchain, IoT and other smart technologies for the cold chain, a look at the global airfreight supply chain and more. The exhibition will highlight latest services and technologies for shippers of temperature-controlled cargoes.