Ports have been the global gateways for goods and people for millennia. But today the modern major port offers the potential to drive real supply chain value for port customers and the beneficial cargo owners. I was fortunate enough to chair a panel discussion hosted by UKMPG member DP World at the recent Multimodal exhibition to explore this topic and hear directly from port customers and their customers. It was a fascinating discussion that highlighted opportunities but also challenges and areas for further improvement to realise value.
The panel brought together a great cross section of businesses. HALO, a logistics solutions provider to multiple importer and exporter partners focused on time critical, perishable foods. Import Services, who manage retail supply chains from product origin in regions such as Asia to customer delivery in the UK and across Continental Europe. Sofology, an innovative, customer experience focused home furniture retailer with global supply chains.
As you’d expect with organisations in different sectors and with different positions in the supply chain they each had their own business drivers and dynamics. But despite this, what was striking were important commonalities. The complexity and tight timelines that they face to deliver their ‘customer promise’ against, the need to deliver responsiveness and solutions not just goods, as well as the importance of visibility and assurance to their customers.
There was also a clear, common view that ports could and should have an important role in enabling them to meet these challenges and create real value.
How does that happen? Listening to our speakers a number of themes emerged: . . . . .
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