02 December 2013

Press Release: FFF2013 “Innovative Solutions in Logistics: from Strategy to Reality"

CLECAT, the European Association for forwarding, transport, logistics and customs services held its 13th annual event on Thursday 28th of November in Antwerp.  Under the theme “Innovative Solutions in Logistics: from Strategy to Reality”, the Forum debated a number of innovative developments in logistics in order to make better use of hinterland capacity and to increase performance in the supply chain.

Marc Huybrechts, President of CLECAT, said in his opening remarks: ‘the logistics sector will continue to look for collaborative and more flexible and dynamic logistics solutions, for which information is of paramount importance. Further initiatives will need to be taken to make sure that information, that is in principle ‘available’, becomes paperless, interoperable and standardised where possible in combination with innovative concepts.' 

He continued ‘in view of the economic climate and the many challenges with regards to sustainability, logistics companies will continue to seek to do ‘more with less’ by avoiding empty runs and through optimised and synchronised planning of capacity.  The logistics industry will have to become even more innovative and flexible in the future to remain sustainable and to fulfil its role as the backbone of a competitive economy.  But for this we need sound policies:  a single European market without barriers and a robust EU policy on logistics that creates an environment where transport companies and operators can run their business efficiently, so they can continue growing and keep Europe globally competitive.’ 

Keir Fitch, Cabinet of Vice-President of the European Commission recalled the importance of logistics which as an industry, accounts for at least 10% of Europe's GDP. It also provides more than 11 million jobs in the European Union and six of the top 10 global logistics companies are European.  He confirmed that the Commission will publish a strategy paper early next year on logistics. It will identify and tackle cross-border and cross-sector problem areas and provide the basis for a longer-term policy vision for freight transport and logistics.

MEP Philippe De Backer supported innovation and advanced technologies as key for a sustainable future.  He recalled that transport will increase when Europe gets out of the current crisis and called on the need to get prepared for this through embracing the opportunities of liberalisation, and a truly Single European Transport market, bringing benefits to business and society.

Other speakers included Frank Witlox, Ph.D , Visiting Professor of Warehouse and Hinterland Distribution Management at ITMMA, Jan Blomme, Chief Advisor at Antwerp Port Authority, Steve Declercq, Director Benelux at DuisPort, Piet Jan ten Thije, Director Strategy & Business Development, Portbase, Alberto Grisone, Director Network Development, Hupac, Frank Knoors, LOGIT One NV, Prof Thierry Vanelslander, University of Antwerp, Jaco Voorspuij, ITBD Manager, DHL Supply Chain, Jean Verheyen, CEO, Nallian, Eric Geerts, Director, product management, Descartes, Steve Parker, DHL and Chairman Customs Institute CLECAT, Jean-Michel Grave, DG TAXUD,European Commission, Godfried Smit, European Shippers’ Council and Jan Van Wesemael, CEB.

The Forum brought together all those involved in the transport supply chain including logistics service providers, decision makers, shippers, supply chain professionals and academics.  Presentations are available here.

For further information contact

Nicolette van der Jagt

Director General

Rue du Commerce 77

B-1040 Brussels

Tel: +32 2503 4705

Fax: +32 2503 4752

URL: http://www.clecat.org

Email: nicolettevdjagt@clecat.org


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