76,000 Expected to Attend February’s Event
This year’s Fruit Logistica event takes place in Berlin from 7th to 9th February. It covers every stage in the international fresh produce supply chain.
Today’s world seems like a far smaller place than it used to be. The internet allows us to work virtually alongside colleagues anywhere else on the planet, and ecommerce has made an irrelevance of distance for B2C and B2B shoppers.
This is well and good, but where tangible goods are involved, there still comes a point where they need to be physically transported from buyer to seller. That’s one thing when it is a pair of shoes, but for perishable goods that need temperature controlled transport, the logistics have to be perfectly coordinated, every time. Any delay can result in waste and losses that no business can afford.
The international transportation of fresh produce is one of the most important topics in logistics, and the globalisation of the industry, with more and more international supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl, has pushed it even higher up the agenda.
Little wonder, then, that as it prepares for its 26th annual event, Fruit Logistica is expecting more participants and visitors than ever before. Berlin Expo Centre is preparing to welcome 3,077 exhibitors along with 76,000 visitors for the three-day event, which will cover every sector that falls within the fresh produce business.
Exhibitors will be showcasing their latest innovations, and the products and services that touch on each link in the international supply chain. The event offers unprecedented opportunities to network with the most important decision-makers across every sector of their industry.
Road transportation on the up
Year on year, there is more fresh produce being shipped across Europe by road. While governments make vague commitments to get more goods moving by train, there is little or nothing happening to improve the rail infrastructure that is already buckling under the strain. The incident last summer, in which repairs to the Rastaat Tunnel resulted in major subsidence along one of the key routes is a case in point. One of the busiest transport arteries, used by more than 100 trains every day, was rendered completely unusable. The result? Minimal information and line after line of containers stranded in the depths of beyond for several weeks.
It is little wonder that against such an alternative, those shipping fresh produce choose to do so by truck. There are always improvements that can be made, and there is little doubt that this topic will be discussed at length during Fruit Logistica, but the fact remains that when compared to any other transportation means, the road network stands head and shoulders above all else.
Perhaps the biggest concern facing those who rely on speed from door to door in their international shipping is the question of Brexit. With ambiguity still rife as to what customs formalities will be needed for trucks crossing between the EU and UK, there are genuine fears that the ports will face congestion, delays and potential gridlock the day Britain leaves the EU.
It is certain to be a subject that will be discussed at length, but whether pressure can be brought to bear on the politicians at the heart of the negotiations remains to be seen.