Future of Logistics Session Envisions Tomorrow’s Supply Chain
TLME has recently completed the inaugural Future of Logistics Conference which began with a diverse panel of supply chain experts predicting the future for the sector and the Middle East.
The first session was moderated by event host Lars Jensen, a world-renowned supply chain expert with a history of working with Maersk before launching his own consultancy firm, Vespucci Maritime.
The session was aptly titled ‘The State of the Sector’ and featured Senior Cargo Commercial Manager with Etihad Cargo Bader Al Ali, Unitechnik’s Managing Director Hans Ettengruber, President and CEO of Daimler Commercial Trucks (MENA) Kay-Wolf Ahlden, industry expert Ram Menen and TLME Chairman Joe Beydoun who was speaking on behalf of the conference's Platinum event sponsors, Fast Logistics.
The Most Pressing Issues of Our Time
Session moderator Jensen began proceedings by making a very pertinent point in that the new demand witnessed in the sector provides much needed funds for key players to commit to decarbonisation, something he listed as the most important issue of our time.
• Hans Ettengruber (Unitechnik) struck a positive note by stating he was ‘optimistic’ regarding the industry’s resurgence following the global pandemic, stating that stability should return to the market by 2022, and full operations resumed by 2024.
• Key-Wolf Ahlden agreed by stating that 2022 would be positive for the industry with demand outstripping supply, while also stating that his organisation (Daimler) was starting to see itself less as a supplier and more as a ‘partner’ in the chain. This is to deal with oncoming challenges by creating working models fit for the 21st century.
• Etihad Cargo’s Bader Al Ali stated that there is now a ‘new normal’ that the sector must acclimatise itself to, and this means we must build ties with new strategic partners to cope with high levels of demand.
• Ram Menan stated that the Middle East has a massive opportunity as borders tighten around the world due to the pandemic. This is likely to create a very competitive global marketplace, one which the Middle East can truly grow into.
• TLME Chairman Joe Beydoun speaking on behalf of the conference's Platinum event sponsors Fast Logistics looked to autonomous vehicles as the key issue in the near future, highlighting the huge problem of driver shortages in Europe and exploring how technology provides the perfect answer to this.
Lars Jensen concluded the session by stating that while autonomous technology isn’t going to dominate the supply chain overnight, it is coming.
Because of this, he recommended players in the industry to practice with technology on a small scale first to learn how to optimise processes on a bigger scale and iron out issues beforehand.
Further to this, Jensen stated the biggest challenge we have is to work through the business processes and legal frameworks to make autonomous operations a reality.