Last week, from 8 to 10 February 2017, Berlin became the global capital of the fresh produce trade, with the most important business frame, Fruit Logistica 2017. Over 70,000 trade visitors from more than 130 countries participated in. Within the 3,100 exhibitors from 86 countries, the Port of La Spezia, as project partner of the “Fresh Food Corridors” (FFC), presented itself at the FFC stand and organized on 9th February a successful B2B meeting cocktail event with the aim to enable interaction between potential customers, suppliers and the whole marketplace.
Meeting and Networking
The initiative, moderated by the La Spezia FFC project manager, Eng. Federica Montaresi, was useful to collect data and information – through a survey handed out to participants – for developing a market feasibility study on “reefer” sector and evaluating the potential progresses of perishable goods’ trades between Eu and non-Eu countries. More than 30 participants (representatives of shipping companies, freight forwarders, fresh food exporters and importers, terminal operators) attended the B2B event. Firstly, it was briefly illustrated a general overview about the port of La Spezia and the principle actions carried out, as logistic corridor connections, well-equipped facilities in the dry port of Santo Stefano di Magra, new rail infrastructures and optimization of road links. Secondly, a round table was held to fruitful discuss on future perspective and opportunities in order to foster relationships with stakeholders and to improve sustainable intermodal freight services from La Spezia to its reference markets, as Northern Italy and Central Europe. In this respect and in addition to the B2B event, the La Spezia FFC Team, during the full three days, met also many actors of the logistics chain to catch commercial and business outputs.
The B2B meetings were also an opportunity to reflect on the feedback received, raising consciousness about strengths and weaknesses, understanding processes and how to improve them. One of the main bottleneck is the uncertainty of time that currently surrounds the phytosanitary and customs procedures, although the improvements achieved in the last years. So, for example, Far East ships, despite a longer travel time, prefer to moor at the Northern Range ports rather than at the Mediterranean one, because of the certainty of time in customs and phytosanitary controls. Of course, the lack of dialogue between all the actors of the logistics chain, doesn’t help either. It is in this regard that new ground needs to be broken.
As underlined by the stakeholders interviewed, the port of La Spezia, thanks its links, its regular maritime routes and proximity to the agrifood markets in Italy, could clearly play a relevant role in the reefer trades and trust relations between the different chain actors, also thanks related projects as Fresh Food Corridors. For this reason, the digitalization of the logistics chain, already implemented in the port of La Spezia, could speed up the procedures and increase the competitiveness of the Mediterranean ports, reducing the transit time in comparison with the Northern Range ports. The rail freight services will be more efficient, thanks to new technologies for preserving perishables on extended distances, and faster, thanks to the implementation of the Custom Single Window for the digitalization of the phyto-sanitary and customs control procedures in line with the new Italian Ports Reform. Finally, particular attention should be paid to some agrifood markets which have links closer to the Italian one: South Africa and South America are the areas from which the Italian producers import products as well as North America and Far East are the ones to which Italian producers export their products. Anyway, the port of La Spezia let’s continue with the work developed during the event at FRUIT LOGISTICA. So, in order to address the need for a more efficient fresh food transport, the future challenge for the Mediterranean ports is just to enforce the business growth of the cold logistics chain.
Please watch the video of B2B event and enjoy yourself!!!
Have a good vision!!!
Source: The Medi Telegraph
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