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Are you an accelerator or a brake? Philip Evans and Serge Schamschula

Are you an accelerator or a brake?

The Covid-19 pandemic is not a Black Swan event for the global business community.  Many have long predicted such crises which will disrupt, fracture and cause serious dislocation to business norms.  Here at F&L our network of logistics and supply chain leaders are telling us that problems are arriving in waves (China shutdown, staff availability, Italy closing and so on), but they also see opportunities to change their business models to become more efficient, more sustainable and more successful.  Those who felt their business had seen a substantial impact from the Covid-19 doubled to over 50% last week, but some still prosper with a diverse customer base.

One standout from F&L’s Friday Focus discussions last week was the ongoing shift to intermodal freight transport.

The challenges thrown up in today’s market offer those involved in the movement of goods around the world the opening to make step changes to their ways of working, to accelerate to a better model. Some may feel they need to brake, pausing strategic plans and focus on day-to-day management.

Whatever your viewpoint there is a clear understanding that transparency and collaboration will be required to bring meaningful change in the sector both in this time of crisis and thereafter.  Never before have these two traits been more in demand from global policymakers to front-line logistics managers.

To pick just one example, the European logistics market could clearly benefit from real time visibility of truck capacity availability and location.  This requires industry collaboration, sharing of data and an open mindset.  GPS signals and TMS (Transportation Management System) interfaces make this technically possible today, but it is not happening in practice.  Utilising point to point empty miles of 12% (cross border FTL) and increased average truck weekly mileage improvements (3,000 kms to 3,500 kms), industry sources calculate capacity increases of over 20% per truck and overall CO2 reductions of 6%, and that’s before the benefits of increasing engine efficiencies, new fuels, or looking at more complex journeys.  More efficient, more sustainable and more cost effective!

More next week from the supply chain front-line.  Join the F&L discussion.


Philip Evans, F&L Secretary General
Serge Schamschula, Member of F&L Board

Contact: [email protected]