WUWM Conference – “Markets: The Platform for Logistical Excellence”

14 - 16 May 2014
Thessaloniki, Greece

Executive summary:

During the WUWM Conference in Thessaloniki attendants discussed improvements in distribution networks, such as the need of refrigerated containers at cargo companies. Experts identified risks associated with export growth, including varying legislations, increased logistics costs, and quality and safety risks. Attendants also discussed the need for wholesale and retail markets to adopt green supply chains. Emission reduction is necessary for a sustainable planet and customers behavior is changing towards buying green products. Many initiatives towards renewable energy are upcoming and wholesale and retail markets should make use of these initiatives.

The key outcomes of this meeting are:

  1. Cargo companies should move forward in the installation of the infrastructure needed to be able to work with refrigerated containers (known as reefer), so that the agribusiness sector can export its products with a rigorous control of the cold chain.
  2. Exports are expected to rise – and so are risks associated with:
    1. Varying product regulations in countries of export
    2. Logistics and transportation costs
    3. Inventory carrying costs
    4. Product quality and safety risks.  (Source: The Grant Thornton Global Good and Beverage Study 2013)
  3. Green Supply Chains are necessary as:
    1. Customers might be willing to buy green products at a higher cost
    2. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
    3. Emissions of Gases (esp. CO2) are gradually becoming the issue
    4. Green = Lean (it saves money)
    5. Many initiatives and carbon trading are upcoming
    6. Addressing green aspects is vital for building new infrastructure in the EU.
  4. At an operational level, distribution strategies could reduce cost, increase responsiveness, and guarantee competitiveness in a globalized environment. The selection of the appropriate distribution strategy depends on the tradeoffs between:
    1. Transportation costs,
    2. Inventory costs,
    3. Warehouse costs.

Main issues discussed:

  • Excellence in Market Logistics
    • Prof. Eleftherios Iakovou, Chairman, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Director, Laboratory of Quantitative Analysis & Advanced Supply Chain Management, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, President, Greek Association of Supply Chain Management, Greece
    • Sergio Alarcón, Chief Financial Officer, Mercazaragoza, Spain
    • Marcel Verbelen, Director, Mabru, Netherlands
  • Financing Markets – Challenges and Opportunities
  • Innovative Market Management
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