TLME recently completed the first Future of Logistics conference where a panel of maritime and port industry experts met and devised a plan to meet the challenges of the modern market.
Experts on this panel included event host and CEO of Vespucci Maritime Lars Jensen; Shahab Al Jassmi, Commercial Director of Ports and Terminals – DP World UAE Region; and Kim Larsen, vice president of commercial and commercial development (ports).
How to manage a turbulent market
Work began with speaker and host Lars Jensen outlining the complexity of the industry today, before narrowing it down to a central issue – congestion.
Jensen then challenged the speakers with a big question, posing bluntly; “Why aren’t the ports working? “
Al Jassmi responded that DP World has been planning all kinds of contingencies for years, but the key issue is the larger supply chain system.
Al Jassmi said Dubai has worked very hard to automate as much documentation as possible to streamline the requirements of different nations.
Future of Logistics session envisions tomorrow’s supply chain
He also added that DP World has worked closely with its clients to overcome the challenges of changing documentation requirements from various port authorities and governments.
He concluded that congestion is the result of a complex interaction between changing requirements and the situations of multiple stakeholders and does not depend only on the efficiency of a port authority or terminal operator.
The solution? Compromise.
Kim Larsen agreed with Al Jassmi that we need to “look beyond the headlines” and find out the main drivers at play causing the congestion, as these are not coming from the ports.
The key areas he mentioned included rail transport and trucking, because if you don’t move your containers out of the port quickly enough, you are increasing your utilization capacity to very high levels.
This leads to becoming more and more crowded.
Despite the issues at stake, however, Larsen said the Middle East is in a much better position than the United States or Europe.
Cybercrime: be prepared, be aware
Jensen ended the session with a very stern warning about cybercrime.
As operations become more and more digital, this presents a huge opportunity for criminals, and Jensen warned that criminals of this nature are becoming unusually advanced.
When you factor in that criminals can extort billions of dollars from unsuspecting companies with a very low chance of getting caught, cybercriminals become more and more advanced.
Now Jensen has warned that it is no longer a question of whether you are going to be attacked, but when.
Despite this, Jensen indicated that the industry is going full speed ahead in automating operations, it is just very important to keep an eye on your safety or else you are going to pay a very big price.
Watch Highlights: Conference on the Future of Logistics in Dubai