INDEX 4 Wellbeing without being well 6 The paradox of cold chain logistics 8 Spain’s fruit and vegetable industry looks to Europe 14 The logistics cold chain awaits the impact of inflation 16 Fingers crossed 18 When energy costs put everything on ice 23 Road transport strives for survival (once again) 26 Adding value, thanks to technology 30 Technology and skills are essential tools to be competitive 32 Safe bets: sustainability, technology and innovation 38 E-commerce and healthy eating continue to rule the roost 40 Online sales consolidate their position in the retail industry 44 Foodtech: searching for the most resilient food ecosystem 46 State-owned Ports Body: continuous improvements in cold chain logistics 66 Fruit Logística Silvia de Juanes, communications Director for Spain and Latin America Messe Berlin’s official representative for Spain, Andorra and Gibraltar ”From now on, we will be talking about on-site visitors and online visitors” 70 Bringing back those stand sensations
No part of the contents of this publication may be reproduced, processed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. The publisher does not necessarily share the views expressed in the signed articles and interviews. LEGAL DEPOSIT: V-2203-2020 Ronda del Port, 519, Edificio TERSACO, 2ª pl., Oficina 213 08039 Puerto de Barcelona Tel. No: 993 289 67 07 - email@example.com Colón de Larreategui, 26, 4º A 48009 Bilbao Tel. No: 994 425 72 48 - firstname.lastname@example.org Calle Vargas, 7, local 10 28003 Madrid Tel. No: 991 536 21 17 - email@example.com Calderers, 40, Pol. Ind. Camí de La Mar 46120 Alboraya - Valencia Tel. No: 996 330 18 32 - firstname.lastname@example.org EDITION: GENERAL MANAGER Fernando Vitoria GENERAL MANAGER – EDITORIAL Magda Tatay GENERAL MANAGER – DIARIO DEL PUERTO Miguel Jiménez NON-DAILY PUBLICATIONS DIRECTOR Loli Dolz PRINTING: GRAPHIC ARTS MANAGER Héctor Das PRE-PRINTING José Antonio Sánchez, José Carlos García PRINTING Luis Mateo, Fermín Leal DESIGN: ARTISTIC AND AERIAL PHOTOGRAPHY Taller de Ideas y Comunicación, S.L. DIRECTOR Rocío Álvarez EVENTS AND BUSINESS COMMUNICATION Raquel Rocafull DESIGN Raúl Molina This product has been created by GENERAL MANAGER Paco Prado NON-DAILY PUBLICATIONS DIRECTOR Loli Dolz CONTENTS OF THE PUBLICATION Bárbara Cordero, Loli Dolz, Leila Escrihuela, Jaime Pinedo, Raúl Tárrega, Alba Tejera COVER DESIGN Taller de Ideas y Comunicación - Raúl Molina DESIGN AND LAYOUT Ximo Lacámara JOURNALIST TEAM OF DIARIO DEL PUERTO Leila Escrihuela, Alba Tejera, Jaime Pinedo, Miguel Jiménez, Bárbara Cordero, Loli Dolz, Raúl Tárrega SALES DIRECTOR Eva Monrós SECRETARY Bárbara Manzanera SALES DEPARTMENT Mavi Guirao, Juan Manuel Barba, Juan Carlos Sarmentero ADMINISTRATION Lola García WEBMASTER Óscar García DISTRIBUTIONN Enrique Cervera, Antonio Leal, Rafael Sancho, Diego Valcárcel Subscriber Member Attention Service: email@example.com WELLBEINGWITHOUT BEINGWELL LOLI DOLZ Non-daily publications director The figures speak of a positive end to 2021, but the truth is that the current situation of producers and exporters, farms and specialised logistics operators and temperature-controlled transport companies is far from optimistic. Market uncertainty and the crisis generated by the invasion of Ukraine are upending the expectations of operators and companies working with the Spanish primary sector, whose main market continues to be Europe. On paper, the situation looks rosy: cold storage facilities and their operators have increased their turnover and the amount of surface area used, and foreign sales shipped by road have grown moderately. However, the high price of electricity and fuel leave companies with less and less room for manoeuvre when weighing up whether to embark on new projects. To find out in detail how everyone in this specialised logistics chain is trying to manage this situation, ”Cold Chain Logistics” - the book you have in your hands - talks to the protagonists, reveals their concerns and analyses the whys and wherefores in search of possible solutions. Furthermore, we must not forget that today, one of the major international events for the global fruit and vegetable industry, Fruit Logistica, is about to get underway in Berlin for the first time since the pandemic. Just over two years later, Messe Berlin is once again welcoming professionals from the primary, transport and logistics sectors and it is doing so under the slogan that says it all: ”Meet onsite again”. Spain is once again among the top three countries participating in the fair. According to Silvia de Juanes, Communications Director for Spain and Latin America, and Messe Berlin’s official representative for Spain, Andorra and Gibraltar, who spoke to us exclusively, ”this comes as no surprise since Spain is one of the leading countries in the international fruit and vegetable trade, and this is reflected both in the number of exhibitors and the space booked”. By the way, in ”Cold Chain Logistics” you will also find updated information about all the Spanish ports that provide services for shippers. Finally, don’t forget that this year Diario del Puerto will be publishing two editions of this Cold Chain Logistics special issue, one in each half of the year. The first edition coincides with Fruit Logistica (Berlin) while the second will be published in October to coincide with the Fruit Attraction (Madrid) and Conxemar (Vigo) trade fairs. Both publications will highlight the trends in this market, showcasing its full potential and providing in-depth information about the industry, via opinions from leading experts in the field who will be giving us their current and future views on the changing, resilient realities of the fruit and vegetable industry’s distribution chain.
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DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 6 RAÚL TÁRREGA / ALBA TEJERA The fruit and vegetable industry is experiencing a paradoxical situation. Although the overall figures show that 2021 was better than 2020, which is not actually that difficult, the truth is that the current situation of producers and exporters, farms and specialised logistics operators and temperaturecontrolled transport companies is far from rosy. Europe continues to be the main market for the Spanish primary industry. The bulk of Spanish exports continues to be concentrated in the European Union, a trend that was confirmed in 2021, alongside the declining importance of third-country markets, whose share is dropping gradually. The growth in exports has led to an increase in business in the logistics industry. Facilities and operators have increased their turnover and THE PARADOX OF COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS
DIARIO DEL PUERTO The distribution chain in the fruit and vegetable industry 7 the surface area they use, while sales abroad by road have grown moderately. However, the rise in turnover has been overshadowed by runaway costs, with energy and fuel prices soaring, putting a damper on new projects. In this context, associations such as ALDEFE are calling for subsidies and help to weather the energy storm, while CETM Frigorífico and FROET are demanding the government makes good the agreements it reached with the sector. Shipping companies, for their part, are the least affected link in this chain due to their high profit margins, although they have continued to make moves to optimise their refrigerated goods logistics services. Many of the steps taken are aimed at expanding their fleet of reefer containers, a move that is complemented by their commitment to the implementation of new technologies that will enable containers and the goods inside them to be tracked. Despite the growth in fruit and vegetable exports and the resulting increase in supply chain operations, high costs caused by soaring energy and fuel costs are putting a strain on a large part of the industry. The logistics sector specialising in refrigerated goods is grappling with a situation in which business growth has not been reflected in the bottom line.
DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 8 ALBA TEJERA The Spanish fruit and vegetable industry continues to look to Europe, and it is doing so more and more, mainly as a result of the slump in Spanish primary industry exports outside the borders of the European Union. Sales of fresh fruit and vegetables outside the EU fell by 9% last year compared to 2020, standing at €520 million, and accounting for 3% of Spain’s total exports. These are the latest figures published by the Spanish Federation of Producers and Exporters of Fruit, Vegetables, Flowers and Live Plants (FEPEX) on Spanish fruit and vegetable exports and imports. These figures also reveal that exports to the European SPAIN’S FRUIT AND VEGETABLE INDUSTRY LOOKS TO EUROPE Spain exported 13,090,715 tonnes of fruit and vegetables last year. Photo: Alba Tejera. According to FEPEX, the figures once again reveal the scarce alternatives that non-European markets offer Spanish fruit and vegetables
DIARIO DEL PUERTO The distribution chain in the fruit and vegetable industry 9 Union grew by 8% to €12,534 million, as did exports to non-EU European countries, such as the United Kingdom and Norway. An in-depth analysis of the behaviour of non-European markets reveals that these markets are drying up. Examples such as Canada, which imported €68 million worth of fresh fruit and vegetables, down 14%, and Brazil with €51 million, a 9% decrease, are proof of this trend. The case of VEGETABLES FRUIT TOTAL 2021 TOTAL 2020 JANUARY 628,549 627,257 1,255,806 1,356,785 FEBRUARY 687,962 549,893 1,237,855 1,253,831 MARCH 722,477 580,613 1,303,090 1,327,222 APRIL 538,581 547,938 1,086,519 1,154,763 MAY 440,199 688,437 1,128,636 1,068,136 JUNE 327,234 846,283 1,173,517 1,031,767 JULY 257,200 749,483 1,006,683 879,857 AUGUST 203,676 570,138 773,814 742,196 SEPTEMBER 251,953 423,246 675,199 587,551 OCTOBER 380,873 449,355 830,228 929,553 NOVEMBER 641,728 884,635 1,526,363 1,309,942 DECEMBER 675,418 762,211 1,437,629 1,449,112 TOTAL 5,755,850 7,679,489 13,435,339 13,090,715 SPANISH FRUIT AND VEGETABLE EXPORTS IN 2021 (IN TONNES) Source: FEPEX.
DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 10 China is even more significant with sales of fruit and vegetables falling by 69% to a symbolic €3.5 million. By contrast, exports to the European Union increased by 8% to €12,534 million. The explanation can be found in the behaviour of the main importing markets, such as Germany, which was the top export destination in 2021, with sales increasing 11% to €4,523 million. Germany accounted for 26.85% of the EU’s total market share. France came second, also growing by 6% to a total of €2,704 million, and a market share of 17.49%. They were EXPORTS BY COUNTRY IN THE EUROPEAN UNION IN 2021 (IN TONNES) COUNTRY VEGETABLES FRUIT TOTAL MARKET SHARE (%) GERMANY 1,440,467 2,074,040 3,514,507 26.85 AUSTRIA 61,871 115,435 177,306 1.35 BELGIUM 136,886 183,843 320,729 2.45 BULGARIA 10,382 2,849 13,231 0.10 CYPRUS 416 340 756 0.01 CROATIA 9,446 16,636 26,082 0.20 DENMARK 83,788 95,051 178,839 1.37 SLOVAKIA 30,016 47,976 77,992 0.60 SLOVENIA 3,451 16,626 20,277 0.15 ESTONIA 6,225 17,834 24,059 0.18 FINLAND 41,838 77,096 118,934 0.91 FRANCE 874,896 1,414,308 2,289,204 17.49 GREECE 6,473 6,249 12,722 0.10 HUNGARY 38,416 34,721 73,137 0.56 IRELAND 53,208 38,444 91,652 0.70 ITALY 295,901 534,114 830,015 6.34 LATVIA 15,013 33,127 48,140 0.37 LITHUANIA 18,955 22,119 41,074 0.31 LUXEMBOURG 2,313 4,761 7,074 0.05 MALTA 2,082 4,271 6,353 0.05 NETHERLANDS 521,205 452,009 973,214 7.43 POLAND 273,223 338,727 611,950 4.67 PORTUGAL 305,420 359,373 664,793 5.08 CZECH REP. 116,357 102,482 218,839 1.67 ROMANIA 40,574 34,626 75,200 0.57 SWEDEN 119,511 155,381 274,892 2.10 TOTAL 4,508,333 6,182,638 10,690,971 81.67 Exports to the EU Exports outside the EU 8% (€12.534 million) (€520 million) 9% Source: FEPEX.
DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 12 followed by the Netherlands and Italy, the third and fourth destinations, respectively, in the European Union, which also increased their imports, although to a lesser extent: 2% in the case of the Netherlands, to €1,120 million, and 1% in the case of Italy, which recorded a total of €853 million. These countries accounted for 7.43% and 6.34% of the share of fruit and vegetable exports to the European Union, respectively. Outside the European Union, the top destination was the United Kingdom, where exports of fresh fruit and vegetables stood at €2,104 million in 2021, up 11% on the previous year. Norway also deserves special mention, with €153 million, 10% more than in 2020. According to FEPEX, ”the figures once again reveal the scarce alternatives that non-European markets offer Spanish fruit and vegetables”, despite the ”significant efforts” that are being made, both by governments and by growers and exporters. SPANISH FRUIT AND VEGETABLE EXPORTS TO THE EU AND OUTSIDE THE EU IN 2021 (IN TONNES) EXPORTS TO THE EU EXPORTS OUTSIDE THE EU TOTAL FRUIT 4,508,333 1,154,931 5,663,264 VEGETABLES 6,182,638 1,244,813 7,427,451 TOTAL 10,690,971 2,399,744 13,090,715 SHARE % ** 81.67 18.33 100% Source: FEPEX.
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DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 14 RAÚL TÁRREGA / ALBA TEJERA If there is one indicator that gauges the state of the logistics cold chain industry, it is the annual study by the Spanish Cold Storage, Logistics and Distribution Association (ALDEFE), which sets out in black and white the situationof logisticsoperators specialising in temperature-controlled goods. While the overall figures are encouraging, high inflation could upset the fragile balance that has been maintained until now. The Association estimated turnover of €215,937,971 in 2021. The data show a gradual increase in each of the four quarters: €46,679,000 in the first quarter, €55,558,000 in the second, €56,091,590 in the third THE LOGISTICS COLDCHAIN AWAITS THE IMPACTOF INFLATION The average number of employees per 10,000 cubic metres was 3.49 during the last three months of 2021, according to ALDEFE. Photo: Alba Tejera. While the overall figures are encouraging, high inflation could upset the fragile balance that has been maintained up to now
DIARIO DEL PUERTO The distribution chain in the fruit and vegetable industry 15 and €57,609,381 in the fourth. In the last year, the average number of employees per 10,000 cubic metres was 3.12 in the first quarter, 3.48 in the second, 3.38 in the third and 3.49 in the fourth quarter. Likewise, the average tonnes handled per cubic metre were 0.22 in the first quarter, 0.29 in the second, 0.26 in the third and 0.28 in the fourth quarter. The average turnover per square metre also increased to €6.67 in the first three months of the year; €7.94 in the second quarter; €8.01 in the third quarter; and €8.23 in the last three months of 2021. PRODUCTS According to ALDEFE, the breakdown by product category in 2021 shows that fish was at the top of the list, with 19.59%, followed by meat and processed products, each with 18.56%. These were followed by vegetables three points behind the first group, with 16.49%, and the bread and miscellaneous segment, with 14.43%. The ranking was completed by dairy products with 9.28% and pharmaceuticals with 3.09%. Although the figures paint a relatively positive picture, it is important not to lose sight of certain variables that could upset this context on the national and international front. According to the Cold Storage Observatory, prepared by ALDEFE in conjunction with the University of Zaragoza through the Communication and Digital Information Research Group, cold storage costs in France are continuing to rise due to record electricity prices. By contrast, Germany’s logistics situation has shown a moderate decline since autumn 2021. The North American cold chain index continues to rise, driven by electricity, mirroring the situation in France. At domestic level, inflation continues to soar due to the continued rise in electricity, fuel and food prices. Initial estimates for 2022 point to an inflationary year, with a delay in the possible moderation of price increases until mid-2022. In addition, Spain’s GDP growth remains below the euro area average, with a cooling of growth forecasts for 2022. Nonetheless, in general terms, the unemployment rate continues to fall. Cold storage costs in France continue to rise due to record electricity prices, a situation that is being replicated in the United States. In contrast, Germany’s logistics situation remains stable and prices are below the levels of autumn 2021. BREAKDOWN OF FROZEN PRODUCTS BY CATEGORY IN SPAIN IN 2021 Source: ALDEFE INDUSTRY TURNOVER BY QUARTER IN 2021 (IN EUROS) PERIOD TURNOVER FIRST QUARTER 46,679,000 SECOND QUARTER 55,558,000 THIRD QUARTER 56,091,590 FOURTH QUARTER 57,609,381 TOTAL 215,937,971 Source: ADELFE. Fish Meat Processed food Vegetables Bread and miscellaneous Dairy products Pharma 19.59% 18.56% 18.56% 16.49% 14.43% 9.28% 3.09%
DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 16 RAÚL TÁRREGA The easing of the pandemic is gradually giving logistics cold chain players some breathing space. Logistics operators and cold storage facilities, on the one hand, and specialised hauliers, on the other, have managed to improve on the 2020 figures, although this is not especially reassuring for the sector. While it is true that overall figures show growth, they are not entirely real, as rising costs are impeding improvements in the bottom line. High electricity and fuel prices are leaving less and less room for companies to undertake new projects. Although in the last two years, much work has been to adapt, logistics operators and haul iers are facing structural problems in a critical situation that has been dragging on since before the pandemic. Shipping companies, for their part, are maintaining their high profit margins, though they are not oblivious to the hectic times in the logistics cold chain. With their reefer fleet at historic lows and high investments required to renew their vessels and adapt them to new environmental regulations, the major shipping multinationals are using new technologies and process digitalisation to bring added value to a market segment that customers are increasingly focusing on. FINGERS CROSSED All the links in the logistics cold chain agree that 2021 was better than 2020, though they point out that the situation is still critical.
DIARIO DEL PUERTO The protagonists 17
DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 18 Logistics operators and cold storage facilities RAÚL TÁRREGA Cold storage facilities and logistics platforms play one of the most important roles in the temperature-controlled product distribution chain, as these are the points where goods are handled and prepared for delivery to the end consumer. Although the overall figures point to a relatively positive situation, the reality is that the disproportionate growth in energy costs is putting a huge strain on many specialised operators. According to the Spanish Cold Storage, Logistics and Distribution Association (ALDEFE), in many cases, energy payments already account for over 50% of many companies’ total costs. According to Marcos Badenes, the Association’s General Secretary, the current sensation is bittersweet: there have certainly been difficulties, although operations have also been very stable, both in terms of occupancy and tonnage handled, which led to a slight increase in turnover over the course of the year. A brief overview of the figures shows that last year the existing occupancy capacity stood at 82.25%, a figure which in many facilities was higher than the previous year and which ”is a clear indicator of WHEN ENERGY COSTS PUT EVERYTHING ON ICE Although it seems difficult to cope with a context where costs leave little room for profits, the truth is that the current situation of logistics cold chain firms is one of stability, not growth. The relatively positive figures of 2021 have been overshadowed by high energy costs, which have turned the situation for operators ”into an absolute tragedy, according to ALDEFE’s General Secretary, Marcos Badenes
DIARIO DEL PUERTO The protagonists 19 Logistics operators and cold storage facilities companies’ need for storage”. By contrast, goods handling followed a different path, with ups and downs throughout the year. Turnover remained slightly above that recorded in 2020. Although expectations have generally been met, the truth is that business performance has been hit ”by the disproportionate, sudden and unexpected increase in energy costs”, which has reached up to 50% of cold storage facilities’ operating costs. This spiral began with costs doubling, and they are now four times higher than the costs for 2019 and the first half of 2021. ”This is a disaster for FACTS AND FIGURES Energy costs account for over 50% of thecostsofmanycoldstoragefacilities and logistics platforms specialising in temperature-controlled products. 50% The rise in energy prices is dramatic and has a very negative impact on companies’ bottom line. This has consequences not only for firms’ balance sheets, but also for employment”. Marcos Badenes General Secretary of ALDEFE
DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 20 Logistics operators and cold storage facilities One of the major challenges for cold chain logistics companies will be to try to balance energy costs with revenues. MAJOR CHALLENGES: OFFSETTING ENERGY COSTS AND ASSERTING THEIR IMPORTANCE The main, critical and most significant challenge for cold chain logistics operators will be to try to balance their bottom line taking into account the negative impact of energy costs. This, in turn, requires a range of measures, such as improving the operability of cold stores by taking energy tariffs evenmore into account, optimising the energy efficiency of compressors and refrigeration equipment, intensifying negotiations to obtain energy prices that are more in line with the sector’s needs, and continuing to incorporate technologies that enhance efficiency. In addition, Marcos Badenes, ALDEFE’s General Secretary, talks about continuing to provide a ”premium” service to customers, improving food control and traceability and introducing new operating methods such as blockchain technology and improving the online visibility of the Association’s members. In addition, Badenes stressed the need to assert the importance of each and every one of the companies in the sector at state, regional and local level. ”They aremainstays in the places they are located in. They are companies steeped in tradition which, due to their characteristics, establish their residence and business activities in a particular location for many years”. For this reason, ”it is important for people to know that they are the backbone of the community”. Promoting the importance of logistics operators specialising in handling temperature-controlled goods means being more assertive. And here, once again, the significance of energy costs comes into play. Therefore, the main demand made by ALDEFE is to recognise their operations as energy-intensive consumers or, failing that, making this industry eligible for aid to streamline energy costs, both through tax exemptions and direct aid for modernisation and enhanced energy efficiency. According to Marcos Badenes, neither of these needs are currently covered by government, ”to which, on the other hand, we contribute around €6 billion in annual turnover and provide direct employment for 20,000 families. We cannot continue to be invisible to government”. However, energy is not the industry’s only hobbyhorse. Hidden competition from private cold stores offering services at much lower costs than those offered by the public cold storage sector is affecting business, a situation which isaconsequence “of theserviceandquality standards of ALDEFE’s member companies”. To increase this freecompetition, the Association is in favour of ”unifying the operating and start-up rules for the sector”. This is ”very ”desirable”, as ”the regional and municipal jigsaw puzzle hinders our operations and is a direct attack on freemarket competition”.
DIARIO DEL PUERTO The protagonists 21 our member companies”, complained Badenes. Although the context seems difficult to handle, the fact is that the current situation of companies in the logistics cold chain is one of ”upward stability”. It may come as a surprise, but Badenes points out that cold storage facilities are increasingly being extended and many new companies are also being started up. This means substantial increases in volume and companies. Indicators show that in the last five years refrigerated volumes have increased by 10% among member companies, bringing their capacity up to four million cubic metres, figures which are driven by increased consumer demand for frozen products. But as in every economic cycle, some facilities have had to close down. AN ADVERSE INTERNATIONAL SCENARIO The international situation in 2022 promises to be a complicated one. In addition to the omnipresent Brexit, there are also new developments such as the conflict in Eastern Europe between Russia and Ukraine. In a globalised economy, everything affects everyone, everywhere. The UK’s exit from the European Union forced companies to increase stocks to maintain export levels, and the cold storage sector responded to the challenge by improving capacity and responding to customer needs. Right now, ”cold stores are in lockstep with their customers to meet the demanding customs requirements of the UK authorities. The healthiness, safety and traceability of Spanish products are completely guaranteed”, says ALDEFE’s General Secretary, Marcos Badenes. Now, the disaster in Eastern Europe ”is hitting us very hard, because it has a direct influence on our energy consumption”, says Badenes. This ”unsustainable” situation can only be offset by ”passing it on to our customers”. Unfortunately, the General Secretary points out, ”this situation is likely to last for a long time, which will worsen the plight of companies”. Logistics operators and cold storage facilities
DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 22 As Badenes acknowledges, these closures are not so much due to the current context but have more to do with the life cycle of these companies, which have become obsolete or were family businesses and have not been able to survive beyond the third generation. MAKING FORECASTS, A RISKY BUSINESS And now what? Making year-end forecasts in the first quarter, coming out of a pandemic, with energy prices soaring and a war in Eastern Europe, makes forecasting a risky business right now. Badenes is expecting good operating figures (turnover, occupancy, employment and handling) but very complicated business figures due to increased supply costs and, especially, energy prices which he describes as ”A dramatic price increase that has a very negative impact on the bottom line”. This can have repercussions not only on the balance sheets of companies, but ”can spread to factors such as employment and the situation of the operators themselves, which in a more stable situation would not be a problem”. Is this the ideal context for undertaking new projects? It depends, says Badenes. Firstly, ”there is an interest and a need for them in the light of the growing demand for frozen and refrigerated products”, a situation which is not lost on companies and could encourage them to start up new ventures. However, narrowing profit margins due to the increase in energy costs will put a damper on this ”enthusiasm”. ”It is up to each company to see their glass as being half full or half empty”, concludes the Association’s General Secretary. ON THE ROAD TO STABILITY AFTER TWO YEARS OF PANDEMIC It has been two years since the onset of the pandemic. Despite the huge impact of the crisis, the sector’s status as an essential industry meant that it did not collapse and has made huge efforts to adapt in many ways. ”It is fair to say that the public cold storage sector has become more competitive and has been modernised as a result of the impact of COVID-19,” says Marcos Badenes, General Secretary of ALDEFE. Coldstorage facilitiesarenowmoreversatile, agileandbetterable tocontrol the costs linked to their business and the services they provide to their customers. However, companies are reluctant to draw conclusions. ”Workers are still being infected in cold storage facilities. COVID sick leave still needs to be covered, and services and work shifts are suffering”, the General Secretary of ALDEFE points out, although the trend is towards greater stability, but not growth. ”Customers are gradually increasing stocks according to market demand and, above all, keeping a close eye on the HORECA channel. Depending on how this goes, the cold storage facility situation will improve. In short, ”the situation is under control, with market stability and growth forecasts in the short and medium term”. Of all the changes introduced in the wake of the pandemic, some are likely to remain in place indefinitely. The measures relating to shift control, occupational hygiene and improvements in employees’ sick leave and returns to work imposed by the outbreak of the pandemic ”are here to stay”. In addition to these aspects, which are closely related to health management, it is clear that cold storage companies have substantially enhanced their management, optimising resources, increasing productivity and reducing the kilowatts per cubic metre used in their facilities. ”Many improvements have been made, but the price paid has been very high”, says Marcos Badenes. Logistics operators and cold storage facilities
DIARIO DEL PUERTO The protagonists 23 Road transport RAÚL TÁRREGA The other major link in the logistics cold chain is road transport. Although both air and rail compete for a part of the market, the fact is that a large part of Spanish fruit and vegetable exports that end up in the European market are transported by road. In 2021, temperature-controlled hauliers have managed to gain some leverage, albeit with many difficulties, and the domestic and international scenario is not going to make life easy for them. After two years of pandemic, the volume of transport operations has increased slightly compared to 2020, as Manuel Pérezcarro, the General Secretary of CETM Frigoríficos and FROET, explains. This is because exports of fruit and vegetable products from Spain to the rest of Europe ”increased by almost 3% in 2021, from 15.8 million tonnes in 2020 to 16.3 million tonnes”. This increase in trade means that last year the number of companies and vehicles did not fall in global terms. In fact, ”there was a slight increase in both cases”. Just like cold storage facilities and logistics operators, the road haulage sector does not dare to make any forecasts for the end of the year, ROAD TRANSPORT STRIVES FOR SURVIVAL (ONCE AGAIN) Current fuel prices and their volatility will shape the sector’s performance this year. It is not a good time to think about expanding fleets, as wemust also take into account the shortage of professional drivers and the additional problemof a lack of vehicles
DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 24 ”fundamentally due to the volatility of fuel prices and the dramatic increases that have taken place in the last few months”. According to Pérezcarro, on top of this, there is also a significant increase in wage costs due to inflation. In any case, ”this year’s results are going to be bad, because the increases in costs are not easy to pass on to transport prices and if, on top of this, economic growth starts to slow, then the situation does not look good at all”. Therefore, in the light of this uncertainty, ”it is not a good time to think about expanding fleets, as we must also take into account the shortage of professional drivers and the additional problem of a lack of vehicles”. CHALLENGES AHEAD For Pérezcarro, the most important challenge ”is to enforce the application of the agreements reached between the National Road Transport Committee and the Government, which have been reflected in the recently approved Royal Decree”. In other words, to implement these new rules in transport hiring, fundamentally with regard to loading and unloading, revised transport prices according to fuel costs, the demand for compensation for stoppages and, of course, the payment of transport within the legally established deadlines. In addition to these structural demands , Manuel Pérezcarro highlighted that the sector ”must continue to fight to ensure the di sappearance of the pal let exchange system that is so harmful to us”. This year’s results are going to be bad, because the increases in costs are not easy to pass on to transport prices and if, on top of this, economic growth starts to slow, then the situation does not look good at all Manuel Pérezcarro General Secretary of CETM Frigorífico and FROET FACTS AND FIGURES Exports of fruit and vegetable produce from Spain to the rest of Europe by road reached 16.3 million tonnes last year, compared to 15.8 million tonnes in 2020. 16.3 MILLION TONNES WATCHING CHANGE FROM THE WINGS Temperature-controlled goods transport companies see changes in consumer habits as tangential. ”The influence of e-commerce in the procurement of products that require controlled temperature, such as food, is still in its infancy”, says Manuel Pérezcarro, General Secretary of CETM Frigoríficos and FROET, since it is usually the seller, either directly at its shops or platforms, which prepares this type of orders and delivers them, either with its own vehicles or with carriers’ vehicles. ”Themost relevant example is Amazon, which already offers this type of service in some cities in the United States, but this has led it to acquire a supermarket chain”, explains the General Secretary of CETM Frigorífico. ”Outsourcing this type of service so that it is provided by the transport company itself is very complicated”, although Pérezcarro acknowledges that the delivery of temperature-controlled products in cities, mainly pharmaceutical products, ”has been a reality formany years and there are specialist transport companies that have the necessary facilities to prepare and deliver orders”. Road transport
DIARIO DEL PUERTO The protagonists 25 THE MAJOR INTERNATIONAL PROBLEMOF REEFER TRANSPORT SPEAKS ENGLISH Road haulage companies have always looked beyond Spanish borders in search of markets and new market niches. However, the international situation is not going to help alleviate the sector’s structural problems. 2022 looks like it is going to be a difficult one and that is being generous. Brexit and the conflict in Eastern Europe do not bode well for a calm year: ”What worries our companies most at the moment is the constant rise in fuel prices, with an almost daily increase in costs”, says Manuel Pérezcarro, General Secretary of CETM Frigoríficos and FROET. There is no doubt that this escalation in fuel costs could affect themovements of Spanish lorries abroad. For themoment, thesector hasavoided theconflict betweenRussia and Ukraine since, as the General Secretary of CETM Frigorífico and FROET points out, only a minority of Spanish refrigerated transport companies make trips to these countries. However, Brexit is having a notable impact. The United Kingdom is a major importer of fruit and vegetables and it is a major destination and market for many companies. Customs obstacles with complex administrative procedures and, above all, the physical inspections of the goods to verify compliance with phytosanitary conditions that will be required from 1 July onwards are causing concern, ”because it will mean that vehicles will be stopped, lengthening journey times, reducing turnover and increasing costs”. In addition, fewer and fewer drivers want to travel to the UK because, on top of these difficulties, ”there are problems caused by illegal immigrants getting into lorries to enter the UK”. Alternatives are hard to find. Looking for new markets ”is neither simple nor profitable”, as ”you have to find new clients and for this to happen, the most important thing in this industry is price. Therefore, companies that want to gain a foothold in other markets will have to offer cheaper transport than their competitors and, in the end, this is bad for everyone”. Road transport
DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 26 RAÚL TÁRREGA Al though around three quarters of exports and imports of temperaturecontrolled products leave or enter Spain by road, shipping should not be underestimated as an alternative for producers who need to reach markets beyond the range of lorries. All the major shipping companies have made significant moves in recent years with regard to their reefer fleet, as it is a segment that has not been as affected by the pandemic as dry cargo. According to a recent report by the consultancy firm Research & Markets, the global reefer container market is expected to reach a total of 5.98 million TEUs by 2030 - up from 2.91 million TEUs in 2019 - equivalent to an increase of 7.3% per annum over the period 2020- 2030. The evolution of real-time tracking technology, the expansion of e-commerce and the increasing number of trade routes has led to a surge in demand for this type of container. According to Drewry, reefer container shipping will reach ADDING VALUE, THANKS TO TECHNOLOGY As early as 2019, leading experts in the reefer shipping market werewarning of a shortage of reefer containers, putting worldwide requirements at 100,000 units. Today, with demand on the rise, this figure has fallen short of themark Increasingly, shipping companies are investing in new technologies for reefer containers to add more value. Shipping
DIARIO DEL PUERTO The protagonists 27 156 million tonnes by 2024, an average increase of 3.7% per year. The shortage of reefer containers remains a challenge due to two factors: the imbalance between shipping routes and increased demand, which will outstrip fleet growth. But this is nothing new. Looking back, long before the outbreak of the pandemic, leading experts in the temperature-controlled supply chain were already warning of a potential shortage of reefer containers at the 2019 Cool Logistics event in Valencia, when representatives from operators such as Maersk, CMA CGM and SeaCube warned that there would be a shortage of reefer containers, at that time estimating the market’s needs at around 100,000 additional uni ts . COVID-19 and changes in consumer habits upset these predictions, further complicating the situation. According to Drewry, reefer container shipping will reach 156 million tonnes by 2024 FACTS AND FIGURES According to the consultancy firm Research & Markets, the global reefer container market is expected to reach a total of 5.98 million TEUs by 2030, equivalent to an increase of 7.3% per annum over the period 2020-2030. 5.98 MILLION TEUs Shipping
DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 28 THIS IS HOW THE MAJOR SHIPPING COMPANIES OPERATE The world’s top five container shipping companies, which account for 65.3% of cargo supply, have similar strategies when it comes to positioning themselves in the reefer traffic segment, although there are some differences. Most of them are committed to new technologies to add value to their temperature-controlled maritime transport services, including partnerships with specialisedmanufacturers. Maersk Line, currently the world’s second largest shipping line, divested its reefer manufacturing division last September. The merchant China International Marine Containers (CIMC) acquired A. P. Moller-Maersk Container Industry (MCI), a leading manufacturer of reefer containers previously owned by Maersk. MCI thus became part of a market-leading company in the container equipment industry. CIMC took over the entire MCI organisation and assets, which included the reefer container factory in Qingdao, China, as well as its R&D and test engineering facilities in Tinglev, Denmark. Founded by Maersk in 1991, MCI was part of the company for more than 30 years, when it evolved into a business focused exclusively on reefer container manufacturing. MSC’s strategy in this field is to maintain the international flow of reefer cargo, an area in which the Swiss shipping company has considerable experience. In recent years, the line has made a firm commitment to this type of traffic, specialising in controlled atmosphere solutions and cold treatment protocols to meet the specific requirements of each country. To this end, the commissioning of the new Gulsun class vessels is fundamental, as each unit has some 2,000 connections for reefer containers. Shipping
DIARIO DEL PUERTO The protagonists 29 CMA CGM has opted for new technological tools to deliver unique services in the reefer market. The French shipping line recently launched ”Smart”, a container solution to enable precise tracking of the position and status of refrigerated goods. Supply chain management is facilitated through an intuitive online interface that is updated in real time, enabling the customer to be more proactive at every stage of transport. These reefer containers are equipped with Emerson’s state-of-theart technology, allowing customers to monitor container status and conditions in real time; receive key data such as location, temperature and gas variations; set up notifications to detect potential anomalies; and quickly implement corrective actions. COSCO Shipping Lines is committed to technological innovations to add value to its reefer services and is doing so with the renewal of its refrigerated cargo fleet with next-generation EverFresh active controlled atmosphere systems made by Carrier Transicold. In this case, the high-performance systems help perishable shipments travel further while preserving commodity quality. In recent months, Hapag-Lloyd has made two moves in this segment. On the one hand, it placed orders last year to increase its container fleet by 285,000 dry cargo and reefer containers. Secondly, like CMA CGM and COSCO, it is focusing on the use of technology, finalising the development of a tracking system to monitor the status of reefer containers in real time, which will give its customers real-time information about its containers, such as the internal temperature, the cargo and its location.
DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 30 LOLI DOLZ Logistics operations linked to the cold chain require networks made up of specialised suppliers who know what cold goods are and what they need. It is important to remember that the products moving along these chains have special requirements and need to be kept in a controlled temperature range to maintain their freshness and quality. The important thing, the operators point out, is to deliver goods without breaking the cold chain. In order to provide the best possible service for this type of goods, cold chain logistics reinvents itself daily by introducing market innovations to provide vehicles and TECHNOLOGY AND SKILLS ARE ESSENTIAL TOOLS TO BE COMPETITIVE
DIARIO DEL PUERTO Trends 31 facilities that effectively meet the customer’s needs. TRAINING AND TECHNICAL RESOURCES The pharmaceutical industry, the fruit and vegetable industry, the food sector, and other industries that require specific temperature conditions look to the logistics industry as a modern ally, with tools capable of adding value to the distribution chain. To achieve this, the logistics chain needs trained specialists who can respond to the urgent needs of customers, who know the regulations to be applied in the movement of these goods with their own specific characterist ics , ranging from special permits to packaging that is complicated to handle. It is not only essential to know what is being transported, but also how it is moved and how it is loaded and unloaded. In addition, it is just as important for logistics companies to have the right tools to do their job as it is to have skilled professionals. Machinery is essential for the transport of cold goods. Why? Because the integrity of the goods can be irretrievably lost with a wrong decision, for example, the use of machinery powered by a thermal engine that modifies temperature. Specific machinery capable of working in extreme temperatures in cold environments must be used and specific methods of handling or preserving cold goods must be deployed to guarantee optimal service. Cold chain logistics reinvents itself daily by introducing innovations at every stage of the process. It is not only essential to know what is being transported, but also how it is moved and how it is loaded and unloaded Machinery is essential to transport cold goods to guarantee the integrity of sensitive cargo
DIARIO DEL PUERTO COLD CHAIN LOGISTICS - FRUIT LOGISTICA 2022 32 LOLI DOLZ The refrigerated transport industry is no stranger to the strategies being drawn up by the European Union with a view to achieving the 2030 Agenda objectives. Along these lines, the Green Deal and the EU’s firm commitment to decarbonisation are defining the trends in the sector, though these are not the only ones. The current situation of the sector includes the following salient issues: 1. SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT Road haulage i s making steady progress towards greater sustainability. This is why hauliers are making new investments to include more efficient vehicles in their fleets. Hybrid and LNG-powered trucks are beginning to be seen on the roads and the technology applied to improve SAFE BETS: SUSTAINABILITY, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION The innovation and the development of new technologies and materials top the priorities of main suppliers from the cold sector The transport and logistics industry is using new tools such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data to improve efficiency.
DIARIO DEL PUERTO Trends 33 engine combustion, which reduces consumption and emissions, is the best way to achieve this. However, it is true that in the refrigerated transport segment, more sustainable options, technological developments and breakthroughs that will enable change are still needed. 2. DATA MANAGEMENT The famous ‘digital transformation’ that has been at the top of the list of milestones for the economic and manufacturing sectors over the last few years has also reached the logistics industry. This has led companies to accumulate large amounts of data of all kinds and, increasingly, to analyse them in depth to extract value-added information. In the context of these developments, tools such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data have appeared to facilitate management, analysis and the creation of simulation and prediction models that optimise services and provide quality guarantees in operations, for example, by detailing how temperature changes affect a transported or handled product, or the durability of a lorry’s reefer unit. 3. TRACEABILITY End-to-end traceability. Shippers like being able to track the status of their goods as they move along the distribution chain. It is therefore vital to have tools that provide this information, as not having them can make the logistics service less competitive. The reason for this new trend is the emergence of 5G, given that its implementation enables many functionalities for real-time monitoring of the cold chain and is fostering the development of new tools (trackers, GPS, Live Maps and devices based on IoT technology). Blockchain is another technology that also facilitates end-to-end control of goods temperature to ensure that the cold chain is not broken. In addition, this technology represents a major breakthrough in terms of security, as the information that is handled in it is stored in blocks, which makes it almost impossible to tamper with. 4. PACKAGING Packaging matters. Companies are increasingly opting for ultralightweight designs that can maintain the required temperatures for longer. Innovation and the development of new technologies and materials are at the top of the priority list for the main suppliers in this industry. This trend began to gain momentum with the pandemic and the need to ensure that vaccines, which sometimes need to be kept at -70 degrees Celsius, could be properly distributed. The Green Deal and the EU’s firm commitment to decarbonisation have led the sector to invest in new, more sustainable vehicles.
DIARIO DEL PUERTO LOGÍSTICA DEL FRÍO - FRUIT LOGÍSTICA 2022 34 3PL DYNAMICS: SOFTWARE FOR COLD STORAGE LOGISTICS Since the start of the pandemic, online shopping has experienced dramatic growth. An increase in online orders from supermarkets has led to an increase in efulfillment services for cold storage logistics. As customers place more and more orders, supermarkets are becoming more aware of howmuch they need to buy and when they want goods delivered. The focus is shifting to order picking and is prompting the need for on-time delivery. As a result, process automation continues to gain momentum. For example, 41% of GCCA (Global Cold Chain Alliance) members made investments to boost automation. This is understandable, considering that, with the right tools, higher volumes of work can be processed with minor input, thus getting more done in less time. This enables companies to concentrate on other things, such as meeting customer expectations. Elevate-IT recommends 3PL Dynamics, the cold storage logistics software, highlighting the benefits of this type of tool: 1. Quality and temperature control, performing quality checks effortlessly. 2. It records product requirements, from expiry dates to temperature measurements, breakage reports and the procedures to be followed. 3. It tracks products from start to finish, based on batch number or expiry date. 4. Real-time communication with customers and regulatory authorities, saving time by integrating communications via EDI. 5. It collects accurate information about customers’ data and pinpoints which clients are profitable. Elevate-IT helps companies manage the boom in online shopping that has led to an increase in efulfillment services for cold logistics.
DIARIO DEL PUERTO Trends 35 CUSTOMISED LOGISTICS SOLUTIONS FOR PERISHABLE GOODS Spain is predominantly a food and agricultural exporter, and every year hundreds of tonnes of Spanish goods are shipped to different markets around the world. That is why it is vital to have logistics partners on hand. RFL Cargo is a logistics operator which specialises in the national and international transport of agri-food products and provides shipping, air freight and land transport services to all types of industries, ”these are professional, personalised solutions for exporters and importers, both for perishable and nontemperature-controlled goods”, explains the company. The firm also provides storage and distribution services at its facilities located throughout the Iberian Peninsula, which are ”strategic points that offer total coverage and the best customer service”, according to RFL Cargo. RFL Cargo advises its clients on the most efficient ways to deliver their goods to their destination and to shorten transit times. All of this is coordinated through door-to-door logistics that is designed to meet the specific needs of each client, always at competitive rates and with full health traceability. RFL Cargo is part of the Grupo Alonso holding, a benchmark group in Spain and abroad which operates throughout the logistics chain in terminals, shipping companies, freight forwarders, logistics operators, warehouses and land transport. RFL Cargo provides shipping, air freight and land transport services to exporter and importers for both perishable and non-temperature-controlled goods.diariodelpuerto.com