Recent years have clearly shown the many and varied challenges the fresh produce industry has faced when it comes to their cold chain. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, other factors have occupied the market: the economic consequences of geopolitical events and the energy crisis, market-influencing circumstances such as Brexit, driver shortages, and the increased focus on sustainability.
It is no surprise that the complex market situation was one of the key topics of discussion at Fruit Logistica last week. This annual fair takes place in Berlin and is the leading international event for the fruit and vegetable trade.
The fruit and vegetable industry is already complex and delicate due to the temperature-sensitive nature of its products. More than any other segment in logistics, reefer cargo requires flexibility and control: one break in the journey can cause the precious cargo to spoil. Consequently, the fresh produce industry has come under pressure as confirmed during discussions in Berlin.
Another hot topic at the event was the changing customer behaviour, especially in Europe. There is a growing demand for fresh fruits and vegetables. End consumers are becoming more conscious of sustainability, leading to a stronger demand for regional and seasonal products. As a result, reefer supply chains need to remain flexible and resilient to cater to these demand shifts.
How can stakeholders in this segment prepare for all these factors, and remain flexible and in control of their cold chain?
Focus of Maersk: create an unbreakable cold chain
During the three-day fair, three main goals came into focus:
- Build resilience to create an unbreakable cold chain
- Gain visibility into cold chain operations, based on trust and collaboration
- Operate in a sustainable and efficient way
In addition to the current challenges, the general needs of the industry were also a major topic. What is the role of data and data availability? What role does visibility play? And how can multimodal transport options help customers remain agile and flexible?
In a market witnessing rising demand, near sourcing trends due to a focus on sustainability, and unpredictable bottlenecks and disruptions, there is a growing need for customers to access a global cold store network.
A key takeaway from all discussions was the focus on trust and collaboration. When it comes to data and visibility, trust is paramount to a successful and forward-looking collaboration. As a result, visibility was another hot topic in Berlin. At the Maersk booth, visitors had a chance to experience full visibility with Captain Peter through a live demo.
The focus on a strong collaboration goes hand in hand with broad expertise on perishable cargo. With different local teams of experts, Maersk can assess the supply chain from end to end and find the best possible solution.
Watch the key highlights from Fruit Logistica 2023 here.
The discussions had during Fruit Logistica 2023 have confirmed the huge challenges ahead for the fresh produce industry. There will be an increasing demand for even more resilience and agility in the coming years, and to achieve this, businesses will need to find the right logistics partner. With trust as the foundation, Maersk, as your insightful partner, can offer unique cold chain solutions to support the growth of your business.
If you have any questions, please get in touch with our cold chain experts.
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