The conference “AgriFood Logistics: Innovation and Competitiveness” held on Thursday 17 May and organised by Logistica Uno Europe at the Association of Engineers of Verona, aimed to examine the importance of the supply chain within the agri-food world, a leading sector for the Italian economy and in continuous expansion thanks to “Made in Italy”.
“It’s a pleasure to have been able to create a moment together with some producers of agrifood, logistics and institutions to start a path, with the aim of finding best solutions to what are today’s market needs” began Gianluca Cornelli, Supply Chain Manager of Logistica Uno, kicking off the conference. “Today, more than ever, Logistica Uno feels involved in keeping the attention high on a sector of primary importance but not sufficiently analysed. This is just the beginning of a path that will lead us to other events and discussions on the subject in order to share ideas, needs and issues to be deepened”.
Andrea Falsirollo, President of the Order of Engineers of Verona, brought the Order’s greetings, focusing in particular on the location of the meeting: “This was the site of the Magazzini Generali, a very important place for our territory, both because it launched the fruit and vegetable sector and because it was a port for exporting our goods abroad. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest warehouse in Italy and therefore the forefather of logistics”.
The institutional greetings were concluded by Luigi Terzi, President of Assologistica Cultura e Formazione, an association representing national and international logistics companies, which aims to become the reference point for logistics, promoting these initiatives, as “digital transformations are completely changing the world of logistics and only through these meetings can we give an adequate response”.
The first speech was by Damiano Frosi, director of the “Gino Marchet” Contract Logistics Observatory and researcher of the Smart Agrifood Observatory at the Politecnico di Milano, who gave an overview of the logistics scenario in the agrifood sector. “The Agrifood sector is one of the most relevant in Italy, in fact it represents 11.3% of the GDP according to Federalimentare”, points out Frosi, “The value of the supply chain in Italy is 112 billion euros and, in recent years, it no longer represents only a transport and handling service. Logistics must evolve rapidly, focusing on three factors: sustainability, digital and technological transformation and finally omnichannel and advanced logistics services, such as e-commerce”, thus emphasising the growing awareness of the value of logistics outsourcing, developing a vision that does not limit its purpose and scope to transport alone.
Claudio De Mayda, Project Manager of Logistica Uno, then explained the company’s role in the agri-food sector: “Our aim is to be flexible in order to be able to promptly meet the customer’s needs and ensure greater competitiveness and profitability on the market. In fact, the logistics operator must increasingly provide value-added services such as fully integrated outsourcing with the customer, fullfillment e-commerce, specialised services downstream of the customer’s production chains, ….. Logistica Uno emphasises two main drivers: continuous innovation and production sustainability, more innovative services with fewer emissions and less impact on our environment!”.
Interesting was the case history presented and winner of the last Il Logistico dell’Anno 2017 award: the Factory Logistics 4.0: the Pasta Lensi/Walmart case in which: “The objective was to integrate systems and production lines of client and logistics provider through a re-packaging activity that would not affect either food safety or food security”. Finally, he concludes on the subject of e-commerce: “We have responded to our customers’ needs with E-One, a virtual enterprise that helps them to understand the competition in the online market, to design their own web platform, to decide where and how to manage stock and finally to plan distribution. The customer can then carry out an analysis of what his real needs are and understand which module he needs.
At the round table, moderated by Damiano Frosi, speakers included Francesco Coppola of Gruppo Italiano Vini, Emanuele Ardigò of Oleificio Zucchi, Luigi Terzi of Assologistica and Giuseppe Femia of Iper. Various topics were discussed along the producer/consumer logistics process in their own contexts, and here are just a few of the points raised:
“We are present throughout Italy with a production volume of 84 million bottles per year. We have two hubs for logistics: one in Pastrengo, which will become an automated warehouse, and the one in Nogarole Rocca, which is outsourced and where we will focus on internalisation” – Francesco Coppola of Gruppo Italiano Vini.
“We are a company that works mainly in stock and with a good export rate. We are innovative in the logistics field: with our quarterly packaging management plan, we guarantee better stock management and a continuous interface with the customer; we also focus a lot on information sharing at both supply and customer level” – Emanuele Ardigò of Oleificio Zucchi.
“We have a classic, non-centralised logistics structure as far as hypermarkets are concerned. Despite this, our company also relies on logistical innovation, which has become fundamental, achieving 1.5% of our annual turnover through e-commerce” – Giuseppe Femia of Iper.
“Technological innovation in the logistics sector is becoming increasingly important, so much so that the logistics operator represents the link between producer and end customer, who is increasingly demanding and informed” – Luigi Terzi of Assologistica Culture and Training.