GREEN LOGISTICS EXPO FIRST EDITION: A WAGER WON. THREE DAYS OF DIALOGUE, KNOWLEDGE, INNOVATION AND BUSINESS

NEXT EDITION: WEDNESDAY 18, THURSDAY 19, FRIDAY 20 MARCH 2020

Sustainable is “… development which satisfies the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”

Brundtland Report – Our Common Future (World Commission on Environment and Development, WCED, 1987)

The first edition of Green Logistics Expo, the International Sustainable Logistics Exhibition held at Fiera di Padova on Wednesday 7, Thursday 8 and Friday 9 March 2018, ended to the full satisfaction of exhibitors, visitors and the organisers. The event was jointly organised by Interporto Padova and GEO.

A wager won. It certainly was not a foregone conclusion and it wasn’t easy. Behind the Green Logistics Expo project and its innovative formula there were, in fact, a number of questions that only the market and public satisfaction could answer.

Is it true or false that logistics (and not only) is going through a genuine change in its paradigms and there is a need for face-to-face dialogue, such as an exhibition, involving operators, constructors, manufacturers and governance?

In other words, how much and in what way is the rise of e-commerce, with its profound influence on the structure of distribution, modifying and innovating the logistics system?

Can the “green constraints” imposed by various levels of governance (local, national and international), by the new needs of customers and by the deeper awareness of public opinion be transformed into genuine environmental, social and economic sustainability, while at the same time generating new business?

Do the growing investments in European and Eurasian traffic and the remarkable development of technological applications with an effect on transport methods and goods handling change the demand for logistics? Do they modify consolidated behaviour and oblige the parties involved to make major innovations?

At what point is integration between logistics and business, a positive trend well documented by the detailed reports from the Politecnico di Milano Logistics Observatory? Is the concept that, in the words of Sergio Bologna, “in advanced countries, logistics is the brain of a business” gaining ground in Italy? Is the sector equipped to underpin the recovery after the long crisis of the last ten years?

And finally, do the various segments making up the complex world of logistics feel the need to identify themselves, in respect of their specific characteristics, as a unified sector and to benefit from presenting themselves as a community?

These were some of the questions behind the Green Logistics Expo project and which received a positive response from both exhibitors and visitors.

Participation

The 246 companies taking part in the first edition, together with the number and quality of the visitors, are the tangible proof of the positive response to the exhibition.

Particularly interesting was the distribution of the exhibitors within the project’s four macro areas, identified to represent the complexity of the sector as a whole: Intermodal Transport, Industrial Logistics and Real Estate, E-Commerce and City & Logistics.

Forty four percent of exhibitors belonged to the Intermodal Transport sector of the exhibition, a segment well represented by its leaders. From Mercitalia to the Contship Italia Group and from Fercam to leading constructors (including Iveco, Italscania, Mercedes and Isuzu), from the port system with the Eastern Ligurian, Eastern Adriatic and Northern Tyrrhenian Sea Port Authorities, to logistics hubs such as those of Padua, Pordenone, Bologna and Verona, and major logistics operators such as Arcese, Autamarocchi, and the Number1 Logistics Group to name but a few (for a complete list of participants, see: https://greenlogisticsexpo.it/adesioni/).

Thirty seven percent of exhibitors, on the other hand, came from the Industrial Logistics and Real Estate sector, once again “captained” by sector leaders such as Toyota Material Handling Italia, Crown Lift Trucks and OM Still. A segment with enormous potential for expansion, as confirmed by the great satisfaction expressed by those present. In terms of appreciation by sector, Industrial Logistics was in first place, followed by Intermodal Transport, City & Logistics and E-Commerce. Even more than in other sectors, exhibitors in this area made important contacts, not just among visitors, but also among other operators present at the exhibition. In short, they found themselves “immersed in their market”. There were important presences in the Real Estate sector too, including Prologis, World Capital Group and Gabetti Property Solution, who identified Green Logistics Expo as the ideal place to organise an event on the theme of industrial property.

Less well represented during this first edition were companies in the E-Commerce sector, with participation accounting for 8% of the total. Given the impetuosity and force of the e-commerce revolution, this signifies the awareness, but also the prudent approach of companies throughout the world of logistics.

Green Logistics Expo dedicated an entire conference day to e-commerce and digital transformation, with a packed programme of speeches and demonstrations by leading names in e-commerce which kept the 800 seat auditorium packed throughout the event. While the audience – consisting of logistics experts, web agencies, e-commerce managers and companies making their début in the new sales and distribution channels, etc. – made contacts and took notes, on the speakers’ platform there was a close-packed succession of presentations by leading web, distribution and logistics companies, including: Google, Connectbay, Studio Cappello, Metro, Oracol-NetSuite, Thun, Quaplà, FruttaWeb, Wmr, Mailup, PrestaShop, Adviva and Cervato law & business. The aim of the day’s work was to provide an answer to a number of ever more complex questions businessmen are asking themselves, such as which models are best to enter the international marketplace? How to also change the way they promote their business, both on and off-line? How to modify the corporate supply chain and with what new services? What development for multi-channel formulas? What perspectives and organisation for click-and-collect, in-store pick-up and locker models?

 An event in the event, destined to become ever bigger and the focus of even greater attention during the next edition of Green Logistics Expo, with the emphasis on the logistics aspect.

Finally, 11% of those present came from the City & Logistics sector, the last fundamental and complementary piece in a complex system, giving it value and a sense.

Urban areas are growing constantly throughout the world and Italy is no exception, with an even more significant increase expected. They are destined to accommodate the majority of the population, to be places where people dwell and live, but also where goods and services are produced. “Factories can be located right in the heart of attractive residential districts, offering jobs accessible on foot or by bicycle” (William McDnough, architect and co-founder of the Cradle Products Innovation Institute). The model developed around the private car is becoming outdated and a new global urban design is taking shape.

Are we just at the beginning? Probably yes. Studies, experimentation, policies, new models and solutions are at the centre of a dialogue involving urban designers, architects, land and transport planners, designers, logistics experts and other professional figures. Buildings, transport, energy, production and civic participation are the subject of great attention and new design focus. An important role, to be defined in relation to the other competencies, goes to logistics.

The first edition of Green Logistics Expo set the ball rolling on these themes by proposing innovations starting from logistics, but with the aim of already expanding the dialogue as early as 2020. Together with mobility, it is in fact up to logistics to define important parts of the new urban design.

Satisfaction

The level of final satisfaction as measured through questionnaires gave a very high index of satisfaction for at least 70% of exhibitors. Among these, more than 50% even considered the exhibition as between first-rate and excellent. If you also add to this feedback the responses of those who gave a largely positive opinion, the satisfaction increases to about 90%, with about 80% saying they wanted to take part in the second edition.

High scores were attributed by exhibitors to all the services offered. There was not a single inadequate. On a score from one to five, the lowest went to the promotional campaign, with a score of 3.1. Here, although it received an important adequate, there is room for improvement. The conferences, on the other hand, were awarded a full 3.9 and car parking 4, the highest score. The road system, information, the division into sectors, the exhibition stands and the contacts made (a decisive element for the event’s success) were all awarded a score of 3.24.

A systemic, innovative exhibition, good for business

Green Logistics Expo set out to be a great showcase for the products and services of Italian and international logistics, but also a laboratory for dialogue and innovation and a marketplace to do good business.

The systemic nature of the event, together with the strong focus on sustainability, made it unique among Italian exhibitions. It is logistics as a whole that is deploying all its segments, open and dialoguing with all its varied and diverse target publics, led by businesses.

The project’s systemic approach proved to be a winning card, as confirmed by the contracts signed, contacts made and, in particular, the intense dialogue between the logistics service and the business world. As part of their “value creation” process, businesses are ever more called on to present themselves to the end customer with product certification which includes not just the production process, but also distribution. This implies the direct involvement of the logistics operator and the entire supply chain which makes the service possible.

This front gave the event a number of its highest moments, with a face-to-face exchange of views between vehicle and infrastructure constructors, logistics platforms, intermodal transport operators, logistics operators, the world of distribution and the businesses making and “delivering” the products. A dialogue involving leading companies from Italy and throughout the world. Examples are Barilla which looked at critical points and good practices in the food sector together with the Campari Group and Carlsberg; or L’Oreal which talked about the methods employed for its own distribution with the logistics partners; or Levissima which tackled objectives to reduce CO2 with vehicle manufacturers and logistics managers; and again, supermarket chains which covered themes ranging from warehouse efficiency to home deliveries. There was a high attendance of production, marketing and logistics managers from large and medium-sized enterprises based above all in north-east Italy, visiting stands and listening to conferences, intent on comparing the various logistics offers, particularly those offering a complete service.

A need of Country Italy

The attendance and satisfaction confirm that the wager of Green Logistics Expo has been won. During this phase of recovery, change and innovation, a latent and unexpressed need has come to the fore and become apparent. Now the logistics world has an appointment where it can meet and dialogue face-to-face.

Italy, a great country with a vocation for logistics and Europe’s second most important manufacturing nation, therefore needs a two-yearly exhibition able to establish a relationship between all the components in a multifaceted system, full of complexities and specialisations.

As with other great European countries (such as Germany with TL-Transport Logistics in Munich, France with SITL in Paris and Mipim in Cannes, and Spain with SIL in Barcelona), Green Logistics Expo intends to be the benchmark event for logistics in Italy. A need confirmed by many of the protagonists during the three days in Padua and summed up by the CEO of Trenitalia, Renato Mazzoncini, who during the opening round table stated: “When we presented our goods project, we had to do it in Munich in Germany. Now at last Italy too has an event dedicated to the logistics sector and when we have a new presentation, we will be able to do it here.”

Innovations

Numerous new developments and performances were presented during the event, with demonstrations, meetings and press conferences. The novelties went from product innovations, with the presentation of projects, prototypes and new products such as the smart railway car from Co.El.Da, or the Hybrid Empty Container from CVS Ferrari, to logistics models as exemplified by the Four group, a consortium of four logistics operators offering an entirely “zero CO2” service. During the exhibition, they presented the 100% electric ecotrucks in their fleet. With a tare weight of 18 tonnes and a load of 9 tonnes, one of the ecotrucks reached Padua from Rome, arriving after 500 km with just one stop, the other from Milan, after driving 200 km without stopping even once. And again, sustainable brand and protocol innovations, such as Sustainable Logistics from SOS Log, and new investments: During the event, Interporto Padova inaugurated the new electric portal cranes at their terminal and there was great interest in the new Italy-China rail service offered by FELB.

Meetings, matching & conferences

The programme of conferences, meetings, studies, seminars, press conferences and workshops organised in collaboration with the world of production, governance and research was well attended and highly appreciated.

More than 250 speakers took part in the more than 50 events.

Of particular interest was the opening conference dedicated to Intermodal Transport. Moderated by Sebastiano Barisoni, Executive Vice-Director of Radio24 – Il Sole 24 Ore, the speakers taking part included: Renato Mazzoncini, CEO Italian Railways (Ferrovie dello Stato), Thomas Baumgartner, President ANITA – Associazione Nazionale Imprese Trasporti Automobilistici (National Association of Road Transport Companies), Zeno D’Agostino, President Assoporti, Franco Fenoglio, President of the Industrial Vehicles Section of UNRAE (National Union of Foreign Vehicle Representatives) , Matteo Gasparato, President UIR – Unione Interporti Riuniti (National Association of logistics hubs), Sebastiano Grasso, Managing Director Business Services, Contship Italia Group, Giancarlo Laguzzi, President, FerCargo, Guido Ottolenghi, President Confindustria Technical Group for Logistics, Transport and the Marine Economy, Roberto Tosetto, General Manager Interporto Padova Spa, Cristóbal Millan De La Lastra, Head of Unit C2 of the Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) and Andrea Boitani, Mission Technical Department, Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport

There was a particularly high attendance for “Digitalisation of transport and dematerialisation of documentation. Technological innovation in transport and infrastructure”, the event organised by C.I.S.Co in collaboration with Green Logistics Expo.

The conference “Ports and Interports – not just maritime combined. New prospects for connecting ports and interports in the era of Motorways of the Sea” looked at the possibility for implementing a new network connecting ports and inland areas, in harmony with the world of road transport, bringing together leading managers in Italian logistics hubs and port authorities.

The theme of urban logistics and, more generally, services to urban areas was the centre of focus on Friday morning under the title “Cities are growing. Green services to improve competitiveness and quality of life”. Organised by Assologistica in collaboration with SOSLog, Fit Consulting and La Sapienza University of Rome, the meeting defined a number of scenarios/objectives for urban logistics during the next 20 years. It emerged that all products and services must weigh less, consume less, have more functions, last longer and become biodegradable, recyclable, reusable. These are the objectives of sustainable logistics which consumers already understand quite well today and will learn to manage better in the future.

An event of great international importance, “Virtuous crossroads between ports, railway terminals and urban nodes. The Adriatic-Baltic corridor meets the Mediterranean corridor” was organised according to the Corridor Forum logic promoted by the European Commission and chaired by the respective coordinators who met for the first time in Padua to speak about the state-of-the-art in strategic opportunities generated by development of the European corridor system.

The international dimension of the event was further boosted by the “EURO Mini Conference” on “Advances in Freight Transportation and Logistics” a three-day appointment organised by the ICEA Department of Padua University, with the support of EURO (Association of European Operational Research Societies), EWGT (Euro Working Group on Transportation), and SIDT (Italian Association of Transport Teachers).

A number of category associations, training centres, authorities and research institutes, together with private companies, took the opportunity of Green Logistics Expo to organise their own events in a stimulating context. These included: ZIP Padova, UIR – Unione Interporti Riuniti (National Association of Logistics Hubs), S5 – Centro Formazione Aifos, ADLI, Politecnico di Milano – Osservatori.net, World Capital Group, Confetra Nord Est, Consorzio Autoscuole Padovane, Padua City Council, FELB, Blue Line Logistics, Bedeschi SpA – OMG-MGM Cranes, Gruppo Gabetti, Cab Log, KAMAG, cooperation programme authorities, Logisticamente.it, Panasonic, Emisfera and Inno web TV

After the exhibition: beauty and conviviality

Beauty after business. Padua extended a welcome to exhibitors at the end of the first and second days of work with moments of beauty and conviviality. Wednesday ended with a concert in the Eremitani Church. Surrounded by frescoes by Guariento and Mantegna, the Concentus Musicus Patavinus Orchestra conducted by Maestro Mauro Roveri performed music by Tartini and Beethoven.

On Thursday evening, there was an “apericena” in the Loggia of the Palazzo della Ragione, with an opportunity to visit the completely frescoed “Salone”, the world’s largest hanging hall (14th century).

During the three days, exhibitors were offered free entry to the Eremitani City Museum and discounted admission to visit the Scrovegni Chapel, a masterpiece by Giotto and of international art.

Save the date: appointment for March 2020

Green Logistics Expo looks forward to meeting the logistics community for the second edition on Wednesday 18, Thursday 19 and Friday 20 March 2020.

Keeping the same formula, work is already underway to expand the event, with the addition of a pavilion to extend the exhibition space, greater international prominence and, in the ever more extensive programme of meetings and conferences, introduction of the emerging themes of production, innovation, market integration, e-commerce and AI (Artificial Intelligence) applied to both the warehouse and transport. Extensive space will again be given to training and dialogue between the parties.

Particular emphasis will be given to the relationship between logistics and the world of business, already protagonist in the first edition, with a dedicated top-level conference organised in collaboration with business associations.

The relationship between logistics and businesses is, in fact, ever more important, together with dialogue between these and the institutions, the environment and citizens.

Green Logistics Expo is possible thanks to the patronage, collaboration and support of:

MIT – Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Ministry of the Environment and Land Protection, Province of Padua, Padua City Council, Padua Chamber of Commerce, Assologistica, Confetra, Padua University – ICEA, UIR – Unione Interporti Riuniti, La Sapienza University of Rome, ENEA, AILOG, Freight Leaders Council, BIC, Fercargo, INU – Istituto Nazionale di Urbanistica, Assocostieri, Promex, SOS Log, World Capital Group, CST Logistica e Trasporti, Number1 Logistics Group, Studio Cappello, EWolf, Il Messaggero Marittimo, TransportOnLine, Euromerci, La Gazzetta Marittima, Il Giornale della Logistica, MP Magazine, Porto&Interporto, Logisticamente.it, Logistica Management, Masi Communication, BY Innovation, Ship2Shore.

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