2nd International FREIGHT-2008: Logistics and Supply Chain Conference
All about the logistics in Russia
FREIGHT-2008: Logistics and Supply Chain Conference
Moscow, June 5, 2008
Opening the discussion, Serge Rivet, General Manager of Conseo Ltd. and conference moderator noted that the conference has all grounds to become the key event of the Russian logistics market. Although the country’s logistics sector is developing very rapidly, much quicker than is the case in the West, Russian logistics professionals do not get much chance to meet and discuss the recent industry developments. Also, they have to learn the science – or, probably, the art of logistics by doing rather than reading.
Traditionally, there are many representatives of international corporations at all the conferences organized by SeaNews. This event was no exception, half the audience in the Zurich Conference Room of Swissotel Krasnye Holmy in Moscow consisted of foreign logistics professionals.
Among those who shared their vision of the current market situation were Casper Jansen, Founder and Managing Director of 1-2 Think Logical, Rob Willemse, Founder and Director of TRM Innovating Products BV, Piet Meijs, Director of New Business Development of Partner Logistics Group, Ghislain Vathelot, General Manager and Owner of Accentis CIS, Alain Katz, Managing Partner of Metis, and Ellen Theeuwes, Business Development Manager (Division Contract Logistics) of Ahlers Logistic and Maritime Services.
Most of the speakers are renowned European logistics professionals, with a long-time involvement and successful projects in the Russian logistics market. All the statements made by the speakers were well grounded in their local practical experience, so there was not much general theory talk on the subject.
However, the Russian part of the audience was also active sharing their experience and knowledge arguing some of the European practices from their Russian background. It should be acknowledged that not all the schemes use in European logistics work in the Russian market, and Russian operators sometimes have a contrary experience in building their supply chains to those of their Western counterparts. Almost every topic gave rise to a vivid discussion. But both Russian and foreign delegates had to agree a priori that ‘Russia is special’ and supply chain management here also has some specific features.
It was also noted that despite the high tempo of logistics market development in Russia, the current operations level is comparatively low. It does take time and effort for the manufacturer to get their goods on the shelves of a supermarket. As one of the delegates put it, ‘3PL operators are waiting for you to invite them, but when you do, they never come’. In such case, it is still reasonable to use local distributors. The latter know that operating as they used to in the 1990-s is not going to work, so they have to integrate into the logistics process. Ironically, today some distributors are more involved into logistics operations than logistics operator proper, who can tend to be uncooperative in planning supplies, handling paperwork, meeting contract terms or optimizing their routes to suit the customer, but demand a higher price nevertheless.
There was a wide variety of opinions voiced at the conference, each delegate had ideas and experience to share with the audience.
Among the Russian speakers were Sergey Pirog, Head of the Customs Bonded Warehouses, Temporary Import and Special Customs Regimes Department of the RF Federal Customs Service, Nikolay Maslov, Chief Engineer of Promis JSC, Alexander Makarov, Leading Specialist of the Freight Transportation Insurance Department, Logistics Risks Division of Kapital Strakhovaniye Insurance Company, Valery Tikhomirov, Counsel to Director General of TSKAD JSC (Central Ring Road of Moscow Region), and Daria Alexandrova, Head of Logistics Department of Schwarzkopf and Henkel.
The next conference of the FREIGHT series – V International Conference "FREIGHT-2008: Container and Ro-Ro Transportation in Russia and the Neighboring States" is scheduled on November, 20-21 2008.