From Supply Chain to Supply Stream: Creating Seamless Logistics

What are cost-effective solutions to enhance supply chain connectivity and reliability?

Wednesday 2 May, 16:45-18:15
Session Outline
Supply chains are increasingly complex and schedule-dependent, with shippers organising production and distribution around just-in-time delivery. Transport infrastructure and transport services have to perform to increasingly high levels of reliability to meet these demands. Logistics chains are built to reduce vulnerability to disruption but delays in individual consignments can still reverberate through the chain.

Governments recognise the strategic importance of effective supply chains for economic growth. This is reflected in the priority attached to investment in key transport infrastructure by many governments even in times of severe financial stress. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministers, for example, have endorsed a 10% overarching target for improvement in terms of time, cost and reliability by 2015.

Hinterland connections are increasingly central to the competitiveness of ports and the overall efficiency of the supply chain. High quality road, rail and inland shipping links greatly extend the reach of ports and high volume connections offer the possibility of locating key services – warehousing and even customs processing – away from constrained waterfronts. Effective competition and coordinated access to essential port facilities, particularly for rail operators, is critical to coping with increasing volumes of international trade. This session will explore key issues related to improving the performance of supply chains, addressing following questions:

  • What are the most cost-effective solutions to enhance supply chain connectivity and reliability and who – government, shippers, transport companies, others – is responsible for implementation?
  • Does increased intermodal integration require greater internalisation of transport service provision within single companies, thus providing less choices for customers?

  • Do differences in technical standards hinder interoperability or do barriers lie with institutional structures?

  • Where are the priorities for investment in seamless supply chains under financial constraints – port capacity, customs service, data exchange, hinterland operations?

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