Back to Basics
Jun 1, 2008 12:00 PM
The Theme for this year's IARW (International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses)-WFLO (World Food Logistics Organization)-IRTA (International Transportation Association) Annual Convention & Expo was Back to Basics. The event in Marco Island, Florida, was centered on the idea that sustained success in the continually changing cold chain industry will come from flawless execution of business fundamentals.
IARW, WFLO, and IRTA are part of the Global Cold Chain Alliance. Formed last year, it unites Core, Affiliate, Strategic, and Supporting partners to facilitate communication, networking, and education for the perishable food industry and to lead the growth of cold chain logistics around the world.
More than 720 participants were at this year's IARW-WFLO-IRTA Convention, the highest registration in event history. Nearly 90 companies displayed their products and service at the event.
In his opening remarks to the Convention, IARW Chairman Ray Tarnowski of Philadelphia Warehousing & Cold Storage said that with a rapidly shifting global economy, increased integration, and higher customer expectations, no doubt the cold chain logistics industry is changing. Despite all the change, it is still the basics — safety, temperature control, safe handling, managing costs, and so on — that count.
“Carrying out the basics is what separates the great providers from the just okay ones,” he noted.
“The customer's preference for integrated logistics service has shattered the old model of split providers,” noted IRTA Chairman John LaRue with the Port of Corpus Christi. “Today, transportation and warehousing must act as one. This trend should not be viewed as a threat to our industry. On the contrary, it is an opportunity.”
LaRue suggested cold storage facilities develop partnerships with transportation providers or cultivate their in-house transportation capabilities to complete their customer service matrix. By bringing transportation and warehousing together, the two become more than the sum of their parts to not only better serve customers but to serve them more rapidly, accurately, and cost-effectively.
Global Chain Alliance President and CEO Bill Hudson announced the theme for the upcoming year. “World wide because our members and services stretch across the planet,” he said. “World class because our members and services represent the best on the planet.
“The mission of the Global Chain Alliance,” he pointed out, “is not just to help the industry grow, but to grow stronger.”
This meeting coverage reports on some of the sessions and workshops that took place at the convention.
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