It’s no secret that food and beverage (F&B) transportation have many complexities. From strict safety regulations, there are still critical concerns in transportation. On top of that, the F&B sector has new challenges. Not to mention the changes in trade agreements – yes, Brexit, we’re talking about you! Let’s take a look at what the industry is paying attention to in 2021 and beyond.
From disruption to resilience
The COVID-19 pandemic caused an unprecedented level of disruption on supply chains. Nevertheless, they could lead to positive outcomes in the long run, as disruption leads us forward. For example, F&B manufacturers needed to be more efficient and agile amid lockdowns and shortages. Thanks to it, they often implemented new processes or found alternative supply routes. Many companies realized the benefits of nearshoring products and diversifying their vendor portfolio. Quickly responding to sudden changes builds resilience. The key is to be flexible enough to respond to various issues, from demand shifts to shortages. Carrying out the lessons learned in the pandemic will be beneficial in the future.
Climate change and sustainability have a high priority on governments’ agendas. The EU’s New Green Deal is the latest example of the global shift towards sustainable solutions. The future will likely bring more investments into sustainability. In 2021, it’s not enough to market your products as green. The challenge is to go beyond ethically sourced products and recyclable packaging. It’s crucial to integrate sustainable practices in the supply chain and logistics.
Top off sustainability with technology
If you want to amp up your sustainable efforts, investing in technology is key. Now, you must be thinking, what technology has to do with all this. Technology can be a powerful tool to your sustainable strategy: to cut inefficiencies, reduce waste and optimize. For example, you can measure your carbon footprint and improve your operations. You can optimize your transport routes considering fuel consumption, traffic, and road condition. Another interesting point that technology brings to the supply chain is visibility. Technologies such as blockchain promote transparency in the supply chain in many ways. Blockchain helps you trace the origin of your products, which is something that many consumers care about. The bottom line here is: investing in technology is crucial to achieving sustainability.
Want to know how much CO2 your company can save? Download our Sustainability whitepaper.
Changes in trade agreements
You probably can’t go a day without seeing global trade in the news. And if you worked in transportation in the past years, you could sense the feeling of imminent disruption as the Brexit deadline neared. Political decisions will continue to impact global trade and cause disruptions. But It’s one thing to hear about it; navigating the consequences is challenging.
The potential impact on costs and infrastructure is one of the critical concerns. It’s even more vital for F&B since the margins sometimes can be low. To illustrate, let’s take a look at the export of composite foods from the UK to the EU. As of April 21st, 2021, the rules have changed. To export composite foods, you will need an Export Health Certificate (EHC), plus the required documentation. If your documentation is incomplete, the consequences can be severe and costly. Read more about composite food export.
Just as technology can be a powerful tool in your sustainability strategy, it can also help you sense demands. As fluctuations dominate the market in the F&B industry, forecasting has a significant impact. Knowing exactly how much to buy at once is truly an art form. Technology can take your forecasting to the next level. But how does it work? It provides insights that would go unnoticed through real-time data, advanced analytics, and machine learning. Technologies are more efficient in recognizing complex patterns.
To exemplify, let’s imagine the following scenario. You are responsible for purchasing limited shelf-life goods. If you buy too much and the demand is low, you risk overstocking and wasting resources. With demand sensing, you can streamline your resources and align purchasing with consumer demand. Moreover, it can be a valuable tool to plan stock at suitable locations and optimize your inventory. It gives you the flexibility needed to address fluctuations and leverage production capacity. The impact that new technologies in the supply chain can have on a company is staggering!
Emons Cargo 2WIN has heavily invested in technology to help you optimize your supply chain for food and beverage transportation. Sustainability is a top priority for us. We focus on improving operational performance to lessen the impact on the environment while delivering high-cost savings. Let’s drive your business to success together!