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Digital transformation, supply chain optimization, sustainability: considering the key themes at LogiChem EU 2020

Elisabeth Hankeln, Cordstrap’s VP Germany is speaking about breaking down silos with digital transformation at this year’s virtual LogiChem EU 2020. Here, Elisabeth considers some of the main issues under discussion at this year’s event.

Global shippers and their 3PL partners are focused on the digital transformation of their businesses.  What progress do you see being made in this area?

Companies are rapidly moving from theory to practice and logistics operations are moving quickly to progress digital innovation. Cordstrap is a case in point. We grew up as an ‘analogue’ business, meaning that for years we manually secured cargo to ensure it didn’t move and break during transport. The calculations on which we based our advice came from overall international guidance and experience. But now as the market leader in cargo protection, we are radically innovating from simply meeting strapping requirements to creating more data-driven solutions that are focused on protecting all aspects of the container and its contents. For example, this past year has seen us introduce Cargo Monitoring. This is a revolutionary new innovation that uses IoT technology to monitor location, temperature, humidity, security, and shock data at an individual container level. Not only does this give customers real time vigilance over their shipments and help improve supply chain visibility but, perhaps more significantly, it also allows us to use that data to understand and predict exactly what protection future shipments will require.  This provides us with unrivalled opportunities to engineer innovative protection solutions precisely matched to the changing risks facing customer shipments along all supply chain routes and modalities. The longer this system operates, the more data we can collect allowing us to focus even more accurately on customer needs, helping them mitigate new risks as they emerge. 

This year’s LogiChem looks at optimization of the supply chain. What is Cordstrap’s approach to achieving this?

Innovation is in our DNA at Cordstrap. As global leaders in cargo protection, we’ve been delivering cutting-edge securing solutions for over 50 years.

As a progressive, customer-focused business, we use small, multi-functional teams to drive innovation, often with a development customer as part of the team. A great example of this is how we are transforming our approach to new product development.

We have realized that the future of product development is not in the lab, it’s in the market, close to our customers.  By working in close partnership with them, handling and observing real shipments in real time, we are able to create solutions that are both innovative and fit for purpose. This approach also allows us to help customers examine and improve the processes throughout their supply chain.

Moving forward, our ability to gather and analyze information from individual shipments places data at the overlap between the supply chain and the needs of customers for specific cargo shipments. This means we can deliver ever-more innovative, tailored and efficient cargo protection across the whole chemical industry. For our customers, this translates into solutions that maximize cost-efficiency, effectiveness and compliance and can contribute to improved end-to-end supply chain visibility.

Another area of close attention for shippers is sustainability within the supply chain. As a key cargo protection partner to the chemical industry, how is Cordstrap supporting this need?

Cordstrap has always played a significant role in making supply chains more sustainable simply by protecting cargo more effectively. Cargo damage of any kind has a hugely detrimental environmental impact.  The damaged cargo must be disposed of responsibly and additional resources must then be used to replace the original cargo. It also doubles the carbon miles when the replacement cargo is shipped. And, for anyone shipping hazardous materials, such as chemicals, those risks rise exponentially with the risk of damaging adjacent cargo through contamination, fire or explosion. By continually innovating to improve cargo protection and standardizing best practice across global supply chains, we help our customers deliver more sustainably every day.

Chemical businesses are adopting EcoVadis as a methodology to drive sustainability across the supply chain. We are partnering with the industry in this through the EcoVadis platform and are using the EcoVadis methodology to drive continuous improvement in our own sustainability strategies and CSR roadmap, including environmental, people and ethics elements.

Many of our customers have specific sustainability targets and Cordstrap are working in partnership to help achieve them. Our securing solutions are designed to increase efficiency, be fully certified (avoiding expensive delays in transit and additional journeys), completely consistent in application and to deliver a great reduction in material usage and wastage, compared with competitor systems.

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