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CSAFE Global

 

PortMiami

SCOPE chain partnersWith the SCOPE project the Port of Rotterdam Authority helps chain parties to sit together to get to know each other’s processes and gain better insight into the supply chains.

Scania Logistics is one of the participants in this project and already benefits from the discussions, ‘because it leads to higher reliability and more understanding among participants of why we do things the way we do.’

Gaining better insight into the chain in order to improve its reliability together sounds logical and easy, but it is very hard to bring about in practice. Such projects are often about mutual trust, sharing data, and taking time to get to know each other. The SCOPE project was initiated by the Port of Rotterdam Authority to support this and has been quite successful. At Scania in Hasselt, we notice that the project helps gain better insights and consequently achieve better results throughout the chain in the long term too.

While the containers are being loaded across the Scania premises at the inland terminal of Westerman, Group Leader Material & Transport Overseas Rick Slot tells us why they decided to participate in SCOPE. ‘We centralised several large export and import flows in Hasselt and other places. Containers arrive here and depart from here to their destinations. Once they have been emptied, some containers return to Rotterdam, and sometimes an empty one returns to be loaded for export. This has been the process so far. We would prefer an improved situation in which all containers can be reused. We want to find the proper chain partners for this.’

SCOPE presented a wonderful opportunity to explore this further, in collaboration with Westerman and deep-sea terminal Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam. ‘The port authority has a neutral position where the container chain is concerned. We have come a long way in optimising the chain, with an entire engineering department to bring to bear. Container transport is becoming increasingly important to us, and reliable turnaround times are a must. We want to rid the chain of all waste. Of course we have excellent contacts with our closest chain partners, such as Westerman, and with the terminals, but not with every chain partner. This means that it is not always transparent what is happening to the freight. Via SCOPE, however, we do get these insights. Submitting data has not been a problem to us, provided that this is based on good agreements. We are certainly open to this.’

According to Slot, it is due to the high amount of insourcing that they have managed to optimise a lot. ‘We already have an efficient, splendid network in Europe. This also applies to a certain extent for everything that comes in by ship. We have contracts with ocean liners and discuss transport to and from Hasselt with Westerman and others. We have less contact with the parties Westerman does much business with, for instance, but perhaps there are more possibilities. Besides, there might be some low-hanging fruit that would be to everybody’s benefit. If we know more about each other, it will help in drawing up contracts and making turnaround times more predictable, with this project as a tool.’

The interviews for getting all chain partners at one table were arranged by Ellen Naaijkens, Senior Business Manager Shippers & Forwarders at the Port of Rotterdam Authority. ‘We have contacts with all of these parties and can organise this assistance well. As a port authority we do not have an opinion, but we help in providing insight into all available data. In a workshop, we let people discuss these insights. If the average duration of containers at a terminal is long, these people can discuss the reasons and whether any changes are necessary. Parties are sometimes ignorant, and the time at the terminal might be shortened drastically if information were exchanged sooner.’

Slot noticed that insight has improved. ‘Of course we had business connections with most parties, but some were more or less unknown to us. SCOPE enabled us to get to know each other fairly easily and to think along to improve the chain. What are the possibilities, and what is there for us to explore? Some in-depth analyses have also been conducted, so this will certainly be continued. Even after the first sessions, we gained more insight into turnaround times and reliability. This was most valuable, especially for the long term.’

"Now that we know more about the chain, we can improve our models, with better forecasts as a result." Rik Tenuissen, Material Supply Engineer, Scania

His colleague Rik Teunissen, Material Supply Engineer, already uses this in practice. ‘We use models for calculating product turnaround times, but we want to know how reliable and accurate these are. Now that we know more about the chain, we can improve our models, with better forecasts as a result. We can also put out more competitive and more specific tenders on the back of these better insights. Especially in the long run this is a bonus.’

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