UBCC 2021: Power of collaboration – All logistics stakeholders committed for one goal

The final session of Day 2 of Agility’s The Unbroken Cold Chain (UBCC) 2021 reflected on the power and importance of forging collaborations and strong partnerships in the light of the pandemic and how imperative it was for the logistics industry to stand shoulder to shoulder and join hands as the world runs the race against time in battling the pandemic.

The session, which was moderated by Eric Ten Kate, VP- Lifesciences, Agility witnessed a powerful exchange of words, ideas and solutions for the industry to come up in a collaborative approach.

While talking about the importance of partnerships, Robert Sutton, Head of Logistics Cluster, Logistics, Logistics- Abu Dhabi Ports shed light on the main barriers towards collaborations.  One of the main reasons why companies do not collaborate is because they compete. However, this has changed with a common goal and responsibility thanks to the pandemic.

“The faster we collaborate, the faster we get through”, said Mr Sutton.

He also referred to the Hope Consortium and how it is exemplary for the extensive collaboration across airfreight, regulatory bodies, equipment providers and 3PLs, for a common goal.

Sandeep Gadhia, Founder and CEO, Astral Aviation Ltd spoke about his experiences in Africa and how collaboration will definitely help achieve resilience in the supply chain.  He spoke about how working together will help people go farther.

“Collaboration is not a matter of choice, it’s a necessity”, he added.

Marrie Groeneveld, Chief Commercial Officer, SkyCell AG delved on how we are all witnessing a historic moment at present, where the whole world has one goal — coming out of the pandemic together.

He highlighted the challenges that underdeveloped countries have to combat in terms of shortage in capacity.

He invited more discussions and actions towards bringing temperature excursions close to zero, so that it helps eliminate product wastage altogether.

He also alluded to a WHO study which brought to the fore how there is a 40% vaccine wastage in the world, which needs to be seriously addressed and tackled.

On the other hand, Santosh Takoor, VP- Global Sales, Customer Experience and Service Delivery, Roambee Corporation talked about three key approaches: Collaboration, sustainability and people in a bid to address how products need to reach the correct destination and how sustainability will eventually be driven by the people.

While speaking about how well-established systems have been challenged by the pandemic, Thomas Sorensen, Senior Contracts Manager, UNICEF, Supply Division highlighted how there have been intense collaborations with different stakeholders and various government agencies to bring the pandemic to an end. He also delved into vaccine logistics.

Krishnakumar V, Managing Director, Agility Logistics India talked about building a collaborative platform for information that can help people deal with the pandemic.

“We all have information sitting in our own silos and I think there’s an urgent need for a collaborative approach towards information, say data warehouse, for people to contribute to. This can be done either by connecting into that kind of a cloud-based system or automating it in some way so that people can contribute to an information highway irrespective of the stakeholders present or the services they are providing”, he shared.

He also called for an open mindset to share visions and solutions and help eliminate the pandemic faster.

Rahul Bansal, Corporate Partnership and Fund Raising, UNICEF India perused about how collaborations help in optimising resources, making them more efficient.

“Collaboration does not mean that we don’t compete, because competition leads to more innovations. We are looking at both together, where each brings strengths, resources and expertise”, Bansal shared.

He talked about how UNICEF is experienced in working in emergencies and provides that space for competitors to come and work together.

“At UNICEF, we reach out to different players so we can leverage their expertise for us to be able to respond to emergencies and similar situations,” he added.

The panel also addressed how it is essential that collaborations continue ahead, to enable the industry to move forward and combat the coronavirus pandemic.

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