Gary Jeffreys, Managing Director of Safmarine UK and Ireland reflects on his time at Multimodal 2017 and shares a shipping line view of how collaboration across the supply chain is best for UK consumers…
At the recent Multimodal event in Birmingham, I participated as a panellist on Peel Ports’ Transforming UK Logistics discussion.
I was asked by a member of the audience whom I believed was responsible for the late delivery of a sofa. This is a question I am asked a lot, not just about sofas, but about any commodity that is shipped to UK-based consumers. For me the answer to that question was a simple one – we all are.
This might sound like the answer of someone trying to share the blame, but allow me to explain myself.
Safmarine transports commodities from over 90 countries worldwide - and to do this successfully, we need to work with the best partners.
Much like any successful business, our customers are our lifeblood and we include them in everything we do. In 2015, our customer research team embarked on an insight-finding mission to establish what our customers really needed from us in today’s digitally enhanced, data-driven world of logistics.
The results showed that what they wanted was simple – a shipping solution that would bring their product closer to their customers.
We had to start thinking about the end-to-end journey and take responsibility for that process.
Armed with this data, we engaged with Peel Ports’ Port of Liverpool to establish a product solution for our African Typhoo Tea client. By introducing our Seago Line feeder service to the port in April 2016, we were able to provide the African connection to the North West our customer was looking for.
Now, Safmarine is delivering Typhoo’s tea volume from Southern Africa through the Port of Liverpool. A key business objective that resonates with many of our customers is to bring down the cost of shipping their goods to their end users, coupled with reduced carbon emissions. That is what we have delivered for Typhoo.
Our own environmental target is to reduce Safmarine’s CO2 emissions by 60 percent by 2020. And of course, our customers have similar aspirations.
Our focus is firmly on adding value anywhere we can. However, the reliability of the supply chain relies on all parties’ ability to deliver a consistent service. Fortunately the logistics industry is starting to wake up to the value of digital technologies and the need for collaborative transparency.
We want to be viewed as the carrier of choice, and being able to work in partnership with customers like Typhoo and facilitators like Peel Ports is a great opportunity for us to reach that ambition.
Blog by- Gary Jeffreys, Managing Director of Safmarine UK
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