The war in Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia are disrupting global trade chains in an already disrupted global market. The Netherlands, with its open and export-oriented economy as a logistics center in Europe, is very sensitive to this. As a result, trading and manufacturing companies are directly and indirectly faced with numerous challenges in logistics and international trade. At the same time, companies need to think about various long-term challenges; produce more sustainably, emit less CO2 and shape the associated energy transition. Therefore, Evofenedex and TNO are part of a collaboration on the theme ‘Future supply chain’.
As a knowledge hub for trade and logistics, Evofenedex speaks the language of shippers and TNO, as a knowledge institute, offers solutions to the innovation challenges in the logistics chain. This collaboration creates a powerful combination. The structural disruption of trade chains shows the need to achieve an accelerated transition to more robust and sustainable chains. Risk diversification, flexible logistics organization, more attention to ICSR and further reduction of CO2 emissions are important pillars in the future supply chain. Digitization is an important foundation for this innovation in the chain and a means to gain more insight into the aforementioned themes and at the same time provides access to new sales channels and logistics platforms.
Because logistics and supply chain are not always core business (or are outsourced) for shippers, and innovation focus is often on (operational) short-term, innovation progresses too slowly, especially among the large group of SME entrepreneurs. This while shippers as customers in the logistics chain can have the greatest influence by asking for different services from logistics service providers, carriers and supply chains.
The managers in the companies, the supply chain professionals, not only solve the daily problems and challenges, but also think about tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. The entrepreneurs’ association Evofenedex is committed to companies with logistical and international significance and has built up an involved group of more than 100 professionals with the ‘Supply Chaingers’ network. This group has indicated that it wants to focus fully on the supply chain of the future. In addition, evofenedex has all the knowledge about chain collaboration and digitization within supply chains in-house. As an organization for applied scientific research, TNO has for many years been involved in research in the fields of automation, robotics and digitization. While logistics providers are already involved in various research programs, the large group of companies, the field, with the exception of a few frontrunners, is still lagging behind.
The ambition is to involve trading and production companies in innovation projects together with, among others, Topsektor Logistik and relevant stakeholders and in this way, through a common approach, commitment and foresight, get shippers started and accelerate as part of the logistics system on relevant themes.
TNO and Evofenedex are convinced that their intensive collaboration in connection with the Supply Chain of the Future will act as a flywheel for innovation in the chain. First of all, relevant societal development will be mapped by both parties and external parties will be asked to contribute ideas. Subsequently, a group of experts from both universities and novices in supply chain management will be asked to filter and further interpret the relevant trends. Supply Chainger’s network will then further develop these developments together with experts. Long-term elaboration will provide insight and inspiration on what steps to take now. In addition, both organizations expect that the preparation of the Supply Chain of the Future will also lead to new research questions and projects that are relevant to the target group and parties included in the logistics system. The first steps are taken before summer, and the details will follow in the autumn.