ITCO North America Regional Meeting
Houston: Wednesday February 18th, 2015
Shipper Requirements, Macro-Economic Trends and Tank Container Technical Issues under the spotlight at ITCO North America Meeting
The evolving requirements of chemical shippers from their transportation and logistics suppliers was high on the agenda the ITCO North America Regional Meeting, which took place in Houston yesterday (Wednesday, February 18th).
Over 85 delegates participated, representing all five Divisions of ITCO.
Siva Narayanan, Director, International Operations & Warehousing, SOLVAY Purchasing & Supply Chain Excellence (and President of the US Shippers Association) gave a shipper’s strategy for selecting Tank Container partners, specifying certain key expectations.
These included: Safety, Creation of value, Customer centricity, Communication, Competence, Collaboration, Accountability, Empowerment, Performance & Process, Simplification and Innovation. He then went on to number of possible ways that the tank container industry could evolve, including:
- Formation of consortiums
- Interchange of tanks amongst operators to reduce empty repositioning & transportation costs
- Creation of exchanges possibly managed by neutral party such as ITCO
- Collective freight negotiations as total tank movement in a trade is very small compared to dry boxes,
- Focus on value creation through commodity handling than transportation or leasing
- Supply chain optimization by incorporating a strategy involving finance, documents, information and product movement.
The second keynote speakers, Ross Briggs, Vice-President Intermodal Finance at ABN Amro Bank, gave a macro-overview of the changing global economic situation, reviewing the impact of falling oil prices on the world economy, and providing an overview of global financial markets and indices.
The impact of the falling value of the Euro against the Dollar was discussed and the need for China to “revive the consumer” highlighted.
The morning session concluded with a presentation ITCO President Heike Clausen about the Organisation’s current plans and activities. In addition to a number of on-going projects, there are plans this year to re-design the ITCO website, to re-develop the Mission Statement and to introduce an e-learning package.
After lunch, delegates divided into four Work Groups, focusing on specific issues:
A wide range of technical issues were discussed, and an action plan for future development of these Work Groups.
The meeting concluded with an Open Forum, during which participants proposed a number of future ITCO plans and projects.
Delegates confirmed that they would like ITCO to organise a 2nd North America Regional Meeting in February 2016.