Port Centric distribution model faces scrutiny

The concept of locating distribution centres within UK and European ports comes under the spotlight at Navigate Events’ second Port Centric Logistics conference in Birmingham 1-2 March. As global trade recuperates and supply chains become more complex, ports are offering new and better logistical solutions for international trade. Proponents of the port centric distribution model will demonstrate that locating distribution centres and added-value operations at or close to a sea port can unleash a range of efficiencies to meet sales demand, reduce transport miles and build a more robust supply chain. The event will bring together the UK’s leading port groups, including Hutchison, PD Ports, Peel Ports and Port of Tyne, logistics service providers and their customers to examine the market, the opportunities and the way forward.

According to conference chairman Stephen Taylor of PortCentric Logistics Partners, port centric logistics is not simply about moving a firm's distribution network from an inland shed to a warehouse near a port. He says:

“It is about enabling cargo owners to gain more control of their international supply chain costs and the timing of the movement of their goods. It opens-up each element of inland and maritime logistics costs and processes to full scrutiny and improvement.”

He adds: “Designing and implementing a port centric distribution model is not something which can be achieved by any one company on its own. Successful supply chains have customer-driven momentum and are built on solid partnerships amongst all the players”

Attendees at Port Centric Logistics 2010 were able to meet and hear from representatives from every type of business involved in developing and using port centric operations in their supply chains. In 2011 the organisers expect to build on wide spread interest in the concept and once again bring together many of the UK’s retailers, distributors, manufacturers warehousing and port investors, port operators, shipping lines, road & rail logistics providers and other related service operators to discuss, debate and learn.