Madrid, 13 October 2017 – Transfrigoroute International (TI) held its 62nd Annual General Meeting on 12th and 13th October in Madrid under the theme “Go Green, Stay competitive: What does the future hold for temperature controlled transport?” The AGM focused on how the industry can face current challenges to secure sustainable growth for the future.
The event gathered over 100 participants from twelve national Transfrigoroute associations with the Gala Dinner in the historical Madrid Casino. Sponsors of this year’s event included: Platinum: Thermo King | Frigoblock; Gold: Mercedez Bens, Carrier Transicold; Silver: Kögel, Tecnicas de Ingenieria (TDI), VATServices, SOR Iberica and Bronze: wtransnet, Transics, Apache.
Increased scrutiny of the environmental impact of the sector
Gathering over 100 professionals and high-level stakeholders from across the industrial, political and scientific spheres, participants were able to hear different and complementary perspectives about the current and future environmental requirements with which industry will have to comply, as well as insights on how the sector is preparing to go even beyond these requirements.
Nicolas Perry, renowned professor at the Mechanic and Engineering Institute in Bordeaux, opened the Congress by presenting the regulatory landscape facing the refrigerated transport sector and detailing how the industry can anticipate the impact of these rules by building life-cycle strategies that better integrate the use and maintenance of products.
During his presentation, Daniel Kern from the International Road Union’s Delegation to the EU focused on current EU initiatives that impact the road transport sector, such as the Mobility Package and the upcoming CO2 standards for HGVs expected in 2018. “From 2010 to 2050, freight transport is expected to grow by 60%. It is therefore important to ensure that rules affecting the sector are simple, clear, practical and efficiently enforced.” Mr Kern added that Brexit is a growing issue of concern and highlighted the need for industry to prepare for possible disruption as a result of ongoing negotiations between the EU and the UK.
Sharing more of a national perspective on the topic, Pere Padrosa, Director General of Transport and Mobility for the Government of Catalonia, explained that a growing number of environmental rules are being developed at local or city level. Together with Pedro Conejero, Managing Director of Transportes Caudete, he emphasised the importance of ensuring a sustainable future for the industry from a workforce perspective and the need to improve workers’ health & safety, as well as the overall attractiveness of the sector for future generations.
Industry solutions to help meet environmental goals
One of the other key issues faced by the industry at EU and national level highlighted during the event was the need to balance sustainability and distribution challenges, as transport companies have now evolved into logistics solutions providers with multi-faceted operations involving long distance as well as urban distribution.
Joe Grealy, Industrial Relations Leader at Thermo King | Frigoblock and Alvaro Herrero Antón, Manager of industrial trucks fleets at Mercedes Benz, shared inspiring best practice examples of how companies are using technological innovation to reduce their environmental footprint and ensure a sustainable energy transition, notably through digitalisation and truck platooning.
To continue highlighting the industry’s innovations, Lionel Pourcheresse, Sustainability Manager, Carrier-Transicold, focused on environmental innovation from the refrigeration unit perspective to help reduce the sector’s emissions and noise. Ramon Valdivia Palma, General Manager of ASTIC and Gines Hernandez Rosique, from TDI continued by showcasing digitalised technology that improves the efficiency of transport (such as the e-CMR and tachographs), which indirectly help reduce the sector’s impact on the environment.
The 2018 AGM will take place in Paris
on 31 May - 1 June.