In logistics, everything circulates, everything has to circulate


The concepts of logistics and supply chain have invaded our lives because they are not confined to the economic sphere. They are everyone's business, directly affecting the price and local availability of food, medicines...  

The crises triggered by the pandemic, the Suez Canal or the war in Ukraine show that companies must design their supply chains around the competitiveness of risk, rather than just cost, because their business success, but also the resilience of our society, depends on it.

Logistics is an integral part of every business and a lever for growth and competitiveness. Effective logistics develops the economy. An efficient logistics reduces costs in export, import and distribution. The global sourcing model that once prevailed in value chains has evolved as new technologies and consumer demand patterns change. 

Today, internationalisation requires a strong emphasis on the global performance of distribution and supply networks, but also on the regionalisation of sectors that benefit from geographic proximity and economic complementarity.

Global supply chains are being tested in unprecedented economic disruption. Customers are increasingly demanding and becoming more dependent on the success, flexibility and resilience of their supply chain. 

To meet the challenge, data technology and digitisation are essential. Moreover, these activities generate employment and contribute to economic sovereignty and regional development by strengthening an export industry, and modernising distribution and trade. Sustainability is also key, it is essential to promote strategies to control and improve chains, for the decarbonisation of transport and the optimisation of distribution networks.

We need a global strategic vision, from the local and regional to the international level. A vision that forms part of public policies and drives industry, competitiveness, digital and environmental innovation, transport, spatial planning and ecology, etc. Europe is evolving in this direction, and must focus on fair competition and competitiveness. Its effective implementation requires public-private cooperation at all levels.

But it is a sector with multiple interconnected elements. The challenge is to ensure consistency and optimisation of all links in the supply chain.  All parties involved need to be assessed, from the international with rail, sea and air transport and large warehouses; to the very local with cargo bikes and urban micro-centres; to the regional and inter-regional links with all land modes and medium-sized warehouses.

It is a highly innovative and industrialised sector of the future. It is a full player in the industry of the future with increasing investments in equipment, digital tools and innovative solutions: site automation, digitisation of information flows, environmentally friendly equipment for vehicles, terminals or energy production, organisational innovations.

To support an innovative sector in tune with today's major challenges, it is essential to provide the means to create a favourable ecosystem dedicated to innovation in transport and logistics. 

Strong political governance needs to be put in place for new logistics ambitions. Increasing the sector's contribution to the service of the ecological transition, making a better use of transport and logistics chains to develop the economy and improve the attractiveness of a job-creating sector of the future.

The Mediterranean region must and can make better use of logistics as a lever for its economic and ecological development. Regionalisation emerges as an immense source of opportunities, especially when it allows reducing trade barriers and risks, shortening logistics chains towards regional supply models, with new manufacturing centres closer together and more balanced logistics systems.

It may be time to rethink the relationship between the EU and the Mediterranean and to push forward together a project capable of competing globally. The Mediterranean region could become a thriving North-South production frontier, as its geographical location allows for shorter logistical circuits between the EU and Africa, and a reduced carbon footprint. This is a historic opportunity that cannot be missed.