Food is essential to all humans. Being able to provide food in an efficient and safe manner is therefore one of the most significant tasks in society, and the food sector constitutes a cornerstone for economic growth and wealth.
From a logistical point of view, there are some characteristics of the Nordic countries which lead to a number of challenges particular for the Nordic fresh food actors. These include difficult climatic conditions, long geographical distances and scattered population. The Nordic consumer marked is also small, making it difficult to achieve scale benefits. Simultaneously the Nordic consumer with their high buying power require a high service level in terms of product availability, product range, quality and price.
In addition to Nordic challenges, our fresh food sector faces the typical challenges of any food supply chain, including fierce competition, ever increasing cost focus, involvement of many independent actors in fragmented supply chains, a wide variety of products and product mixes, frequent market activities, large inventories, excess capacity in manufacturing and distribution systems, and limited cooperation and information sharing among supply chain actors.
For the Nordic fresh food sector to reach the objective of increased sustainability and efficiency, new solutions that meet the particular characteristics and challenges facing the sector are required. The research idea of the LogiNord project is thus to bring the sector beyond current state-of-the-art by developing the strategies, models, concepts and tools that are required for the industry to reach this objective. Based on the challenges above, it is clear that there is a need and potential for improvement related to both COORDINATION of activities and COLLABORATIVE PLANNING AND CONTROL in the fragmented and complex fresh food supply chains in the Nordic countries.
This requires inter-disciplinary research and development taking a holistic supply chain approach. Recent advances in information and communication technology (ICT) have made it possible to capture, share and visualise real-time information across supply chains, and ICT is therefore an important enabler in the realisation of supply chain coordination and collaborative planning and control. The project will therefore also look at how ICT and real-time information can be utilised to improve the Nordic fresh food industry. Additionally, the project will work on developing the measurement approaches required to evaluate the effects this will have on sustainability for companies and the supply chain.
By improving coordination and planning and control processes, waste reduction through shorter lead times, increased product quality and reduced costs can be achieved. In addition to strengthening the competitiveness of the Nordic actors, this will also result in more efficient freight transport and distribution solutions, and thus reduced environmental impact and traffic congestion.
Published September 23, 2010