Global reefer container carrier to discuss challenges of balancing service profitability with high-cost equipment investment at 6th international perishable logistics and transport forum.
London, 22.07.14 - Alexis Michel, Senior Vice President Container Logistics and Reefer for CMA CGM, the world's 3rd largest container carrier, will give a keynote speech on Day One of the 6th Cool Logistics Global conference. The 2014 conference takes place aboard the iconic SS Rotterdam on 30 September - 2 October, hosted by Port of Rotterdam.
With a reefer container fleet of 170,000 TEU, 150,000 reefer slots, and 800,000 refrigerated loads carried in 2013, CMA CGM is one of the top three players in the global reefer trades. The company's reefer box fleet increased by 6% last year and it plans to double capacity within the next 10 years. Currently, CMA CGM invests USD150- 200 million annually in reefers.
An agronomist by training, Mr Michel has been with CMA CGM for over 25 years, taking over as SVP of the company's Container Logistics Group in 2007 and heading up its Reefer Department since 2009. In his keynote speech at Cool Logistics Global, Mr Michel will discuss the thorny issue of how to balance out the shipping industry's need for improved service profitability against the demands of investing in high-tech reefer container equipment.  He will also join the annual Cool Logistics ocean freight panel debate along with Thomas Eskesen, Global Head of Refrigerated Business for Maersk Line and other senior carrier, shipper and 3PL representatives.
It is no secret that the container shipping is still focused heavily on cost control as the route to financial stability, nor that servicing the chilled and frozen market is a fairly capital-intensive business. According to consultant Andrew Foxcroft, the average cost of a 40ft high cube reefer box is USD17,000-17,500, compared with USD 3570 for a comparable dry box. Operating costs are also significant, including servicing, parts replacement and power.
"Fierce competition and no trace of an imminent equipment shortage mean the rate of return on reefer cargo is still far from what it should be, despite new pockets of profitability opening up on selected trade routes," said Alex von Stempel, Joint Managing Director, Cool Logistics Resources Ltd. "How to balance the needs of reefer carriers for a decent return against shipper needs for price stability and service reliability will therefore be a major focus of debate at this year's conference. Once again, Cool Logistics Global will provide carriers, shippers and everyone else involved in temperature controlled transport with a glimpse into what the future of the sector holds."
Cool Logistics Global 2014 is convened under the headline theme "Tackling trade risks: Perishables, protectionism and profitability." Covering 3 days of business sessions, debates, a choice of field trips, plus two evening receptions, the event once again brings together shippers, carriers, 3PLs, ports and terminals, technology providers and other key stakeholders to network in advance of annual contract negotiations. 
6th Cool Logistics Global
30 September - 2 October 2014
SS Rotterdam, Rotterdam

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