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  • Writer's pictureJeremy Conradie.

Highlights from the 46th Annual SAPICS Conference

Updated: 6 days ago

The 46th annual SAPICS Conference saw more than 750 supply chain managers from 30 countries across Africa and around the world meet in Cape Town to explore this increasingly important profession’s current challenges and opportunities, to learn and share knowledge. The conference is the leading event in Africa for supply chain professionals.

According to The Professional Body for Supply Chain Management (SAPICS), which has hosted the conference since 1975, supply chain management gained prominence during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is an increasingly important and in-demand profession, SAPICS says, as ongoing volatility fuelled by geopolitical conflicts, climate crises and economic instability impacts global supply chains. Speaking at the opening of the conference, SAPICS president MJ Schoemaker stated that it is more critical than ever for supply chain managers to share and update their knowledge as change has become the only constant in the profession.

National Logistics Crisis Committee (NLCC), Ian Bird, who is the Senior Executive responsible for the Transport and Logistics focal area at Business for South Africa (B4SA), reported on the operational progress made to date by the NLCC and the results achieved. He revealed that the number of trains cancelled on the North Corridor due to security incidents has been reduced by 50%. The length of the N4 border queue has been cut from 16km to 3km. A 36% reduction in container vessels’ waiting time at anchor has been achieved, along with a 73% reduction in the number of vessels at anchorage.

In a discussion on South Africa’s ports, panellists representing Transnet and business debated the impact of Transnet’s monopoly, non-investment and the growing imperative for public-private partnerships to upgrade port terminals, back of port solutions and infrastructure like rail.

Circularity and sustainability were the focus of several sessions at the 2024 SAPICS Conference. An important new book, “Sustainable Supply Chain Orchestration”, co-written by world-renowned circular supply chain expert Deborah Dull and supply chain management leader Douglas Kent, was launched at this year’s conference.

At the closing dinner, prizes were awarded to the following outstanding speakers and exhibitors:

Best Speaker: Vanya Jansen

Most Innovative Presentation: Prashant Yadav

Best Panel Discussion: Market Shaping for Drones

Best Workshop: Mbuso Nkosi

Best Written Paper: Oliver Jones and Luis Freitas

Best Booth: GS1

Best Single Unit Exhibition Stand: Webfleet

Best Multiple Unit Exhibition Stand: Interrol

Source: Creamer Media's Engineering News

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