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Industry leaders to speak at Cool Logistics Africa

Cape Town, South Africa:  Abrie de Swardt, recently-appointed managing director of Capespan Exports, one of the largest fruit companies operating in Southern Africa, is among the senior perishables industry executives newly confirmed to speak at the upcoming Cool Logistics Africa 2012 conference.

The inaugural event, taking place this April in Cape Town, brings together all the key players to explore how to deliver cold chain capacity, skills and infrastructure for Africa to compete fully on the world perishables stage.

De Swaart, who took up his new post on 16 January following 8 years with African logistics and supply chain specialist Imperial Logistics, will give a keynote speech in the opening session on Trade and Infrastructure, focusing on the role of intermodal logistics for the SA fruit export trade.  Providing a second keynote perspective is David Williams, Head of Southern Africa Cluster for Maersk Line, who will assess what South Africa needs to do to maintain its gateway status for southern hemisphere produce.

Also joining the opening session is Tau Morwe, chief executive, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), who will discuss the role of infrastructure in supporting an export-led economy and how to enhance regional integration.  The conference is seen as a unique opportunity for TNPA to share long term thinking from an infrastructure point of view with the producer and logistics sectors.

Benchmarking Africa’s cold supply chain performance and logistics costs with other regions focusing on perishable exports will be a major theme of the conference.  Ulises Carillo, vice president global logistics at Dole Food Company; Mark Hassenkamp, GM Africa for Chiquita Brands International; Hasit Shah, director of the Sunripe Group; and Stuart Symington, chief executive-designate of PPECB are among other key shippers and brand owners who will use the conference to discuss critical logistical constraints across the continent and how these can be tackled.

Timed just ahead of the critical South African citrus export season, Cool Logistics Africa provides a timely forum for shippers and carriers to discuss latest volume forecasts, capacity and rate outlook for the peak period ahead, covering both containerised and specialised refrigerated container shipping.

“We are delighted to welcome such high-calibre perishable logistics users and providers to shape the debate at this first Cool Logistics conference in Africa,” said Alex von Stempel, director, Cool Logistics Resources.  “Having already attracted the support of key players such as the umbrella association Fruit South Africa, the growing speaker list stands by the quality that attendees have learnt to expect at our events.  This is a must-attend meeting for international perishable logistics professionals out of Africa.”