Innovation in Greek logistics

Anestis Partalidis has for over 20 years, been a main player in the Greek logistics sector. Since 2000, he has worked for the Fourlis group, undertaking several logistics projects including the creation of a new state of the art centre for Ikea stores in Greece. He is currently developing an automated warehouse for Intersport stores in Greece, Romania, Cyprus and Bulgaria.

He is a member of the Hellenic Institute for Logistics Management (HILME), the Greek arm of the European logistics Association(ELA) and of the Permanent Logistics committee which advises the Government ministries of Development and Transportation. He was recently awarded the European Gold Medal in Logistics and Supply Chain "Professional of the year 2015"

"The situation in Greece is still uncertain, with domestic consumption at a low point. However within the logistics sector we have some very positive projects in operation. When Cosco decided to put their European base in the port of Piraeus in Athens, it opened up a new range of logistics and distribution activities. Having HP, Sony, Dell and some other Hi-tech companies delivering products into the port of Piraeus, Greece demonstrated again its strategic position as an entry point to Europe. In this case most of the containers are going by rail to Central Europe.

Certainly within Greece itself the consumer demographics are changing with a steadily aging population, which is repeated in most Western societies. This clearly changes buying habits and the comparative ease of online shopping suits older people. Also another factor unique to Greece is the market for supplying the island communities with a wide variety of household goods. Companies such as Ikea have enjoyed much success in this. As the economies of our neighbouring countries are growing, the Greek logistics sector is in an excellent position to serve this market.

Employing state of the art software and equipment, in our own warehouse for example, we have achieved a 99.96% success rate with some 40,000 orders handled. Whilst the trend to close down traditional high street stores and replace them with online facilities continues, other factors are changing the face of international commerce.

For example, the Chinese manufacturers, now faced with labour shortages and increasing costs, are moving to the west of the country for shorter transits and using rail transport to Europe. Many Asian companies are now looking at setting up manufacturing facilities in Africa but unstable political conditions are a mitigating factor.

Another serious development is 3D printing which we believe will become a major force in the near future and will reduce the dependence on traditional traffic considerably. Although this is still in its infancy, some very successful trials have been carried out around the world. The speed at which hi-tech products are evolving plus the ever shorter product life cycle is placing an even greater strain on supply chains."

Collaboration and Extroversion as the means to success

"Anestis Partalides is a typical example of how successful Greece and its people can be, when promoting and working on their strengths in a manner of respect and search for excellence comments Alexios Sioris, HILME vice Chairman and Head of Cargo Development at Athens International Airport (AIA).

AIA received the top distinction of Outstanding Performance at the recent Transport and Logistics Awards (TLA) 2015, for its collaborative approach by the entire airport cargo community. This is just one of a wide range of prizes and awards for excellence the airport company has won since its opening in 2001. "Synergy is the key word", Lina Palli, HILME General Secretary and AIA colleague of Alexis points out. "Seanairgy, the sea-air operation in Athens that guarantees the same-day connection between Piraeus seaport and our airport is yet another dimension to Greece's logistics platform". "HILME is the typical communication platform that allows Greek enterprises to present their service of excellence to the outer world" Alexis, concludes.

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