Challenges and opportunities for the customs sector at the 26th ASAPRA Conference

The 26th Conference of the Americas region Customs Agents Association (ASAPRA) was held in Barcelona from 5 to 7 June last. ASAPRA is a body that brings together customs chambers, federations, associations and unions of agents, shippers and brokers from Latin America, Spain and Portugal. These professionals gathered at this three-day event, with the participation of 30 international speakers and 300 international companies from the international trade and customs sector in attendance.

The largest conference of logistics operators from Latin America addressed matters related to customs efficiency, stressing the importance of a partnership between the public and private sector, global and strategic partnerships in the customs sector, cybersecurity and a tariff comparison in terms of international trade.

Worthy of mention from the organisation of the International Logistics Exhibition (SIL), in which ASAPRA conference is framed, is the how the conference has enabled the “participation of the global leaders from the e-commerce sector and the main international customs sector”. And for the first time in its 36-year history, the ASAPRA Conference has taken place outside of the American continent, and within the SIL.

SIL 2018, 20 years of leadership

With 20 conferences already under its belt, the leading logistics, transport, intra-logistics and supply chain fair for southern Europe (SIL 2018), has successfully brought its latest event to a close. This brought together companies and organisations from the logistics systems and transport sector; infrastructure and real estate; storage, equipment and maintenance, as well as telematics, e-business and communication technology solutions.

The figures look good, with a total of more than 650 companies taking part, 40% of which from the international sector, representing 41 countries. 30,231 visitors were registered at the fair, with 18,300 unique visitors, therefore exceeding anticipated figures.

Success has also been qualitative. According to Jordi Cornet, Special State delegate to the Consorci de la Zona Franca in Barcelona and President of the SIL, many quality contacts were made, with deals being made by exhibiting companies at the fair. This lead to SIL’s consolidation of its leadership as the benchmark fair in Europe for business and contacts between the Mediterranean and Latin America.

Logistics 4.0 showcase

SIL has also been the showcase selected by companies to present more than 150 new products. These include AS Software, which has published a new version of its warehouse management software AS-SGA, fully web-based and multi-device; AOG Smart Solutions, which has launched several telescopic roller conveyors for loading and unloading of trucks, a mobile vacuum load elevator for distribution centres and a mobile conveyor to facilitate the loading and unloading of vans; and Böwe Systec,which has launched a solution to classify packets with a built-in scale .

Digital transformation and sustainability, addressed at the conference, “Logistics and Industry 4.0, a necessary connection”, was a prominent theme this year. In this regard, mention should be made of the SIL Barcelona 4.0 Zone, a space that allows visitors to get to know practical cases involving the introduction of innovative solutions 4.0 in logistics and supply chain.

Apart from the ASAPRA Conference, the SIL organisation has also wished to emphasise the convergence with other events such as the 16th Mediterranean Logistics and Transport Forum and the 11th Mediterranean Ports Summit

ASAPRA return to SIL 2019

Following the success of the 20th SIL, the dates of the 21st SIL have been confirmed, which will take place from 25 to 27 June 2019 at the Barcelona Fair just like this year. Cornet predicts a greater global presence, following confirmation of ASAPRA Conference presence once again next year. It will also be held concurrently with the World Congress of Free Zones, which will bring together more than 1,000 professionals from across the globe, with Barcelona temporarily becoming the “world capital of logistics” over these few days.

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