Munich hosted the largest logistics fair in the world with new record values from June 4 to 7, 2019. The top topics were the trade war between the USA and China and the shortage of drivers, but the New Silk Road was clearly noticeable at the same time and great hopes were pinned on artificial intelligence in many areas.
“Transport logistic has confirmed its role as the world's largest intermodal logistics hub. There were 2,374 exhibitors, an increase of 10 percent, and around 64,000 visitors, an increase of 5 percent,” Stefan Rummel, Managing Director of Messe München, reported. The trade fair has grown by one hall to ten halls and has once again become significantly more international, an increase of 3 percent points to 56 percent for exhibitors and also by 3 percent points to 47 percent for visitors.
“We saw strong growth from China, where the number of exhibitors almost doubled by 30 new ones to 64,” Mr. Rummel stated. “Chinese companies are increasingly looking for cooperation partners in Europe as part of the Silk Road Initiative.” The driver shortage was also one of the dominant topics. In addition to more attractive working conditions, artificial intelligence could help in the long term; this should make logistics chains more transparent and efficient overall.
The major challenges facing the industry were discussed at the opening of a high-profile round panel discussion. “We need to make the growing traffic flows more efficient and affordable as well as environmentally and climate-friendly,” Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer stated. In reference to the global economy, DHL head Dr. Frank Appel expressed restrained optimism, “even though current relations between governments in the US and China are not conducive at the moment.” But: “Goods find their way despite customs disputes.” The situation is currently also challenging for air freight, "which is a very volatile business. We have to be open to options and think in the long term,” Dorothea von Boxberg stated, Managing Director Product and Sales at Lufthansa Cargo AG. Alexander Doll, Director of Finance, Freight Transport and Logistics at Deutsche Bahn AG, distinguished between global and intra-regional trade flows: “We still see decent growth in the latter.” And Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd AG, explained that his company is well prepared: “We have been an active driver of consolidation in our industry over the past five years, enabling us to strengthen our overall market position significantly.”
At transport logistic 2019, 2,374 exhibitors from 63 countries were present, an increase of 10 percent (2017: 2,162). Around 64,000 visitors from 125 countries attended, an increase of 5 percent (2017: 60,726). Around 30.000 visitors came from abroad. The exhibition covered ten halls and an outdoor area, totaling 125,000 square meters of exhibition space.
The top ten exhibitor countries after Germany were: Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, France, Poland, China, Austria, Spain, United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic. New exhibitors included Fercam, Neutral Air Cargo, Hong Kong COSCO Shipping Lines, China Asia Shipping and Yuxinou Logistics. DHL returned as an exhibitor. There will be twenty-five international joint pavilions, including Sri Lanka, Romania, Lithuania, Poland and Turkey.