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Italy: Logistics under pressure at Christmas time

If supermarket chains start to open on 26th December as well, bearing in mind that they are now normally open on Sundays anyway, logistics for fresh produce deliveries must be well organised. Trade unions are protesting to safeguard supermarket employees, but nobody ever mentions lorry drivers, even though pressure is particularly high for the logistics sector at Christmas time.

Massimo Savini

We talked about it with Massimo Savini, CEO of Rete Logistica Agro-industriale (RLA). "Demands are increasingly pressing, especially during the festive period. If you happen to see a lorry on Christmas or Boxing Day, don't think the driver is trying to be 'smart', it's just somebody who is working and not spending time with his loved ones. These are authorised vehicles, as can be seen by the green letter 'D' placed on full display." 

"If a chain in northern Italy requires citrus fruit close to the festivities, be sure somebody will be working on festive days as well. I'm saying this to stress the fact that the entire chain is making a compromise, logistics included."

What is more, the price of diesel has increased over the past few weeks. "It's peculiar how everyone realises when diesel prices drop and demand discounts but how they all say nothing when it goes up."

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Italian logistic companies are among the best in the world, but they are penalised by the higher fuel costs and the strict regulations they must comply with. "Some time ago, I watched a piece of news on Report on international operators. It emerged that workers are exploited and disrespected and that cooperatives do very little to help." 

RLA has continued to invest, especially in personnel. New employees have been hired so the experts can train the newcomers. "Logistics is made of sudden decisions and taking the right one requires experience. We particularly care about communication. Talking and comparing ideas is essential to do a good job." 

Massimo Savini
Rete logistica agroindustriale
Via Dell'Arrigoni 308 - Cesena
Tel.: +39 (0)547 657840

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