5. November 2020

Interview with STEVEN ALVES

Mr. Steven Alves began his career in the logistics industry over 30 years ago, starting as an intern in the management offices at the Port of Oakland in California.  His experience includes working as a booking agent for an ocean shipping line in Long Beach, CA, managing inventory and distribution in the frozen foods industry, selling international services for a US freight forwarder, and the past 20 years, managing global freight networks.   
Mr. Steven Alves is the Director and a founding partner at Life Logistics, a Global Pharmaceutical Logistics Alliance. 

1. What are the main disrupters for Logistics Networks?

The main disrupter to logistics networks is the same as for the logistics industry in general: technology. In a world where AI is disrupting the manufacturing industry, that upheaval means that freight forwarders/ logistics providers need to adapt their operations to meet the ever-changing needs of their clients. In turn, logistics networks need to be aware of how those changes affect all the members and thus create opportunities within the network for members to develop and share best practices amongst each other.

2. Tell us about the key areas in Logistics Networks where Technology can bring the biggest value?

Everyone carries a computer in their pocket these days in the form of a mobile phone, meaning that you can have instant communication with your overseas partners. This shortens the time that members need to get rate quotes from their network partners and turn them around into quotes to gain their customers’ business.  Because the members of an alliance know each other, they can easily and instantly reach out to all of the network partners who could potentially be involved in a complex shipment. Technology brings the forwarder closer than ever to their clients and their logistics partners.

3. What is your opinion about positioning WOF EXPO in the Central and Eastern Europe region?

So much of business in Europe is focused on the countries in the West, but with growing economies and an ever-expanding infrastructure in the East, Central and Eastern Europe are excellent choices for the location of the WOF Expo. Additionally, the global interruption of commerce caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has made multinational companies reconsider having all of their manufacturing centralized in China, thus many European companies are exploring the possibility of bringing back manufacturing to Europe, specifically Eastern Europe. 

4. What will be the impact of COVID-19 on Logistics Networks going forward?

A major aspect of logistics networks is the annual conference where members gather to meet new partners, see old friends, and discuss business. It is essential to meet your overseas partners and develop long term friendships and build a mutual business based upon trust.  COVID-19 has brought network conferences to a halt and we really don’t know when we can begin to schedule events again. Many alliances are starting to plan online conferences to at least have some level of interaction. Life Logistics will hold our online event during the first week of November. We certainly hope we can gather in person in 2021, but in the meantime, we are adjusting to the “new normal.” In the era of Covid-19, forwarders still need reliable partners worldwide, especially those who can handle pharmaceutical shipments. Business must go on, and Life Logistics is well-positioned to navigate these turbulent waters. 

Life Logistics is a global Alliance for top-class Pharmaceutical Logistics Forwarders. The network
was established in order to unite Pharmaceutical
Forwarders under one global network to answer the increasing demands of Pharmaceutical companies worldwide. The idea is to connect the best Pharma
Goods Logistics Specialists onto one global platform.
Life Logistics continues to improve our alliance through effective leadership while continuing to work towards
our goals. Being part of this leading network will give you limitless opportunities to meet pharma forwarders that share a common, philosophy, process, strategy and passion. With energy and passion for our mission, we will continue to be a powerhouse of like-minded pharma forwarders who are cultivating long-standing, mutually beneficial relationships with our partners.