Logistics refers to the process of planning, implementing and controlling cost-effective flows and storage of raw materials, in-process inventory, finished goods and related information from point of origin to point of consumption for the purpose of meeting customer requirements.
The key element in a logistics chain is the transportation system, which joins the separated activities together. Transportation, as one of the world’s largest industries, is fundamental to economies around the world.
This sector covers air freight, shipping, rail and road transport. Only an efficient coordination between each component can maximise the benefits.
Luxembourg’s number one objective is to bring together companies, public research centres, institutions and government entities in order to strengthen its position as one of Europe’s major intercontinental logistics hubs for high added-value services in logistics.
A lack of direct access to the coast does not prevent Luxembourg from being present on the seas and oceans of the globe. Since the establishment of the Maritime Act in 1990, when ships first started to sail the seven seas under the Grand Duchy’s flag, the country has gradually developed an attractive and reliable jurisdiction for shipping. Luxembourg’s legislation has constantly evolved in order to encourage the development of various activities related to maritime affairs.
In 2004, the Luxembourg Maritime Administration was placed under the authority of the Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade. Numerous synergies involving the financial, insurance and logistics sectors have since then emerged and led to the creation of the Luxembourg Maritime Cluster in 2008.
The Maritime Cluster was founded by 16 members, with Deloitte Luxembourg being a cofounder and a member of the board of directors. The Luxembourg government and its main economic players created the Luxembourg Maritime Cluster in order to contribute to the development, visibility and effectiveness of the maritime sector and of its related services in Luxembourg and abroad.
The Maritime Cluster consists of ship owners and ship operators, and the related service suppliers, such as banks, lawyers, audit and accounting firms as well as tax advisors. The pursued aim is to create strong synergies and strategic alliances which may intensify the flow of ideas and information and implement promotion and communication strategies in Luxembourg.
In less than 20 years, Luxembourg’s maritime legislation has proven its effectiveness and the country’s shipping sector continues to grow, even against the backdrop of a continuously changing global economy.
Through its strong presence at the heart of the Luxembourg shipping business and its understanding of the needs, expectations and business challenges of the shipping industry, Deloitte and its professionals focusing on maritime activities provide high-quality services to market players.
The Maritime Cluster is one of the seven founding members of the Cluster for Logistics Luxembourg a.s.b.l., established in June 2009. The other six institutional partners are the Chamber of Commerce of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Luxembourg Confederation of Commerce, the Business Federation Luxembourg, the National Agency for Innovation and Research, the public research centre CRP Henri Tudor and the University of Luxembourg.
The objectives of the Cluster for Logistics aim to strengthen Luxembourg as a centre for logistics and include:
- Creating an information exchange platform in order to intensify synergies and collaboration between the different industry players
- Supporting research development and innovation initiatives in the logistics sector so as to drive the development of new products and services
- Assisting the government by creating proposals to improve Luxembourg’s regulatory, administrative and legislative framework
- Enhancing the offer of and facilitating access to education, professional and continuous training in the field of logistics
As the objectives are numerous, the work of the Cluster for Logistics is organised into four working groups which bring together members of the Cluster sharing a special interest or competence in a specific field. Three groups already started their work in 2008:
- The Training and Education Working Group, which was started to identify and assess existing education and training programmes with the aim of pinpointing additional present and future needs
- The Innovation Working Group, which is conducting interviews with the leading companies in the logistics sector in order to detect technological and non-technological projects capable of serving as a tool for creating added value
- The Regulation Working Group, where meetings with leading companies as well as public and private institutions are in cooperation with the Government in order to assess the current legal and regulatory framework and to identify company needs and requirements
Since mid-2007, the transportation sector as a whole has been under extreme pressure globally. As a result of increased globalisation, new intense demands have been placed on the transportation and supply chain sector.
Consumers’ increasing expectations and demands for services at the lowest prices have forced companies to reshape their business model in order to deliver excellence while striving to reach breakeven.
Applying supply chain transformation initiatives is a proven way of reducing operational costs and increasing profits. A competitive advantage can be gained through continuous supply chain improvements.
Following efficient implementation, these have resulted in streamlined processes, reduced stock levels, shorter lead times, better asset utilisation, improved productivity and better service levels.
Deloitte’s business model optimisation approach makes strategic tax planning an integral part of supply chain transformation initiatives, enabling companies to lower their structural tax rate. This more sustainable planning approach of combining supply chain and tax optimisations can substantially contribute to achieving benefits and profits.
Many companies recognise the attractive return on investment that business model optimisation may bring, but remain hesitant because of concerns about the transformational impacts. Deloitte’s team will assist you in overcoming the significant change impacts through good planning, experienced project management and effective change management to make sure that the applied mode will generate the most beneficial situation for your company.
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