Stiftner: “Supply chains have to become more transparent in order to build stability and resilience.”
At the ESC Board meeting of October 19th 2021, Roman Stiftner [Vienna, 1969] was confirmed as the new president of the European Shippers’ Council. Stiftner takes over the helm of ESC from Denis Choumert, who has chaired the organisation for the last 10 years. Choumert will stay on as a Board member.
Roman Stiftner is a managing director of the Austrian Mining and Steel Association and president of BVL – Bundesvereinigung Logistik Österreich. Stiftner has been a board member of ESC since 2015.
The new president takes over in turbulent times. Supply chains and business models are under pressure worldwide due to geopolitical developments, shortages of skilled labour, raw materials and components, soaring prices, and transport disruption. In addition, businesses have to fulfil major sustainability assignments, especially in the field of climate change.
Stiftner: “The covid-19 pandemic has clearly shown the importance of transport and logistics. Production lines come to a halt when a tiny chip is missing. And we all suffer when medical supplies can’t reach their proper destination. Shippers are the beginning and end of all supply chains and are, therefore, instrumental to deal with all aspects of trade and transport. Be it in the way supply chains are organised and function, as well as the impact they have on society and the environment. In Europe, we have to partner with authorities both national and at EU level to make a success of the important programs like ‘Fit for 55’ and the Mobility Package. Only by combining the efforts and intelligence of business, politics, and authorities can we reach the goals that have been set.”
At the same time, trade and transport must keep flowing in the best way possible. Stiftner: “Supply chains have to become more transparent. Only then can we make them more stable and resilient to deal with market distortions. I see the need to rethink the way industrial production is organised at this moment. Concepts like near-shoring and re-shoring are again prominent on the agenda. Given the enormous differences between the many supply chains, we cannot expect ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions, so we have to set up a framework that can work for all and facilitate specific solutions for specific situations. A level playing field is necessary to have equal opportunities for all. It’s the best guarantee that intelligent solutions will be implemented.”
The voice of the shipper, backed by his experience and detailed knowledge of the whole supply chain, is vital in the process of making a positive difference. Stiftner is pleased to represent this voice, and ESC will continue playing the active and constructive role for which ESC is known.