The Business Year

Raul Magalhães

PORTUGAL - Transport

Raul Magalhães

President, APLOG

Bio

Raul Magalhães graduated in engineering from FEUP, management from EGP (PBS), AESE – School of Business Direction, leadership and organizational transformation at the London Business School, and retailing strategy from Babson Collegue. He also holds a degree in logistics and supply chain from Cranfield School of Management and a postgraduate in internationalization from Porto Business School. He is a member of the International Trade Committee of Eurocommerce and the Logistics and Transport Committees of AECOC. Magalhães has been with APLOG since 2014 as vice president for two terms and is currently in his second term as President.

APLOG aims to promote and contribute to the study and development of logistics and supply chain management in Portugal and the country’s competitiveness.

How is APLOG positioned toward the development of the logistics sector in Portugal?

APLOG is a private, national, and non-profit association, consisting of professionals, companies, and other organizations with concerns and interests in the field of logistics management. It carries out its activity in the constant search for logistics excellence, from a management perspective on the flows of materials and information, covering the areas of supply, procurement, production, planning, storage, physical distribution and transportation. APLOG is a member of the European Logistics Association (ELA). To achieve its purpose, APLOG aims to be a reference for logistics knowledge through research, consolidation, and dissemination of innovative techniques, best practices, and trends in logistics and supply chain management. We promote the research and comprehensive broadcasting of logistics knowledge and supply chain management, in general and on specific topics, in collaboration with public entities, universities, and institutes. Our main purpose is also to foster debate, knowledge sharing, and experiences between companies and professionals from different activity sectors, as well as national and international researchers and experts, to enable innovation and knowledge transfer in the field of supply chain management.

How does APLOG help companies improve the quality of their logistics management?

Our strong training programs, both certified and customs developed, are a reference in the market and continue to prepare logistics professionals to face all the new challenges in the sector, supporting them in their careers and qualifications at a European standard level. Additionally, APLOG conducts several events, seminars, webinars, and conferences, covering the major trends and challenges that companies are facing in the current environment (e.g., last mile and city logistics, sustainability, decarbonization, risk, and resilience). We hold an annual two-day congress with more than 300 attendees where we present and discuss major trends, issues, and challenges that the logistics sector is facing. This has been a reference event in the Portuguese logistics community for more than 20 years.

How is the ongoing digitalization process shaping and boosting the performance of the players operating within the local market?

This is an area where we still have a long way to go. Small steps are under way to respond to high growth in e-commerce, but major digital transformation projects are still a vision to pursue, regarding analytical capabilities to deal with demand volatility, short and agile planning cycles, use of AI in logistics process management, and so on. A large investment program is expected to happen in the Portuguese economy taking advantage of the European funds available. There is awareness and a sense of urgency, so we hope it will be accelerated in the coming years. Looking at the logistics function capabilities, a step change will probably occur soon as the platforms as-a-service business models increase their relevance in the market.

What are your short- and medium-term targets?

Customer centricity and experience are now part of the strategy definition for companies in almost all sectors. Today, consumers are better informed, more connected, and more demanding. Exposure to new business models and the preponderance of digital channels has created high expectations. The answer to these challenges implies the orchestration of a set of capabilities, internal and external, and different, more collaborative and more segmented models: the strengthening of demand planning capacities as a whole and response agility and speed are key factors to succeed, recognition that “one-size-fits-all” models are unlikely to be efficient and effective in dealing with multiple customer segments, resulting in the creation of micro supply chains, physical and/ or virtual. Portugal has a fundamental challenge to smart invest the available budget in the European funds, choosing the right bets to transform the economy in a much more modern and competitive model. Particular attention in the logistics sector in selected investments in key fundamental infrastructures along with transformation of services providers capabilities and solution offers are mandatory in the coming three to five years.

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