An Interview with Alex Walton, Business Development Manager – Expo & Events, Kuehne + Nagel.
Kuehne + Nagel are Partners to World Exhibition Stand Awards 2021. Their Expo & Events division work directly with exhibitors and their contractors taking away the stress of logistics helping clients’ meet their demanding deadlines.
What has been your proudest most memorable moment since working at Kuehne + Nagel?
I would say not only surviving the pandemic, but thriving. Like every other organisation within events, we’ve had to adapt and find new initiatives. With recent partnerships, such as Birmingham2022, the Commonwealth Games & SailGP, it’s been great to witness the growth within our specialist team and the collaborative environment we’ve created.
What sustainable initiatives are Kuehne + Nagel undertaking when providing global logistics for Expo & Event Clients?
Carbon offsetting is available where carbon emissions cannot be avoided through investment in certified nature-based projects that work to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition, we also offer alternatives to fossil-based fuels, such as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) and biofuels, mostly in shipping but also road transportation and air freight. We can also help customers plan the least carbon-emitting shipping routes and business trips at Kuehne+Nagel are kept to a minimum and waste disposal is managed as efficiently as possible.
Can you tell us about Kuehne + Nagel’s Carbon Zero programme?
We are committed to offer environmental friendly and sustainable supply chain solutions. As a first mover in the industry, we have set ourselves two important goals: Firstly, from 2020, we compensate direct CO2 emissions that cannot be avoided. Secondly, we have decided to proactively address the CO2 footprint of the transportation services performed by our suppliers – airlines, shipping lines and haulage companies – by end 2030.
What challenges have you overcome for Expo and Events Clients’ as the World continues to operate during global Covid-19 restrictions?
It’s all about flexibility. The events world is always changing and sadly, events are still being cancelled days before they’re due to start; so we have to be proactive. Brexit has also introduced new challenges regarding delays at customs / slower customs processes, so we’re working with / on behalf of our customers to establish best practices. Our role is to make transport and logistics as pain-free as possible and actively manage these processes for customers, so they don’t have to.
How important do you think it will be for brands to exhibit at exhibitions in the next 5 years?
This is exactly what we’re all here for. An exhibition is often the best way for brands to interact with their customers. If Covid has taught us anything, it’s how valuable face-to-face communication is. Industries rely on these events – they’ve become a staple in the calendar and there’s an increased appetite for them – because they’re of value.
If you could change one thing about the world of exhibitions what would it be?
From a logistics perspective, it’d be great to have slightly longer build periods so it’s not such a mad rush. This can put constraints on working time and traffic management at venues plus ensuring Health & Safety requirements are met and no corners are cut. It’s amazing how everything just ‘happens’ onsite but you barely get chance to take a breath. Having said that, I guess that’s why people rely on us to get the job done because they appreciate we can pull things off, against the odds!