Logistics to the rescue

During the days of Fallas the city of Valencia has been filled with people. The continuous flow of people walking and visiting the Fallas has involved the purchase of food made in the stalls installed on the street. One consequence is that there are traces of food everywhere. All of us have done it. This observation has made me reflect if we always take advantage of the food that we have left over or food that we have bought but we will not use. Food is wasted in the production, distribution and consumption process.

This reflection has led me to think that managing the pantry and the fridge is simple, but  how are the products that volunteers, supermarkets, companies and institutions donate to Food Banks managed?


The operation and organization of a food bank is similar to a company, with different areas and a management team. It consists of an area of ​​supply and transport, warehouse, distribution, accounting, patronage, communication and direction. In general, the operation is as follows: firstly, the food that is obtained for free is collected, either through agreements with private companies, many of them agro-food and transport companies, and with public companies; also through food surpluses of the European Social Fund; donations from individuals  and subsidies from public institutions for the maintenance of infrastructures (warehouse, cold stores, wheelbarrows …). The surge in donated goods leaves food banks with many perishable items that must be quickly distributed before expiration. Furthermore, the product mix that they receive is unpredictable and changes from week to week. The challenge is to move the food, and minimize the wasted amounts. Logistics to the rescue!

All products are stored for a short period of time, selected and subjected to a sanitary control. Later they are distributed to specialized charitable centers and associations, that are responsible for delivering food to individuals according to their needs.

Despite all the donations, these banks are deficit because the demand has increased a lot. A logistical and legislative problem that arises, is that perishable products must be transported in cold stores and this can not always be achieved.

If you want to know more about Food banks don’t doubt to visit:





Giant and miniature

In the glowing eyes of a girl who go abroad for the first time in her life, Germany is more than a leading country in the mechanical industry in a European country. Last week, in Logistic and Supply chain session, I knew more about a truck and the distinction between the full load truck and less load truck, it prompts me about a type of vehicle transportation which was very excited for the first days in Bavarian. Therefore, in this blog, I want to appreciate how smart of engineering who created the truck.

From my point of view, heavy goods vehicle with steel cover looks like giants on the avenue. Enormous and powerful are adjective I use in order to describe this transportation. Sometimes, a truck pass, I curious about products inside its container. How much it cost? A few cents per unit or it can be reached to a thousand per unit? How far and how long to deliver it from the factory? How have they organized the items, is it messy with plenty of space inside or is it so logical? Or even anybody has to sleep inside to take care of because it seems to be fit with 5 comfortable single beds. No one can know exactly answers my questions, honestly. I said no one, it means no-bo-dy, for instance, the cost only knows by a person who estimates the value of each product. Otherwise, the distance only determines by the driver due to we all know that from A to B we always have more than one way so he might be saving a little money for fuel because of a shortcut. Assuming that the products are arranged perfectly to ultimate space, which might depend on an IT guy who writes a program for a robot just do everything so automatically. In conclusion, the Giants keep many “secret” inside and nobody for all the real answers.

Mercedes is one of the most reputable car brands and the safety is the highest priory in all over the world. The product line which attractive me named “Mercedes Benz Actros” – the new benchmark for long-distance transport. The dimension of the truck length (Wheelbase part) x width x height is about 6 x 2.5 x 3.5m and the length truck-trailer can be from 13,6 – 21,42m (Data based on Article Workshop on LHVs, Stefan Larsson Director, Regulatory Projects, June 24, 2009, Brussels). So that easy to visualize, a common 5 seat car has length approximate 4-5m, so when we put the Mercedes Benz Actros with trailers can equal the length of 3-5 cars. The capacity weight can be from 45 – 60 tons (depends on the type of the truck)

Screen Shot 2018-03-15 at 6.48.38 PM

Understanding the oversize of the truck, the German engineers divide into 2 parts such as tractor and trailer, it’s an effective way to save space. The truck move without the trailer it looks like a joke for me, really entertaining. Because when I look straight to the head, its 2.5times higher than a normal car, however, the length is similar with a small “tail” 😀 I think about what can be rescued from that kind of pretty smart truck, and there are my finds:

  • The worn out of wheels, when the truck move only with a tractor, it needs 4 instead of weight and the pressure is lighter
  • Operating cost and transporting cost for logistic
  • Ultimate space, more personal or public transport on the road

Overview, this is a very clever innovation for a truck. And the last thing interested me, they actually have a truck race in EU in order to prove the strength, the speed and the safe for each type of trucks.

For more information (just in case you need)
1. Mercedes Benz Actros: https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-benz/vehicles/trucks/actros-1843-even-safer-with-sideguard-assist/
2. Advertising: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljPnl-OjXRk
3. Truck race: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4xwqUZ3zmjB8POJNqA_-kA
4. Weight and dimensions of heavy commercial vehicles as established by Directive 96/53/EC and the 4. 5. European Modular System: https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/modes/road/events/doc/2009_06_24/2009_gigaliners_workshop_acea.pdf

How to give logistic and environment a turn of the screw with Logicopalet

Logicpalet, is a removable and mountable pallet made of plastic scrap. with which thanks to this invention we will achieve a reduction of organic and plastic waste, and help the environment by avoiding the felling of trees.

The Patent is based on a structure based on the combination of only two basic pieces, capable of being assembled and disassembled indefinitely, resulting in a Pallet.

These two basic pieces, multiplied in number and arranged in a given position (longitudinally and transversely), are assembled in a solid structure without requiring any other connecting elements.


The Logicpalet has a wide range of dimensions depending on the customer’s needs. We can take any measure. The damaged parts of the Logicpalet are easily replaceable. Since they are two parts.

Low logistics costs over long distances. Great savings in logistics return ratio of 1 to 4. With this we could use the space left over from transport to transport other goods. With this new idea we could achieve a greater benefit from the same journey.

Thanks to the reuse system of the recycled plastic pallet, we avoid the felling of millions of trees. Reduction of the totality of greenhouse gases emitted by direct or indirect effect of an individual, organization, event or product. It contributes to preventing Biological Contamination (Living undesirable organisms in an environment, which can generate different diseases).

The journey of blood donations

Do you know that every 2 seconds, someone in the world needs blood?

On the second War, in Vietnam over 58,000 soldiers were killed and 25% of them was died because of hemorrhage.
It’s fantastic when something from your body can really save a life without paying anything. Unlike the daily products, blood is a unique product as part of a billion-dollar business.

Blood donation not only good for donors health because they are actually at a lower risk for heart attack however it does not demand from everyone.
Due to the harsh conditional to maintain the quality of blood and it’s also a very meaningful product, I was curious about the supply chain of blood and the content below is what I found out about its journey.

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.03.05 PMFigure 1. The supply chain of Blood

The donations

  • Donor registers with a form of health check-list
  • About 1 pint of blood and several small test tubes are collected from each donor

Blood Center

  • Every blood units are poised in the bag test tubes and the donor record are labeled with an identical bar code label to keep track of the donation
  • The donation is stored in iced coolers until it is transported to a Blood Center

Manufacturing area

  • From Blood center, the blood packs are sorted and registered in the manufacturing area. Donated blood is scanned into a computer database
  • In here, each donation is tested to find out the donor group and checked for viruses to help ensure that each donation is safe to transfuse to patients.


  • This is one of the most important steps during the whole supply chain process
  • When test results are received, units suitable for transfusion are labeled and placed into controlled storage


  • Red Cells (which plays an important role in your health by carrying fresh oxygen throughout the body) are stored in refrigerators at 6ºC for up to 42 days
  • Platelets(tiny blood cells that help your body form clots to stop bleeding) are stored at room temperature in agitators for up to 5 days
  • Plasma and cryo are frozen and stored in freezers for up to one year


  • Blood is available to be shipped to hospitals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Most deliveries to hospitals go unnoticed by the public but sometimes an urgent delivery may require a vehicle with sirens and blue flashing lights to get to the patient as quickly as possible. After some checks, the blood is ready to be transfused.

IMG_6769Picture 1. A patient is receiving blood in the hospital

Interesting knowledge of writing this blog:

  • Blood can be stored up to one year after the donation
  • Gay men or a man “slept” with another man can’t donate blood
  • One donor can save up to 3 lives
  • Vitamin K is to contribute to normal blood clotting. It plays a vital role to increase the speed of blood clotting at the site of injury and prevent major blood loss. Therefore, a nutrition for blood is vitamin K (especially K1 can be found in foods such as broccoli, carrots, kale, watercress, kelp, eggs and cheese)
NHSBT Blood supply chain
The donation process
Vitamin K
Hospital blood UK
What happens donated blood (Red cross)
How Does Blood Donation Work? (BBC)

Shot by a Bullet made in Germany


Yesterday evening I watched as usual the daily news on the internet and it has touched me emotionally to see the current situation of Syria. The newsreader reported that the Syrian government and Russian airstrikes started a new offensive against the rebels in East-Ghouta and even worse than this fact is that there are still thousands of civilians cut off and stuck in the battle zones.

Behind all these victims there are companies making profit with the supply of firearms and other war machineries. Besides the ethical topic of whether supplying weapons to third countries or not, the supply of these products often went wrong and the weapons never reached their customers or planned destinations. There is not enough security which prevents the cargo during the transportation and distribution of robbery for example. There is only a lose track of weapons and often a missing supervision by the delivering party.

The following video will give you an example of how the ISIS got delivered unintentionally by the U.S. air force with shells and other arms (I recommend watch the whole video, it’s short and very illustrative):

But how to ensure the supply chain?

Recently, the German government introduced a pilot project: post-shipment controls for German arms exports. This mechanism supports the actual tracking of the products and ensures that during and after the transportation (shipping) the firearms will be distributed to its destination. It is an inspection with stricter standards that requires certificates of the end-user and on-the-spot checks. The project in details: https://www.bmwi.de/Redaktion/EN/Downloads/eckpunkte-einfuehrung-post-shipment-kontrollen-deutsche-ruestungsexporte.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=2


The Netflix Era

A couple days ago, I was watching a TV-show on Netflix at home called Stranger Things (great TV show by the way…), and I was wondering… why is Netflix so appealing to such a large audience? If like me you are watching Netflix, you are among the 128 million users worldwide (this number doubled in less than four years!).

The Netflix Era:


Netflix has a really good supply chain, linking entertainment companies to end consumers in a way that has never been that easy. They went from renting DVDs by mail to delivering a service on the Internet. They now use a completely virtual (or digital) supply chain, which brings several advantages:

  • No lead time (subscribers can “consume” content whenever and wherever they want)
  • No need to manage an expensive network of distribution centers: this allows to cut costs and to develop more rapidly in any market having an Internet access
  • No need to manage stock: as it is virtual content, it can be streamed as many time as possible. Nevertheless, Netflix should update their inventory as soon as possible because movies and TV shows lose their value over time.

This supply chain strategy also has several risks that should be considered:

  • Upstream supplier risks: depends on entertainment companies to provide the content subscribers want
  • Downstream distributor risks: depends on ISPs (Internet Service Providers): some cable companies have complained that Netflix was increasing the traffic levels, and that they should thus pay higher fees.
  • Competitive risks: Netflix competes in a cut-throat market against companies such as Amazon (around 85.3 million users), and Hulu (around 32 million users).

This virtual supply chain also allows to easily analyze the data they are collecting. This helps to better predict what every users will probably want to watch. For example, if you watch a lot of action or superhero movies, it is highly possible that they will recommend you to watch Marvel TV Shows such as Daredevil. You can watch a short video on how Netflix uses Big Data:


Netflix does not only have a good supply chain strategy, but it also can be used in many different companies. For example, the way they use Big Data can be really useful for predicting future costs, future stock level but also to choose among several suppliers (You can see more about it right here: https://www.savi.com/supply-chain-visibility-netflix-model/).

So as you can easily understand, Netflix’s success relies on a well operating business model that connects suppliers to consumers on an “easy-to-use” platform that can be accessed anywhere at any moment. The next time you are watching your favorite TV Show, just think about it… 😉

Some facts about Netflix:

  • 128 million users
  • 1 billion hours of content per week
  • 10 largest Internet based company with $11.69 billion in revenue
  • 5,500 employees in 2017
  • In Canada, 56% of the Internet users have Netflix

Videos you can watch on Digital supply Chain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obXUBlgo2ow

If you want to know more on Netflix’s strategy  : https://www.impigertech.com/blog/supply-chain-management-lessons-from-netflix/


I think everyone have made this same question regarding how do the “Chinos” in Valencia keeps their inventory controls, for me it’s always a very big dilemma each time I enter to one of these stores and think about how a nightmare should it be to keep track to every single product they have in their stores. I observe that many products are identify with barcodes but at the same time there are many that are not. I also notice that their inventory controls are manual, there is usually a man counting and writing how many products are in the shelves, can you imagine how much time they must spent counting each product!! It’s crazy!! (can’t imagine their excell sheet) their products may have barcodes, but they do not fully use their advantages and uses, one of them is clearly having a lector and just scanning the barcodes, this make the process much faster, and with a good information system it can keep track of how many products enter the stores, how many are in stock and how many have been sold.

Working for GS1 Colombia for two years had taught the importance of the barcode identification (although there are many other types of identification). It’s really interesting now to notice the type of identification of different products, I’m usually turning over each product and trying to figure out from which country the product is and other details. Before this professional experience I didn’t notice at all the barcodes and didn’t fully understand the importance of them, how do they exactly work and their advantages, I realize most people are like that, and with this blog I want to explain in a simple way why they are important.

Can you imagine if we didn’t have any personal ID? How many Maria’s, Laura’s, Manuel, Javier are in Spain.. how could any institution can fully identify you, Height? Weight? Haircolor? It’s very difficult because there are so many people and so many differences. So, each country has a local ID number right? but what happen if you want to go abroad, you usually go with your passport number because that number is accepted in any other country.

Barcodes works the same way, there are so many different products and so many characteristics there was a need to standardize and make every business speaks the same language. People ask, what happen if I don’t want to use GS1 Codes and identify my products with an internal number, well, it works like the Local ID situation, it can works with your information system but if you want to share your information with other actors in the supply chain or sell your products in other countries, they are not going to understand the meaning of your internal number, that’s why is necessary to have a standardize number for the hole supply chain.

In the Chinos stores is like being back in the time where there was no barcodes and the local stores had to count everything manual, having no control over their inventory levels and having high human errors. Imgine big retail stores like Mercadona counting every product… in each store in Valencia..Imposible! Barcodes really had improve not only the retail industry but also the healthcare, foodservice, and Transport industry, in the Chinos store case they can improve their inventory control system only by using the barcodes that already come with the product and asigning barcodes to the one who don’t have and with a good barcode lector system, it can make less horrible their control process.

This is only one of the many advantages there are of using barcodes identification, inventory control. But we can find many other advantages that can make logistics process more efficient…. interested? stay tuned for next posts 🙂



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