I n the early 90s Christiane Roelfs took the plunge into the world of exhibition logis tics after completing her training as a for warding agent Back then transport and customs documents were still prepared man ually and by typewriter recalls the manag ing director of Fairexpress Messespedition in Bielefeld Customs documents still had to be presented to the customs office in person If something wasn t right you had to go back to the office and start all over again on your typewriter adds Roelfs But you knew the individual customs officers you could ask questions communicate with them but you were also held accountable There were no mobile phones especially international calls were prohibitively expensive Tracking was done by telex fax or landline telephone Letters to customers quotations and oth er correspondence were mainly sent by post It could take a few days to get a reply de scribes Christiane Roelfs She had to contact her colleagues in the field by her foreign partner s phone or a hotel room landline Amazingly that worked too chuckles the exhibition logistics expert It also created stronger bonds and mutual trust No news were good news Because if there was no call for help you could be sure that every thing was well underway Her first foreign trade fair mission back in 1994 was for EPM Vietnam in Ho Chi Minh City where she spent nearly six weeks on site Forklift trucks pallet trucks and other equipment had to be brought spe cially from Germany Customs clearance on site was a very analog affair as was the case for years to follow in Southeast Asia reminisces Christiane Roelfs Local customs normally travelled on motor scooters she says All packages had to be opened one by one and their contents were inspected If everything was in order they were approved and delivered to the booth More than 25 years later smartphones the Internet and personalised email inboxes have become indispensable The same goes for online tracking says Christiane Roelfs The world has become much faster paced You are expected to reply to each e mail right away Everyone can be reached by smart phone at any time and in any place She ad mits that this a good thing but not really necessary Before I think about something myself or make a decision I d rather call my colleagues is the motto nowadays says Roelfs We tend to take less responsibility and rely on information from others or digi tal systems In some areas she does see ad vantages Transmitting customs applications digitally is now commonplace almost world wide Online tracking systems for worldwide sea and air freight shipments help monitor shipments But they cannot replace keeping in touch with the partner at the destination www fairexpress de PB 30 PRACTICE TRADE FAIR LOGISTICS Everything well underway How did forwarding and customs handling work in the days before the Internet Very well but digitisation certainly makes life easier TradeFairs Internation al 1 2 2021 Vor über 25 Jahren Messelogistik als Teil des Straßenbildes in Vietnam Over 25 years ago exhibition logistics on the street in Vietnam Ph ot o p riv at Christiane Roelfs in den Neunzigern im Radlader in Vietnam Das Equipment musste aus Deutschland mitgebracht werden Christiane Roelfs rides a wheel loader in Vietnam in the 1990s The machine had to be imported from Germany Ph ot o p riv at

Vorschau TFI Trade-Fairs-International 01/2021 Seite 30
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