19-20/2015 To your health!
The transport and logistics solutions required to get the «liquid bulk cargo» of beer to consumers is one story that does not receive much coverage from us. At trade fairs such as the one that has just finished in Bavaria (a beer bastion if ever there was one), or the forthcoming get-together in Antwerp (Belgium, another famous beer destination), beer often plays an important role, however. I was set on this train of thought when I bumped into the «German beer day» (23 April) in the internet. Really. There’s also an international beer day (first Friday in August).
This led me to a thirst-arousing set of statistics which nicely illustrates the economic importance of the liquid gold. In 2014 (a typical year), Germany exported just over 1.5 billion l of beer, worth almost EUR 1.1 billion. The country’s statistics office said that the alcohol was exported mainly to partners in the European Union. Italians (20%), French men and women (12%) and Dutch citizens (11%) topped the list of drinkers, consuming 667 million l of German beer. The People’s Republic of China came fourth in the list (152 million l) and the USA fifth (104 million l).
The opposite flow of the refreshment saw Germany import about 670 million l of beer, or less than half it sold abroad. This means that – statistically speaking – every single inhabitant, from baby to OAP, drank about eight litres of foreign beer in 2014. 277 million l (41%) came from Denmark.
The cross-border flow of beer is likely to grow in the medium term, as Bavaria and Germany will be looking back at half a millennium of perfect beer – and celebrating it appropriately. The Bayerisches Reinheitsgebot (beer purity decree) was promulgated on 23 April 1516.
Such a perspective – as well as a hopefully still-sober assessment – modifies many an everyday business decision. You will find plenty of news about these in this issue, which also includes our particularly hefty Breakbulk and Heavylift Special supplement, published to coincide with the European heavylift trade fair in Antwerp.
No matter whether you toast to your successes with beer, bubbly or mineral water – I hope you have a reason or two to celebrate, and wish you an enjoyable read of the ITJ!
Head of airfreight