With support from the Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA), Mekong Institute (MI) has successfully conducted a two week International Training Program on Green Freight & Logistics Development from August 21 – September 1, 2017, at its Residential Training Center in Khon Kaen, Thailand.
The training aimed to address the importance of ‘Green’ practices in the logistics sector by enhancing knowledge and skills on logistics operations and services of the agencies involved in the transport and logistics sector.
A total of 20 participants attended the training representing senior and mid-level government officials from Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Cuba, Egypt, Fiji, Guinea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Myanmar, Nepal, Palestine, Panama, Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, and Uzbekistan. The participants included representatives from the Ministry of Information and Communications, Ministries of Transport / Public Works and Transport / Infrastructure and Transport / Transport and Roads, Department of Commerce, Ports Authority, Road Maintenance and Transportation Organization, Railways, Ministries of National Economy / Economy and Finance, Customs Department, and Center of Normative and Technical Maintenance of Development of Automobile and River Transport.
Through attending the training program, the participants gained knowledge and skills delivered and shared by in-house resource persons and external experts who covered the following topics: an Introduction to Green Logistics, Green Freight Certification Process, Preparing Companies for Green Logistics, Policy and Consumer Awareness, E-Business and E-Logistics in Supply Chain Management, and the Role of Government in Promoting Green Logistics. In addition, the participants presented their “Country’s Green Freight and Logistics Situation” report allowing participants to gain a broader understanding of common goals and challenges faced.
Structured Learning Visits (SLV) were also organized to the Customs House in Nongkhai province and the Professional ID Driver Training School in Khon Kaen province as part of the program to understand the importance and significance of green freight and logistics service management and development. The visit inspired and motivated the participants to prepare feasible Action Plans on logistics sector management and operations in line with their respective national development context. Key issues for discussion during the field visits were cross border procedures of truck cargo movement, coordination with related government agencies in Thailand and Laos, management of dangerous goods and transportation of large and overweight cargo, driving test passing rate, emission inspection, mechanisms for monitoring the performance of the licensed driver and rate of road accidents, among others.
On the last day of the training, the participants developed their Action Plan to disseminate the knowledge and skills they had gained during the training. The action plans consist of knowledge sharing, research, workshops and training related to green freight and logistics development, E-logistics system and carbon emission to be shared with other stakeholders in accordance with each participants’ respective national/local context.
The training program aimed to provide interrelated topics pertinent to the training participants from 18 countries. As per the overall evaluation result of the training, the participants confirmed that they have a good working knowledge on the topics covered, and had gained knowledge and skills which will be relevant to their work. They also indicated they were very satisfied with the training program overall.
Delivering the way forward, Mr. Madhurjya Kuma Dutta, Director of Trade and Investment and Facilitation Department, MI praised the efforts of all participants, highlighting the increase in knowledge and skills gained, as shown in the pre and post self-assessments completed. However, Mr. Dutta, emphasized that it was now the responsibility of each participant to capitalize on this new knowledge, implementing their action plans and sharing knowledge to other stakeholders within their country. To support this process MI will still remain in contact with participants to follow-up on progress made regarding action plans within a 6 month period after participants have returned to their respective countries.
During the closing remark, Dr. Watcharas Leelawath, Executive Director of the Mekong Institute, also highlighted the very encouraging initial results of the training program, especially the high relevance participants had indicated the training program would be for their work in future. Dr Watcharas also expressed that the participants should apply their knowledge by conducting different action plans in their own countries which will help raise awareness of ‘Green’ and sustainable practices and lead to a more efficient freight and logistics services.