The logistics involved in collecting raw milk from livestock farms, transporting it and delivering it to dairies currently constitutes a significant cost to be added to the chain of dairy products. This fact, associated with the problems of the tight margin in the price of milk owing to market competition and the increase in costs to produce a litre of milk, means that costs need to be optimised across the whole value chain.
The Esbiho Project aims to cut these costs associated with collection, transport and delivery while minimizing the environmental footprint of dairy products and making the Basque dairy sector more competitive.
The identification of the aspects characterising the collection of milk and the study of historical data through a multivariate analysis to find out the relationship between the different factors and establish which exerts the greatest influence on logistics costs stands out among the aims set by the three partner organisations in the project: AZTI, Kaiku S. Coop. and Estudios GIS. The various determining factors and restrictions present in this activity were also assessed; they are crucial for ensuring that the quality of the product is maintained and that there is coordination between all the players in the chain (milking schedule, milk qualities, tank capacities, delivery schedule, maximum transport times, etc.).
Integrated solutions adapted to the Basque sector have also been developed; they are based on geographical information systems (GIS) and other advanced tools designed to facilitate the resolution of logistics problems that require a large number of calculations based on various criteria.
The validation of the solutions put forward and of the GIS tool developed has been carried out through a pilot experience which has the participation of Kaiku S.Coop livestock farms, carriers and the Esnelat dairy that Iparlat has in Urnieta (Gipuzkoa, Basque Country). Finally, an assessment was made of the possibility of reducing logistics costs and introducing improvements in the rest of the sector.
Improvement in the situation of livestock farms
The project aims to bring about an increase in the competitiveness of the value chain of milk and dairy products, by focussing on improving the situation of livestock farms and the sustainability of the Basque agricultural sector.
Shorter working days for the carriers or the lower cost of vehicle maintenance will result in an improvement in the life quality of the direct workers in the primary sector.
It will also be possible to modernise the management of the milk collection when using tools that allow routes to be rapidly and efficiently simulated and adapted on the basis of statistical data. Other results will be the improvement in milk management on its arrival at the dairy and the reduction of tanks waiting at the dairy.
Finally, among the achievements there is also the contribution towards slowing down climate change by reducing the use of fossil fuels, and atmospheric contamination as a result of the cut in kilometres travelled and hours clocked up by the carriers.