As we begin 2024, the global economy faces heightened maritime risk vis-à-vis climate and geopolitical crises in the Panama Canal Zone, Red Sea, and Baltic Sea, on top of persistent maritime risks in the Middle East, East Asia, and Arctic Circle. Supply chain procurement leaders need to implement strategies and best practices to improvise, adapt, and overcome disruptions to global supply chains and shipping capacity in order to drive resilience through the global economy in 2024.
Logistics and Global Trade
Parent category for logistics and global trade subtopics
Generous government subsidies are being provided to kick-start and incentivize the truly enormous investments required to create the scale of green hydrogen infrastructure required to tackle climate change. Over a trillion dollars of investment, between now and 2050, will be required to decarbonize the shipping sector alone. More will be required to decarbonize steel, cement, and other hard-to-abate sectors.
Kaizen methods can help continually improve produce cold chain processes, starting by addressing low-hanging fruit problems and then progressing to ever more advanced practices. Knowledge-based systems can provide situational awareness and help workers make smarter, data-driven decisions in real-time, taking into account changing circumstances on the ground, such as expected field harvesting rate/timing, pre-cooler capacity and queue length, and projected reefer truck arrivals, departures, and capacity.
There is an opportunity to substantially improve the consistency of produce quality and shelf life by adopting modern process disciplines and quality management techniques. The produce industry can learn from successful manufacturers who have, for decades, used statistical process control and related process disciplines to continually reduce process variation, minimizing waste and reliably creating consistent products conforming to precise specifications.
Pallet-level monitoring enables a more intelligent approach to distribution—Intelligent distribution and FEFO inventory management (First Expired, First Out)—as well as providing the data needed to optimize end-to-end processes for maximum shelf life. Implementing these approaches can cut losses in half for retailers and growers.
Hydrogen is likely to play a key role as we transition to low/zero-emissions transport. While battery-powered vehicles dominate in cars and light trucks, it will be a different story for ocean-faring ships and possibly for long-haul trucks and trains, where the unique advantages of hydrogen-derived fuels are more important.
Perfecting the customer’s last mile delivery experience can be achieved by reducing logistics complexity and increasing efficiency, while controlling costs.
A holistic, integrated approach to predictive maintenance incorporates data, systems, and human expertise from various functions including engineering, manufacturing, field service, logistics, supply chain, HR, finance, and maintenance.
Maintaining freshness of produce and other fresh products is challenging for grocers and their suppliers. Here we discuss why, and how some of these challenges can be solved.
The quality of fresh food is the prime determinant of where consumers decide to shop for their groceries. Here we discuss why that is so and the role of freshness in competition for grocery market share.