Above the Fold: Supply Chain Logistics News (April 8, 2022)

I drove my car underwater this morning,

in a tunnel beneath Boston Harbor, to pick up my son coming down
from 30,000 feet in the sky.

Ordinary life can be so amazing

when you press the brakes and think about it.

In this week’s supply chain and logistics news:

Covid-19 in China and Russia-Ukraine War Continue to Disrupt Supply Chains

“Containers full of frozen food and chemicals are piling up at China’s biggest port in Shanghai as a Covid lockdown in the city and compulsory virus testing means truckers can’t get to the docks to pick up boxes,” writes Ann Koh in Bloomberg. “Shanghai is now the epicenter of China’s worst Covid outbreak in two years, with more than 21,000 cases reported just on Thursday. The shortage of trucks is also hitting companies in the city…with chip giant Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. struggling to secure trucks to ship out finished goods.”

Meanwhile, Cagan Koc reports in Bloomberg that “sanctions on Russia are snarling thousands of steel shipping containers” at the Dutch port of Rotterdam. The containers “all need careful inspection to make sure that moving them on won’t somehow breach sanctions, according to Port of Rotterdam Chief Executive Officer Allard Castelein. Multiple agencies are also paying close attention to ships coming from Russia, and a large number of container terminals and shipping companies have also indicated that they will no longer handle cargo bound for the sanctions-hit nation following its invasion of Ukraine.”

Trade between China and the EU via Russia is also getting disrupted. “Inbound rail-cargo shipments [from China to the EU] have all but frozen, according to freight forwarders,” reports Costas Paris in the Wall Street Journal. “Moving shipping containers from China along a 7,500-mile corridor that runs through Russia and extends to the United Kingdom is a vital part of Belt and Road, a yearslong undertaking that includes investments to connect China to Europe by land and sea.” One alternative is using rail links through Kazakhstan and Georgia, another is to ship via waterways. 

As you know, supply chains are global and interconnected, so what happens in China and the EU, ultimately impacts the United States and the rest of the world too.

Supply shortages. Longer lead times. Congestion. Risk. Uncertainty.

They will continue to define supply chain management in 2022.

Transporeon Launches Carbon Visibility Dashboard

As I have highlighted in recent posts — see “The SEC Climate-Related Disclosures Rule: Another Supply Chain Challenge” and “The Difficulty Of Measuring Scope 3 Emissions” — there is growing pressure on companies (particularly from government regulations) to measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions. Part of the problem, as I’ve noted, is the lack of globally adopted standards for measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions. While that remains a work in progress, supply chain technology companies are expanding the scope of their visibility solutions to include visibility to GHG emissions.

This week, for example, Transporeon (a Talking Logistics sponsor) launched “the Beta version of its Carbon Visibility dashboard designed to help shippers and carriers precisely, transparently and efficiently measure and benchmark their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from transports.” Here are some details from the press release:

The methodology is fully compliant with the GLEC (Global Logistics Emissions Council) framework, the highest and latest standard for the calculation of GHG within logistics.

The demand for accurate, uncomplicated, and transparent emissions measurement is growing rapidly. Companies increasingly don’t want to or even cannot wait until 2023, when sustainable reporting will become compulsory following the CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive). The CSRD will apply to companies with 250 or more employees, some 55,000 in total. Furthermore, in 2026, the European Union’s climate policy “Fit for 55” will apply carbon trading to the transport sector.

With the Transporeon Carbon Visibility dashboard, companies will be able to predict and optimize their emissions long before the new regulations come into effect. Both shippers and service providers can report the same GHG emissions for the same transports. Transporeon´s Carbon Visibility is the first solution to include real-time and primary data. This is an important differentiator, since it allows users to remove default values and limit the reported emissions to the actual figures.

Companies including PepsiCo, Sipro, Trane, Evonik, Rewe, and DS Smith are among the early users of the Beta version.

The bottom line is that supply chain visibility is not just about visibility to orders, inventory, and shipments any more; it’s also about visibility to greenhouse gas emissions and other factors related to sustainability and corporate social responsibility. It will take time to eliminate the blindspots, but the journey has begun.

And with that, have a happy weekend!

Song of the Week: “I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance)” by Glass Animals