Above the Fold: Supply Chain and Logistics News (August 12, 2022)

My oldest daughter, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) at age 11, turns 22 today.

Half her life living with T1D. 50% of her days.

Will that percentage continue to increase in the years ahead or will it reach a peak and start to decline?

The latter can only happen if we find a cure for T1D, which is why I will be cycling 102 miles in Death Valley, CA in October.

What’s it like cycling in Death Valley? Imagine hell during a heat wave, then add 35-50 mph crosswinds. That was the case in 2016, when I barely made it to the finish line.

I’m going back to that hellish desert, along with some of my Logistics Leaders for T1D Cure teammates, because the work to create a world without T1D is not finished. The good news is that significant progress has been made on multiple fronts in recent years. But reaching the ultimate goal of a world without T1D requires a lot more research and medical trials — and a lot more money to do the work, which is why fundraising is so important.

I’ve set a personal goal of raising $20K this year as part of our overall LL4T1DCure team goal. Thanks to the support of family and friends, including team sponsors e2open and TranzAct Technologies, I’m close to $11K. 

Raising $9K in 9 weeks. That is the challenge.

If you enjoy and get value from our content on Talking Logistics, I have a small ask: please consider making a tax-deductible donation in support of our LL4T1DCure team and JDRF, the leading non-profit organization focused on T1D research. Any amount is greatly appreciated because every dollar gets us closer to a cure. You can Donate Here.

Also, if you’re a supply chain technology company, logistics service provider, or other company interested in supporting the cause, it’s not too late to sponsor the team. We have a variety of sponsorship packages still available, which include many benefits, so if you’re interested in learning more, please contact me for details.

On her birthday today, I wish my daughter a lifetime of health and happiness, and that she may see the day in the not too distant future when the sun rises on a world without type 1 diabetes.

Thank you for listening.

Moving on to this week’s supply chain and logistics news:

Logistics Challenges Across the Pond

If misery loves company, then supply chain and logistics professionals in the U.S. can take some comfort in knowing they’re not alone in dealing with all sorts of logistics issues. Their colleagues in Europe are in the same boat.

Concerned about a strike or work slowdown at the West Coast ports? Hold my beer, say your British colleagues. “Almost 2,000 dock workers at Britain’s biggest container ship port plan to strike for eight days this month [Aug. 21 to Aug. 29] after failing to reach a pay deal, threatening to sever one of the UK’s most important trade routes,” report Siddharth Philip and Katie Linsell in gCaptain.

Meanwhile, “scorching temperatures have drained some of Europe’s main rivers, threatening to disrupt vital economic thoroughfares and exacerbate the continent’s energy shortage,” report Georgi Kantchev and Yusuf Khan in the Wall Street Journal. “In Germany, the Rhine is at critically low levels, hampering deliveries of coal and industrial goods, and is forecast to potentially become impassable for most barges at a key stretch by the end of the week […] Shipping costs, meanwhile, have skyrocketed, fueling already high inflation, since rivers are key arteries for transporting everything from grains to chemicals to oil.”

Yeah, the grass isn’t greener on either side of the pond.

E2open and Shippeo Expand Partnership

Back in April, I raised the question: Is supply chain visibility a product or feature? As I wrote at the time:

To derive business value from visibility, you have to do something with the data and insights collected. It’s the doing, the actions taken to improve your transportation and logistics operations, for example, that ultimately delivers value. This is where enterprise software applications like transportation management (TMS), warehouse management (WMS), and yard management (YMS) come in. 

In other words, the value comes from leveraging real-time visibility data to continuously optimize and automate specific business processes. This is why supply chain visibility providers have established partnerships with a wide range of TMS, WMS, YMS, and other supply chain software providers.  

For example, e2open (a Talking Logistics sponsor) and Shippeo established a strategic partnership in December 2020, and the two companies announced this week that they have expanded their partnership “to provide clients with a new level of native real-time transportation visibility (RTTV) and supply chain execution management in a unified global platform.” Here are some excerpts from the press release:

Beyond simply alerting shippers to a transportation delay, the platform enables users to “peer” inside the truck or container to understand the specific goods being moved, how transportation performance will impact the customer experience, and most importantly, proactively take the best corrective action. This level of control at global scale enables enterprises to improve efficiency, reduce waste, and operate more sustainably across even the most complex global supply chains.

“We are thrilled to take our partnership with Shippeo to the next level to increase value for our clients, with the broadest and deepest real-time transportation visibility made available natively in e2open’s connected supply chain platform,” said Pawan Joshi, executive vice president, products and strategy for e2open. 

“Our expanded partnership with e2open offers transformative value to customers who will have not only real-time data and visibility to goods in motion, but also the control to take relevant action on one connected platform,” said Lucien Besse, chief operating officer and co-founder at Shippeo.

Regardless of whether you believe supply chain visibility is a product or feature, I believe the end game for many providers is to create the largest network of connected trading partners with the broadest set of software applications on top. The race to get there goes on.

And with that, have a happy weekend!

Song of the Week: “The Painted Desert” by 10,000 Maniacs