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Be in Control! Main Factors Affecting Container Shipping Rates.

Container shipping ocean freight is considered the key factor to sustaining the modern economy bringing in 90% of the international trade. The ocean freight industry is one of the biggest contributors to import and export in thousands and millions of companies across the globe which is why even the slightest changes in it bring a noticeable impact on the demand and supply of the trade along with overall container shipping rates. 

Even though the container shipping rates are mostly dependent on internal factors such as route, volume, and carrier charges, there are some external factors as well that may affect the container shipping rates and are beyond the control of any shipper. 

General Rate Increase (GRI) 

The general rate increase (GRI) refers to the adjustments that are made by container shipping lines in the ocean freight prices. These adjustments are done to help carriers to recover from any low market movement that may occur in the seasonal cycle. Even though a GRI is usually applied once annually, there have been occasions when GRI had to be applied several times in a year as well. 

Carriers have full control over which routes will be affected by the GRI as it can be added to any of the ocean freight rates. As per the rule of the Federal Maritime Commission, the shipping lines are to inform the carriers regarding any increase in rates 30 days prior to the date it is to be followed. However, this rule is to be followed by ocean freight rates in the US only, the notice period may as well be less than a week in some other countries. Hence, in case your shipping has not been locked a day before the new GRI kicks in; you might have to pay the increased price which could be double the previous cost. 

Shipping during High Seasons 

Just like every other sector, the shipping industry also has a seasonal time during which the ocean freight demand increases drastically. During the high season, the container shipping lines are forced to act up which in turn affects a lot of factors like; the global supply chain, vessel capacities, and freight prices. Moreover, an additional surcharge is also applied in order to fit in the logistics work that may be required to cater to the increased demand. 

Being one of the largest exporters in the world, the holidays celebrated in China including Chinese New Year (in January/February) and National Day Golden Week (the first week of October) brings production and supply to a halt, which massively impacts the global supply chain. Therefore, right before this time, the shipping rate of the merchandise increases dramatically which in turn impacts the freight prices as well. 

Emergency Bunker Surcharge (EBS) 

Used to tackle the rise of fuel cost, Emergency Bunker Surcharge (EBS) is a surcharge at disposal by shipping lines which they can implement when needed. Another surcharge is the Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) which is responsible for covering the varying cost of fuel that may occur due to the natural factors and movements in the market. However, the catch here is that BAF charges can be known in advance whereas the EBS charges are implemented in a time of emergency without any notice which leads to unpredictable changes in the final shipping cost. 

For a while, the carriers have been applying the EBS charges as a response to the unpredictable rising fuel costs as the shippers have no control over the changing cost and consider it an unfair practice. Nonetheless, a lot of people believe that the emergency bunker surcharge is used by the shipping lines to cover up the operational losses. 

Trucking Shortage 

The shortage of trucks is an issue quite common and out of control for many of the shippers. Ever since the application of ELD in December, the truck shortage issue in the US has increased dramatically which in turn causes the supply chain to come to a halt. Due to the shortage of trucks, as a market reaction ultimately the ocean freight prices increased as the capacity decreased along with the demand increasing. 

This results in the shipper having to pay a hefty amount to the trucker in order to secure a place or face difficulty in your supply chain. Hence, it is always better to plan all your shipments in advance, using alternative routes to redirect the cargo, and having a backup plan can prove to be an effective way to avoid trucking shortages. 

Extra Ocean Freight Cost 

There are certain ocean freight costs like demurrage, detention, and custom inspection fees which in no way can be projected by the shipper which is why it is not counted in as a part of the container shipping cost even though it greatly impacts the overall rates. Hence, in order to try and avoid encountering such a situation, the shipper would have to follow all the precautionary measures. 

For this, the shipper has to make sure all the documentation is done and submitted accurately and on time so that they can avoid custom inspection and encountering delay fees. Another way to avoid any extra ocean freight cost is by planning your shipment in advance so that you can reduce the chances of any mistake or error that may cost you later on. 

Even though external factors as such are not in the control of the shippers, they can still to some extent avoid encountering them and having to pay extra rates by planning and following precautions in the right way. 

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Shipping Strategies for High-Value Cargo

When you decide to ship anything globally, then it is a must for you to take the required precautions. It is very important to make sure of the fact that your shipment has arrived safely and on time. However, if we talk about high-value cargo, things can be a little more twisted and complicated. The more delicate and expensive your shipment will be, the more you have to be careful while delivering it across the globe. With heavy and expensive shipments, you have to face more risks along the way. In this blog, we will guide you about the strategies you can curate to safely ship your high-value cargo.

The items that need careful handling and about which we will be discussing in this blog includes,

  • Art
  • Expensive Jewelry
  • Electronics
  • Luxury clothing
  • Medicines
  • Alcohol
  • High-end food

It does not matter what strategies you apply for the shipping because at the end of the day your goal stays the same which is the safety of the items. The basic and the simplest strategy should be based on the safety and protection of your shipment. Protection of the shipment means that you have to make sure that your item does not get stolen, damaged, or lost till it reaches its destination.

Let’s assume if you are shipping something from Delhi to Abu Dhabi, instead of looking for the fastest and cheapest way of shipping, you search for the safest and the most protective way of doing it. You need to look for a better route and curate a safe plan which ensures the protection and security of your shipment at every stage of the procedure.

Now let’s have a look over the main issues that are faced during international shipping and how can you resolve them.

Cargo theft:

Most popular logistic companies do not really face any problems while shipping their high-end products. They have enough former experience so they already take all the necessary precautions. But still, theft is a major risk that is very hard to combat along with the shipping journey. If you are sending something urgently then you definitely have to collaborate with a company you do not have any prior experience with. You would never know how reliable they are and this opens the door for advanced theft.

Professional thieves:

Professional thieves are not amateurs in any way. They are fully aware of all the shipping procedures. Also, they know the means of transport of expensive items. They are masters at trapping people and making them believe that their credentials belong to them. By chance, if their plan of fraud does not go accordingly then they try to hijack them. Numerous countries have reported about the developing criminal pattern which is why you have to curate smarter shipping strategies to ditch such professional thieves and keep your shipment safe. You have to do this through very careful planning, research about problem areas, and omit down all the possible risks. Sort out the areas where you think your shipment is the most vulnerable and unsafe, and use innovative strategies and plans to make it more secure there. The professional thieves will always know what you are up to so you need to stay one step ahead of them at every point.

Quick speed:

The most essential strategy for high-value cargo is quick and efficient transport. The quicker your shipment will be, the lesser the opportunities will be there for professional thieves to attack your shipment. You need to be careful about the right and accurate timings. By focusing on the timings you can assure that your shipment has reached its destination safe and secure. If you are hiring multimodal means of transport, then be in contact with those people who are sailing the ship and loading the shipment into the trucks. Tell them to report you on an urgent basis if something wrong happens along the way. This is definitely not an easier process. It requires a lot of expertise and effort but by planning various strategies you can ensure safe transportation of your shipment from one country to another.

Gradually build your trust and confidence:

Things can go a little wrong when you are working with a new company. The company might be a little less in expertise and experience but that comes with time and by working. To avoid such issues, try making a list of extended business relationships. It will be better for you and your shipment if you will be keenly involved and informed about every step of your shipment process. This requires a bundle of work because building trust and confidence is not a piece of cake. You will have to take care of the employees’ work frequently and have to educate them about all the possible security issues. You also have to teach them how to overcome such security problems if ever encountered. Moreover, it is your responsibility to teach them about different languages and infrastructure that is new to them. It is a long process but be patient because gradually you will gain the trust and build confidence with your partner company and respective employees.

Security measures:

The most important security measure is to choose your shipment carrier wisely. Choose the ones you can trust fully and give them specific parking instructions and strictly advise them to stick to it no matter what. Introduce GPS trackers to your shipment and also utilize survey and inspection services. Try to curate the documentation as generic and simple as possible and make the cargo look like it isn’t worth stealing after all. The sensitive information about the shipment should stay within the limits of your company. This is how you can ensure the complete safety of your high-value cargo.

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Are Supply Chain Sustainability Efforts Affected By Tariffs?

supply chain sustainability

Tariffs affect both imports and exports, therefore a supply chain technology platform that can handle several sorts of flows is critical, especially for sustainability projects. This means that you must be aware of how strong and resilient your supply chain strategy really is, while also trying to ensure enhancements every now and then. 

Multinational firms benefit from end-to-end functionality such as supply chain visibility, real-time predictive analysis, programmable planning, logistic support, and reverse flow handling through the Multi-Party Orchestration platform, which allows organizations to better meet their sustainability management goals, future-proof, and increase resilience. Businesses like MPO can help you in taking the right initiatives for supply chain technology.

The Global Steel-Manufacturing Industry:

To understand how tariffs are affecting supply chain sustainability, let’s take the global steel-manufacturing industry as an example.

Carbon dioxide emissions from steel manufacturing are influenced by a number of factors, including capacity utilization, facility design and care, the energy grid, and environmental legislation. Secondary steel production (which accounts for around 70% of the steel produced in the United States) emits much less CO2 than primary steel production. Therefore, the United States is incentivizing other countries to employ a secondary steel production approach instead of the previous one.

While such actions are encouraging in terms of encouraging more sustainable behaviors, they also highlight how volatile the market and the rules of the game can be. Short-term incentives are beneficial, but establishing resilience and boosting sustainability efforts will necessitate financing in supply chain technology that allows dynamic partnering, smarter command and freight management, and improved analytics to shift and adapt to the ever-evolving field regularly, and effectively.

Finances For The International Steel-Making Industry’s Supply Chain Sustainability:

The Biden government evaluated a 25% tariff on all imported steel and a 15% tariff on all imported aluminum introduced in 2018 in order to increase America’s supply chain resilience. They revealed their plan to lower tariffs with EU allies in November: Steel and aluminum produced in the EU utilizing low-carbon secondary manufacturing technologies will be duty-free up to a certain limit under the new transatlantic deal.

Hopefully, this strategy will encourage environmental stewardship and reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. According to Global Efficiency Intelligence, LLC, the global steelmaking business accounts for around 11% of global carbon dioxide emissions, therefore improvements in this sector would help to combat global climate change significantly.

supply chain sustainability

In terms of economic consequences, the tariffs imposed in 2018 triggered a tit-for-tat transatlantic trade war, with some nations imposing counter-tariffs on US products (including motorcycles, jeans, wine, and peanut butter). Tariffs on US exports were recently lifted. In 2022, businesses and consumers who use steel and aluminum may witness price decreases. Material availability may improve as businesses seek out new suppliers as a result of increased commerce, and supply chain bottlenecks may be reduced.

How To Enhance Supply Chain Resilience?

Manufacturers will need to monitor, analyze, and report GHG emissions once global trade finally opens. This plan to cut GHG emissions could signal the start of a new trend in global commerce, one that prioritizes long-term financial and environmental advantages over short-term profit. A  supply chain software and operational platform that can incorporate those requirements and seamlessly calculate, track, and continually monitor GHG emissions across the whole supply chain to fulfill all rules is the greatest requirement for all companies.

Steel and aluminum production isn’t the only sector that will be impacted by increasing regulation as the need for sustainability grows critical. Companies should seek reliable technological methods that are future-proof and capable of helping minimize risk, and support sustainability initiatives under ever-changing conditions to truly establish supply chain resilience and maintain it amid regular volatility.

For example, Multi-enterprise supply chain business network technology provides end-to-end control and visibility and enables teams to govern inbound, outgoing, and reverse flows, as well as in-transit stock control and ordering. Platforms with adjustable planning and logistics capabilities may also help businesses become more environmentally conscious by extending the life cycle of their products by allowing for repair, replacement, and recycling flow management. Networks can improve supply chain visibility and robustness while simultaneously implementing cleaner environmental practices by integrating business rules and automation.

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America’s Take On Sea Freight’s Price Hike

President Joe Biden is taking on the ocean freight industry’s enormous market power, despite the fact that officials at the agency in charge of the business say there is no evidence of misconduct.

In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening, President Biden pledged a “crackdown” on shipping companies who are overcharging American businesses and consumers. In a new endeavor to promote competition in maritime freight transportation, the Federal Maritime Commission will collaborate with the Department of Justice. 

“Corporations’ profits rise when they don’t have to compete, your price hike, and smaller companies and family farmers and ranchers fail. We find that happening with maritime carriers transporting commodities in and out of the United States. These foreign-owned corporations boosted price hike by as much as 1,000 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic and reaped massive profits. I’m announcing a crackdown on corporations that overcharge American businesses and consumers tonight,” Joe Biden stated on March 1st. 

The World Shipping Council retorted, claiming that Biden’s comments do not reflect the sector or market dynamics. “The reality is that market dynamics, not carrier alliances, are impacting prices, with demand for maritime transportation services entering the United States at historic levels,” stated John Butler, president and CEO of the World Shipping Council, in a statement.

The Three Foreign-Owned “Alliances”:

Soon after Biden released his Executive Order on the Competitive Market in July 2021, the FMC and the DOJ signed an information-sharing formal agreement.

“Three worldly recognized alliances, all of which are made up entirely of foreign firms, control almost all sea freight shipping, offering them the power to set prices for American consumers and businesses while endangering our national security and economic competitive strength,” the White House statement said.

Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., mirrored Biden’s views, having recently presented the bipartisan Ocean Shipping Antitrust Enforcement Act. According to Costa, the bill eliminates international shipping carriers’ protections from federal antitrust rules and targets unfair practices that affect American businesses.

“I am dedicated to working with the Biden government to enforce fair trade practices in the ocean freight industry,” Costa said in a statement. “This is a critical step in decreasing prices for consumers in America and creating a level playing field for exporting American manufacturers.”

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Five essential commodities that will be hit by Russia’s war on Ukraine

As Russia’s war on Ukraine is progressing with each passing day, threats to already halted supply chain operations have increased. Ukraine and Russia make a smaller portion of imports from big manufacturers such as Germany or the United States. However, they are the most important suppliers of raw materials in global supply chains.

However, the financial outcomes of an uncalled war which itself is a big threat to the lives of many innocent Ukrainian will unfortunately always be of secondary and minimal importance. When weighed against the ongoing, impending humanitarian calamity. Here are five important areas that could have problems in the near future.

1. Dependence on Russian energy resources:

Numerous European states are dependent on Russian energy resources, especially for their gas pipeline supplies and this almost reverted their approach after the Ukraine-Russian war. Russian global gas supply is the major reason why most of the European powers couldn’t eliminate Russia entirely from their international payment system which is widely known as SWIFT. However, it is worth noticing that Germans have largely halted construction of the Nord Stream new Baltic proposed pipeline.

2. Smaller disruptions with significant effects:

There are very fewer chances that Russian gas supplies will be completely blocked in the present day and date but even the tiniest amount of smaller disruptions and blockades may exert a significant and major impact on the global gas supply crisis. It is already known globally that worldwide gas storage and reserves are pretty much low since the pandemic began and with that costing and pricing of gas are rising continuously which is directly impacting consumers. Gas is a fundamental part of numerous supply chains globally and any smaller disruption will impart major and harsh consequences overall. At the beginning of 2021, when gas prices were raised the United States had to shut down its fertilizer plants due to high energy production demand but the owners were unable to meet it since the normal pricing of gas was way too high. This eventually resulted in a shortage of carbon dioxide which is fundamentally important to keep the food fresh and for many medical procedures. These consequences were bound to happen with rising oil and gas rates.

3. Global food supply: 

As the pandemic accelerated in earlier 2021, general food costs and prices also increased largely because of higher energy demands and climatic and atmospheric transitions. Food factory owners came under enormous pressure as the prices shot up. Ukraine and Russia solely comprise more than one-quarter of global wheat imports and exports while Ukraine single-handedly contributes to making up more than half of the global sunflower oil supply. Both of these countries are essential commodities for the global food supply chain. If by any chance harvesting is affected due to the Russian-Ukraine war then chances are that exports will be blocked and importers will suffer to find alternatives for the food supplies. Some states are largely dependent on Russia and Ukraine for grain supplies such as Egypt and Turkey. Almost 80% of Turkey and Egypt’s wheat and grain imports are drawn from Ukraine and Russia collectively. China also imports corn in large amounts from Ukraine. It can also lessen the effects of disruptions in food supplies in other regions of the world. However, Russia itself is the main supplier of fertilizers. And trade tariffs can have their own effects on fertilizer production. On the other hand, we can also expect some trade diversions as China hinted earlier that it may start importing wheat and grains from Russia despite from Ukraine.

4. Effects on transport and shipping:

Global transport and shipping have already been affected badly due to the pandemic and the Russian-Ukraine war can create more problems for global transport. The most likely modes of transportation that can be affected by the war are ocean shipping and rail freight. Since the beginning of 2010, rail freight routes have been smoothly established between Europe and China and currently their 60,000th train completed its journey. Although rail freight is capable enough to carry only a very limited portion of the entire freight between Europe and Asia, it still played a significant role during global transport and shipping disruptions and has been growing gradually since then. Experts in rail freight are optimistic that interruptions will be minimal so that it won’t affect rail transport majorly but at the very moment trains have been rerouted far away from the war area of Ukraine so we cannot predict as of now what the future holds for rail freight transportation. Lithuania is already preparing to manage its rail traffic which will be affected in the future due to the sanctions placed against Russia.

5. Metal production and exports:

Some important metals such as iron, copper and also the nickel are produced globally by Ukraine and Russia. Both of these countries also import and export significant raw materials like palladium, neon and platinum. When global sanctions were placed against Russia, the immediate cost and pricing of these essential raw metals increased drastically. The recent trading price of palladium was around three thousand dollars per ounce but after sanctions in mid-February against Russia, the prices raised about 75% of the total sales. Palladium is essentially used in automotive systems and dental procedures. The two metals namely the nickel and copper are used for manufacturing purposes and their prices also soared sky-high. Russia supplies titanium to the aircraft sectors in the United States and Great Britain and they have signed contracts till 2030. If any disruption occur in the supply of these metals, then we can expect a potential aerospace shortage and increased prices of US products and services.

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Importance Of Climate Controlled Warehouses for Storage and Logistics

A warehouse is a large, open space where there is constant movement of goods, quite naturally causing the temperature of a warehouse to fluctuate unpredictably. Climate controlled warehouses help in managing environmental disparity as it keeps a moderate temperature while all the operations are carried forward. However, a lot of the industries overlook the importance of climate control in a warehouse which results in unexpected expenses incurred later, as damaged stock, necessitating the need of a climate-control system.

warehouse must be adequately insulated. Let’s look at some facts concerning climate-controlled warehouses that are not only functional but also ensure product safety through out logistics. 

Modern winemaking facility interior

Why do Warehouses need a Climate Control Storage System? 

Climate controlled warehouses focus on two major factors: the temperature and humidity of the warehouse. One may already be aware of the obvious effects of inconsistent temperature over food and medicine. However, there are a lot of other goods as well that may be damaged if not stored under a controlled climate condition. 

Humidity can damage metal objects as they can expand or contract because of the constantly changing temperature. Therefore, neglecting the necessity of climate-controlled warehouses may cause the products ina storage to melt, decay or grow mold. Furthermore, workers working in a warehouse in the absence of a climate controlling system may suffer from a heat stroke or even end up with frostbite. 

This poses the question, how do you keep your goods as well as employees safe during the constantly changing temperature? The answer is quite simple! Installing a climate control system in your warehouse will help in running your warehouse efficiently through extreme climate conditions. 

Elements of Climate Control in a Warehouse 

There are various techniques that can be employed to stabilize the temperature and humidity of a warehouse. For instance:  

  • By planning out the structure of shelves and pallets, the airflow can be managed. Moreover, sealing strips help a great deal in restricting the airflow entering via door openings. 
  • Dehumidification can be used to control humidity and prevent the build up of condensation and moisture in products stored in your warehouse. 

Waterproofing the warehouse will prevent the goods from becoming too dry and adds another climate control measure. 

  • In order to make sure the workers in a warehouse are at an optimum temperature along with the goods, portable air conditioning or heating can also be used which would help stabilize the temperature of the warehouse. 
  • Microprocessors can be installed in order to ensure a digital method for temperature monitoring and control. 
  • In order to be more cautious of any damage that may occur, different methods of signals for temperature shifts like audio or visual alarms can be installed. 
  • Any product that is stored on the floor is more likely to lose heat and get damaged, it is always better to use pallets and keep your goods away from direct contact with the ground. 
  • You can also consider installing industrial ceiling fans as they would help in better air circulation in the storage area. 

These tips and ideas may come in handy when you are planning to run a warehouse and wish to keep your employees, inventory as well as equipment secure in every climate condition. With these methods and elements, you can run your warehouse efficiently and safely without having to face any damage. 

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Just Transition about to Reshape Supply Chain Sustainability

Just transition” is an innovative idea that is gaining popularity and fame amongst sustainability circles. It is gradually becoming an essential part of corporate companies especially those companies whose operations will be net-zero by the end of this year. This idea can prove to be really essential and effective for supply chain sustainability.

But the main question here is that “just transition” is only a random word that will affect supply chain operations in its minimal capacity or is it something more beneficial and effective?

Will just transition’s era gradually die down after it gains sustainability?

There are numerous hypotheses and assumptions about the phenomenon of just transition. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development explains it in this manner, “Just transition basically tries to assure the long-term sustainability outcomes and beneficial aspects of a green economy transition that is shared globally. It also provides rigid support to those companies and units who are losing their economic positions- whether they are smaller or larger countries, industries, companies, production units or facilities, global or regional communities, local workers, big-ship owners or end consumers.”

Is the concept of just transition worth it or not?

Since just transition is a new build concept and its roots are evolving gradually. It is important to know whether this whole concept of just transition is actually worth it or not and will the companies be enduring this concept in future or not. Chairman and Co-Founder of the sustainability journal GreenBiz, Mr Joel Makower shed some light via his words on the evolutionary pathway and building concept of just transition. According to his perspective, the entire pathway of just transition originates when any new or innovative term turns into table stakes inside big production companies. In the end, the concept is either used on a larger scale, it can be overly used or it can also be used to an extent that can be strategically abusive to the company’s finances and economic management. Just transition is implemented without any discrimination where no one’s creditability is questioned. Many professional companies and supply chains are stepping into it and utilizing the phenomenon of a just transition to enshrine their maximum practice.

Just Transition Declaration

Just Transition Declaration was officially signed by the governments on October 17th 2020 at a conference which was held in Glasgow, Scotland. At the conference, Mr Makower explained that just transition is in its momentum-gaining stage and will gain popularity very shortly. He also added that they are settling up for its shortcomings as well but for now they are quite optimistic with their approach.

Point to ponder

If Mr Makower’s claim turns out to be true and just transition proves to be a success, then how can we imply it on supply chain sustainability?

Just transition allows the supply chain space wisely:

There are visible and clear signs that just transition is gaining its entrance into the supply chain sustainability space. United Nations designed a “Just Transition Maritime Taskforce” to accelerate the decarbonization of production units and to provide support to hundreds and thousands of seafarers through shipping’s green transition. This move was made at the COP26 event in Glasgow, Scotland which can be a breakthrough in the development of just transition momentary phase.

Ways through which just transition can be impactful:

There are numerous ways through which just transition can have an essential impact on different areas of supply chain sustainability.

Green freight transportation and services:

The first example is the transition and development of green freight transportation services and their specific way of adapting vehicles that are driven by fuel and those practices which can possibly have negative results on human labour. It has been claimed in the recent past that many authorities in California deliberately ask the trucking companies and their owners to transform fuel-driven automobile engines and an extra amount of money is charged to them due to which many employees were thrown out of the business. Just transition is more effective and impactful for fuel-efficient vehicles. It also brings down the cost of diesel engines for small-scale employees and workers.

Carbon Offsets for Freight Transport Decarbonization:

Second example is Carbon Offsets for Freight Transport Decarbonization in the freight transportation unit which was initially proposed by Suzanne Greene and Christian Facanha. Their idea was the initiation of low-emission means of transportation. The proposal was based on the idea that rather than investing in their own green fleet, they should buy carbon offsets and invest in the fleet of other companies of Western countries where environmental gains are maximum. This will help and support greener freight transportation on a larger scale.


The above examples are highly suggestive of the fact that how the phenomenon of just transition can positively impinge on the sustainability of supply chain management. Almost more than 30 countries are working over this because the rise in just transition came right at the time when supply chain sustainability is already being scrutinized in an increased capacity. As per the report of State of Sustainability for the year 2021, many company owners and stakeholders are emphasizing the relevant companies to enhance their supply chain sustainability performance. If just transition aims towards essentially improving the net-zero valuation of the corporate sector, practitioners will have to be more attentive on working and improving their supply chain sustainability goals. 

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In 2022, Supply Chain, inventory management, and warehouse operations have evolved so much! And the traditional practices have completely changed. As we are moving towards technological advancements, operations are now more automated than ever. Inventories are updated through computerized systems, and now robots do the lifting of cargo in almost every renowned warehouse. These advancements add great value to the company and there’s no denying that it enhances customer satisfaction as warehouse automation procedures are much more precise and quicker than ever. But it leaves us with the question; What will happen to the warehouse workers?   

Understandably, the labor community has a lot of concerns over the automation of industries because that reduces the number of employees. But on the other hand, it releases the burden of manpower required to perform heavy lifting tasks and leaves only the technical and complicated tasks for employees. Technical tasks require a skilled person and a skilled person has a higher need compared to labor. So instead of opposing the technological advancements, the labor community can look at it as an opportunity to learn skills and increase their pay scale. 


We all are humans, and humans aren’t perfect. We all tend to make mistakes and that’s what provides us a learning opportunity. The same goes for all the tasks we perform, we enhance our efficiency and preciseness, but every business has ups and down because of mismanagement or errors, and in business, you’ve to pay for each mistake and there’s no margin for error. There are several parts of the supply chain such as manufacturing, production, shipping, etc. and each fragment is significant. That’s why increasing efficiency and delicacy is integral, and automation provides just that! 

No matter what business you’re involved in, it’s impossible to think of an employer that has never made a mistake. From creating an incorrect product to misunderstanding the customer’s order, or other logistical issues. All the mishaps and mistakes seem small and negligible, but if we add it all up, it makes a huge difference annually and affects the business. Since the supply chain operations are getting faster than ever, they’re also getting more and more complex; that means, the operations are more intricate and the probability of mess-ups is more than ever before. Especially with real-time delivery, the margin of error is thinner than ever, so to overcome that problem; companies are now gravitating towards computerized, automated, and AI-built warehouse equipment.


There are multiple advantages of warehouse automation, we’re going to discuss some of them below;    


Automated systems have less probability of making errors, along with that it is easier to trace errors in a computerized and automated system rather than detecting them in a human supply chain. 


Some Automated and AI systems have the capability to detect and correct errors by themselves which saves a lot of time and with time it also prevents the loss of product. For instance, if there’s something wrong with the production line or inventory, the system stops functioning until it corrects itself which is quite remarkable. 


In this era, where life is moving so fast, no one has time or patience for delays. Everyone wants to receive their orders, as fast as they can. Real-time delivery has made it difficult for companies to keep up with the market, but through automated systems, you can achieve quickness with high accuracy which means your customer satisfaction will be through the roof!


It is dangerous to work in places such as warehouses, with hundreds of thousands of containers, and goods around you, there’s always a possibility of mishandling which could have devastating consequences for the workers. Automated systems remove those risks completely. 


Automated warehouses utilize inventory management tools that keep a perfect record of all the orders, that are in line, ready to ship, or delivered. Inventory is quite difficult to maintain for any warehouse but automation has made it so easy and errorless that it increases the downtime and makes the customers happier with the system.  


Automation in warehouses has surely enhanced efficiency and improved the supply chain. Tasks such as Inventory update, order management, production, and complex deliveries have now become quite easy with automation. However, it does raise the question regarding the future of warehouse workers and labor, but with operations moving faster than ever, that means more production and more business, and more opportunities for technical workers. Hence, the future is in learning automation and advanced computer skillsets.

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Russia is showing no signs of stopping its Ukrainian invasion, resulting in increased US sanctions on Russia. Moreover, the United States is also working on new plans to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian energy sources, especially petroleum. 

Biden’s government has announced that the economic sanctions will be doubled against Russia. The USA has announced new alliances and deals that will help Europe overcome its reliance on Russia’s Natural gas. 


The USA has formed a task force aiming to provide Europe with an additional 15 billion cubic meters of natural gas within a year, intending to increase the supplies as time progresses, according to a statement released by the US government.

This past Thursday, The US Treasury announced sanctions on 48 Russian defense companies, denying them access to western technology and crucial finances. Plus, the Treasury also forced restrictions on 328 members of various Russian states, including the head of Sberbank, a financial hub of Russian institutions.   

Natural gas prices were already on the rise in the international market, then the Russian invasion of Ukraine happened and raised the prices even further! Some experts believe that the increasing rates of oil and gas may push the use of coal in the United States. 


The Russian invasion has posed a major threat to the entire global supply chain because Russia is the main resource center of Europe and Ukraine also plays a vital role in providing supplies to eastern and central Europe as well as to parts of Africa and a few areas of Asia as well. On the other hand, Russia provides two-thirds of Europe’s oil which jeopardizes the entire continent, and when a continent that is the hub of all technological and industrial advancement such as Europe faces such a severe crisis, the entire supply chain gets affected globally. 

Along with economic sanctions, the trade routes are also closed, meaning any cargo (via air, water, or land) passing through Ukrainian or Russian territory is automatically dismantled. Addressing the current situation, Moody said “The myriad risks to supply chain normalization come just as they were beginning to recover from COVID-19”, the biggest issue is the hindrance in the production of auto and semiconductors.  

Jerome Powell recently said that if they knew about all the supply chain blockages and all the chaos that resulted in inflation and created a huge gap in the supply and demand operations. If they had known prior, then there’s no doubt that they would’ve made the move of providing the resources to Europe quite earlier.   


Countries in Europe, such as its economic hub Germany were looking to buy even more resources from Russia via a pipeline called “Nord Stream 2.” However, after the invasion, Germany decided not only to withdraw the new projects but also announced to cut ties on the ongoing projects with Russian Federation slowly.

As the US looks to increase its natural gas supplies up to 50 billion cubic meters a year by 2030, many difficulties fall ahead of that challenge. The experts in the US energy sectors were surprised by the move because it’s quite challenging to provide that many supplies in such a short period. So, it’ll be interesting to see how the entire situation plays out.