Start preparing for when the new normal becomes the next normal

Supply chains should take advantage of being in the eye of the storm, a moment of calm before the winds pick back up.

When the pandemic first hit, it brought an onslaught of crises — supplier shutdowns, wild demand swings, transport interruptions — all while supply chain executives ran war rooms virtually, on spreadsheets, perhaps from a spare bedroom.

Supply chain leaders are accustomed to managing disruption. Running scenario drills and creating backup plans in the event of weather-related catastrophes, labor stoppages, tariff barriers and other challenges is part of the DNA. But facing Covid-19 has been beyond our experience or imagination.

Currently, it may feel like things are slowly coming back under control, and teams have adjusted to the “new normal.” Just a couple more months and everything will be fine, right?

Wrong. Until supply chains restabilize, which will likely take years, the muscle memory that our networks have relied on to anticipate and resolve problems between different nodes of our supply chains is gone.

Now is the time for organizations to prepare for the next phase. This period is like the eye of the storm, a temporary moment of calm where savvy supply chain leaders are rebalancing their organization’s skill sets for the “next normal,” before the winds pick back up.

Over the past five years, the supply chain industry has literally spent billions of dollars on planning capability. The next five years will be all about investing in execution to manage and eliminate disruption, and focus should be on incident management, operational agility and peak-season readiness.

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Source: Supply Chain Dive

Transpacific carriers pile on extra tonnage as US west coast imports soar

Transpacific carriers have reacted to a robust demand outlook and record container spot rates by deploying extra loaders on the tradelane.

With October advance vessel load data for the port of Los Angeles running 30% to 34% higher than last year, carriers are also looking at more permanent network upgrades on the route.

According to an assessment by Alphaliner, the average weekly headhaul capacity between Asia and North America reached a new high of 530,000 teu in the rush before the Chinese Golden Week holiday, which begins tomorrow.

“The offering on the transpacific has been further increased as both Cosco and Wan Hai Lines organised one additional seasonal service each,” noted the consultant.

According to Alphaliner, Cosco is now operating five 8,500-9,500 teu vessels on its extra loop, linking the ports of Shanghai, Ningbo, Xiamen and Yantian with Los Angeles, while Wan Hai has deployed extra 2,750-4,950 teu ships between Haiphong, Yantian, Kaohsiung, Shanghai and Long Beach.

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Source: The Load Star

Supply Chain Management Shifts Due to COVID-19

Two survey findings suggest a potentially transformative shift in the way manufacturing executives typically think about their global supply chains: from a focus on low costs and lean inventory, to one that prioritizes stability and resilience.

One survey, by law firm Foley & Lardner LLP, Global Supply Chain Disruption and Future Strategies Survey Report, interviewed 150 manufacturing companies about general trends in supply chain management.

The other survey, Accelerating Trends: Assessing the Supply Chain in a Post-Pandemic World looked specifically at a shift in supply chains away from China as well as how companies are using new technologies to improve efficiency.

Seventy percent of respondents agree that, as a result of COVID-19, companies will lessen their focus on sourcing from the lowest-cost supplier and 62% expect the focus on just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing models will also decrease.

“The survey findings point to a significant shift in perspective, but not necessarily a new one,” said Vanessa Miller, co-chair of Foley’s Coronavirus Task Force and the firm’s Supply Chain Team. “After the Great Recession, we saw calls for sweeping change, albeit on different issues, only to find that some of it was easier said than done. But 2020 is not 2009, and we may very well see companies follow through this time – especially if they see continuity of supply begin to overtake price as a key driver for success.”

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Source: Material Handling & Logistics

Port of Savannah on track for record September

September isn’t in the books yet, but the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) already is figuring it has been a record month.

The GPA issued a press release Monday in which it said the Port of Savannah was on track to achieve a monthly record for September by moving more than 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). This follows all-time record volumes in August.

“We frankly didn’t anticipate growth for the months of August and September, but we are gratified by the loyalty of our customers and the dedication of our employees,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch in the statement. “Although there is still much work to be done, Savannah’s status as the Number 1 export port means it will play a critical role in the nation’s economic recovery.”

Based on cargo bookings, the GPA was projecting more than 5% year-over-year growth in September.

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Source: American Shipper

Commodity Shipping Overcomes Covid on China Infrastructure Spend

Ships that transport coal and iron ore to China are seeing a surge in earnings as the nation’s demand for commodities rises, despite concerns about a resurgence in cases of Covid-19 in many parts of the world.

Rates for Capesize ships, the largest among dry bulk carriers, have jumped by 48% within the past week, to about $23,700 a day on Monday. On Sept. 25, those earnings hit a two-month high, Baltic Exchange data show. Cargo flows have increased from Australia and Brazil, the world’s two largest iron ore producers.

“Iron ore exports show no signs of easing despite rising global Covid cases as China pushes ahead with its infrastructure investments,” said Burak Cetinok, head of research at Arrow Shipping Group Ltd. in London.

For the full story, please click HERE

Source: MSN