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This Week in Logistics News (June 1 – 8)

Got pollen? Me too. While I have only recently developed allergies, they generally have not been to bad. Until this year, that is. Every morning, there is a thick blanket of pollen on my car, patio furniture, and everything else outside. The Boston area has been hit especially hard, as a thick layer of pollen has the sky looking a eerie yellow color. The Weather Service noted that the pollen was thick enough to reduce visibility in multiple cities and towns. Although the pollen that we see coating cars and clothing is actually too big to affect allergies. However, it is indicative of the finer particles that are airborne and causing coughing, itchy eyes, stuffy noses, and sore throats. Thankfully some rain is in the forecast which should hopefully bring a little relief to all of us who are suffering. And now on to this week’s logistics news.

Post IRA, wind is lagging
PepsiCo tries to ‘close the loop’ on plastic packaging
Canadian border agents say they will begin strike action Friday
E-commerce shoppers in Europe seek out-of-home parcel delivery
Cargo thieves increasingly target high value goods
WSC applauds mandatory reporting rule for containers lost at sea
UK clothing sales to EU plummet as Brexit red tape deters exporters

When President Biden signed the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act, it was expected to set off a boom in renewable energy, with hefty tax breaks that would make solar and wind power cheaper than fossil fuels. So far, however, that dream has only come partly true. Solar panel installations are indeed soaring to record highs in the United States, as are batteries that can store energy for later. But wind power has struggled, both on land and in the ocean. The country is now adding less wind capacity each year than before the law was passed. Some factors behind the wind industry’s recent slowdown may be temporary, such as snarled supply chains. But wind power is also more vulnerable than solar power to many of the biggest logistical hurdles that hinder energy projects today: a lack of transmission lines, a lengthy permitting process and a growing backlash against new projects in many communities.

PepsiCo Europe has entered into a groundbreaking agreement with GreenDot Group to bolster the recycling of plastic waste for use in snack packaging. This collaboration supports investment in GreenDot’s recycling capabilities, aiming to incorporate recycled materials across PepsiCo’s snack packaging. GreenDot’s portfolio now includes advanced recycling techniques to supply circular polymers to brands and converters. This partnership aligns with PepsiCo Europe’s goal to eliminate virgin fossil-based plastics from all crisp and chip bags by 2030. Mark Vester, EVP for Business Development at GreenDot, commented, “We are thrilled with this new collaboration, which transcends EPR licensing and establishes a novel business model, effectively closing the loop between plastic waste and recycled content in packaging.”

Canadian border agents are set to begin strike action on Friday afternoon unless they secure a new labor agreement from the government with hefty pay increases, their union said. “We still hope to avoid strike action and potential disruptions for travelers and commercial traffic at Canada’s borders,” said Sharon DeSousa, national president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, which represents about 9,000 workers at the Canada Border Services Agency. “But we’ve set a deadline for the Liberal government to get to work on a fair contract for workers.” The union issued its deadline, of this coming Friday at 4 p.m. ET, on late Tuesday evening. In a late Wednesday statement, Canada’s Treasury Board, which is responsible for negotiating labor agreements, said it is prepared to make concessions to reach a deal, “but there needs to be movement on both sides.” The department said threats of labor disruption hurt negotiations and it is disappointed with the union’s strike threat.

Out-of-home delivery solutions for online orders continue to grow in popularity, with 44% of regular e-shoppers in Europe preferring their parcels to be dropped off at nearby lockers instead of on their doorsteps, a five percentage-point rise over 2022, according to French parcel locker provider Geopost. Consumers say they are increasingly turning to out-of-home delivery for flexibility and affordability reasons, with 51% of regular e-shoppers usually using more than one delivery place, the company said. That demand has pushed locker and parcel shop deliveries to a steady increase, now accounting for 23% and 24% respectively of the usual delivery locations, up by 3 and 4 points on last year. One of the main drivers of the trend is the growth of international flows from exporting shippers, the firm found in its “2023 E-shopper barometer” survey, released in February. In 2023, Geopost cross-border out-of-home deliveries grew by 43% versus 2022, and the trend has continued in Q1 2024, with a further 75% increase of those volumes.

Cargo thieves are increasingly targeting high value goods over basic freight, despite the increased level of planning needed to pull off a successful heist and the elevated consequences if they get caught, according to a study from Overhaul. The simple reason driving this trend is that criminals have so much to gain, the Texas-based supply chain visibility and security firm said. High-value goods such as electronics and pharmaceuticals can easily be sold on the black market for a sizable profit. Additionally, shippers often transport multiple high-value goods at once. This means the potential rewards are even greater via the theft of a single tractor-trailer. According to Overhaul, “in other words, rather than risk stealing several less valuable loads, they’ll often choose to go after a single, more valuable one.”

The ocean carrier trade group the World Shipping Council (WSC) today said it applauds a new International Maritime Organization (IMO) rule requiring mandatory reporting of all containers lost at sea beginning in 2026. In drafts of the policy, the IMO, which is an agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating maritime transport, had stated that the rule was needed because overboard containers were a form of maritime litter. “Containers lost overboard can be a serious hazard to navigation and safety at sea in general, in particular to recreational sailing vessels, fishing vessels and other small craft, as well as to the marine environment,” the IMO said. Likewise, the WSC today said the rule sets a new standard for maritime safety and environmental protection. The new regulations “mark a significant advancement in maritime safety and environmental protection.

UK exports of clothing and footwear to the EU have dived since Brexit, according to a new study that shows the extent to which complex regulations and red tape at the border have deterred firms from sending goods across the Channel. Exports of clothing and footwear sold to EU countries have fallen from £7.4bn in 2019 to £2.7bn in 2023, helping fuel an 18% slump in sales of all non-food goods exports to countries covered by the EU single market, according to the consultancy Retail Economics and online marketplace Tradebyte. The report said the decline meant British brands and retailers have seen sales to the EU plummet since Brexit, despite a flourishing European e-commerce market.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the weekend and the song of the week, Allergies by Paul Simon.

The post This Week in Logistics News (June 1 – 8) appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.

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