April 22 marked the 51st time the world has celebrated Earth Day. And while there is still work to be done to curb climate change and reduce emissions, it’s always good to reflect on the innovative ways industries are approaching the challenge.
A feature in CIO explores how IT is working toward the achievement of climate goals through practical, human-centric technologies. Examples include data and analytics tools to help cities make smarter, more informed decisions that are relevant to their region and population, tools that help national governments understand and monitor ice melt and its effect on coastlines, and new technologies to aid in cleaning dirty water.
The article shows that, while technology plays a role in driving change, it isn’t effective if it can’t adapt to the specific needs of each entity that uses it, and that it won’t be adopted unless humans see a real benefit that can augment (and not replace) the role people play in seeing it through.
Because the world of supply chain and logistics is so highly distributed, sustainability can be something of a shared responsibility. Each entity can set its own processes and policies in place for the manufacture and procurement of goods, but as they rely on other parties to make or move these items, the burden shifts to those vendors and suppliers.
It now looks like carriers would like to shift some of that burden back over to the shippers and LSPs they serve. The Journal of Commerce reports that several of the largest container line trade associations are intensifying their efforts to promote the global adoption of new carbon fees. Because there are no viable alternatives to fossil fuels available to power a container vessel, and fragmented regulations could result in higher operating costs, the trade groups look to these new fees as a means to ensure money is available to offset these potentially higher costs and fund ongoing research and development into viable alternatives. The trade groups, which include BIMCO, the Intercontinental Chamber of Shipping, and the World Shipping Council have also asked that International Maritime Organization member nations fund a $5 billion fund for research and development of no and low carbon alternatives.
For LSPs, who neither control vessels or the demand for cargo, there still are ways to drive sustainability and hold partner organizations accountable. To learn more, check out these strategies from Slync’s Nikolaus Sievers.
Much of the focus has been on U.S. west coast ports and major Chinese ports amid the pandemic and ensuing import boom. But to see where the future of logistics may be heading, one must look beyond the world’s two biggest economies.
For instance, India is starting to see the benefits of major infrastructure investments turn into growth for its major ports. Maritime Executive highlights this growth at Mundra Port, where container volumes grew by 18 percent during its fiscal 2021. The port, located in the Indian state of Gujarat, is the flagship location of the Adani Port and Special Economic Zone. Over the course of the last fiscal year it handled 140 million tons of cargo.
Mundra Port ranked 38th on the JOC Top 50 Global Container Ports in 2020 (based on 2019 data), and appears to be on the rise along with India’s growing middle class and export volumes.
Rising import volumes aren’t just a problem for ports, but also the inland infrastructure that stores and distributes those goods. Will the demand translate to new growth in warehouses and equipment?
In its 2021 Warehouse and Distribution Center Equipment Survey, Logistics Management shows that the industry is anticipating new growth, but has held off on investments during an unusual year. About 37 percent of those surveyed are taking a wait and see approach to new purchases and investments in warehousing space and equipment, with just over one-fourth of the industry proceeding on new capital spending plans.
Despite the indication that growth is paused amid the pandemic, about 41 percent of these logistics leaders say they will spend more on infrastructure than they did last year.
With great challenges comes great opportunities, and there are few challenges greater than global logistics.
Techstory writes that all the new attention and focus on logistics also represents a strong career opportunity for people of any skill level who want to be part of an industry that directly affects nearly every person on the planet. Focusing on India, where 14 percent of the country’s GDP comes from the logistics sector, the article examines several ways people are building career paths in the industry.
Thanks for stopping by, folks! Happy Friday! Don’t forget to check out last week’s news and come back next week for the following Friday Five logistics news roundup!