Week in Review: Moving Forward in the New Year—Supply Chain Resilience, Food Security, & Cargo Safety Updates  

January 4, 2024

July 2, 2024


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We hope you had a great holiday season! As we kick off 2024, we are excited to present an update on some of the biggest stories involved in supply chain management. From the White House's Inaugural Council on Supply Chain Resilience to groundbreaking developments in combating cargo theft and enhancing food supply chains in the U.S., our latest newsletter offers a panoramic view of the strategies, challenges, and successes shaping this dynamic sector.

White House's Inaugural Council on Supply Chain Resilience

The White House's first Council on Supply Chain Resilience meeting on December 20 marks a pivotal step in addressing ongoing challenges in the supply chain sector.

Redefining Supply Chain Resilience

In response to the pandemic's impact, which saw disruptions including the Suez Canal blockage idling 10% of the world's container capacity—the White House unveiled over 30 actions to strengthen America's supply chains. The emphasis has shifted from bulking up inventory to enhancing agility and reducing inventory levels, acknowledging the volatile nature of demand in the current economic landscape. Moreover, the focus of this strategic shift aims to prepare companies for future disruptions.

Collaborative Efforts & Key Takeaways

The meeting highlighted the necessity of collaboration between government and industry, with organizations such as the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) playing a vital role in shaping future supply chain innovations. Five key takeaways include:

  1. Persistent focus on resilience
  2. Balancing inventory levels for optimal resilience
  3. Alternative strategies to mitigate drug shortages
  4. The critical role of data sharing for transparency
  5. Recognizing climate change as a pivotal supply chain issue

Strengthening Food Supply Chains: Texas & Wisconsin Receive USDA Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently presented the states of Texas and Wisconsin with generous grants to bolster their food supply chain infrastructure and fund resilience-building projects.

Texas: Enhancing Food System Resilience with $11.5 Million

In collaboration with the USDA, Texas will receive $11.5 million for food supply chain improvements. This funding, available through the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program (RFSI), focuses on developing market opportunities, enhancing post-harvest storage and processing, and implementing specialized equipment. The Texas Department of Agriculture encourages applications from various agricultural entities by February 15, 2024. The grants aim to support small and midsize producers and underserved communities to bolster overall supply chain coordination and technical assistance.

Wisconsin: A $27 Million Boost for Food Infrastructure

Similarly, Wisconsin secured an agreement with the USDA to receive $27 million under RFSI. This funding will focus on expanding processing capacities, enhancing food storage, and improving marketing and branding, among other objectives. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is accepting applications until March 6, 2024 and is focusing on projects supporting local production—including dairy and specialty crops—and is aiming to create more diverse market options and economic opportunities for local communities.

Cargo Theft: Mexico’s Surge in Incidents & Kentucky’s Progress in Combating Them

The issue of cargo theft has seen a notable increase, particularly in Mexico, according to recent reports. Meanwhile, within the United States, the Kentucky State Police have been actively and effectively combating this challenge within their state, with efforts leading to the successful recovery of a considerable amount of stolen goods.

Escalating Cargo Theft in Mexico

Overhaul's recent data reveals a troubling increase in cargo thefts across Mexico, with a notable spike in the third quarter. The firm recorded 5,239 incidents, marking a 7% year-over-year rise and a slight 1.2% increase from the previous quarter. The average thefts per day stood at nearly 57, with food and beverages, miscellaneous goods, and building materials the most targeted—and auto parts and pharmaceuticals seeing the largest year-over-year increases. In the auto category, thefts primarily involved automotive parts and liquids (54%), tires (29%), and assembled vehicles (17%)—predominantly in Guanajuato and Puebla.

Kentucky's Effective Response to Cargo Thefts

Meanwhile, in Kentucky, the State Police's Vehicle Investigations Branch has successfully recovered over $5.2 million in cargo theft property over 18 months. This effort disrupted an organized theft ring, resulting in ten federal indictments and seven arrests. The KSP focused on food and beverage and copper thefts, leveraging partnerships with various agencies. It’s a proactive approach that highlights a commitment to safeguarding supply chains and mitigating financial losses from such crimes.

Addressing Drug Shortages in the EU & Beyond

The European Union’s recently-published Union List—spotlightint critical medicines—and similar initiatives in other countries highlights a growing global effort to tackle drug shortages and enhance supply chain resilience.

EU's Proactive Measures Highlight Critical Medicines

The EU’s “Union list of critical medicines,” featuring a few hundred active substances, aims to pre-emptively address potential shortages in the healthcare system. This list is part of a broader strategy, including actions to diversify supply sources, increase stockpiling, and possibly incentivize EU-based manufacturing. The Union List is not an immediate solution to drug scarcity, but is a long-term strategic approach designed to ensure supply continuity. The European Commission's plan to operationalize a Critical Medicines Alliance in 2024 further underscores a commitment to coordinating actions at the EU level to mitigate risk of shortages.

Global Response to Drug Shortages

Like the EU, the U.S. deals with critical drug shortages, with the FDA identifying 128 impacted medicines. The U.S. Committee on Oversight & Accountability examines these shortages, especially concerning the Inflation Reduction Act's potential impact. Canada, paralleling the EU's approach, published a report in December 2023 to strategize long-term solutions for medicine shortages, including establishing "safety stocks."

Compliance Corner: EDI Under the Microscope

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) compliance has become a pivotal element in modern supply chain management—influencing both external business relationships and internal operational efficiency.

Impact of EDI Compliance on Business Relationships

Non-compliance with EDI mandates can have severe financial implications—including chargebacks, penalties, and loss of business—potentially costing millions annually. Moreover, failure to adhere to EDI standards can damage trust-based relationships with customers and partners alike. Challenges—such as navigating varying EDI document requirements and maintaining Service Level Agreements (SLAs)—often arise due to inadequate software and systems integration. Proper EDI compliance not only averts financial penalties, it reinforces business relationships by ensuring reliable, error-free B2B communication.

Enhancing Internal Operations & Choosing the Right EDI Tools

EDI compliance significantly impacts a company's internal processes. Non-compliant businesses face order-processing delays, shipment issues, and decreased customer satisfaction due to errors in manual data entry and limited inventory visibility. Implementing EDI compliance can streamline documentation—cutting administrative processing time by 50% compared to traditional methods and enhancing security through restricted access. Companies should consider cloud-based EDI integration software for better communication, scalability, and end-to-end visibility.

Charting a Resilient Future with Tive’s Solutions

The complexities and challenges of today's global supply chain require resilience, security, and efficiency—and Tive’s cutting-edge technology and services come through with solutions to these challenges. Whether combating cargo theft, enhancing food supply chain resilience, or addressing critical medicine shortages, Tive stands at the forefront of innovation—ensuring seamless and secure supply chain operations. Here’s how:

  • Trackers: Revolutionize your shipment tracking with Tive's advanced Solo 5G trackers, offering real-time location and condition monitoring to ensure the security and integrity of your cargo.
  • Tive Tag: Enhance perishable shipment protection with Tive Tag, an affordable and reusable paper-thin logger that captures temperature to ensure your goods remain pristine throughout transit.
  • Platform: Streamline your supply chain management with Tive's intuitive cloud platform, offering comprehensive visibility and integration capabilities for seamless tracking and monitoring of your shipments.
  • Industries: Tive's specialized services cater to a diverse range of industries, ensuring tailored solutions for unique supply chain challenges—from food and beverage to high-value goods to pharmaceuticals… and beyond.
  • Shall we mention our 24/7 Live Monitoring services?

It’s time to enter the new year armed with the power of innovation. Let Tive lead the way in transforming your supply chain operations, and get started today.

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