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Week in Review: Cutting Emissions in Food Transport, Boosting Local Chains & Addressing Cargo Theft

June 4, 2024

July 2, 2024

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This week, we have many exciting updates and insights for you. First, we dive into how the food industry is reimagining cold chains to cut emissions—a huge deal since much of the world's greenhouse gasses come from food transit. We’ll also celebrate a $7.3 million boost from the USDA to strengthen Washington’s local food supply chain. Then, we switch gears to some concerning trends highlighted at the recent Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC) Conference, where the rising issue of cargo theft took the spotlight. We also look at how the pharmaceutical sector is leveraging new tracking tech to keep operations green, and we'll explore how robust inventory management is becoming indispensable for securing cargo. Let’s dive in!

Rethinking Cold Chains: Smarter, Greener Food Transport

The facts are clear: how we move food around the globe needs a serious upgrade. With the food industry responsible for a third of the world’s greenhouse gasses—and loses 30-40% of its goods in transit—we’re staring down an existential climate crisis beyond mere logistics. How can we rethink cold chains to help solve it?

Feeling the Heat: Why Today’s Food Chains Need a Climate Check

Cold chains are crucial when it comes to keeping food fresh from farm to table, but they're under threat from rising global temperatures and extreme weather. Frankly, these systems are at max capacity, with disruptions and inefficiencies we can no longer afford to ignore. Cooling technologies consume 44% of the energy used in food transport; there's a ripe opportunity at hand for improvement, and it's time to rethink how these chains operate.

Powering Up with Renewables & Smart Tech

Consider the benefits of replacing old, energy-consuming tech with cleaner alternatives such as solar or wind power. This smart business practice is cost effective—and helps establish resilient supply chains. At the same time, integrating IoT sensors and AI enhances the adaptability and efficiency of cold chains, allowing for optimized routes and energy usage, reduced carbon footprint, and improved reliability in the face of climate unpredictability. Think of smarter logistics that save time and resources while contributing to a more sustainable planet.

USDA Grants $7.3M to Boost Washington’s Food Supply Chain

There is big news for local food systems in Washington state. The USDA is rolling out over $7.3 million in grants to help local farmers and food processors beef up their operations. Let’s go over the details.

From Farm to Fork: Strengthening the Links

The whole purpose of this grant is to improve how food moves from farm to table. With the new funds, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) will focus on enhancing food processing, aggregation, and distribution. The benefits are twofold: local farmers and producers can ramp up their operations, and consumers can have easier access to fresher and more nutritious food options.  

Opportunity Knocks

The benefits from the USDA go beyond financial support; it also offers farmers, food processors, and distributors a chance to tap into technical support and business development that can take operations to the next level. The focus is on empowering smaller farms, new growers, and underserved communities so that the growth in our food systems is inclusive and comprehensive. So, mark your calendars—applications for a slice of the funding pie are due by July 15, 2024.

Cargo Theft in the Spotlight at the 2024 AgTC Conference

At this year's AgTC conference, a hot topic among shippers was the alarming spike in cargo thefts. In 2023, thefts shot up by 9%—and worse, thanks to increasingly savvy criminal rings, they're projected to climb another 35% by the end of 2024.

California: Ground Zero for Cargo Crime

Nowhere is the surge in thefts more apparent than in California, home to 48% of the country’s incidents last year. In particular, the Port of Los Angeles has seen its fair share of what Executive Director Gene Seroka calls "organized crime at its finest." Local law enforcement is stepping up, with several thieves already apprehended. Still, the complexity and organization behind these crimes continue to be a huge challenge.

The Real Impact on Businesses

Beyond the big numbers and police reports, businesses are feeling the pinch. Take the Johnsonville sausage company, where thieves breaking into rail yard containers forced the company to destroy entire shipments—even if the thieves left the meat behind. This practice leads to massive losses, complicates insurance claims, and disrupts logistics. In response, Johnsonville has started using temperature trackers on their containers to monitor and record any breaches, helping them better understand the pattern of these thefts.

Pharma Goes Green: Reinventing Supply Chains for a Sustainable Future

The pharmaceutical industry is getting serious about sustainability by integrating greener practices across their supply chains. With growing environmental expectations—and demands from consumers and regulators—pharma and life sciences companies need to show they’re not just talking the talk.  

Tracking Green: Beyond Safety & Into Sustainability

Tracking tech in pharma is no longer just about keeping drugs safe from counterfeits or observing conditions. Now, many pharma companies are using these systems to monitor and manage environmental impact, detailing every supply chain step—from raw material to pharmacy shelf—to ensure eco-friendly operations. By 2025, 24% of biopharma executives aim to give stakeholders a real-time peek into how green their operations are, a clear move towards more transparent and responsible manufacturing.

Smarter Suppliers & Sustainable Steps

Reducing the carbon footprint starts with scrutinizing the supply chain. A big chunk of emissions comes from the sourcing and handling of materials before they even reach the manufacturing floor. That’s why pharma is not just tracking—they’re choosing suppliers who stick to strict environmental standards. On the innovation front, things like smart packaging and embracing automation are also helping cut down on waste, make operations leaner, and help build trust with consumers increasingly making choices based on environmental impact.

How Tight Inventory Management Can Beat Cargo Theft

We close this week’s news roundup with another look at cargo security—and a proven strategy for protecting your stock: tight inventory management.  

Connect Your Systems. Protect Your Goods.

Effective inventory management goes beyond simply counting what you have; it is about making sure all your systems talk to each other. When your Warehouse Management System (WMS), Order Management System (OMS), and other key platforms sync perfectly, you’re less likely to lose track of your inventory. A tight network also makes it easier to spot discrepancies quickly, so you can jump on issues before they become bigger problems like theft.

Chaos Leads to Losses

Keeping everything organized isn’t just good for day-to-day operations; it’s crucial for security. Logistics insurance and risk management provider TT Club adds further context evidenced by past insurance claims showing that mess equals risk. In other words, thieves see a mouth-watering opportunity when they come across a chaotic warehouse—in which items aren’t properly logged or managed. Logistics Risk Manager Josh Finch adds further context by noting when you comprehensively account for your inventory, you’re also protecting your company's reputation—and avoiding costly mistakes.

Take Your Supply Chain to the Next Level with Tive

Today's supply chain challenges—from reducing emissions in food transport to fighting cargo theft—call for cutting-edge solutions. That's where Tive steps in with the following solutions:

  • Trackers: Revolutionize your shipment tracking with Tive's advanced Solo 5G trackers. They offer 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 temperature logger—to verify that your goods have remained pristine throughout transit.
  • Platform: Streamline your supply chain management with Tive's intuitive cloud platform, offering comprehensive visibility, analytics, and integration capabilities for seamless shipment tracking and monitoring.
  • Industries: Tive caters to a diverse range of industries, ensuring tailored solutions for unique supply chain challenges—from perishables to high-value goods to transportation and logistics to pharmaceuticals…and beyond.
  • 24/7 Live Monitoring Team: This team is available to help ensure that your shipments are constantly watched over and managed—to guarantee timely and secure delivery.

Arm yourself with innovation: let Tive lead the way in transforming your supply chain operations. Embrace the future of logistics–get started with Tive today.

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