Week in Review: Electric Dreams, Stolen Crabs, Pharma Solutions, and More

May 8, 2024

May 8, 2024


x min read

This week's update is bursting with stories that showcase innovation, challenges, and dramatic changes across various sectors. Dive into FedEx's electrifying leap towards sustainability with the addition of 150 new electric trucks. Meanwhile, Philadelphia is again at the center of a major cargo theft—this time with thieves carting off $30K worth of snow crabs. Global food prices are again nudging upwards, led by increases in meat and cereals. And, as the U.S. grapples with a drug shortage, Indian pharmaceutical companies are champing at the bit. We round things off with a look at supply chain resilience; each story is a unique piece of a larger logistics and supply chain narrative that looks different day after day—and week after week.  

FedEx Boosts Green Efforts with 150 New Electric Trucks

FedEx just kicked its green initiatives up a notch by adding 150 electric trucks to its U.S. fleet. What makes these electric trucks more unique than others? They’re capable of up to 10 hours of drive time—even in scorching 105-degree heat.

Electric Trucks Hit the Road

FedEx is going big with its eco-friendly plans with these 150 Blue Arc electric trucks. After testing them in tough conditions around its Memphis headquarters, these trucks are now key parts of its strategy to cut down on carbon emissions after proving they can handle the demands of modern delivery services.

Charging Toward an All-Electric Future

But FedEx isn’t stopping there. They’ve set ambitious goals to convert their entire fleet to electric by 2040. With milestones such as planning to buy only electric vehicles for deliveries starting in 2025—and achieving this by 2030—FedEx is on a fast track to a greener future. At the same time, its electrification plans align with national efforts and the Biden administration’s push with a $1.5 billion fund to support zero-emission vehicles.

Thieves Hijack $30K of Snow Crabs in Philadelphia Heist

The Philadelphia area experienced a major cargo theft incident for the second time in just ten days. This time, in an early morning raid, thieves made off with $30,000 worth of frozen snow crabs from a truck.

A Calculated Crab Caper

At around 5:30 a.m. on April 19, the Philadelphia Mills shopping center saw up to twelve thieves using four vehicles target a Freightliner truck at the Walmart delivery dock—the same location where a $750,000 dime theft occurred last year. This time, the criminals successfully stole two pallets containing about 100 boxes of Grandpa Harvey's prized snow crabs.

Increasing Risks for Truck Drivers

The incident was marked not only by grand theft but also by violence. When the truck driver tried to stop the thieves, two gang members assaulted him. Fortunately, he only sustained minor injuries and was treated on the spot. However, this attack highlights the increasing dangers faced by truck drivers. John Rigney from the Pennsylvania Trucking Association urges drivers to avoid confronting thieves—and to instead call law enforcement immediately. But beyond that, you can adopt several emerging and proactive tech solutions to combat cargo theft as well.

A Closer Look at Rising Global Food Prices in April

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), global food prices ticked up for the second month in a row in April—largely driven by increases in meat, vegetable oils, and cereals.

What's Driving the Price Hike?

Meat prices led the charge, climbing 1.6% since last month, with beef, poultry, and sheep meat getting pricier. Pork prices dipped slightly due to less demand in Western Europe and from big buyers such as China. Alongside meat, there were slight upticks in the price of cereals and vegetable oils; sunflower and rapeseed oil hit a 13-month high. Conversely, sugar took a nosedive, dropping 4.4%—while dairy prices cooled off after six months of increases.

Crop Production: What's the Outlook?

Looking at the bigger picture, the FAO has adjusted its cereal production forecast for the 2023/24 season to 2.846 billion metric tonnes, slightly up from previous estimates. This adjustment is thanks to higher production numbers from Myanmar and Pakistan. As for wheat, the outlook for 2024 is pegged at 791 million tonnes, a small step down due to fewer wheat fields planted in the European Union—though it's still up by 0.5% from last year.

U.S. Drug Shortage Opens Doors for Indian Pharma Firms

As drug shortages hit record highs in the U.S., Indian pharmaceutical companies see an opportunity to fill the gaps. This situation stems from ongoing supply chain disruptions and strict regulations that have long strained U.S. manufacturers.

Indian Pharma Steps Up

With the U.S. facing a shortfall in generic drugs, companies—including Aurobindo Pharma, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, and Gland Pharma—are ready to step in to help. Aurobindo Pharma is leading with 36 products currently in short supply in the U.S., followed by Sun Pharma with 31, and Gland Pharma with 17. They're not just filling orders; they’re also shifting from simpler generics to more complex drugs, adapting their strategies to meet new demands.

Confronting New Challenges

Even with these opportunities, Indian pharma companies aren’t without their challenges. They’re dealing with more U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspections and issues getting raw materials from China. However, by diversifying their drug portfolios and honing in on specialty areas, these companies are not just surviving—they're poised to thrive in this new market dynamic.

Supply Chain Resilience Takes Center Stage

As supply chain disruptions become increasingly common, resilience is becoming as important as efficiency and cost management—and technology plays an increasingly pivotal role.

Embracing Technology for Stability

The push towards resilient supply chains is stronger than ever, especially with ongoing economic and geopolitical uncertainties. Elizabeth McGuire of Clarkston Consulting highlights the need for robust systems to withstand global disruptions. To this end, technologies such as artificial intelligence, digital twins, and interconnected platforms are becoming essential tools for predicting disruptions—and reacting on the fly for continuity and efficiency.

Adapting to Market Changes

Supply chain leaders are now facing more frequent and intense challenges. Mary Rollman from KPMG notes that changes in geopolitics, environmental crises, and the rapid growth of e-commerce have all added new layers of difficulty. Companies are responding by moving away from traditional methods and towards technologies that help manage large inventories and multiple selling channels—in an effort to keep up with dynamic market demands.

Stay Ahead of the Game with Tive

Managing a supply chain is getting trickier by the day, and here at Tive we see this week in and week out. But with Tive on your side, you're better equipped to handle it all smoothly:

  • 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 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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