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Week in Review: From AstraZeneca's Phase-Out to Gold Heists, Port Resurgence, Looming Strikes & Cold Chain Innovations

May 16, 2024

May 16, 2024

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In this week’s rollercoaster of events, the past meets the present—and the present propels us into the future. Say goodbye to the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine, a global lifesaver now exiting the stage as our battle against the virus takes a new turn. At the same time, Canada reels from a cinematic gold heist—the largest in its history—with consequences that stretch far beyond stolen treasures. In Baltimore, Maersk is gearing up for a comeback at the Port, and is ready to tackle the upcoming peak season. Further north, looming rail strikes threaten to disrupt North American supply chains. And don’t overlook Candor's revolutionary cold chain technology, setting new standards in logistics efficiency and sustainability. Strap in!

End of an Era: AstraZeneca Withdraws Its COVID Vaccine

The COVID pharma chain is back in the news after AstraZeneca withdrew its COVID-19 vaccine. Despite the controversies, the vaccine played an integral part during the worst of the pandemic. So why the sudden pivot?

From Global Lifesaver to Gradual Phase-Out

Developed in a record ten months and hailed as "a vaccine for the world," the AstraZeneca shot was pivotal in global vaccination efforts, with over three billion doses distributed. Its affordability and ease of delivery and storage facilitated widespread use, especially in regions with limited resources. The vaccine also significantly contributed to lifting the UK from lockdown—and is credited with saving an estimated 6.5 million lives in its first year alone. However, despite its initial success, rare but severe side effects curtailed its use as other vaccines entered the market.

Shifting Focus to Meet New Demands

As the virus changed, the demand for vaccines did, too. New variants reduced the effectiveness of the original AstraZeneca vaccine, leading people to prefer other, more updated vaccines. This brings us to today’s market: a glut of more effective vaccines and lower demand. Although AstraZeneca remains proud of the role its vaccine played during the pandemic, conditions today have forced the company’s hand. They have no other choice but to focus on new endeavors and solutions while phasing out the original formula.

Inside Canada's Record-Breaking Gold Heist

With over $16.5 million swiped right under everyone’s nose, a recent gold heist at Toronto Pearson International Airport has all the makings of a blockbuster movie. It wasn’t any ordinary cargo theft—it was an inside job, the largest gold robbery in Canadian history, and was orchestrated with baffling ease.

High-Stakes Operation

It all started on a seemingly ordinary day when a truck—supposedly carrying Scottish salmon—arrived at Air Canada’s cargo warehouse. However, the cargo instead contained gold bars and banknotes from Zurich instead of seafood. Dressed like any other truck driver and armed with a fake bill, the thief loaded up and drove off with $14.5 million in gold and nearly $2 million in cash.

Twist of Crime

But there’s more to the story than just stolen treasure. They melted down a ton of the gold, making it virtually untraceable. Soon, those melted-down gold bars funded the purchase of 65 guns intended for the streets of Canada—until a routine traffic stop in Pennsylvania stopped it. The police are still working on tracking down the rest of the money, and who knows when that could happen. They’ve only really uncovered $62,000 worth of bracelets from the gold. Almost the entire $14.5 million remains missing; nobody knows where it is or if they’ll get any of it back.  

Maersk Will Soon Restart Baltimore Port Operations

Maersk is gearing up to get things moving again at the Port of Baltimore as cleanup from the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse wraps up.  

Ready for a Comeback

With the main shipping channel expected to reopen by the end of May, Maersk is closely monitoring the situation to determine the exact timing to reintroduce its Baltimore shipping services. Since the bridge went down in late March, they've had to reroute traffic to other ports—causing a bit of a logistics scramble. Needless to say, Maersk is quite eager to get Baltimore back online, with the port being a key part of their global shipping network. With the US Army Corps of Engineers recently setting off controlled explosions to free the still-stuck Dali from the bridge’s debris, we’re heading in the right direction.

Looking Ahead

While detouring its ships through Norfolk and Newark helped keep things moving, Maersk is eager to return to Baltimore—especially with peak season looming. And as Maersk gears up to return to normal operations at the Port of Baltimore, they’re also focusing on the bigger picture. The company is strengthening its logistical framework to enhance supply chain resilience and take advantage of growth opportunities in North America and globally—to help it better manage future disruptions.

Potential Canada Rail Strike Threatens North American Supply Chains

With a possible labor strike in Canada, the Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Kansas City rail lines are on the brink of a major supply chain disruption that could affect everything from daily commutes to international trade.

The Strike's Immediate Impact

More than 9,000 rail workers could strike as early as May 22 if their demands for better rest provisions aren't met. If that happens, as many fear, it will threaten the transportation of essential goods across North America—from cars and coal to grains and petroleum. At the same time, implications of a shutdown could stall commuter services in major cities such as Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver; strain supplies; and lead to significant economic consequences across Canada and beyond.

Negotiations & Nationwide Concerns

As the countdown to the strike continues, both rail companies are actively negotiating to avert a shutdown. The stakes are high, with nearly 90% of the industry’s revenues—and over three-quarters of its cargo—at risk. Time is ticking, and the Canadian government is stepping in, urging both sides to reach a fair agreement before it’s too late. Supply chain resilience, anyone?

Candor Introduces Game-Changing Cold Chain Technology

We close this issue with a cold chain innovation update from Texas-based startup Candor. Its latest innovation is so revolutionary that shipments in the future could stay cold for up to nine days without needing any dry ice.

Keeping It Cool Just Got Easier

Say goodbye to the hassle of multiple trucks for different goods. Candor’s latest division, Candor Food Chain, brings a slick solution to the table. Using special technology from Europe-based Cool Chain, Candor can now transport perishables alongside dry goods—all in one truck. What’s even cooler? These shipments can maintain their chill for up to nine days. Integrating frozen, refrigerated, and ambient temperatures within a single truck means fewer trucks on the road, lower carbon emissions, and more money in your pocket.

A Sustainable & Efficient Solution

Candor isn’t just making shipping easier; they’re also making it greener. Their reusable boxes ditch the need for extra insulation or harmful chemicals, cutting down on waste and emissions. Such an approach supports environmental goals and offers a cost-effective solution for businesses looking to reduce their ecological footprint—while maintaining efficient logistics operations and transforming their cold chain.

Tive Solutions: Mastering Today’s Logistics Challenges

From the phase-out of a major vaccine to dramatic gold heists and looming strikes, logistics these days is as dynamic as ever. That’s where Tive comes in with a suite of high-tech tools designed for real-world 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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