Week in Review: Partnerships, Major Arrests, and Strategic Layoffs & Expansions Shake Up the Supply Chain

May 30, 2024

July 2, 2024


x min read

In this week’s news roundup, we’ve got the scoop on major moves shaking up the supply chain and commerce! First, UNFI and Whole Foods have extended their partnership until 2032, giving UNFI a solid footing despite recent financial struggles. The LAPD made a big dent in cargo theft with a major copper heist bust—great news for anyone dealing with logistics headaches. Food supply chain tech firm Silo is facing tough times with layoffs, but it might pave the way for some exciting mergers. We then turn to pharma, with AstraZeneca building a new supply chain in China to dodge trade tensions and boost growth. And if you’re curious about how green your supply chain is, we close out with a look into why data might just be your best friend. Stay tuned; there’s plenty to unpack this week!

UNFI & Whole Foods: Partnership Renewed Until 2032

It’s official: United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) and Whole Foods are sticking together until 2032. This extension is a big deal for UNFI—especially after the buzz about whether Amazon’s buyout of Whole Foods might shake things up. Let's dive into the details behind the scenes.

UNFI Gets a Much-Needed Lift

This news comes at the perfect time for UNFI. They’ve been in the hot seat financially following a Moody’s credit downgrade just last month—due to questionable cash flow and a significant dependency on Whole Foods. However, following the extension of this partnership, many investors cheered the news, and UNFI’s stock almost immediately climbed by nearly a dollar following the announcement. It’s a vote of confidence from Whole Foods that they're not yet ready to part ways, and it gives UNFI a steady ground to stand on as they plan their next moves.

A Strategic Financial Play

With this renewed partnership, UNFI is not just sitting back and breathing a sigh of relief: they're taking proactive action by refinancing a hefty $500 million loan to tidy up their finances—and reassure everyone that they have things under control. This deal helps them settle debts, and prepares them to handle whatever comes next. It's a smart move that shows UNFI is thinking long term by securing its position at the top of the grocery game.

Copper Theft Crackdown: LAPD Makes Major Arrests in $175K Heist

Two suspected cargo thieves are behind bars this week after the LAPD cracked a case involving stolen copper sheets worth $175,000. It’s yet another story from California on the ongoing battle against cargo theft—a costly issue for anyone involved in logistics or the supply chain.

Quick Action Leads to Arrests

The LAPD's Commercial Crimes Division Cargo Theft Unit was on the case, leading to the arrests of Brian Sam, 55, of Upland and Nicholas Minasyan, 22, of Santa Clarita. Both were booked for allegedly receiving stolen property.  

LAPD's Ongoing Vigilance

The arrests send a strong message: the LAPD is serious about protecting businesses from the plague of cargo theft. The department has pledged continued diligence in tracking down and arresting those who disrupt commercial operations. For everyone in logistics and supply chain management, this is a reassuring sign that help is there—and a reminder of the need to strengthen your security measures to keep goods safe.

Silo's Shakeup: Layoffs Hit as Food Startup Eyes Future Moves

Silo, a key tech player in food supply chains, recently had to make a tough call by letting go of about 30% of its staff. This move comes as the Bay Area startup finds itself in the thick of merger and acquisition talks—trying to steer the company through a rough patch while keeping its innovation engine running.

Tough Call for the Team

Letting go of team members is always hard. For Silo, this meant saying goodbye to more than two dozen employees across various departments. The company is stepping up to support those affected, providing severance packages and help with job hunting. These cuts come at a critical time as Silo works to sharpen its focus on building smarter supply chain solutions—despite recent burdens with a lending product that hit its revenue hard.

Time of Uncertainty

While dealing with these internal challenges, Silo hasn't taken its foot off the pedal. The startup is back in talks about potential mergers or acquisitions, a significant step that could reshape its future. These discussions were paused for almost a year after raising $32 million in a Series C round. But desperate times call for desperate means; the need for strategic partnerships has brought them back to the table as either a hail mary for survival or a chance to join forces with another player to keep growing and innovating.

AstraZeneca's Bold Move: Setting Up Shop in China to Sidestep Geopolitics

AstraZeneca is taking action in the face of rising U.S.-China tensions by building its own Chinese supply chain on its path to $80 billion in revenue by 2030. What are the details behind the scenes?

Qingdao: Home Base for AstraZeneca’s China Operations

AstraZeneca isn’t just crossing its fingers and hoping for the best in response to the latest trade tensions—they rolled up their sleeves and started building a manufacturing plant in Qingdao to serve China and other emerging markets. Beyond making products and medications more accessible locally, this strategy is about insulating their supply lines from global political dramas that could throw a wrench into things.

New Drugs, Big Goals

AstraZeneca is also trying to double its revenue by introducing some exciting new products. They plan to launch 20 new medicines by the decade's end, targeting diseases such as cancer and rare conditions in desperate need of innovation. With a dozen of these new products expected to rake in over $5 billion each, AstraZeneca is betting big on these launches to propel its growth. And with the recent acquisition of Gracell—a trailblazer in advanced cancer therapies in China—they’re clearly leaning into local supply lines to power their global strategy.

How & Why Data is at the Heart of Green Supply Chains

With sustainability goals front and center, the logistics world is facing a visibility crisis—not just in tracking products, but also in seeing the true environmental impact of their operations. Let's face it: without the full picture, efforts to go green can miss the mark—and a recent SupplyChainBrain feature shed light on this.

Tackling the Data Blackout

It turns out that only 13% of companies can trace their entire supply chain, as per Deloitte's latest findings. Most can only see their top-tier suppliers. This blind spot is a huge problem because it means many companies are likely missing chances to cut down on waste and inefficiency—like those empty return trips trucks often make. Then there’s the mess inside companies: about a quarter are dealing with over 50 separate pools of data, Standard & Poor’s found. This maze of information keeps crucial insights locked away in one department while others fumble in the dark. Suppose only R&D knows how much plastic goes into packaging—how, then, can finance determine where to cut costs, distribute, or optimize routes to be cleaner?

Clear the Fog with Better Tools

Companies must clear up this internal fog if they want to nail their supply chain sustainability KPIs—and Master Data Management (MDM) systems might be just the ticket. These systems tidy up data while making it accessible across departments. That means everyone from finance to distribution gets a clear view of what’s happening, and is empowered to make better decisions on everything from resource use to emissions cuts. Plus, as laws on environmental reporting tighten up worldwide, having a handle on data should be compulsory. MDM lets companies keep pace with regulations—and backs up their green claims with hard facts.

Innovate & Thrive: Tools for a Smarter Supply Chain

Whether it’s partnerships, cargo theft, or any other big changes happening in the supply chain world, staying on top of things is more important than ever. Tive's innovative solutions help you do just that by making your supply chain more visible, efficient, and secure:

  • 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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