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Week in Review: The Wild West of Logistics—Invisible Freight, Cunning Thieves & Green Pharma

July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

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We’re back after a two-week break and have a lot of ground to cover in our latest weekly rundown. We start with Tive's CEO, Krenar Komoni, taking you through the fog of shipment tracking, where packages play hide-and-seek with alarming skill. But that's just the tip of the iceberg—we're sailing into stormy seas where port congestion and sky-high container costs are causing tsunamis of trouble. And watch out for the shadows—cargo thieves are evolving faster than AI, leaving carriers scratching their heads. We'll also dish out the raw truth about our fragile food supply chain, and close things out with optimism as pharma goes green—and proves that sustainability isn't only a tough pill to swallow, it can be a cure for the future. Let’s dig in!

Insights from the Top: Krenar Komoni Tackles Visibility Challenges in Logistics

On July 8, 2024, Krenar Komoni, CEO of Tive, shared his insights with SupplyChainBrain about the ongoing hurdles in achieving real-time shipment visibility.  

Tech Gaps & Real-Time Challenges

Komoni's interview unveiled a critical challenge in logistics: the tech divide among carriers. This gap breeds a visibility nightmare, with some resorting to manual location logging, hampering efficient shipment tracking. This problem also expands beyond technology and impacts compliance and data quality. Despite advanced tools, Komoni admits that 100% accurate visibility is still a challenge, as current tech and practices can't guarantee flawless tracking from loading to delivery.  

Economic Consequences of Incomplete Visibility

Komoni also touched on the economic ramifications of visibility gaps. With incomplete data, logistics managers find it challenging to determine true lead times and landed costs of shipments. He explained that the longer goods remain in transit without clear tracking, the higher the landed costs escalate. This lack of visibility forces companies to face higher operational costs and difficulties in strategic decision making. The solution? Komoni says it’s twofold: embracing cutting-edge tech and boosting carrier compliance to bridge this visibility gap.

Global Shipping Faces Continued Challenges into the Second Half of the Year

As we approach peak season, the industry faces old and new challenges—from congestion to delays—that could disrupt schedules and budgets.

Today's Delays, Tomorrow's Headaches

Look no further than Singapore as an example of what we're up against. As one of the world's busiest ports, it's feeling the squeeze—with shipment delays skyrocketing 44% in May and 27% in late June compared to last year. It's not just numbers, either—it's empty shelves and frustrated customers. Add a container shortage to the mix, and you have a perfect storm. Spot rates for shipping containers have ballooned to $7,000-$8,000, with $10,000 on the horizon. And that's not all—with U.S.-China trade tensions and possible port strikes looming, we might see those rates climb even higher.

Looking Ahead: Scenarios to Plan For

Forecasting the future is tricky, but experts are bracing for a bumpy ride. We're looking at a few more months of pressure, with container rates potentially skyrocketing back to pandemic-era highs of $15,000 to $20,000 if things go south. But don't panic just yet—a dash of geopolitical sunshine or unclogged ports could bring rates back down to Earth. The smart money's on a rollercoaster: rates spiking short term before gradually easing off. It's a game of global dominoes, and we're all watching to see which way they'll fall.

Strategic Cargo Theft: A Costly Trend for Carriers & Brokers

2024 kicked off with a bang, but not the good kind. We're talking about a surge in high-stakes cargo heists, leaving carriers and brokers reeling. Millions in freight? Gone, and not from your traditional “smash and grabs.” Think more tech savvy and innovative strategic cargo thefts as the bad guys get smarter.

Impact by the Numbers

Cargo theft has exploded, jumping 46% in just the first quarter of 2024 alone. The average heist netted a whopping $281,757—with thieves making off with $154.6 million total and hitting California, Illinois, and Texas hardest. One of the most notable trends is how crooks are getting smarter and employing double brokering scams—using stolen identities to misdirect shipments to themselves instead of the intended recipients. It’s a low-risk, high-reward game spreading like wildfire—and it’s harder to track and prevent.

Confronting Such Threats

Thieves are thinking more outside of the box, and the freight industry needs to catch up. Frankly, it's scary how organized crime rings can steal carrier identities to swipe cargo right from under everyone's noses. But there's hope: companies can outsmart these thieves by sharpening vetting processes and embracing cutting-edge security tech. Digging deeper into carrier credentials to spot those sneaky red flags and lock down shipments is an excellent first step. But it remains an uphill climb to truly turn the tables.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Keeping Our Food Supply Safe & Steady

It’s easy to take a fully-stocked grocery store for granted—until suddenly, you can’t. As The Hill recently revealed, the food supply chain is more vulnerable than many realize.

The Delicate Balance of Food Logistics

Imagine the journey of an apple: from the farm to your fruit bowl. It's not just about transportation, it’s about keeping that apple crisp and fresh through a tightly-controlled process. This system works nonstop, precisely managing perishables like dairy and produce to avoid spoilage. But disruptions, like those we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, reveal just how quickly things can go awry, leading to empty shelves and spiked prices.

Facing Threats with Proactive Strategies

From cyberattacks disrupting meat supplies in 2021 to the ongoing risks of the H5N1 bird flu in poultry, the threats to food are varied and evolving. Recent legislation like the Farm and Food Cybersecurity Act of 2024 aims to protect food supplies from digital threats, while vigilant monitoring and pasteurization keep biological risks at bay. Moreover, who's picking the crops matters, too—making immigration a hot topic in agriculture. And if we've learned anything lately, having a diversified supply chain can save the day when things go sideways.

Sustainability in Pharma: More Than a Good Deed, It’s a Strategic Edge

Lastly, let's see how the pharmaceutical industry is going green to help the environment and business as a whole.

Innovating for a Greener Future

Every pill you take has a hidden environmental cost. The pharmaceutical industry pumps 200 million metric tonnes of CO2 into the air—and generates 300 million metric tonnes of plastic waste—annually. But things are changing. Scientists are swapping toxic chemicals for greener alternatives while exploring fusion-based technologies to slash energy use. Take drug formulation—new techniques are safer for the planet and make medicines work better in our bodies. Those 8,000 metric tonnes of solvents used yearly in traditional methods? Innovative approaches are dramatically cutting that down, to the delight of regulators and the benefit of the environment.  

Crafting a Sustainable & Resilient Supply Chain

Because 70% of emissions in life sciences come from its supply chain, pharma companies are going all out to seek eco-friendly partners, embrace greener practices, cut waste and energy use, and build a more resilient supply chain. By investing in real-time monitoring and analytics, these companies are not just talking the talk, they are walking the walk—so their green efforts actually deliver. It's smart business, too, helping companies stay compliant, resilient, and ready to keep life-saving medications flowing.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Upgrade Your Supply Chain: Tive's Toolkit for Success

You may not realize it right now, but without visibility and control, your supply chain is vulnerable. Tive can offer you this—and then some—with a suite of innovative solutions:​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

  • Trackers: Revolutionize your shipment tracking with Tive's advanced Solo 5G tracker and the newly-released Solo Lite—offering real-time location and condition monitoring for 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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