Belgium monks forced to sell prized beer online to beat resellers

St Sixtus Abbey in Westvleteren, Flanders, is one of the world’s 14 official Trappist beer producers. Buyers can purchase a crate of its Westvleteren beer for around €45 (£40), around €1.80 per bottle.

A glass of Belgian Trappist beer Westvleteren is seen at St Sixtus Abbey in Westvleteren, Belgium
A glass of Belgian Trappist beer Westvleteren is seen at St Sixtus Abbey in Westvleteren, Belgium

Trappist monks do not profit from the sales of their beer

As a rule, the monks ask customers not to sell their product to third parties. The abbey’s sales have traditionally been limited to private customers who order by phone before collecting a maximum of two crates in person.

But profiteers have been ignoring their “ethical values” for selling the brew, forcing them to go online to dampen demand on the black market.

Read entire post Belgium monks forced to sell prized beer online to beat resellers | BBC

How cannabis is firing up the U.S. supply chain

U.S. companies cannot stop talking about marijuana, hoping in part they can catch investor interest as the booming economy around the drug lifts revenues throughout the supply chain.

That outsized growth is starting to bleed into adjacent industries ranging from energy to packaging to point-of-sale technology whose products are used in the production or sale of marijuana. As investors circle the cannabis space, supply-chain companies are showing a new willingness to associate themselves with an industry that remained largely illegal a decade ago.

For supply chain companies, revenue from cannabis “realistically could be a couple of percentage points a year,”

Cryogenic equipment manufacturer Chart Industries Inc told analysts on Feb. 14 that “cannabis has double-digit growth potential for us” as more grow houses use liquefied carbon dioxide in the extraction of marijuana.

Point of sale company Socket Mobile Inc said on Feb. 13 that cannabis dispensaries are “ideally suited to iPad-based point-of-sale solutions for accounting and regulatory compliance”.

And private security company Brinks Co said on Feb. 6 that its North America segment should have “another strong year” due in part to the growth of the cannabis industry.

Read entire post How cannabis is firing up the U.S. supply chain | David Randall | Reuters

A Supply Chain Christmas Wishlist for 2018

From Amazon not taking over the world to more practical supply chain research by academics, Dan Gilmore offers Santa his list.

For the past many years, for my last First Thoughts column of the year I have generally been oscillating between my versions of “A Supply Chain Christmas Carol” and “Twas the Night Before a Supply Chain Christmas,” updated as appropriate from year to year.

Occasionally I also throw in a supply chain Christmas list that I hope Santa might deliver in the coming year. So I decided to offer that list again here in 2018, with a couple of holdovers from the 2016 list, because frankly Santa still hasn’t come through (maybe I am on the naughty list?). It is a short list, but think would have a major impact if Santa could somehow fill up my supply chain stocking.

Would love to hear an item or two on your Supply Chain wish list as well. So here we go.

Read entire article A Supply Chain Christmas Wishlist for 2018 | Dan Gilmore | Supply Chain Digest

The Halloween Supply Chain

Halloween is a mere one weeks away, and the shopping season is in full swing. And by “in full swing,” I mean that consumers are spending big bucks on all the Halloween essentials.

According to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, Halloween spending is expected to exceed $9 billion.

Understand the importance of Business Continuity in developing a more resilient Supply Chain >With more than 175 million people planning on celebrating the holiday this year, that equates to an average spend of $86.79 per person, which is up about 60 cents over last year. As consumers get ready to dish out money on costumes, candy, decorations, and greeting cards, the Halloween supply chain is busy.

The NRF is projecting total Halloween spending to reach $9 billion this year in the US. For the 175 million consumers that plan to celebrate the holiday, 95% will buy candy, 74% will buy decorations, 68% will buy costumes, and 35% will buy greeting cards.

> Read entire article The Halloween Supply Chain | Chris Cunnane | Logistic ViewPoint


‘Supply Chain Issues’ to blame for cannabis shortage in Canada

Financial Post reports that Aphria, one of Canada’s largest licensed cannabis producers, is facing supply chain issues and won’t be able to meet the demand requested by provinces by Oct. 17, the day that marijuana becomes legal in Canada for recreational use.

The company currently has supply agreements with all 10 provinces and Yukon. Despite an initial press release stating that the producer had begun shipping orders, Aphria does not expect to have a full range of products available until early 2019.

Aphria tells Financial Post that part of the problem is that it has been facing delays in getting government-issued excise stamps delivered to its facilities. According to Financial Post, Under Canada’s Cannabis Act, all packaged cannabis products must have excise stamps with specific colors indicating the province or territory in which the product will be sold.

> Read entire article ‘Supply Chain Issues’ to Blame for Cannabis Shortage in Canada | Supply & Demand Executive

Will or will not autonomous trucks eliminate huge numbers of truck driver jobs?

Most seem to believe autonomous trucks really are coming, if the timing is still highly uncertain.

But an perhaps more interesting question is what in the end will be the impact of self-driving trucks on the millions of Americans who drive trucks for a living. And perhaps surprisingly, there are all sorts of opinions on that topic.

The jobs facing the greatest risk are those where drivers move cargo over hundreds of miles but perform few specialized non-driving tasksSome industry observers, for example, have said use of autonomous trucks for line haul routes would have a minimal impact on driver employment overall, with many jobs involved in more local pick-up and delivery processes, at a time when there is a driver shortage estimated by the American Trucking Associations currently of at least 50,000 drivers and expected to get much worse in coming years.

> Read entire article Will or Will not Autonomous Trucks Eliminate Huge Numbers of Truck Driver Jobs? | Supply Chain Digest

For Google, no tracking means we still track you

Google is so intrigued by the places users go that it continues to track their locations even after users turn off the Location History, according to findings from a recent AP investigation conducted by computer-science researchers at Princeton.

For a global conglomerate like Google, “no” doesn’t necessarily mean “no” when it comes to tracking user locations. Users do have the option to adjust their privacy settings so that location information is turned off or only on while an app like Google Maps is in use.

However, when Gunes Acar, a privacy researcher at Princeton, turned off his Location History and took to the road to verify that he was not being tracked, he discovered that the privacy settings were ineffective.

> Read entire article For Google, no tracking means we still track you | Kacy Zurkus | InfoSecurity
See also

Commonwealth Bank completes blockchain-based global trade pilot

Commonwealth Bank demonstrated a new blockchain platform underpinned by distributed ledger technology, smart contracts and the internet of things (IoT) to facilitate the trade experiment, tracking the shipment from packer to end delivery in parallel to existing processes.

Chris Scougall, Managing Director of Industrials and Logistics in Client Coverage, CBA said: “Our blockchain-enabled global trade platform experiment brought to life the idea of a modern global supply chain that is agile, efficient and transparent. We believe that blockchain can help our partners reduce the burden of administration on their businesses and enable them to deliver best-in-class services to their customers.

As part of the experiment, CBA partnered with global agriculture player Olam Orchards Australia Pty Ltd, Pacific National for rail haulage, port landlord Port of Melbourne, stevedore Patrick Terminals and shipping carrier OOCL Limited.

> Read entire article Commonwealth Bank completes blockchain-based global trade pilot | James Henderson | Supply Chain Digital

Nine automakers to share Supply Chain data

The Surgere digital environment directly tackles the inherent loss and inefficiency in the automotive supply chain and is predicted to create seismic improvements in profitability for both OEMs and their suppliers through shared use of highly accurate technology, dynamic data analytics, and massive collaboration.

The automotive supply chain data ecosystem has being widely deployed and has moved to an Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) committee to form ongoing industry standards on ecosystem subsets such as Returnable Container Data Mapping.

Founding members of the Automotive Data Ecosystem Design Group and AIAG Committee include Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, General Motors, Honda North America, Nissan North America, Toyota North America, Adient, Denso North America, MAHLE North America and Yanfeng Automotive Interiors.

> Read entire article Nine automakers to share supply chain data | James Henderson | Supply Chain Digital

UK supermarkets are slashing product lines to compete with discounters: report

SKU numbers are unique codes that are allocated to each product in a company’s inventory.

Today, the typical discount retailer has 7,5000 stock keeping units (SKUs), compared to traditional supermarkets who have around 30,000, according to the study.

As a result, many large retailers are reducing their product ranges to adopt the simpler, more streamlined approach of discounters, according to the report.

> Read entire article UK supermarkets are slashing product lines to compete with discounters: report | Laura Mullan | Food & Drink Franchises

How many distribution centers workers does it take to fulfill 200,000 ecommerce orders per day?

That’s right: four workers, mostly just there to keep an eye on the operation.

We’ve reported in recent months about a number of stories in major media such as the New York Times about how automation in distribution will not really eliminate that many jobs, and that humans and robots can happily coexist, especially in businesses that are seeing rapid growth in volumes.

One New York Times article, for example, noted how Dave Clark, an Amazon operations executive, recently said that even after Amazon has installed more than 100,000 of its Kiva robots at 26 distribution centers in the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, it is still hiring massive quantities of DC associates.

> Read entire article The Future of Distribution Automation, It Seems, is Here Right Now | Supply Chain Digest

World champion supply chains: Preparing for the World Cup

32 teams. 11 cities. One world champion. Millions of football fans will converge on Russia for the World Cup in June. They’ll bring their noisemakers, their fandom, and a willingness to whip out their wallets and buy bags and bags of souvenirs.
Is your supply chain prepared to handle the demand generated by this massive event?

Companies across the world have wasted no time launching their World Cup merchandising and promotion efforts.

Food and beverage companies are revving up promotions, preparing to capitalise as fans rush to stores to stock up on snacks and drinks for the big game. Football kits, shoes, tournament balls, and other collectibles will generate billions of dollars in revenue for retailers.

> Read entire post World champion supply chains: Preparing for the World Cup | Supply Chain Digital | Nick Turner