The Friday Report Blog: February 3rd, 2023

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

U.S. Air Force Invests $30 Million into Blockchain Supply Chains

The United States Air Force (USAF) recently announced a $30 million investment into blockchain-as-a-service provider Simple Blockchain Applications (SIMBA Chain). The investment will go to the development of blockchain-powered applications to support a number supply chain and data management strategies. SIMBA’s platform enables users to work with public, private, and hybrid blockchain networks.

Several other military branches will also benefit from the investment, including the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research & Engineering, the United States Navy, United States Army, and the Defense Logistics Agency.

SIMBA has held seven contracts with the United States Air Force in the past. The most recent contract involved tokenizing the USAF supply chain budget to probe for possible risks and imbalances.  

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Biden Administration Views India as Substitute to China

To mitigate risks to global security, the United States is moving its critical technology supply chain away from China and is focusing on partnerships with India to do so. The Biden administration recently held meetings with Indian officials and U.S. supply chain executives to facilitate technology investment and development in the country. The U.S. hopes this relationship is a forward step in developing alternatives to China.  

Although India is not one of the world’s top producers of semiconductors, the Biden administration wants to create opportunities in the country. India possesses a vast labor force with a population of over 1.4 billion people.

In recent months, the administration has given priority to the Quad – an alliance between the United States., India, Australia, and Japan. Recently, Japan and the Netherlands agreed to restrict exports of chip-manufacturing equipment to China. This agreement coincides with Biden’s efforts to reduce China’s military development.

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Aldi Opens Distribution Center in Alabama

Grocery-chain Aldi announced the opening of a distribution center in Loxley, Alabama that will serve 100 grocery stores in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. The 564,000-square-foot facility will serve close to 30 Aldi locations along the Gulf Coast. The grocer plans to open 13 stores in the region in 2023.  Aldi operates 2,300 stores and 25 regional distribution centers across 38 states.

Aldi currently has hired 120 employees to work in the new facility, however the company expects to have a full workforce of 200 to serve a regional market of over 8 million people.  

The construction of the distribution center is part of the company’s plan to grow its operations in the Gulf Coast region as well as meet environmental sustainability goals. The warehouse will be built with features such as roof-mounted solar power units and environmentally friendly refrigeration equipment.

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