The Friday Report: January 18th, 2019

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

U.K. Manufacturers Increase Stockpiling in Preparation for Brexit

British manufacturers prepare for continued concerns that the upcoming U.K. exit from the European Union’s potentially disruptive effects.  In general, factories across the U.K. reported near record increases in inventory in December 2018.

Given the recent news that the U.K. has been unable to solidify arrangements to leave the E.U. with an agreement in place, companies are bracing for the worst.  Supply chain businesses are concerned about cross border delays, leading to inventory shortages of goods including pharmaceuticals.  Positive economic impact from increased production is anticipated to be only temporary according to industry experts.

E.U. Blueprint for Trade Unveiled to Help Broker Truce with U.S.

In a move to try and boost confidence and improve trust between the trading partners, the European Union introduced a free trade deal with the United States.  The deal would reduce tariffs on an array of industrial goods including automobiles.   The objective is to encourage the American government to reduce its protectionist stance on trade.

The issue of vehicle tariffs has been a thorny one.  Currently the American government is investigating whether foreign vehicles pose a national security threat and be subject to higher tariffs.  The European Union is focused on demonstrating progress to reach an agreement to work toward zero tariffs.


Battery Costs Drop Rapidly, Increasing Likelihood of “Battery Boom”

With increased focus on the energy storage market, industry experts anticipate that falling battery costs will drive a “battery boom”.  The rise of solar power and desire for electric vehicles is also fueling the trend.

Experts anticipate that the capital cost of a utility-scale lithium-ion storage system will plummet an additional 52 percent by 2030.  Decreased battery costs will help revolutionize industries and help innovations that facilitate the fight against climate change.

China and California are the two central players in this drama.  Storage is also spreading to developing countries across the world to help extend power grids or construct a fossil-only generator.

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