The Friday Report: April 23rd, 2021

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

Is Vertical Farming a Potential Solution to Food Supply Chain Problems?

 Perhaps last year’s global pandemic did humanity a favor by bringing to light problems in the global food supply chain.  From inefficiencies to unreliable methods of transporting food goods from farm to consumer, contamination and reduced quality, the food supply chain needs help-and fast.

Sustainability and other environmental concerns involving large scale farming on the land, water and air have led to new schools of thought about the need for alternative methods of producing food.  Vertical farming is one idea that has come to the forefront.

What is vertical farming?  This involves developing a system in which crops are grown in stacked layers that range from 24 to 36 inches apart.  Artificial lighting and temperature controls are used to govern the environment.  Restricting crop growth indoors protects them from inclement weather and insects, eliminating the need for pesticides and other chemicals.  It also reduces the need for watering dramatically.  For example, a pound of lettuce normally requires 41 gallons of water when grown conventionally but only two gallons with vertical farming methods.

Vertical farms are already growing around the country.  Here are a few taking leaf:

For more information, please continue reading here.

J.B. Hunt Increases Capital Investment and Drivers to Overcome Capacity Struggles

2021 promises to challenge shippers with capacity struggles the balance of the year.  To combat the capacity problem, J.B. Hunt has increased its capital investment in containers, trailers, chassis, and tractors by 40% and plans to hire more drivers.

The company estimates that 220,000 fewer drivers will be available this year to meet the burgeoning trucking industry capacity needs.  This is largely due to lower attendance and graduation rates of trucking driving schools, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

J.B. Hunt anticipates receiving new containers during Q2, a total of 12,000, double their original plan.  Over 1,000 will be temperature controlled.

For more information, please continue reading here.

COVID-19 Impact on Packaging Industry Packs Quite a Punch

Did you know that there is a packaging shortage?  The packaging industry experienced dramatic changes last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.  For example, packaging for customer food and drink was impacted significantly as public events such as theatres, concerts, sports arenas, and other venues were closed to crowds.  As public events start to re-open, the demand exceeds the supply, leading to shortages.

On another side of the packaging industry, business was booming, however.  Packaging for take out and to go containers shot through the roof.  Different types of packaging and equipment are needed for different types of goods.  For example, orders for molded fiber drink carriers are challenging to fulfill because the materials are difficult to source.

Consider this, the next time you visit a fast food restaurant, and it might make you appreciate the packaging of you lunch just a little bit more!

For more information, please continue reading here.

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