The Friday Report: August 14th, 2020

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

Lo-Calorie Whodunit:  What Happened to All the Fresca?

By now, Americans have come to accept that there will be a snafu or two with respect to toilet paper, meat, cleaning supplies and some other goods, but Fresca?  It seems beyond belief.

Yes, it is true.  For those die-hard Fresca fans, the shortage of the delightful grapefruit citrusy fizzy liquid has been downright painful.  But why?

In investigating this issue, it turns out that production of Fresca was not halted, but delays were experienced in particular geographic locations and stores.  During the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Coca Cola, the parent company reduced production on a variety of its products, including Fresca so as to enable it to concentrate on meeting the high demand of water and other high profile products.  Fresca increased in demand during the pandemic but was met with an additional challenge:  the shortage of 12 ounce aluminum beverage cans.  Because bars were closed for several months, consumers increased their purchases of six-packs of beer.

Another mystery solved.  Fresca should be back soon at a retailer near you.

COVID-19 Vaccine:  Getting the Global Supply Chain Ready

From reduced capacity on container ships and cargo aircraft to outdated, legacy technology, manual operations and burdensome paperwork, the eventual arrival of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, while welcome, does not guarantee smooth delivery to billions of people worldwide.

With the extended global economic downturn, many businesses have been suspended or closed, slowing down the required infrastructure needed for the pharmaceutical supply chain.  Add to this a lack of global strategy, adequate capacity to refrigerate the vaccine during the shipping process and during storage and a major problem emerges.

Over 160 coronavirus vaccines are in development, however only 25 are currently in human studies.  Some candidates have advanced to late-stage trials and are hopeful of obtaining emergency use authorizations from regulators to use the vaccine before the end of this year for healthcare workers and possibly vulnerable groups.

For more information, please continue reading here.

USDA Proposes Blockchain Use for Organics

The USDA recently reported that it expects that electronic tracking systems will play an “essential role” in tracing organic products through the supply chain.  Using blockchain, sometimes referred to as digital ledger technology (DLT) will enable the security, traceability, verification and transparency of confidential business information including trade secret information, keeping it safe from prying eyes.

The USDA report issued on August 5th cited several pilot programs including Walmart blockchain tracking systems involving pork and mangos, Nestle testing traceability of its milk supply and Bumble Bee Foods monitoring yellowfin tuna from Indonesia.

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