The Friday Report Blog: January 6th, 2022

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

Panasonic Announces EV Battery Deal with Lucid

Panasonic Energy has signed an agreement to supply electric vehicle manufacturer Lucid with lithium-ion batteries. The battery manufacturer will produce materials at a facility in Japan as well as a new facility in De Soto, Kansas. The Kansas facility is expected to open in March 2025. Lucid currently manufactures 6,000 to 7,000 vehicles per year, with production on a new SUV model planned for 2024.

Over the past several months, Panasonic has been working to secure its raw materials supply chain. One measure that has taken place to enable increased battery production is an agreement with Nouveau Monde Graphite to supply Panasonic with graphite. Graphite is used in the production of lithium-ion batteries.

Other automobile manufacturers are making deals to boost their electric vehicle battery production. General Motors recently announced a deal with Livent to supply the company with lithium for its electric vehicle battery production.

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Port of Savannah to Renovate Ocean Terminal

Georgia Ports Authority has announced that it will convert the breakbulk ocean terminal at the Port of Savannah into an all-container operation to better manage rising container volumes. The port plans to begin renovations at the 200-acre Ocean Terminal in January 2023 and complete them in 2026.

Once completed, the new and improved Ocean Terminal will measure 2,800 linear feet, enabling it to handle two large cargo ships at the same time. The terminal will also have an annual capacity of 1.5 million twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs). The port’s goal is to increase capacity to 9 million TEUs by 2025.

Breakbulk cargo will be redirected to Colonel’s Island Terminal in Brunswick, Georgia. Construction on 360,000 square-feet of dockside warehousing to increase Colonel’s Island’s capacity has already started. The terminal will also serve auto processing and has 85 acres of auto storage space.

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Shein Announces $15 Million Investment to Support Supply Chain

Fashion retailer Shein has announced a $15 million investment to upgrade over 400 factories in its supply chain. The company also plans to double its investment into its material sourcing program, increasing funding from $2 million to $4 million per year.

The physical improvements that the factories will undergo will be made over a four-year period and will help the company reach its carbon-emission goals. Shein intends to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 25% across its entire supply chain by 2030. The investment will also enable its suppliers to make a transition to renewable energy sources to reduce their energy use. 

The investment announcement follows an investigation into employee working hours at two of Shein’s factories. In the past year, there have been 2,600 independent audits of the company’s supplier factories.

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