The Friday Report: July 10th, 2020

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

Special Thank You to These U.S. Manufacturers for Stepping Up to Produce Essentials Like PPE and Ventilators

Before the coronavirus global pandemic, most personal protective equipment (PPE) was manufactured outside the United States, making these essential goods subject to supply chain disruptions.  As the incidence of COVID-19 escalated, American manufacturers stepped up their use of production lines or repurposed existing lines, some to secure “essential” status to keep manufacturing facilities operational. 

Some of the manufacturers received incentives or grants from states, contracts with governmental agencies or substantial orders for essential equipment such as ventilators.

U.S. Trade Policy and Tariffs Have Increased Pricing on Consumers 

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,(OECD) a source of valuable policy analysis and data, American consumers have experienced increased prices due to tariffs launched in 2018 and 2019.  The group noted increased trade-related uncertainty which probably has caused decreased investment and business confidence.  These factors are likely to contribute to deglobalization, which in turn can lower living standards.

 At its zenith, U.S. trade accounted for as much as 32% of the economy in July 2008 and has now dropped to a low of $343.6 billion in May 2020.  A simulation conducted by OECD indicated that U.S. exports would increase 10% and imports of goods and services by 6% in the medium term if trade barriers to specific industries including telecommunications, financial services and transport were reduced.

Operational Vessel Schedules Can Now Be Shared Automatically

 A consortium of nine of the eleven largest ocean carriers, known as the Digital Container Shipping Association or DCSA recently published standards for the exchange of operational vessel schedules (OVS) to facilitate the automatic sharing of ship schedules in a common language with partners.  The partners must subscribe to a specific carrier’s information to participate.  

This action will help port operators to optimize operational activities as the exact arrival and department times and dates of vessels will be known in advance. The partners will agree on the standards, interface design and definitions and other information to enable the sharing of information.  Currently the Interface Standard for OVS is technology agnostic.  It can be implemented manually, via electronic data interchange, graphical user interface or an application programming interface. 

Changes to vessel schedules should be shared in real time.  Documentation states that three versions of a vessel schedule are possible:  planned, estimated and actual.

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