The Friday Report: July 1st, 2022

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

US to Reduce Pharma Dependency on China, Will Use Canada and Latin America Instead 

The United States is set to strengthen its bonds with Canada and Latin America. The Biden administration has announced commencement of “Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity” in response to China’s increasing influence on Latin American countries. Representatives from Canada and Latin America recently said that they welcomed the United States efforts at reducing their dependence on Chinese pharmaceuticals.  

Countries are starting to put measures in place that support U.S. business endeavors. Brazil has identified special economic zones that will foster pharmaceutical investment. These zones will not be taxed for any reason and will provide a means to supply the entire world with pharmaceuticals. Colombia also champions their proposed free trade zones, which are designed to entice investment in healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.  

The new deal is like the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework initiative in that they are both aimed at counteracting Chinese assimilation into large regions of the world. President Biden’s Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity should not be as costly to world trade however, as the United States has open trade agreements with 11 countries throughout the Americas. 

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Natural Gas Pipes Get a New Lease on Life 

Energy experts and executives have stated that natural gas companies around the world will begin to use hydrogen and renewal natural gas (RNG). Speaking at Reuters Global Energy Transition conference, they reported their plan to use landfills and agricultural waste to create hydrogen and RNG. Companies have already begun taking measures to ensure that pipelines will be usable in the future in what they believe will be a carbon-free world. 

The largest U.S. natural gas utility, SoCalGas, wants to invest in turning the excess renewable energy that it produces into hydrogen. At times it is forced to turn off its decarbonized gas system because it produces so much energy. Executives from the company said that if it was able to produce hydrogen, the company could transport the hydrogen through its gas pipes.  

UK energy company, National Grid PLC, has pledged to use hydrogen and RNG in its plan to cut its carbon emissions by the year 2050. They are currently developing offshore wind turbines that will be used to produce green hydrogen energy during overnight periods.  

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Intermodal Capacity Gets a Boost; J.B. Hunt Sends New Containers 

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc is adding hundreds of containers to its fleet to increase its intermodal shipping ability. In a surprising move, the company’s cargo ship Johnelle recently docked in Washington at the Port of Everett with over 250 brand new containers. These containers will be used specifically to expand its intermodal transportation fleet. The Johnnie Bryan, another carrier ship full of containers, is set to dock in California at the Port of Hueneme in July.  

The additions to their lot of vessels comes on the heels of an agreement between J.B. Hunt and Swire Shipping. The long-term, multi-vessel deal will speed international cargo movement by hastening overseas container transport. J.B. Hunt hopes that their measures will streamline ocean transport and reduce challenges like demurrage and equipment dislocation.  

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