The Friday Report: June 14th, 2019

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

Beyond Meat Burgers Finally Fixed for Fast Food

After the April announcement that Burger King would test the vegan burger Beyond Meat in 59 locations in the St. Louis area and successful sales by Carl’s Jr. in 1000 locations since January, Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown announced that the company can produce burgers in quantities that exceed current forecasts.  

Since last summer, Beyond Meat has tripled production capacity and diversified the supplier base of key proteins required in the plant-based burger. This is great news following supply chain bottlenecks experienced in 2017 and 2018.  Beyond Meat constructed a new production facility last year for the processing of proteins.  Proteins are later transferred to a copacker facility for the final steps.   Within the past year, production has been expanded to five facilities.

With a newly formulated “meatier” tasting burger, Beyond Burger 2.0 on the horizon, concerns have arisen that unforeseen challenges may cause problems in the future.  The new formulation will hit grocery shelves later this summer and is already being rolled out to restaurants.  Beyond Burger products depend on pea protein and have been challenged to secure adequate supply as plant-based protein products have increased in popularity.

Trucking to Capitol Hill with New Ideas

This week, eight witnesses representing various aspects of the trucking industry including shippers, carriers, brokers and the union met with lawmakers regarding the state of the trucking industry.  From the driver shortage, electronic logging devices (ELDs) to hours of service (HOS), the witnesses tended to have competing ideas rather than consensus.  Here are two of the topics discussed:

Allowing younger truck drivers:  currently the commercial driving age is 18 for intrastate commerce. While the American Trucking Association supports the Fast Act which lowers the age of truck drivers, most witnesses disagreed, despite the fact that ample training was promised.

Overhaul of the HOS regulations has been promised in order to increase flexibility for drivers.  This would impact electronic logging devices.

Lufthansa Cargo Debuts “heyworld” E-Commerce Unit

Recently Lufthansa Cargo revealed the launch of its new wholly-owned subsidiary, “heyworld”.  Dedicated completely to serving the cross-border, e-commerce market, services range from moving goods to warehouses abroad as well as handling direct shipping to customers around the world.

Heyworld will be integrated into Lufthansa’s existing cargo services.  It will provide an API that will integrate with customers’ existing ERP systems and provide tailored pricing options as well as customized shipment tracking at the package level.

Cross-border e-commerce parcel volumes are causing a stir in the air freight industry, requiring additional customs duties, tracking and processing protocols and additional complications in supply chains.

Read more about heyworld here.

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