The Friday Report: May 21st, 2021

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

Aging of Chinese Population Will Impact Global Supply Chain

The results of China’s once-in-a-decade census were released recently and found to have a potentially profound influence on the global supply chain.  With population growth at the slowest rate since the 1950s, statistics show that the Chinese workforce will age out 70 million people from its workforce.  As China is one of the world’s largest manufacturing centers to businesses across the globe, this will undoubtedly impact production.

Another impact is financial.  The Chinese have one of the highest savings rates when compared to other countries and this has been supporting global markets.  Retail investors in China have been either holding their cash in pension funds or investing it.  Changes in savings rates may alter this pattern.

To combat this issue, the country may decide focus on labor productivity rather than on boosting the birth rate.  Another strategy would be to concentrate on the development of technology and transformation of the supply chain.

For more information, please continue reading here.

With Peak Season on Horizon, West Coast Ports Rush to Clear Congestion

Ports along the U.S. West Coast have struggled with unrelenting congestion this year.  With peak season coming in three months, the problem does seem to be getting a bit better.  The bottleneck peaked in February 2021 after starting in November.  In February, 40 vessels were anchored off the coast, awaiting entry to the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.  Today, the number is down to 19.

Unfortunately, 18 new container carriers are scheduled to arrive in the next three days.  Strong import volume is an important factor in the congestion.  With container ships anchored off the coast, goods cannot be unloaded, slowing down the supply chain.  This causes diminished supply, often causing pricing increases and unhappy consumers.

For more information, please continue reading here.

Autonomous Truck Developer Kodiak Robotics Expands Its Routes

CES 2021 Innovation Award honoree Kodiak Robotics recently announced that it is expanding its routes, adding a Dallas to San Antonio run.  Kodiak Robotics was the first autonomous trucking company honoree to receive the prestigious industry award.  The company judged that from a commercial and technology perspective, it was time to expand its routes.

Kodiak Robotics has been testing its technology since July 2019.  Trucks use a safety driver in the left seat to monitor truck performance, however the vehicle is not in autonomous mode the entire time. Autonomous trucks are running daily along I-45 between Houston and Dallas, a heavily traveled route.  The company has found that adding new highways and routes will help the company increase their knowledge and build commercial relationships.

Earlier this year, Kodiak Robotics reported that one truck equipped with Kodiak Robotics autonomous technology finished two consecutive round trips with over 800 miles covered while in autonomous mode.

For more information, please continue reading here.

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