The Friday Report: September 18th, 2020

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

Oil Demand Declines and World Begins Shift to Zero-Carbon Energy Sources

Along with a myriad of other changes this year, there has been a notable shift downward in the demand for oil.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, American oil prices actually were negative for the first time in history.    As the countrywide lockdown was lifted, however, there was no surge in the demand for oil.

According to a report that was released on Tuesday by the International Energy Agency, an influential advisory body, the demand for global oil consumption was projected to remain lower.  The IEA even projected the oil market to be in a greater state of fragility than had been formerly anticipated.  Other major energy industry players have aligned with this view.  Recently, OPEC reports mentioned structural changes to the global economy, persisting potentially through to the end of 2021.

Although worldwide reliance on oil and gas is prevalent, OPEC projected a decrease of approximately 10%.  The energy industry has been in a state of adjustment this year, with producers worldwide altering production.  Many have gone bankrupt. Countries with oil and gas-based economies have sought ways to diversify their economies and some oil giants have pledged to change their business models away from fossil fuels and toward zero-carbon energy sources.

For more information, please continue reading here.

Pharma Vaccine Makers to Put Out Public Pledge Against Political Pressure

Against what is being viewed as political pressure being brought to bear against the FDA, top drug makers are plotting to gain leverage with the public.  Pharma companies involved with the development of COVID-19 vaccines have promised not to forward any COVID-19 vaccines to the FDA for review without “extensive safety and efficacy data”.  Pooling their capital, the drug makers are hoping to reinstate consumer confidence by pushing back against political efforts to push out a vaccine before the November election. 

Industry insiders have stated that a multiple company statement is anticipated to be released as soon as next week, however plans may change. 

American consumers have relied on the FDA as the “gold standard seal of approval for its drugs and vaccines” however consumer confidence has reportedly waned this year with the announcement of numerous controversial decisions allowing emergency use of specific therapies before the final evidence of efficacy was produced. 

A recent U.S. poll conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that 62% of the respondents are concerned that the Trump administration will apply political pressure to push the FDA to approve a COVID-19 vaccine before it is proven to be “safe and effective”.  Only 54% of respondents reported their willingness to take the new COVID-19 vaccine if it was approved before Election Day.

For more information, please continue reading here.

Surge in Shipping Sparks Confidence in Successful Peak Shopping Season

Straining capacity, a huge volume of goods from overseas has begun to arrive at West Coast seaports, ready to be pushed into warehouses and brick and mortar retailer stores.  All along the coast, the demand for truck drivers exceeds capacity to move goods.  After months of having stores locked down and consumers confined, retailers are hoping the pent-up demand will bring an enormous influx of holiday shoppers, even earlier than usual.

The springtime double-digit declines in imports are now past and the turnaround in shipping activity is sparking optimism and a need to get both labor and equipment situated to handle the surge of shipments. 

For more information, please continue reading here.

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