German trade body warns Omicron could damage supply chains
Germany’s BGA trade association has warned that huge supply chain disruptions could occur due to the spread of the Omicron variant of Coronavirus, but they suspect that a long-term collapse of the supply chains is not likely. Germany, like many countries across the world, has suffered supply chain problems and shortages amid the pandemic and the outlook heading into 2022 is not clear.
The most recent variant, Omicron, accounts for over 44% of coronavirus infections in the country, according to the Robert Koch Institute. These figures are raising concerns and pose a threat to the already-struggling supply chains. Germany’s Chamber of Commerce (DIHK) expressed its concerns about a growing number of cases in the logistics sector, which is already having issues with staff shortages.
As well as highlighting how global issues may still occur, BGA President Dirk Jandura is calling for more government support throughout the pandemic, suggesting how lower energy and electricity prices as well as other things would make a difference. He commented on the issue, saying “you cannot fully cover yourself against a global pandemic.”
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The state of California plans to invest $23 billion in ports and supply chain improvements
The investment proposed by California will go towards ports, supply chain infrastructure, decarbonization and training. The Governor of the state, Galvin Newsom said that the investment is needed after the congestion at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach became news stories last year, with queues up to 3 weeks to enter the ports.
The budget includes $1.2 billion for port-related projects that increase goods movement capacity on rail and roadways serving ports and at port terminals, such as bridges, zero-emissions projects and $875 million for zero-emission port equipment. $110 million has been set aside for worker training, $40 million for commercial driving licenses and $30 million operational improvements.
Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said the budget will “address bottlenecks in our supply chain, advance our efforts to decarbonize the freight system, and ensure a robust and resilient workforce continues to move goods on behalf of the state and nation”, with the funds enabling a “workforce training campus, cargo support facilities, digitalization enhancements, and zero-emission equipment and charging infrastructure” to take place.
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KFC forced to reduce menu due to supply chain issues
Increasing Covid-19 cases and major supply chain disruptions have forced KFC in Australia to remove items from their menu, leaving customers dissatisfied with the products on offer. Isolation requirements have put pressure on food manufacturers in many industries across the country, and now, the shortages have hit the supply of poultry.
Many customers were left disappointed as they found ‘sold out’ signs on arrival to the chicken restaurant’s branches. KFC has said that a number of virus outbreaks at meat processing facilities had left supply levels struggling: “Our chicken supply has been disrupted in Victoria this week and some of our restaurants will only be open for limited hours or may have to close this weekend,” explained a KFC Australia spokesperson.
In an attempt to ease the supply chain pressures, the Prime Minister announced in the latest National Cabinet Meeting that the testing requirements in Australia will be changing. The new regulations mean that truck drivers no longer need to take a PCR test every seven days, which will help to keep food distribution services running. Chief Operations Officer Matt Swindells said that it would “take a few weeks for us till we fully recover.”
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