Freight activity is not set for take off at Shanghai airport facility
A Covid-19 outbreak in a warehouse at Shanghai Pudong International Airport means cargo aircrafts remain on the ground, putting a stop to most freight activity. Cancelled flights and a disrupted customs-clearance process means higher air freight prices and further strains on global supply chains. Several workers recently tested positive for Covid-19, leading to a suspension of services and a labor shortage at China’s largest cargo airport.
The pandemic has slowed down cargo operations overall, with airport handling speeds significantly reduced, along with strict cargo inspections slowing down processing times. Strict quarantine rules imposed by China are an additional challenge, as the airport must deal with a reduced workforce.
International freight expert SEKO Logistics have said that all freighter flights are cancelled until further notice, with only cargo from passenger aircrafts being accepted. Airlines and freight companies are rushing to divert deliveries elsewhere, with other methods such as ferry shipment being considered. Etihad Cargo are amongst those affected, as they had to divert their goods and complete deliveries by road.
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Taiwan urged to speed up production of semiconductors amid global shortage
As a major semiconductor producer, Taiwan have been called upon by American Senators to try and overcome the global shortage of chips. Economy Minister Wang Mei-Hua has been involved in the efforts and has noted that the country is doing their best to increase the levels of supply. Shortages of the semiconductors have caused problems along some auto production lines, leaving countries such as the United States in trouble.
Latest forecasts state that the global supply and demand for auto chips should reach a “balance” towards the end of 2021, which should reassure the United States, along with the fact that the production of microcontroller units used for auto chips was up 60% compared to last year. Taiwan is keen to keep the United States happy as they are their most prominent international supporter.
It is not a simple task for the East Asian country to significantly step up their production, as they are facing heightened military pressure from China which is straining their abilities. As well as this, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a threat to the global technology supply chain, with Taiwan’s Foxconn (assemblers of Apple’s iPhones) warning about future challenges.
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Amazon develops electronic tracking technology for freight trucks
The American e-commerce giant has introduced custom logging devices for trucks used by partners to check their movements. Amazon will be giving their partners electronic logging devices (ELDs) which enables access to a wide range of data. According to the company, this technology will ensure drivers are taking breaks to maintain safety as well as offering the option to make other logistics-related decisions. It has not been disclosed by Amazon whether the data is going to be used for other purposes.
The devices work by connecting hardware to the diagnostics port of the trucks to retrieve information from the engine which is transferred by Bluetooth and then logged in an app. The ELDs can track the truck’s location, movement and when the truck’s engine is switched on or off, meaning the delivery time of packages can be tracked precisely.
The devices are being trialed by members of the Amazon Freight Partners Program and are set to be installed in hundreds of trucks by the end of 2021. Amazon have commented on this development, saying that they are “actively investing in safety mechanisms across our operations”. These devices appear to be a rewarding investment for Amazon, by ensuring both safety and delivery times are at a high standard across the company.
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