Amazon and Maersk renew biofuel partnership
The demand for sustainable ocean transportation services is growing, with a wide range of industries, including fashion, retail, automotive, and more, seeking eco-friendly shipping options. Maersk, a major ocean carrier, has witnessed this increased demand and notes that two-thirds of its top 200 customers, along with many others, have set net-zero or science-based emissions targets to reduce their scope 3 emissions.
For instance, Amazon, one of Maersk’s prominent customers, has committed to achieving 50% net-zero shipments by 2030. Amazon is actively working to reduce emissions by favoring ocean freight over airfreight on certain routes and using biofuels. Maersk itself has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. They have recently launched their first methanol-enabled feeder vessel, with Amazon shipping containers on board. Additionally, Amazon and Maersk have renewed a deal to use biofuels for shipping throughout 2023 and 2024.
This collaboration aims to save 44,600 metric tons of CO2 emissions and includes the use of Maersk’s methanol-enabled fleet and primary data on fuel consumption for reporting emission savings, encompassing various greenhouse gases. The shift toward sustainable ocean transportation reflects a broader industry trend towards reducing carbon footprints and adopting eco-friendly practices. This not only benefits the environment but also impacts supply chains by offering more environmentally responsible shipping options.
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US finalizes Chips funding emitting China from participation
The U.S. Commerce Department is issuing final rules to safeguard semiconductor manufacturing subsidies from being used by countries, notably China, considered national security risks to the United States. These rules are a crucial step before the Biden administration can distribute $39 billion in subsidies for semiconductor production, part of the broader “Chips and Science” law, which allocates $52.7 billion for U.S. semiconductor production, research, and workforce development.
The regulations, initially proposed in March, establish “guardrails” by preventing recipients of U.S. funding from investing in semiconductor manufacturing expansion in countries like China and Russia. It also restricts them from participating in joint research or technology licensing ventures with foreign entities of concern. The objective is to prevent sensitive semiconductor technology from benefiting countries that pose national security threats. If recipients breach these restrictions, the Commerce Department has the authority to reclaim federal awards.
These rules are essential to secure the U.S. semiconductor supply chain and protect against technological advancements by geopolitical rivals like China. By ensuring that American subsidies do not indirectly bolster semiconductor manufacturing in these countries, the U.S. aims to maintain its leadership in semiconductor technology. This will have implications for global supply chains, as it could reshape the semiconductor industry’s geographic landscape and reduce reliance on countries perceived as security risks.
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First grain ship leaves Ukraine’s Black Sea port
A significant development has occurred in the grain supply chain as Ukraine successfully sent its first major grain shipment from the Black Sea port since Russia abandoned a UN-backed grain export deal in July. The vessel, named Aroyat, carried 17,600 metric tons of Ukrainian wheat to Egypt. This marks a key move in Ukraine’s efforts to break Russia’s de facto blockade of its grain exports.
The blockade, initiated after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, had severely restricted one of the world’s major grain suppliers. Moscow had justified the blockade by claiming it was necessary to prevent weapons from entering Ukraine through these ports. Ukraine’s response to this blockade has been to establish a “humanitarian corridor” in the Black Sea, initially used to release ships that weren’t part of the grain deal and were trapped in Ukrainian ports for over a year. The corridor follows the Romanian and Bulgarian coastlines.
This development is significant for the global grain supply chain. It not only allows Ukraine to resume grain exports but also challenges Russia’s control over grain shipments in the region. However, the ongoing tensions and Russia’s military actions in the Black Sea region continue to pose risks to these shipments, impacting the reliability and stability of this supply chain.
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