British companies dread a Brexit border breakdown
British companies are having to face bureaucracy which threatens chaos at the border if they want to sell into the world’s largest trading bloc when Brexit begins on January 1st 2021.
When Britain leaves the EU, companies that drive nearly $1 trillion in annual trade will need to navigate new rules and red tape that will likely increase costs, which comes at a time when economies in the West are suffering due to COVID-19. Outside the EU single market where trade flows freely, the UK’s exporters will have to complete paperwork which includes customs and safety declarations, and navigate multiple IT systems to gain entry to Europe, which will increase the cost and time it takes to do business.
But with just a few weeks to go, companies that are used to trading easily are yet to see the new IT systems. Customs brokers have not been trained, operators do not know what information is required nor how the rules are going to be enforced. If trucks fail to cross the border, it will be immediately felt mostly in Kent in the south-east of England, home to the ports of Dover and Folkestone, which filter around 10,000 trucks per day between Britain and Europe. Many have predicted chaos, and even the government has said that 7,000 trucks could be held in 100km queues in Kent if companies do not prepare.
If the expected disruption is to persist after early 2021, British companies could be ousted from the manufacturing supply chains which stretch all across Europe. The industry faces a colossal challenge, with some large companies in Britain and Europe not yet prepared.
Read more here.
Supply chains to face multiple scenarios for shipping COVID-19 vaccines
Around 10 billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine will likely be required to immunize 7.8 billion people worldwide, but the instability of early-stage COVID-19 vaccines could push the limits of supply chain capabilities worldwide. However, as more traditional medicines enter the market, distribution will become easier for many logistics companies and parts of the world.
Some drug companies are using new technologies to speed up the development of a vaccine, but they contain a high-protein base and need to be stored in ultra-cold temperatures as low as -80 degrees Celsius (-112 Fahrenheit). The most temperature-sensitive vaccines in the first wave will likely have very stringent shipping specifications dictated by the need to remain frozen every step of the way, from fill point to point of use. These shipments will be characterized by multidose vials which are densely packed without syringes and come with additional content in order to ensure temperature integrity.
Airfreight logistics experts say that the lack of specific information from pharmaceutical manufacturers about their vaccines, dosing levels, types of vials and packaging and the amount of dry ice required makes it difficult to plan ahead. They need to plan the right aircraft, warehousing, cold storage equipment and personnel. A worldwide emergency delivery of a vaccine is the biggest challenge that the airfreight and logistics sectors have ever faced, according to industry professionals.
Click here to read more.
Estée Lauder Companies launches blockchain tool for improved transparency in the vanilla supply chain
Estée Lauder Companies (ELC), an American multinational manufacturer and marketer of prestige skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products has recently launched a blockchain platform for its Madagascan vanilla to ensure better sourcing standards. The pilot programme aims to increase visibility across the supply chain in order to better validate the quality and authenticity of its vanilla from Madagascar. The programme has started with just 450 smallholder farmers in Madagascar. Vanilla from the island is the most popular, and up to 80% of the world’s vanilla is grown there.
It will use traceable vanilla across 125 products in its natural cosmetics brand Aveda, in what it claims to be one of the largest scale blockchain pilots to be launched in the beauty industry. Digital traceability will enable a level of visibility that is needed to facilitate the management and mitigation of complex issues in the Madagascan vanilla supply chain, which arise from unforeseen events such as climate change or global pandemics. The blockchain technology uses a mobile app and ID card which is given to farmers to track pods and to verify the source and quality, from the farmer’s sale to the production and manufacturing facilities across the world.
According to ELC, the tracking technology has helped them to further verify compliance with sourcing standards in its supplier code of conduct. The company also has plans to develop robust biodiversity and social action plans for sensitive ingredient supply chains by 2025 as sourcing vanilla involves complex issues such as price fluctuations, climate change, and intensive farming practices.
Interested in reading more? Click here.
Iceland and the Netherlands agree to possible green hydrogen export
Landsvirkjun, the National Power Company of Iceland and the Port of Rotterdam have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to perform a pre-feasibility study of exporting green hydrogen from Iceland to the Netherlands. The parties have also agreed to an exchange of knowledge, with the aim of exploring new opportunities of cooperation related to hydrogen.
The port of Rotterdam is the largest port and energy hub in Europe, and has developed an ambitious plan for hydrogen which aims to become a major import hub to supply Europe’s changing energy consumers. This comes as Rotterdam has been invited by the Dutch government to identify future sources of green hydrogen for Europe.
Landsvirkjun recently announced the feasibility study of developing a hydrogen production facility at the Ljósifoss Hydropower Station, around 70km outside of Reykjavík. The production will be carbon-free, through the electrolysis of water with renewable power.
Northwest Europe will need to import large volumes of green hydrogen to become CO2-neutral. It is expected that hydrogen will take on the position that oil has today and will become an energy carrier and feedstock for the industry. All possibilities are being explored to import hydrogen from countries which have the potential to produce large volumes of hydrogen at a competitive price such as Iceland.
Click here to read more.
Have a good weekend!