The new chain on the block- the Global Shipping Business Network
The shipping industry has seen a lot of potential in blockchain technologies recently; there have been several new blockchain pilots, such as Trade Lens and the Port of Rotterdam pilot, aimed at digitalizing and increasing transparency in international trading processes. This week nine leading ocean carriers and terminal operator agreed to create a consortium for the development of a new online blockchain platform called the Global Shipping Business network (GSBN). The blockchain software will be designed by CargoSmart and funded by Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL).
The 9 company consortium hopes to establish a digital baseline, connecting all shipping stakeholders together through a cooperative network to encourage collaborative innovation and digital transformation in the supply chain. This platform will be a rival to the Trade Lens platform, a project that is being developed by competitor Maersk and IBM as a joint venture. Maersk and IBM have so far experienced difficulties in attracting carriers to join the platform, as many rival shipping companies have shown their concerns due to Maersk being such a large player in the industry and having ownership of the platform. Managers Jansen and Peter Wolf of CMA CGM (a consortium member) have criticized platforms such as TradeLens for being too centralized and so contradicting the purpose of a collaborative platform. With 5 major shipping carrier members, the GSBN has a much better chance of being successful.
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Shell & Total stand out to investors due to unique responsible and transparent practices
It may come as a surprise to know that Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA are the only two companies out of the 10 largest oil and gas producers which disclose how their carbon emissions will decline over time. According to a recent report by the Transition Pathway Initiative, they are the only major companies to have set long-term plans for reducing their carbon intensity and overall emissions levels. They are also currently the only companies to disclose the emissions from all of their sold products.
Their transparency and commitments to sustainability will give them a unique advantage point when attracting potential investors. The findings of the report will likely have an influence on where investors decide to allocate their funds; investors want to be sure that their shares won’t drop as companies have to adhere to the 2015 Paris climate deal. More transparent and responsible companies will offer a lower risk. However, although Shell and Total’s plans would eventually meet the targets set under the Paris agreement, they have not yet shown enough dedication to meeting the implied emissions-reduction trajectory.
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Amazon rethinking how it measures warehouse space
Amazon is considering changing its main unit of measurement for warehouses from square feet to cubic feet. This would additionally take the volume of warehouse space into account rather than just the size. This debate may indicate that Amazon plans to utilize height further in its centers.
The company suspects that the dynamics of the warehouse might be changing as automation is increasing and further optimizing inventory management. Furthermore, the company is moving towards a vertical expansion strategy, moving more inventories into multi-story warehouses. This would allow it to build centers in highly populated urban areas at a cheaper cost, bringing its centers closer to the customers and thus reducing overall logistics costs.
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