Maersk looks to develop customs brokerage business through Vandegrift acquisition
Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company has sealed the deal to acquire Vandegrift, a North American customs brokerage company, to further develop its existing brokerage business and improve its value proposition. The company stated that it is looking to strengthen its brokerage capabilities in “select markets”, while focusing on organic growth in other regions. Maersk ultimately wishes to move away from traditional port-to-port operations and to establish more integration and end-to-end visibility within its supply chain.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this acquisition will approximately triple Maersk’s staff, transactions and revenue in its existing brokerage business in North America. Vandegrift offers 68 years of experience and expertise, including investments in advanced visibility technology which allows a paperless internal workflow. This should help the shipping company to meet the evolving needs and demands of its Northern American customers by allowing it to offer a “wider scope of services and the larger capacity brokerage.” Maersk is not alone: French container line CMA CGM SA recently took over Ceva Logistics in a bid to increase its end-to-end services.
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FDA explores track-and-trace technologies for drug supply chain
According to a PwC report, counterfeit drugs cause around 1 million deaths globally each year and generate more revenue than any other “illegally copied” goods. It is therefore no wonder that authorities around the world are pouring their efforts into the crackdown on counterfeit medicine and increasing supply chain security. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is launching a pilot project to test new methods of tracking and tracing drugs along the supply chain, from the manufacturers to the repackagers.
The pilot will inform the development of an electronic track-and-trace system, which will come into effect in 2023 as required by the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (2013). The variety of methods being tested will include the use of blockchain in particular. The track-and-trace system will be designed to prevent legitimate drugs from being diverted away from the legal market and to stop counterfeit drugs from making their way into the legal pharmaceutical supply. The FDA will be looking at the specific ways of identifying packages, like the product identifier or barcode, and will consider other aspects of the system such as interoperability, specific data formatting and verification.
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Swedish shipping industry to go fossil-free by 2045
Sweden hopes to lead the way in decarbonization in the shipping industry by fully committing to new carbon neutral fuels and supply chains. Sweden’s shipping sector is preparing to eliminate the use of fossil-fuels in the industry by 2045, to comply with national climate goals. The current national target is to reduce emissions from domestic transport by 70% by 2030, on the way to achieving zero emissions in 2045.
The Swedish Shipowner’s Association is currently developing a roadmap to net zero emissions in partnership with government initiative, Fossil-free Sweden. The leaders of the two organizations believe that by offering the right incentives (such as tax incentives and government funding) the industry could radically improve efficiency and make the switch to low-carbon biofuels and electricity. According to the association, developing and installing low-carbon equipment would cost more: an extra SEK 5bn ($500m) on top of the estimated SEK 25bn value of 50 vessels on order by Swedish companies.
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Have a great weekend.