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Thread: Supply Chain

  1. #21
    Nestle Announces New Blockchain Initiative Separate From Ongoing IBM Project

    Nestlé, the largest food company by revenue, announced a pilot program to track its supply chains using blockchain, according to a company statement.

    The firm partnered with OpenSC, a blockchain platform, to develop the distributed ledger system which will be separate and distinct from Nestlé’s ongoing participation with IBM Food Trust blockchain.

    The pilot will last six months, and success will be determined by the “feasibility, viability and scalability of the system,” as well as how well the system verifies data, according to a Nestlé representative. Once rolled out, the service may involve a QR code, mobile app, and web portal.

    “For us, it is key that the access to the information is as seamless and easy as possible in order to have participation and traction with stakeholders and consumers,” the spokesperson said.

    The company said the initiative is to drive the market towards transparency by providing independently verifiable data to the conglomerate’s consumers. They also believe the mechanism will improve food safety and quality control.

    “We want our consumers to make an informed decision on their choice of products – to choose products produced responsibly. Open blockchain technology might allow us to share reliable information with consumers in an accessible way,” said Magdi Batato, Nestlé Executive Vice President in a statement.

  2. #22
    IBM-Maersk Shipping Blockchain Gains Steam With 15 Carriers Now on Board

    IBM has recruited two more major shipping carriers to join the blockchain platform it co-owns with container giant Maersk.

    Announced Tuesday, Hapag-Lloyd and Singapore-based Ocean Network Express (ONE) – the world’s fifth and sixth largest carriers respectively – are the latest ocean carriers to join the TradeLens blockchain.

    They follow top-five carriers CMA CGM and MSC, which joined TradeLens last month.

  3. #23
    Report: Supply chains cause 40% of food waste in North America

    More developed countries tend to have a larger percentage of their food waste occur at the consumer level compared to developing nations where waste is more likely to occur during production and handling, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations that was analyzed by the World Resources Institute.

    Less developed areas tend to have more issues related to factors like poor infrastructure, whereas consumer preference can be more likely to cause waste in the United States and Europe, Brian Lipinski, an associate at the World Resources Institute, told Supply Chain Dive.

    Countries and companies are beginning to take steps to curb food waste. Lipinski pointed to the United Kingdom as an example, which appointed a food waste chief last year. The U.K. has seen its food waste decline by 12% between 2007 and 2015, according to Wrap, an organization that collects data on the U.K.'s waste. The U.S. also has an initiative encouraging companies to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030.

  4. #24
    Russia Approves ‘Shortest’ Europe-China Highway

    A new toll motorway stretching 1,250 miles across Russia has been given the go-ahead.

    The privately financed Meridian Highway will run from the Belarus border to the frontier with Kazakhstan, acting as a “Moscow bypass” for traffic between Europe and China.

    The Meridian would span 2,000 kilometers from the Russia-Kazakh border to a junction of an existing highway that connects Minsk, Belarus, with Moscow. It would shorten trucking routes between cargo hubs in western China and central Europe and may offer a faster, if more expensive, alternative to three existing rail corridors.

    The new toll link is expected to cost around 600bn roubles (€8.3bn), and will be built using a public-private partnership – with guarantees to investors about returns. The main source of revenue is likely to be trucks between Europe and China. It is expected to take some of the freight that currently uses the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Suez Canal.

    Proposed China-to-Europe road takes big step forward with Russian approval
    Russia Approves ‘Shortest’ Europe-China Highway – Reports
    Russia’s trans-continental route

  5. #25

  6. #26
    Supply Chain Management Software Suppliers Using AI to Optimize

    Global supply chains are the order of the day in the auto industry, pharmaceuticals and consumer electronics to name a few. A single product could have hundreds of thousands of suppliers. Delays can result in shortages, overstocking and poor customer experiences.

    To procure raw materials, manage trading partners, plan sequences and execute tasks while processing huge volumes of data, is a large task, fit for data analytics using AI.

  7. #27
    DeltaTrak showcases next-gen mini loggers at PMA Foodservice

    DeltaTrak plans to feature the next generation FlashLink Real-Time Mini Loggers at the Produce Marketing Association’s Foodservice Expo July 27.

    The next generation mini logger features an extended battery life and a real-time logger that tracks temperature, humidity and location information using cellular technology, according to a news release.

    Shipments can be tracked worldwide using DeltaTrak’s ColdTrak 24/7 cloud service, which provides up-to-the-minute information, according to the release. Information can be accessed via the internet.

    The ColdTrak portal allows for documentation uploads to archive data for the Food Safety Modernization Act, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point programs and regulatory compliance, according to the release.

  8. #28
    Senate bill calls for national strategy to secure supply chains against China and others

    Bipartisan legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate calls for a national strategy to assess and prevent risks to critical U.S. technologies in the interest of strengthening national security.

    U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Mark Warner (D-Virginia) introduced the MICROCHIPS Act (S. 2316) on Tuesday to guard against attempts by China and others to undermine U.S. national security by exploiting and penetrating U.S. supply chains, according to a press release.

    MICROCHIPS is an acronym for the Manufacturing, Investment, and Controls Review for Computer Hardware, Intellectual Property and Supply. The bill would “create a coordinated whole-of-government approach to identify and prevent efforts…at undermining or interrupting the timely and secure provision of dual-use technologies vital to our national security,” Crapo said in a statement.

    Beyond the theft of IP, the senators are concerned that Chinese companies at large will use 5G wireless and other hardware and software to potentially harm and expose both consumer and U.S. military information.

    “Malicious chips or counterfeit parts could create backdoors enabling the monitoring or stealing of consumer data or cause broader system malfunctions,” a statement from the senators noted. “The Department of Defense’s continuous acquisition of weapons systems without making security a key priority could potentially lead to loss of U.S. intellectual property and technological advantage of U.S. Armed Forces, contribute to unnecessary risks to human life and interfere with the ability of the Armed Forces to execute their missions.”

    The bill directs the Director National Intelligence, DOD and other agencies to develop a plan to increase supply chain intelligence within 180 days. It also calls for creation of a National Supply Chain Security Center under the Director of National Intelligence to collect supply chain threat information and distribute it to agencies under its authority to intervene. It also calls for making funds available for federal supply chain security improvements under the Defense Production Act. However, the bill doesn’t set any amount for funding.

  9. #29
    IBM launches Trust Your Supplier blockchain network

    IBM and blockchain consultancy firm Chainyard have announced Trust Your Supplier, a new blockchain network aimed at improving supplier qualification, validation, onboarding, and life cycle information management.

    By using a decentralised approach and an immutable audit trail built on blockchain, IBM said Trust Your Supplier is designed to eliminate manual processes and help reduce the risk of fraud and errors within supply chains.

    According to IBM, Trust Your Supplier creates a digital passport for supplier identity on the blockchain network that allows suppliers to share information with any permissioned buyer on the network.

    Big Blue said blockchain ensures a permissioned-based data sharing network that should help reduce the time and cost associated with qualifying, validating, and managing new suppliers while creating new business opportunities.

    Anheuser-Busch InBev, Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Lenovo, Nokia, Schneider Electric, and Vodafone have signed on as Trust Your Supplier founding participants.

    Meanwhile, third-party validators, such as Dun & Bradstreet, Ecovadis, and RapidRatings, will provide outside verification or audit capabilities directly on the network.

    "Blockchain has the ability to completely transform how companies onboard and manage their supplier network for the future," Lenovo's Data Center Group chief supply chain officer Renee Ure said.

    "Through Trust Your Supplier, both buyers and suppliers will the see the procurement benefits of blockchain through reductions in cost, complexity, and speed."

    The Trust Your Supplier network is currently in limited availability with existing participants, but the company said it has plans for commercial availability later this year.

    Trust Your Supplier is built on the IBM Blockchain Platform hosted on the IBM Cloud.

    The IBM Blockchain Platform is built on top of Hyperledger Fabric, an open source blockchain project from the Linux Foundation.

  10. #30
    FreshEdge to drive growth of innovative food distribution

    IF&P Foods and Get Fresh Produce announced the creation of a new company, FreshEdge, which is home to a collection of industry-leading produce and specialty food distributors, fresh-cut operations and a USDA kitchen, including Piazza Produce, Get Fresh Produce, Indianapolis Fruit, Papania’s, Garden Cut, Just Cut and Cibus Fresh.

    The consolidated entity is one of the largest independently owned fresh food distributors in the country, serving more than 2,000 customer locations across 18 states and distributing over 30 million cases of fresh produce, proteins, specialty processed produce, USDA certified grab-and-go offerings and specialty foods annually. Together, FreshEdge operates over 400,000 square feet of distribution and processing facilities with 1,200 employees and a fleet of over 500 trucks.

    FreshEdge will be led by industry veterans Steve Grinstead as chief executive officer and IF&P Foods CEO Greg Corsaro as president and chief operating officer.

    “This is an amazing opportunity to join one of the leading fresh food distribution platforms in the country,” said Grinstead. “Through our broad Midwest and Southern distribution platform, unique meat and seafood vendor relationships and extensive specialty food offerings, the FreshEdge companies provide full-service fresh food options to all its customers. FreshEdge has also devoted significant resources to growing its selection of value-added products and services and can provide a wide array of pre-cut produce, prepared foods, and ready-to-eat products.”

    “Over the last several years, IF&P Foods has invested heavily in our management team, digital platform, warehouse facilities and logistics platform,” said Corsaro. “With the acquisition of Get Fresh Produce, the combined platform can integrate our facilities and combine our offerings to provide the freshest and most complete suite of products to all of our customers.”

  11. #31
    Fresh Gourmet launches new sourcing program for packaged produce

    Fresh Gourmet Co. has launched Grower Direct, a new sourcing program. This turnkey offering for retailers makes the process of ordering premium packaged produce simpler and more efficient.

    In the past, retailers have ordered packaged produce through various growers, creating a complex and fragmented process. With the Grower Direct program, retailers gain a simplified, streamlined, one-stop option to source premium packaged produce, increasing the efficiency of their shipping, accounting and storage.

    With this new sourcing option, the company will promote domestic sourcing and encourage bundled ordering. Retailers will save by having their products ordered, shipped and managed from one vendor.

    Grower Direct sources exclusively domestic produce and focuses on transparency, safety and continuity from USA family farms and co-ops. This ensures strict consumer protections and labor standards are followed throughout the growing, storage, transportation and sales steps.

    One element of the new initiative aims to tap into that attention. Fresh Gourmet Co. offers a broad assortment of merchandising and in-store promotion solutions to encourage impulse purchases. By bundling products under one umbrella, categories that may otherwise get lost in the department are more actively supported with sales-driving initiatives.

    In addition, the program addresses the realities retailers face regarding storage and waste. With warehouse space declining and retailers shrinking their backrooms, having superfluous SKUs takes up critical square footage.

    Compounding that, growers require minimum orders, which can lead to SKU proliferation, clutter and waste. When retailers fail to sell the required minimum order amounts, the excess produce is often thrown away. To avoid that scenario, Fresh Gourmet Co. offers a variety of products aimed to reduce shrink — making purchasing more efficient. Retailers, for instance, can order one consolidated pallet of figs and sundried tomatoes, protecting against shrink.

    Such bundling of premium-dollar categories also reduces the need for trucks on the road — aligning with the U.S. produce industry’s huge investments in technology to improve product quality and provide more efficient transportation.

    As part of the program, Fresh Gourmet Co. also supports growers with sales, marketing and distribution efforts, letting growers focus on their core business.

  12. #32
    Blockchain Is Transforming the Retail Supply Chain

    Retailers worldwide are now applying blockchain technology to their supply chains to verify the origin and traceability of goods, among other uses.

  13. #33
    Blockchain in Transport Alliance

    Founded in August 2017, the Blockchain In Transport Alliance (BiTA), has quickly grown into the largest commercial blockchain alliance in the world, with nearly 500 members in over 25 countries that collectively generate over $1 trillion in revenue annually.

    BiTA is a member-driven organization; members are primarily from the freight, transportation, logistics and affiliated industries. Alliance members share a common mission of driving the adoption of emerging technology forward. We accomplish this by developing industry standards; educating members and others on blockchain applications/solutions and distributed ledger technology (DLT); and encouraging the use and adoption of new solutions. Thousands of companies have applied for membership.

  14. #34
    Responsible artificial intelligence in the supply chain

    Developing countries can gain significant supply chain efficiency with the responsible use of AI.

    “We don’t have the luxury of time when it comes to automation; we have to implement it now, we can’t wait for people to be upskilled, for instance, because then we’ll lag behind our competitors.”

  15. #35
    TradeLens: Supply Chain on the Blockchain—The Insureblocks Podcast

    The interview is a fantastic 54-minute deep-dive into the blockchain, consortia, standards, and interoperability at the heart of TradeLens. Daniel and Juan expertly convey the thinking behind the platform and expand on the goals and challenges for the development of the ecosystem and the marketplace.

  16. #36

  17. #37
    "Fruit and vegetable companies entering the block chain - beware of retailers using you as marketing puppets"

    Marjan Schnetz wrote a paper about the use of Blockchain applications within the Logistics Agri-chain. She is studying Horticulture and Agribusiness, part-time, at the InHolland Hogeschool. Marjan works for the Ockham Group, in the Netherlands, as an IT advisor.

    Four central arguments about blockchain in agri-chains

    In the following, we discuss why the agri-sector would do well to stay away from anything vaguely resembling a blockchain. The discussion is in a Q&A format.

    1. “Blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin. Everyone is working with it. Chain logistics, in particular, is the starting point for groundbreaking blockchain applications.”

    It is true that without the blockchain, there would be no Bitcoin. However, what is also true is that blockchains only works on a small scale. For example, the Bitcoin blockchain can handle a maximum of seven transactions per second. Everything happening around Bitcoin is also aimed at bypassing blockchains.

    A lot of effort has indeed been put into blockchain applications. This has been the case since Bitcoin's emergence in 2008. But, at closer inspection, this effort is still more about research and pilot projects. Or there are unsubstantiated claims. It is exactly the lack of successful applications that should make sensible business people stop and think.

    2. “Information stored on a blockchain cannot be changed. It must, therefore, be correct.”

    This is the central claim of blockchain applications. It is clearly false. A transaction made in a blockchain could just as easily be untrue or fraudulent, as when done in a non-blockchain environment. Say a fictitious Brazilian orange farmer records information on the Albert Heijn blockchain. He states he has shipped 1,000 kg of ripe, properly cultivated oranges to the Netherlands. None of that need be true.

    Such an incorrect or even fraudulent claim can not be changed afterwards. This feature is a disadvantage, rather than an advantage. The logistics partners' blockchain nodes cannot validate the truth of a statement. How can this be possible? A prankster can claim to have painted the Mona Lisa on a blockchain.

    We see this confusion or deception again and again in so-called scientific blockchain publications, such as this. Decide for yourself:

    3. “Ok, but is it true that data on a blockchain cannot be changed afterward?”

    Unfortunately, this is also incorrect. With pure blockchain, like that supporting Bitcoin, data can be manipulated. That is if the participants have more than 50% of the computing power. With Bitcoin, that is, although not impossible, very difficult to do. This is because so much computing power is used worldwide.

    With smaller cryptocurrencies, the bar is lower. Successful hacks have taken place. With blockchain applications within logistics chains, the computing power threshold is mostly even lower. In theory, the risks are much higher. In theory; because such applications are always run in secret. The term used for this is 'private blockchain'. People in the IT sector call it security by obscurity.

    Of course, this is precisely what happens in traditional logistics systems. Here, an insider, for example, an unethical player in a logistics chain, can easily provide fraudulent information. Participants in a closed logistics chain can jointly pull the wool over everyone's eyes. Nothing is controllable.

    We must conclude that both real, public, and private blockchains offer no guarantee for unscrupulous manipulation. In a public blockchain, this can be done by outsiders. And a private blockchain does not provide any guarantee of truth to outsiders.

    4. “Blockchains promote cooperation between chain partners that do not trust each other."

    When it comes to public relations and marketing, this is undoubtedly true. In other situations, it is not. Just as with any other application, a blockchain application has to be designed. The partners must, therefore, come to bottom-up agreements. Or a third party with a workable application must have brought it. Here, top-down agreements must be implemented. These agreements must meet the chain partners' wishes.

    Both practices have been standard for many years. The first is called custom software. We know the second as package software. It is prudent to place the operation of this application with a trusted third party, in one place. This is if there are good agreements, or even when there is a functioning application. There are limited risks of abuse of a joint application, especially in chain logistics.

    The Brazilian orange supplier and Albert Heijn will, after all, continue to maintain their own, local administration. This administration is in addition to that of the chain's blockchain application. As soon as there is one dodgy change, the chain parties administration will no longer match that of the joint administration. Alarm bells will begin sounding everywhere, hopefully automatically.

    There is a stronger argument against the use of blockchains in chains. Distrustful chain participants with conflicting interest can already see everything that is happening in the entire chain. This, without extra complicated, expensive measures. A good example in this context is The Greenery. This company is able to meet market demand precisely. They do this by handling their supply cleverly. Sometimes all their oranges will come from Brazil. But, in most cases, it will be a mix of products from different growers.

    Homogenizing agri-flows is one of The Greenery's core activities. The other is using its own market knowledge and information to direct product streams. It is no surprise that The Greenery is not keen to take part in a blockchain application. (It is, therefore, also logical the AH and Carrefour's blockchain applications use one supplier.)

    It is difficult to think of a single case where complete transparency is acceptable to all the chain partners. So, it is easy to understand why we see separate blockchain applications for different parties. These are parties such as Albert Heijn, Carrefour, and Walmart. Chains in the blockchain world are not network structures. They are tree structures.


    The claimed usefulness of blockchain in logistics chains is questionable, to say the least. The good news is that even non-IT experts can see through the most impressive claims. There is a frequently heard argument that with so much publicity, there must be some use for blockchain. However, as more time passes with no workable solutions, this argument becomes less and less credible.

    Agri-companies that are considering switching to blockchain chains are advised to be careful not to be used as marketing puppets by large retailers. Anyone participating in a private blockchain-based chain solution would be wise to demand the computing power be evenly distributed among the partners. They should also insist that all software and blockchain data be made available for inspection by all participants.

    A company that fails to do this is a possible threat to all non-insider stakeholders. These are usually the end-users. But, they could also be smaller, weaker chain partners.

  18. #38

    8 ways in which AI helps the logistics industry

    #1 Helps with demand forecasting
    #2 Big Data
    #3 Assists in last-mile delivery
    #4 Real-time decision making
    #5 Creates contingency plans
    #6 Accurate Information Processing
    #7 Intelligent Warehousing
    #8 Using IoT to track movement

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