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ALL HAIL ATL: THERE IS A LOT TO SEE AND EXPERIENCE FIRST-HAND IN ATLANTA

atlanta

ALL HAIL ATL: THERE IS A LOT TO SEE AND EXPERIENCE FIRST-HAND IN ATLANTA

If you are lucky enough to find some free time while visiting Atlanta for business, get ready for some memorable experiences. Because we understand that business trips have to be paired with a little bit of pleasure, we searched some of the local hot spots in Atlanta that have a reputation for offering a good time, great eats and even greater memories to share among colleagues.

Each place listed below offers something unique and beyond the typical wine-and-dine experience. There is a lot to see when visiting the great city of Atlanta, but even more to experience first-hand. So, without further delay, here are our latest picks for your business trip getaways.

LOCKER CLUB

Because, who does not appreciate a speakeasy, especially in a new space after a long day of networking? Just hope that you find yourself in Atlanta on a Thursday-Saturday evening because this hidden gem has limited hours for tours. Located in the Old Fourth Distillery on Old Fourth Ward’s Edgewood Avenue, Locker Club offers patrons a Prohibition-style touring experience while serving up some high-quality spirits and the ideal environment for your next business trip adventure. Locker Club provides a journey through history in the region back to a time when alcohol was not so easy to come by. The Old Fourth Distillery is the first distillery to be opened in Atlanta since 1906 and takes pride in its environmentally friendly methods in creating authentic and high-quality spirits from gin and vodka to straight bourbon whiskey. A team of three (yes, three) people start from fermentation all the way down to packaging all of their vodka and gin with the help of a customized, handmade CARL copper still. It goes without saying that the small-but-mighty team here likes to do things a bit differently and has no problem sharing their unique process with the locals and visitors.

RAY’S BY THE RIVER

Part of the Ray’s Restaurants, LLC trio, Ray’s by the River not only offers award-winning eats but pairs them with scenery and an experience you are sure to remember once you unpack your suitcase back at home. Choose to sit at the newly renovated riverside pavilion and take in the matchless views of the Chattahoochee River or dine inside and experience the balmy ambiance and colorful outdoor views. While enjoying some tasty menu options such as their hand-cut steaks and surf-and-turf specialties, be sure to give one of their signature, hand-crafted cocktails a try. Missed happy hour? Not to worry because Ray’s has two for you to take advantage of. If you miss their 3:30-7 p.m. happy hour, they start it up again from 9 p.m. to closing time during the week.

WORLD OF COCA-COLA

Even if you are not a Coca-Cola drinker or are a die-hard Pepsi fan, there is something for you at the World of Coca-Cola that you can appreciate, enjoy and take with you. Beyond its fascinating history and more than 200 international artifacts throughout the Loft, your taste buds are in for a treat at the Taste It! exhibit experience offering samples of what Coca-Cola is like around the world. Curious about the history of the coveted Coca-Cola recipe? Now you can get a close-up look at the history, myths and legends, and even the origins of the recipe at the Vault. This interactive experience gives guests a hands-on experience to see exactly what it takes to create that perfect recipe and flavor with the Virtual Taste Maker. Once your taste buds have had enough, head on over to the 3-D theater and give other senses an experience with the film In Search of the Secret Formula. On your way out, stop by Bottle Works to get a peek behind the curtain of what Coca-Cola’s bottling process looks like from equipment to processing.

DELTA FLIGHT MUSEUM

The Delta Flight Museum celebrated its 25th anniversary this past May. Along with that milestone, Delta celebrated 90 years of services in the Atlanta region. Regardless of your profession, visiting the Delta Flight Museum should absolutely be on your list when visiting Atlanta. Visitors are given a tour through Delta’s rich history through the museum’s two original 1940s-era aircraft hangars and its 747 Plaza full of exhibits and factoids. When visiting the hangars, guests are given an up-close and personal view of Delta’s aircraft and history beginning in the 1920s. Interactive exhibits offer visitors more than Delta’s history, however, with its one-of-a-kind full-motion flight simulation training session. This is an experience that is sure to make your friends back home jealous as this is the only full-motion simulation available for public use in the country. If you prefer to stay in the exhibit areas, be sure to stop by the restored 1940 Douglas DC-3 and the Waco 125 biplane–it will probably be the only time you will ever see aircraft like these in person. The museum’s Waco 125 is the only one like it remaining. Trust us on this one, you do not want to miss the Delta Flight Museum.

POUR TAPROOM

Known for its “beer and wine festival every week” theme, Atlanta’s Pour Taproom is every beer and wine lover’s dream. This local hot spot is quite literally a taproom perfect for anyone seeking a unique (and delicious) experience with local craft beers and wine on tap. If you consider yourself a beer connoisseur, Pour Taproom is sure to have something you will want some more of. With regularly rotating selections and the ability to purchase by the ounce instead of the glass in a self-serve approach, your visit to the Taproom is sure to be an experience you will not find back home. Pick from a variety of craft beers ranging from IPAs, sours, darks, ciders, lights and wine while. Taking in the local scene on the relaxing and contemporary patio. Hungry? There are food options that pair nicely with whatever you choose to satisfy your beer or wine cravings. Oh, and did we mention the “Beer Me” button?

ships

DON’T LOOK SOLELY AT THE LARGEST SHIPS IN GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS

When it comes to ocean transportation, some might automatically think of massive container vessels carrying loads upon loads of cargo with ease. Vessels such as the OOCL Hong Kong, COSCO Shipping Taurus or Madrid Maersk are on the list of the largest shipping vessels across the globe. Although these and other large-scale shipping vessels significantly contribute to the movement of goods in the supply chain, there are quite a few smaller vessels and ships that are just as important and continue contributing to the transportation of goods and fulfilling other purposes for those on the water.

Our goal is to give these smaller vessels credit where it is rightfully due, all while examining their position in the ocean transportation industry and where they are headed.

REEFER SHIPS (AND CONTAINERS)

Known for being smaller in size and scale, the reefer ship serves a special purpose in transporting goods, specifically perishable goods including food and other items requiring specific cooling capabilities. The major differentiator among these ships is their unique design exclusively for transporting cold items. These ships are typically equipped with specific access points and pallets capable of holding reefer containers (usually twenty-foot TEUs). Port Technology has appropriately referred to these reefer containers as “large fridges carried by containerships.”

Among the types of cargo commonly found on one of these reefer ships, bananas are considered the most important over fruits, meats, and even blood and other expensive types of cargoes, according to Port Technology. Other items include pharmaceuticals, flowers and other perishable food varieties. Without the capabilities of these reefer ships to ensure proper temperatures are maintained during transport, many parts of the supply chain would suffer.

The reefer ship does have its competition, however. The previously mentioned “large fridges” are becoming savvier and offering more in terms of temperature variations during transport. Port Technology reports that in 2018, only eight total reefer transport specialist companies existed out of the original 20+ back in 2000. These upgraded reefer containers are cited as the main culprit of this.

BARGE VESSELS

Known for its unique “raft” appearance and functions, the barge vessel stands out by offering much more than what meets the eye. This special type of transport method requires some powering from another source, meaning it does not have its own engine to keep it moving. Although there are some self-powered barges in the modern market, the classic barge in known for relying on a tugboat to move from point A to point B successfully. The barge maintains its position for inland transportation through its environmentally friendly benefits such as reduced fuel usage while transporting more in fewer miles compared to trucks.

According to a report from the American Maritime Partnership, more than 750 million tons of cargo are moved by the famous tug-and-barge combination every year, in addition the $30 billion economic impact in America. The barge industry is not exempt from disruptions, however. Last year proved to be a difficult time for the industry due to extreme flooding and trade tensions, directly impacting the agricultural sector. The Waterways Journal reported that 19.8 million acres went without planting in 2019 due to flooding.

“While some freight rates have appreciated, we still face downward pressure in agricultural and coal markets that need significant improvements in demand before the barge industry can realize a true recovery from what we have seen in the last three to four years,” commented Mark Knoy, president and CEO of American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) in the report.

TUGS

Think of tugs (or tugboats) as a “part two” of the barge vessel. The tug holds its own in the maritime world, however, and is not solely confined to pulling the barge in its lifetime on the water. Whether it is an ocean, sea, rescue or harbor tug, these much smaller helpers on the water work alongside non-powered vessels or other watercraft, including some sizeable ships that needs assistance when in trouble.

These small-but-mighty supporters have a decent range of displacement anywhere from 300 to 1,000 tons, depending on which type (ocean, rescue, harbor). Large tugs are of great importance to global navies. One of the largest of these types of tugs is the Russian Navy’s Vsevolod Bobrov, which boasts a 9,700-ton displacement and the ability to break ice when needed.

CHEMICAL TANKERS

Think of these tankers as the hazmat vessels of the maritime shipping world. Ranging from S1, S2 and S3 rankings of ships, the chemical tankers on the ocean vary in degrees of safety measures based on the types of chemicals onboard and their requirements outlined by the International Bulk Chemical Code (IBC). These tankers vary in size but are typically anywhere from 5,000 dwt all the way up to 50,000 dwt, although the larger tankers are not as frequently seen. These ships come equipped with individual deep well pumps, pipelines and other systems to ensure minimum risk of exposure and potential contamination.

Chemical tankers are a different breed of ships as they come with an increased set of risks from the liquids they transport. Among common risks, cargo compatibility, cargo spillage, toxicity and flammability all pose potential problems for those onboard and the environment. Compliance simply cannot be subpar in efforts when it comes to transporting chemicals and leading chemical carriers such as Odfjell Tankers, Fairfield Chemical Carriers, and B+H Shipping continue to make waves in the transport of chemicals and other related liquids across the globe.

These are just a few of the various types of watercraft supporting the global supply chain. Without these ships guiding the way, many of the things needed to keep domestic and global economies afloat would not be as easily accessible, transportable, or available. As containerships and other mega-vessels continue to challenge the ocean shipping landscape, it is important to consider the ways these smaller ocean vessels and ships can transform to better meet market demands while supporting sustainable operations. At this point in time, these smaller players in ocean shipping are here to stay.

dangerous goods

Automation Trends and Challenges in Transporting Dangerous Goods

In just about every moving part of shipping logistics in the modern trading landscape, automation in some form or capacity is present or in the works to better support operations. From robotics to drones to autonomous vehicles, technology innovation is changing the way logistics operates, one bleep at a time. But when it comes to the transport of dangerous goods, there are factors present that create more of a danger when paired with innovation, creating more of a need for risk mitigation measures. The safety and compliance efforts going into transporting goods (particularly if they are dangerous goods) should always be just as important as the level of efficiency of the transportation process.

Drones, for example, continue making news headlines in logistics-focused transportation. Not only do drones provide an emissions-free, congestion-free and cost-effective alternative, but they also provide a new method of competitive positioning, according to Navigant Research. Pharmaceuticals have successfully been delivered utilizing this method of transportation in the last year. UPS is among the big names reinventing the way healthcare logistics is approached after the company announced its new drone logistics partnership with AmerisourceBergen, a pharmaceutical distributor.

“Delivery bots, RDVs and drones are set to displace millions of truck and van deliveries over the next decade, as they are far smaller, more flexible, lower in cost, and naturally suitable for automation and electrification,” says Ryan Citron, senior research analyst at Navigant Research, in a release earlier this year. “These technologies are expected to make last-mile logistics (LML) more efficient and sustainable, while also transforming local commerce and user experience through new business models such as on-demand store-hailing.”

While this is great news for some of the goods transported on a daily basis, drones are not exactly a realistic solution for the case of dangerous goods, at least for the time being in transportation and innovation regulation. That is when the conversation of autonomous vehicles comes in.

When transporting dangerous goods on wheels, what role does the autonomous vehicle fulfill? Let us start with what could go wrong with transporting dangerous goods. In an interesting evaluation of this process, Occupational Health and Safety released an in-depth article outlining the potential risks associated with ground transportation of dangerous goods. These risks included collisions and accidents, emergency response measures, loading and unloading, and the measures taken to properly secure such materials after loading for the ride. In all of these examples given by OHS, a physical driver is needed in some form or capacity, and not just any driver, but a trained hazmat employee. Without the properly trained employees or advances in technology to ensure compliance is met, a physical employee will need to be present for the majority of the “autonomous” vehicle experience, even if that employee isn’t the one doing the driving.

Another important thing to remember when merging technology and the transport of dangerous goods is their compatibility with other important–and vital–parts of the process. In a recent blog from Labelmaster, the concept of a solid data foundation is explained as a key part of a three-pillar system. The company’s VP of Software & Customer Success, Mario Sagastume, reiterates that when one of these pillars is off, the others follow suit.

Technology innovation does not always equal fancy robotics or massive automation takeovers. In some cases, it boils down to a clear set of data that provides a clear view of the big picture while identifying bottlenecks, risks and a lack of resources. It is important to consider the basics of technology before diving into complex solutions. After all, dangerous goods shipping is already a challenge. You want to simplify and support the process, not overcomplicate it. Solutions such as Labelmaster’s hazmat shipping software solution, DGIS, is an example of how data and technology work together for success in hazardous shipping processes.

Whether you’re transporting dangerous goods by sea, road, rail or air, one common element is ever-present: the human factor. This factor is identified in several studies as one of the main culprits of risk when evaluating potential issues in transporting dangerous goods. One specific study conducted by Jelizaveta Janno and Ott Koppel from Tallinn University of Technology, School of Engineering, Estonia, states that, “…the risk of DGT is strongly related to a human factor as all decisions, processes and procedures within a transportation chain are made by different parties involved.”

The authors explain that every part of the transportation process of these dangerous goods involve the human factor in some capacity, as seen with the previous point of autonomous vehicles and the required human presence for parts of the process.

This brings the conversation to the topic of adequate training. With all the technology, innovation and automation in the world, the human factor will almost always be present. This is not a bad thing, it is a wakeup call that technology cannot fix what thorough training, education and accountability can.

In another blog from Labelmaster, survey results from the annual Dangerous Goods Symposium revealed that the complex nature of hazmat and dangerous goods regulations, along with lack of robust education efforts, are causing headaches for a variety of shippers in the supply chain. One survey responder specifically cited the need for curriculum specific to the dangerous goods arena of supply-chain management.

Training and education (on regulations and operations) must be held to a higher standard for those filling positions in the supply chain, but especially for those handling dangerous goods at every level. Without this imperative part of the equation, technology and innovation efforts will be compromised. The investment must start with the employees and with leadership.

Before investing heavily in the next technology solution on the market, look carefully at the internal processes first. Take an honest inventory of how compliance is managed, how paperwork is processed, and the quality of employee communications. Recall the example from the experts at Labelmaster: Technology is a part of the bigger picture. When one pillar is impacted, they are all impacted.

dachser peru

Here’s How Dachser Peru Continues Operations Despite the Pandemic

Dachser Peru recently announced the successful transportation of two 180-ton locomotives from the Port of Houston to the customer’s Lima facility, further supporting advancements in the region’s railroad infrastructure efforts. Amid the challenges presented by the heavy-lift cargo project, Dachser continues to demonstrate its methods of meticulous and successful planning to keeping customers satisfied while fostering economic growth across the globe. Global Trade had the opportunity to speak with Eduardo Rey, Managing Director at Dachser Peru, on this success and how Dachser is keeping operations going during a global pandemic through careful planning and the use of technology solutions.


Let’s talk about special measures that were taken to successfully transport the two 180-ton locomotives from Port of Houston to Lima, Peru. How did these measures differ from regular methods of transportation?

To move the two locomotives as we did was a special task, indeed. These special tasks require a very detailed plan if you want a successful story. What we did is we took not only one, but several measures in order to ensure success. First, it was the right selection of our service partners. That’s always a priority we require to perform our job well. We ensure to work with reliable companies that are not necessarily the cheapest one, but the ones who offer secure operations. For us, security, especially in these times, is most important.

Secondly, we executed a very detailed plan for the transport itself. We oversaw the big picture plan from the arrival of the locomotives into the port of Houston until the end delivery in a place in Lima, Peru. We were responsible for the whole service from start to finish. While executing this very detailed plan, we considered all the possible challenges that may occur in the process. We always have a plan B. For heavy cargos like this, logistics is not a paper issue. It requires in-depth involvement in the operations. Communication is key and coordination within the processes needs to be very well planned. That’s exactly what we did.

How about the role of technology in the transport of these locomotives? Do you see it changing future processes?

Well, technology in our times is something that needs to be on top of all our activities. Last generation’s equipment has been used for these transports, especially during the last phase of the loco transportation to the final destination in Callao in Peru. A last generation heavy hauler was used to move these units where they were directly discharged from the vessel into the units and transported through the streets of Callao.

There were a lot of air cables, electricity and phone cables by the streets that required us to take care of all the height concerns of the locomotives in order not to cross or to destroy it. Again, it was a very detailed plan. In the end, it arrived at the final destination and discharged over the railroad tracks using 400 cranes, last generation as well. Technology is always on top of our activities.

How is Dachser currently navigating logistics and limitations presented by the pandemic? Has anything really changed?

Dachser is one of the largest worldwide logistic providers. During the pandemic, we have been one of the most active companies around the world. Indeed, our own airfreight charters has been great support for several countries. In Peru, a clear demonstration has been the heavy cargos transport, of course. Despite the legal restrictions due to the pandemic and all the security and safety protocols we followed, we were able to proceed this way. Dachser is acting with full responsibility, following the security procedures and the country regulations in every country we operate in. We are in the logistics business and logistics never stops, even though most of us are working from home. Yes, there are indeed limitations, but nevertheless we are able to ensure a class A logistics service.

How is the company preparing to further support rail infrastructure projects in the future?

Well, having done this latest move demonstrates our full capabilities to organize logistics for appropriate cargoes. Dachser is ready for future opportunities, of course, not only in the rail industry, but for any other industry that supports the infrastructure development in Peru. In our country, we have an infrastructure deficit in roads, ports, airports, etc. Considering the worldwide Dachser network, we are fully prepared to support these developments. To give you an example, we got a call the other day from the ministry of health in Peru because they were trying to move some special equipment for oxygen production. There are so many hospitals that have a need for more oxygen. We are always alert for those kinds of requirements and opportunities.

Dachser is well known in the local market for the perishables export for all its logistics. For example, we have a very well-known and prepared staff of people giving 24/7 service for the exports of fruits and vegetables. In Peru, those products are the main non-traditional exports from the country. That means that our service portfolio is not only focused on one specific industry like projects or trains, but it is actively bringing the best quality for logistics services. Looking at what is most important for us which is our customers’ full satisfaction.

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Mr. Eduardo Rey was born in 1964 in Lima, Peru. He attended the University Ricardo Palma, where he studied architecture.

It was later, through his working experience, that he discovered his true vocation: the logistics industry.

He quickly understood that, in order to get a better sense of the work he was so passionate about, he needs to further his studies, so in 1987 he obtained a post-graduate degree in Foreign Trade and did other various courses related to air and cargo and in 1999 he completed an MBA.

Mr. Rey started his career within the industry as an Export Manager for a trading company that specialized in hydro-biological products. Ever since, he has been working in the forwarding business, for more than 27 years now and to today, he still feels as passionate about his work and the world of transportation, as he was when he started in this domain.

In 2003, he took on an offer to become the General Manager of a local Peruvian freight forwarder and soon was promoted to the role of Managing Director.

It was in 2016 when Mr. Rey was appointed as Managing Director for DACHSER Peru and he brought his extensive experience and deep knowledge of the industry both locally and globally to the company.

Mr. Rey appreciates his initial architectural studies and feels that they are helping him in his every day work and provide him with the organized mind of an architect, when dealing with the daily operations of the company and his team.

covid-19

COVID-19 PANDEMIC FORCES INDUSTRIES TO RE-THINK GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS

As COVID-19 continues to dominate news headlines, American cities and international businesses are showing their true colors. From innovation in recovery to redrawing the predictions model businesses have adhered to for years, the health and economic crisis has done much more than disrupt the supply chain and logistics sectors. Despite the challenges, the process of recovery has been maximized by thinking outside the box and utilizing resources available to extend a helping hand. Dozens upon dozens of alcohol distilleries across the nation have switched production to meet the demand for hand sanitizer—to the point that the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States created its COVID-19 Hand Sanitizer Connection Portal as a dedicated resource for American distillers looking to join the efforts. General Motors announced its participation in joining forces to combat COVID-19 in April by kickstarting the production of face masks at the auto giant’s Warren, Michigan, and China facilities, thanks to a joint venture through SAIC-GM-Wuling.

If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance of adaptability and what the true definition of agility looks like. Although the above companies proved prepared and agile enough to weather the storm, other companies and the American economy were not.

“Though the concept of supply chain readiness is not new, that does not mean it always has been practiced correctly,” explains Ron Leibman, head of McCarter & English’s Transportation, Logistics & Supply Chain Management practice. “Companies must begin now, if they are not doing so already, to test their business continuity plans, with a goal of identifying and correcting weaknesses in the supply chain and updating their plans to avoid future out-of-stock situations.”

Leibman points to a recent Institute for Supply Management survey that showed 75 percent of the companies surveyed had been affected by COVID-19, yet 44 percent of those companies had no plan in place to deal with that type of disruption.

Supply and demand have also shifted, creating a new set of challenges for domestic and international supply chain players. Products such as toilet paper, medical supplies, and grocery meats have seen a spike in demand since the pandemic reached the United States. These and other consumer trends have defined a new wave of purchasing habits that have essentially redefined what effective production looks like.

“Few could have predicted the run on toilet paper that occurred early in the pandemic, or the meat shortage that seems to be occurring today,” Leibman says. “Regardless of how this demand plays out, manufacturers will certainly need to be able produce and modify production to meet the needs of the economy and support customers/consumers through the enhanced use of ecommerce platforms and automated processes to minimize turnaround time. Now, rather than having a business ecosystem that prizes vendor-managed inventory, the reduction of inventory holding costs, and just-in-time delivery, manufacturers may have to re-gauge their production cycles and capabilities to meet their customers’ new purchasing patterns, which could include the use of forward inventories and safety stocks and perhaps larger replenishment volumes.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a lot about the current state of the global supply chain to the same degree that it challenged traditional predictive risk models. The fact of the matter is that business continuity and risk assessment going forward will not be the same–at least for a while.

“Countless industries are saying that they used to be so good at prediction, and now all their prediction models are out the window,” explains Marc Busch, a Business Diplomacy professor at Georgetown University. “This will require learning, and the question is how long will that learning take and how much will businesses invest in it? One way or another, the ‘new normal’ is going to have to be diagnosed. Market factors need to be considered. The ability to digitally gain enough information and predictive power to handle demand or supply shocks is paramount in moving forward and recovering.”

New challenges will arise as global traders determine the next steps in sourcing and site selection as well. What will make sense in the near future to better predict disruption management is an inevitable conversation.

“In moments of crisis, there’s an opportunity for businesses to reevaluate how they’ve been operating,” Busch says. “New entrants into well-formed supply chains may find that this is precisely the moment to pitch themselves to those companies that want to diversify, but aren’t yet willing to start shuffling assets around the world (i.e. out of China). This was the case in the financial crisis and it’s likely to be an opportunity soon again. There’s going to be a lot of new discoveries and the question is: Who is going to be learning.”

As this story was being published, retail stores and restaurants had just started the process of reopening and allowing customers back into their establishments. For many, customers are still required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing while capacity limits are cut in half if not more. The relief is found through the restarting of local business operations; however, it’s a slow and steady process that requires the support of customers to kickstart our economy once again. This kickstarting means rehires for business owners and working again for the countless people who lost their only source of income amid COVID-19.

“There is no doubt that people are eager to return to usual practices,” Busch says. “Some of the ways in which we collect our goods are going to forever be different. Businesses will have to learn like the rest of us. The new etiquette in business—the way in which services and goods are sold—will depend on how quickly and how fully we all come to grips with the new normal, and there are bound to be surprises. It is going to be difficult to determine how businesses should best try to rejuvenate trust and coax people into something like their usual consumption patterns.”

Retailers, restaurants, and entertainment venues aren’t the only ones that experienced unprecedented shifts, however. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic chaos, crude oil prices plummeted to negative numbers spurred by the significant drop in global demand. Although the market is now back to what we are used to (for the most part), regulations remain a big part of the foreseeable future in navigating such disruptions.

“On the trade side, for now, the industry should expect status quo for the immediate future,” explains David McCullough, partner in the Energy & Infrastructure practice group at the New York office of Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP. “If there is to be another price shock where physical crude oil prices go negative or very low, we will see a real push for measures such as the waiver of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the waiver of the Jones Act and imposing crude oil and potentially refined product import restrictions specifically on non-North American sources.”

Opposite of what brick-and-mortar retailers experienced, the oil industry was not nearly as caught off-guard. In fact, according to McCullough, the majority was prepared. “There were anticipations of crude prices going negative and there were negative pricing clauses built into contracts for this reason,” he explains. “When this instance occurred, several large players were prepared. The situation was largely focused on a few players that got squeezed in the market. On the refined product side of the market, there are a few sectors that still do not seem to fully appreciate the demand destruction that has occurred and the ramifications of this demand destruction. For example, there will be significantly less demand for environmental credits under the Renewable Fuel Standard and California Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Despite this, we are still seeing the environmental credits remaining relatively robust. The market may not be fully understanding that the massive drop-off in demand for gasoline and diesel will also result in a drop-off in demand for these environmental credits.”

It boils down to visibility while clearly understanding and predicting market disruptions. As mentioned previously, the ways in which business is conducted have been changed drastically (for any industry, really). This change does not have to be met with complete failure, but it must be met with resilience through the utilization of the tools already available to us. Unlike past pandemics, modern businesses have a robust technology toolbox readily deployable. Virus or no virus, technology provides more opportunity now than it has ever before for all of us impacted by COVID-19. Technology is the critical and obvious part of the equation. Technology can support all parts of the supply chain from production and distribution to consumers and the economy. Those that tap into its potential will undoubtedly be among those that recover successfully.

“When shippers, retailers and supply chain professionals fail to understand and embrace the importance of digitization in the supply chain, it shines a spotlight on the weak points of the industry,” states Glenn Jones, GVP Products at Blume Global. “This has been abundantly clear over the past several months and forced the accelerated digitization of the industry, which traditionally has been slow to adopt new technologies.”

Jones points to a recent survey in which 67 percent of shipping and freight professionals vowed to invest in new supply chain technologies due to the pandemic. “To remain competitive, organizations need digitally empowered logistics platforms that leverage data to make informed decisions quickly,” he says. “Companies need to expect the unexpected. We can anticipate a significant disruption to the supply chain almost every year, we just do not know what that disruption will be. What is critical is being prepared for that disruption, and a digitized supply chain operation is your best chance for responding quickly to what your customers need, when they need it.”

So, what have we learned? Are the lessons of COVID-19 rooted in the technology we already possess? For some, the answer will be yes while for others, proactivity and prediction will serve as major differentiators in recovery and rebuilding the nation’s economy.

“The impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain, and the world, underscores the importance of collaboration amongst colleagues, partners and with customers,” Jones concludes. “The on-demand needs of current supply chains will lead to an increase in digital supply chain platforms. These platforms will enable companies to scale up or down based on demand. This will be made possible by large networks of carrier partners across all modes of transportation providing intel in real time. A digitally empowered adaptive/flexible responsive logistics platform that leverages a global carrier network will enable companies to quickly move to alternate suppliers in other regions when needed and provide better data across multiple resources, ensuring companies can make informed decisions at every mode and along every mile—no matter the crisis.”

Each step of the recovery process will be a testament to our humanity and exactly how willing we are to support each other and the economy in times of crisis. COVID-19 continues to test our limits, our grit, and our tenacity on an international scale.

It is a testament to how much we appreciate those who protect us and continue to work on the frontlines for those who are sick, while others continue working to keep the supply chain moving. All of these workers are essential—farmers, supply chain managers, truckers, grocery workers, first responders, IT professionals, business owners, and beyond. We are all connected in some form or capacity and have been throughout this crisis. How we come out of this crisis will be the real determination of the economic future.

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David McCullough, a Partner at Eversheds Sutherland, counsels producers, refiners, commodity traders and distributors on the production, trade and movement of energy commodities, particularly crude oil, petroleum products and renewable fuels.

Glenn Jones, GVP Products at Blume Global, has a proven track record of growing businesses by building and leading product management/marketing and R&D organizations to define, develop, position, and sell highly innovative and high-value enterprise solutions delivered in the cloud. He was formerly the COO of Sweetbridge and the CTO of Steelwedge Software. He also held leadership positions at several other companies, including Elementum and E2Open.

Ron Leibman is head of McCarter & English’s Transportation, Logistics & Supply Chain Management practice. A respected leader in supply chain law with more than 40 years of experience, he brings valuable industry insights with prior experience as a senior logistics executive at Wakefern Food Corp. (ShopRite Supermarkets) and home-furnishing retailer Fortunoff’s. He is a member of Syracuse University’s Supply Chain Advisory Board at the Whitman School of Management.

Marc L. Busch is the Karl F. Landegger Professor of International Business Diplomacy at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a nonresident senior fellow in the Atlantic Council.

taiwan

Taiwan Takes Business Back: Examining the Shifting Landscape and What it Means for International Trade

In an exclusive Q&A with Dr. Richard Thurston – former Senior Vice President at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd, and “Of Counsel” with Duane Morris, LLP in New York, we take a closer look at the current international trade climate as Taiwan’s efforts to re-shore impact current trade relations while exposing a significant need for bilateral trade agreements and the need to improve opportunities in workforce development. Dr. Thurston walks us through what to expect in the near future as Taiwan takes businesses back from China.

What major advantages are gained by Taiwan reshoring? What risks are associated with this move?

Dr. Thurston: There are several main drivers behind Taiwan’s reshoring of Taiwan businesses from China. First, U.S. geopolitical issues, such as Taiwan companies avoiding US tariffs on China-originated products. Taiwan companies are facing a lot of pressure there.

Second, the protection of the supply chain, not just the supply chain for Taiwan’s consumer product companies, but that of other companies such as Apple, Google, and the whole range of high-tech companies. Thirdly, avoidance of both U.S. criticism, and, more importantly, of potential. U.S. penalties, fines, exclusion orders, etc., relating to possible export control violations. Finally, the Huawei issue. Overall, the challenges are much broader than trade secret protection, driven by U.S. desire to keep actual products incorporating certain advanced technologies from getting into the hands of China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Those factors, along with growing demands for international diversification, are complimented by Taiwan’s corporate concerns over ongoing health, safety, and welfare of their staff and managers working in China. One other motivation of Taiwan’s Government is to bring back to Taiwan experienced talent that had left over the last decade (which had created a great hollowing out of Taiwan’s technological and other capabilities).

On that last point, do you see a reverse effect happening in the workforce going back to Taiwan and aiming efforts on workforce development for the tech industry, or are you anticipating a completely different landscape overall?

Dr. Thurston: Previously, a much different environment existed, where there were two key drivers behind the movement to China that started when President Ma Ying-jeou took over the political reigns. One of the key factors he had in mind was to access the sizable but elusive China market. The Taiwan market of 24 million people is not large enough by itself, to sustain market growth driven by technological innovation. Second, access to talented human capital. A serious Taiwan problem exists because the STEM  (science, technology, engineering, and math) talent pool has continued to dry up in Taiwan. This has been a huge issue faced by TSMC and other technology-driven companies. So, President Ma wanted to access a culturally comparable talent pool as well as to lower costs for land and raw material supply. Finally, the KMT wanted to use Taiwan’s trade and investment in China to neutralize China’s threat against Taiwan independence.

How can Taiwan continue dominating the IP (intellectual property) sector by reshoring? And does this have any impact on its current practice?

Dr. Thurston: Taiwan has had a lot of difficulties in the IP area, and part of it is related to what I just talked about, the significant decline in the STEM talent pool. If you look for other issues, a major one is that Taiwan (because of its political position arising from China’s position against them) is not a member of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), and is not a participant in the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) and therefore, there are significant barriers against becoming a predominant IP source.

But more importantly, with the exception of a few companies like TSMC, most Taiwan companies continue to operate in the mindset of OEM and ODM companies. That mindset focuses on a slim profit margin. Therefore, they do not truly incorporate intellectual property into their overall strategy because it is expensive to promote and protect IP.

This is very relevant for many companies, especially in some of the new sectors, such as biomedicine, aerospace, clean energy, Big Data and AI labs. For example, Taiwan companies are still reluctant to establish a robust trade secret program. Although the Taiwan government has done a lot for enacting trade secret laws and litigation in its courts, many companies take inadequate measures to protect this most important IP asset and thereby, diluting its IP leadership. While there has been improvement, it has been slow because IP is still not viewed as a key to profitability. The government has been trying to improve that attitude in its companies through its intellectual property laws, so we will see. For now, I think the lack of sufficient and sustainable STEM talent, which affects directly leading-edge creativity and innovation, is a core challenge.

Taiwan is extremely important to the U.S., both commercially, with respect to its supply chain, and defensively, with respect to maintain open and safe sea and air links. What is further of concern is that the U.S. still does not have a bilateral trade agreement with Taiwan. This limits the ability of the free flow of information, business, and protections to Taiwan businesses and U.S. businesses operating in and with Taiwan.

During 2019, Taiwan’s efforts to attract its businesses back to Taiwan, and the short-term assistance it is providing to respective land acquisition and operational subsidies, has generated 160 new projects. Companies have most definitely returned from China to Taiwan. But, the question remains: is that sustainable? That issue will hurt Taiwan along with the declining birth rate out there. The innovation advantage that Taiwan has had in the past may well be limited in the years ahead unless Taiwan shores up its bilateral trade and investment relations with the U.S.

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Richard L. Thurston, Ph.D. is Of Counsel at international law firm Duane Morris where he practices in the area of intellectual property law from its New York and Taipei offices. Prior to joining Duane Morris, Dr. Thurston was Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd., where he was also Chief Proprietary Information Officer (Trade Secrets) and Corporate Compliance Officer.

compliance

SUPPLY CHAIN COMPLIANCE CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS

In the current trade atmosphere both domestic and international supply chain players have a myriad of concerns to consider while determining the next step in successful operations. Specifically, in 2020, these concerns have challenged shippers, carriers, manufacturers, distributors and other trade players to mitigate risk in new ways on an almost monthly basis.

The year kicked-off with the highly anticipated IMO 2020 regulation disrupting ocean shippers and carriers. IMO 2020 left many scratching their heads and trying to figure out the best way to navigate compliance and the latest trade tariffs without halting operations. For the most part, shippers were prepared, and IMO wasn’t nearly as scary as doomsayers made it out to be. However, for those that waited until the last minute to implement required changes, the transition left some compliance pains and costs that were avoidable.

Fast-forward to mid-January, and the appearance of the COVID-19 pandemic. Global trade and its supply chains were abruptly impacted, as the coronavirus started in China and eventually moved on to Italy, South Korea and other global markets. Businesses rapidly started temporarily shutting down amid a global panic. Supply and demand shifted while talk of force majeure slips—acknowledgements that contracts cannot be fulfilled due to unforeseen circumstances—shined a light of hope for the devastated Chinese suppliers. As of the second week in March, the National Trade Promotion System confirmed the issuance of more than 4,000 force majeure certificates as the U.S. prepared for the virus to disrupt domestic markets and business.

“The virus is the primary cause of the supply-chain impact but the secondary causes coming from the virus include financial, regulatory, compliance and legal,” explained David Shillingford with Resilience360 at the 2020 Modex conference. “One thing supply chains hate is variance, and there’s going to be a lot of variance and volatility on the demand side.”

So, what do these things have to do with compliance? The answer is all-encompassing. These and other disruptions will ultimately prove which players in the supply chain can stand the test of compliance and regulation risk mitigation and which ones are simply unprepared. For now, companies across the supply chain would be doing themselves a favor by reviewing regulations, disclosures and other compliance-related documentation and processes to ensure the highest level of compliance is achieved, if not already. As the National Law Review puts it in the article “Managing the Commercial Impact of the Coronavirus: An Effective Supply Chain Response Plan:”

Public companies should review and make accurate required disclosures, in the event that business operations are impacted such that a reporting requirement is triggered. All companies who are parties to credit agreements and other financing arrangements should review existing MAC clauses, and potential impacts on the borrower’s financial covenant compliance, in order to determine whether any proactive conversations with lenders may be warranted.

The takeaway is simple: Proactive measures should be in place among all links in the supply chain before, during and after major industry disruptions and changes in policy, regardless of the specific market operations. Factors including transparent communications, emergency planning and navigating an evergreen supply chain atmosphere can prevent costly fines and waste. Shifts in supply and demand are inevitable and it’s not a matter of if regulations will be accounted for, it’s a matter of when they will be accounted for. Don’t wait until your business is required to prove compliance. Instances like a global health crisis are one of many examples of how noncompliant companies can create unneeded delays or worse if found to be noncompliant. Visibility is key and it starts with your business knowing every moving part of the chain and your involvement with its success.

Visibility tools are every company’s best friend when it comes to compliance, providing a new level of security for both small and large-scale operations. Compliance issues come in a host of various forms from cyber risk and government sanctions to ethical trade practices and supporting sustainable practices and demand. And more recently, global supply chains have been shaken by natural disasters and global health concerns. Whether it’s a natural or unnatural occurrence, there’s no reason to be unprepared when it comes to compliance and preparation. These are all issues that require accountability on behalf of the partners involved. Ignorance is not excuse in the modern age where technology advancements, procurement and systems of checks and balances are created at each point.

“Knowing who you’re doing business with and ensuring your supply chain is compliant isn’t just a necessity; it’s good for the bottom line,” states Hemanth Setty, senior product director, Supply Chain Management & Compliance Solutions at Dun & Bradstreet, in his blog “7 Steps to Supply Chain Compliance.” Setty dives into why and how companies are challenged with a new list of onlookers requiring compliance and an ongoing approach rather than quick fixes to placate regulators.

He notes that the modern supply chain player now has “investors, suppliers, partners, customers and the media” to satisfy when it comes to compliance. Solutions presented keep department collaborations and meeting the expectations of customers at the top. But before a company can meet expectations, they must understand exactly what is expected and that requires transparency from the beginning, throughout the chain. This includes a pulse check on data and ensuring it’s up to date and preparing for the unexpected. Setty also advises that all corporate policies and procedures are understood across the board to avoid inconsistencies when onboarding new vendors and adding to the business.

The subject of compliance doesn’t have to be messy. In fact, the solution to many compliance issues is clear. When compliance is a priority in business, all other parts of the chain follow suit. Keep communications open and well understood, keep ethics at the forefront of operations, and be mindful of the changing regulations and potential disruptors that can easily shake the bottom line. Understand what expectations are and how critical it is to meet them. Utilize technology to support large-scale supply chains and eliminate mistakes with updated data and processes.

covid

Post-COVID Logistics: Retooling for the Future

The impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt across global economies and businesses, but for the supply chain and logistics industry, challenges go beyond the present and threaten the future of operations and business continuity. These challenges redefine what prediction could look like for the logistics industry and what considerations should be taken to keep the supply chain moving.

Global Trade had the opportunity to speak with business owner and author of “The GOP’s Lost Decade: An Inside View of Why Washington Doesn’t Work,” Jim Renacci on what changes the industry can anticipate as the current health crisis continues to change the pace for global business.

What planning measures will logistics players need to consider in a post-COVID environment?

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has changed the way manufacturers/logistic players will need to review their supply chain management post-COVID-19 and access their supply chain vulnerabilities. The crisis has demonstrated that reliance on sourcing from two geographic areas could pose a risk.

During the crisis, while supplies became unavailable, many companies were forced to start looking for new supply chains as many of their overseas suppliers had to limit or reduce shipments significantly. Post-COVID planning will include asking current suppliers to take on more and different product lines. It is already happening with many current business relationships. Also, the reliability of the supply chain…. over cost…. will be more of a priority.

In what ways have supply chain players supported their customers and consumers during the crisis?

Manufacturers/supply chain players are supporting their customers by shifting and increasing supply chain needs where possible. In many instances, secondary suppliers have started adding product lines where possible. With any crisis, opportunities will be there for the business that can move quickly and adapt to change.

How will the manufacturing site selection process shift in a post-COVID world? 

Manufacturing site selection processes in a post-COVID world should include seeking locations within the US and other countries that have access to highly trained engineers, top tier R&D, access to advanced manufacturing technologies as well as private and public institutions and universities. Site selection should also include countries that offer a competitive investment package as more and more countries post-COVID will be looking to entice companies to locate or relocate inside their jurisdictions.

In what ways can logistics players use the disruption from COVID-19 to benefit their operations in the future?

Current disruption due to COVID-19 will allow companies to reassess their vulnerabilities but also their strengths. With these disruptions, companies can retool for the future. They can adjust for their weaknesses and benefit from their strengths.

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Jim Renacci is the author of The GOP’s Lost Decade: An Inside View of Why Washington Doesn’t Work. He is also an experienced business owner who created more than 1,500 jobs and employed over 3,000 people across the Buckeye State before running for Congress in 2010. Jim represented Ohio’s 16th District in the House of Representatives for four terms. He is also the chairman of Ohio’s Future Foundation, a policy and action-oriented organization whose goal is to move the state forward.

Old Dominion

Old Dominion Driver Awarded for Heroic and Lifesaving Actions

In true Old Dominion fashion, delivery and pickup driver Harold Hyde took “putting others first” to a new level when he risked his own life to save a 4-year-old boy wandering on the road in August of 2019. Using his own truck as a barricade to block off traffic on both sides, Hyde decided to act quickly when he noticed cars swerving to avoid hitting the nonverbal and autistic boy who unlocked his home and wandered onto the road.

This brave act represents one of two from Hyde, as he saved a pregnant woman from an overturned SUV in September before first responders could arrive, not long after saving the 4-year-old boy from a potentially disastrous situation. Both instances occurred while Hyde was en route for customer deliveries. These actions and Hyde’s unwavering willingness to help others positioned him as this year’s recipient of the distinguished John Yowell OD Family Spirit Award.

“I am humbled to be recognized with the John Yowell award,” said Harold Hyde. “It’s inspiring to be associated with the legacy of Mr. Yowell and past recipients of the award. My job allows me to interact with the great people of Nashville and beyond, and I will continue to strive for excellence in my work while serving my community. I’m just thankful for the chance to do something positive for someone else.”

The OD Spirit Family Award encompasses the family-focused culture Old Dominion puts at the forefront of its LTL business operations. Named after John Yowell – former executive vice president who passed away in 2011, the award is dedicated to showcasing exemplary dedication to helping others, and that’s exactly what Mr. Hyde has done.

“Harold’s continued commitment to going above and beyond for his community and Old Dominion customers naturally sets him apart,” said Greg Gantt, president and CEO of Old Dominion Freight Line. “His uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time and humble heroism make him the true picture of a John Yowell OD Family Spirit Award winner.”

Mr. Hyde has been with Old Dominion since 2007 and received a $1,000 donation from ODFL towards the charity of his choice. Hyde selected True Joy Community Progam to support healthy meals and snacks for children in low-income areas. This organization works to combat hunger and obesity while promoting health and nutrition.

Big D

DALLAS, TEXAS, LIVES UP TO ITS OVERSIZED REPUTATION

Dallas, Texas. There is a lot associated with this city in the Lone Star State. Among common associations typically thought of when the city is brought up in conversation include buildings with breathtaking views creating an unforgettable skyline, skyscraper-like freeways, and southern pride some consider to be arrogant beyond reason.

There is a reason behind these common associations, though. Dallas, Texas offers an experience unlike most southern cities–and not just because of the plethora of mouthwatering food options presented every half-mile or the fact that it is home to the Dallas Cowboys football team. Dallas is a place where diversity thrives, and the nightlife never disappoints.

Whether you are looking for a refreshing cocktail with even more refreshing views or a meal that is simply unforgettable as far as food and company are concerned, you can consider yourself lucky to be in this city for business. We’ve rounded up the top spots and things to do while you take care of business. Keep in mind that these are just a few of the gems found in Dallas, and we highly encourage a trip back to the Big D for pleasure instead of business to get the full experience. For now, these will do justice.

Atwater Alley

If you’re interested in experience, look no further than Atwater Alley. Located in the heart of Dallas off of McKinney Avenue, this speakeasy-style spot is sure to provide an experience you’ll share back home. The ambiance and atmosphere found in Atwater Alley set the mood for relaxation and nostalgia while the cocktails are carefully crafted with pride. Know going in that this speakeasy is not intended to accommodate hundreds or even a couple of dozen patrons. Space is limited but the experience–and did we mention the cocktails?–makes Atwater a must on our list of things to do while in Dallas. If you are craving a traditional old fashioned paired with a unique, relaxing environment, Atwater is sure to satisfy.

STIRR

Looking for something on the upbeat, modern-chic side? STIRR is sure to meet your needs. From their signature brunch, lunch and dinner menus to their impressive and unique cocktail selection, STIRR leaves the taste buds of its patrons wanting more of the deliciousness it has to offer. Located in Deep Ellum, STIRR Dallas offers visitors a grand view on its rooftop with the perfect ambiance to pair with the meal. If you’re up for a couple of flights of stairs, keep your eyes carefully on every stair as each reveals an uplifting or quirky message that adds to the STIRR experience.

Dallas Museum of Art

Ah, the DMA. This museum offers a different kind of experience for out-of-towners and locals alike with free daily general admission as late as 9 p.m. on Thursdays and 11 p.m. on “Late Night Fridays.” The DMA features more than 25,000 fascinating pieces—from Islamic art, arts of the Americas and contemporary art to arts of Africa and Asia, classical art, Texas art and much more. When considering a visit to the DMA, be sure to check out the latest exhibition. Each provides a new, intimate and thought-provoking experience to the visitor and are limited-time opportunities.

Reunion Tower

A classic staple for the Dallas visitor, the Reunion Tower really speaks for itself once you take a glance at all 561 feet of its beauty and radiance. Great for dinner and drinks, this experience might not be your first choice for a solo visit but will definitely “wow” your clients if you’re looking to accommodate an unforgettable dining experience at Wolf Gang Puck’s Five Sixty Restaurant. If you do find yourself seeking a solo light dinner and drink, Cloud Nine can accommodate your needs while providing a revolving view and relaxing ambiance. And we can’t forget to mention the Ge-O Deck offering 360-degree panoramic views of the big D.

The Mansion Bar

Located in the prestigious Turtle Creek region in Dallas, the sophisticated Mansion Bar takes pride to a whole new level with its cognac-colored leather walls, Texas countryside art pieces and equestrian-themed décor. The Mansion offers visitors both modern and classic vintage cocktails, but it’s recommended to try the Mansion Gin & Tonic for a refreshed and unmatched experience. If you’re seeking more than the average beer, Texas craft breweries keep The Mansion’s beer variety tantalizing while the award-winning wine program featuring hand-selected reds, whites and sparkling wines. Happy hour is Monday through Friday, 4-7 p.m., with live music to pair with your cocktail of choice on selected days. Once you experience the hospitality, elegance and delightfulness here, you’ll want to come back.

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

Known across Texas for its take on other cuisines including barbecue, seafood and Mexican food, the Pappas Bros. experience flaunts that it really can do it all. The family owned and operated Pappas Bros. Steakhouse is known as the premier steakhouse for Dallas and Houston, offering dry-aged steaks that are never pre-packaged and a selection of more than 3,500 wines. In fact, Pappas dry ages its own meats for a minimum of 28 days and employs two butchers at each restaurant solely for quality and portion control. Recognized by the Food Network as a “Top 5 Steaks in America” location, Pappas is known for a New York strip that packs 32-ounces of mouth-watering greatness. If you have room left once the steak has been polished off, finish the meal with the comforting and delectable warm peach cobbler. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

Whether you’re new to the Big D or just visiting for a couple of days, do yourself (and your taste buds) a favor by giving these places a visit. It goes without saying that everything really is “bigger in Texas” and these are just a few of the hundreds of spots Dallas, Texas, residents attribute to their Texas-sized state pride.