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Microsoft and C.H. Robinson Form Alliance for the Future of the Digital Supply Chain


Microsoft and C.H. Robinson Form Alliance for the Future of the Digital Supply Chain

As technology continues to adapt, so does the supply chain. These challenges require solutions rooted in innovative technology, further emphasizing the need for logistics and real-time data on a global scale. According to a recent report by McKinsey & Company, companies’ success will be driven by their ability to navigate the current volatile business environment, which means they must rely on an innovative and tech-driven supply chain. As we drive the future of technology in the industry, providing a continuous competitive advantage to our customers is vital.

That’s why we are excited about our alliance with Microsoft. To meet evolving supply chain demands, we are pioneering the supply chain of the future by joining forces with Microsoft – pairing the power of our industry-leading technologies C.H. Robinson’s Navisphere® and Microsoft Azure. This builds upon TMC, a division of C.H. Robinson’s successful implementation of Navisphere, its global multimodal transportation management system, across Microsoft’s global supply chain, giving Microsoft industry-leading reliability, efficiency, and real-time visibility to all inventory, at rest or in motion, anywhere in the world.

Partnering with other best-in-class companies and products brings value to our customers and carriers as we continuously look to enhance our technology built by and for supply chain experts. Through Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, we gain unlimited scalability, premier data security, and increased application speed, further demonstrating our commitment to technology-driven efficiencies and providing real results that impact the tech-forward supply chain for our customers and carriers.

Together, our technology helps address the changing demands of ever-evolving global supply chains. For example, as part of this collaboration, we are also integrating IoT device monitoring that measures temperature, shock, tilt, humidity, light, and pressure in shipments. This integration enables 100% real-time visibility to shipments as they move from the factory to distribution centers and ultimately to millions of customers.

We are always committed to creating efficiencies that provide unique solutions to the supply chain. Adapting in real-time to supply chain demands and providing our customers and carriers with innovative solutions, while harnessing the trajectory of technology, is key to staying ahead in the ever-evolving supply chain. Our alliance with Microsoft accomplishes exactly that.

As the pace of change in the industry remains at a pivotal moment, our unmatched commitment to tech-forward solutions and continued investment in technology to better serve customers remains a competitive advantage all of our customers can count on. Learn more and connect with an expert.

dalgona coffee


Whipping up a Trade Trend

The “cloud coffee” phenomenon making the rounds on Instagram and TikTok is a prime example of how ingenious people leverage global trade to bring us ideas and products we never knew we needed, but that we now love.

I’m talking about dalgona coffee, sweet caffeinated happiness in a cup. It is made of equal parts instant coffee, sugar and hot water whipped together into a beautiful froth and then spooned on top of your favorite hot or cold milk. This delightful and photogenic confection is *everywhere* on social media.

In the spirit of inquiring into the global origins of the products we love, here’s what we found out.

Dalgona’s “Honeycomb Toffee” Origins

Dalgona coffee isn’t new, but owes its new popularity to Korean actor Jung Il-woo, who demonstrated how to make it on a television show. Dalgona, however, appeals to both older and younger generations because it harkens back to a street food candy from the 1970s and 80s called ppopyi in Korean, meaning honeycomb toffee. The shortcut version of dalgona coffee is meant to be the Millennial version of ppopyi.

Thanks to K-pop culture and social media, dalgona coffee has spread worldwide. As it goes viral globally, more cultures are laying claim to its origins. Macau, in southern China, is where Jung’s clip was filmed earlier this year. The owner of Hon Kee Café in Macau had been making the drink since the early 2000s.

Culture warriors in India and Pakistan claim it as well. There the drink goes by phenti hui coffee, “hand-beaten coffee,” and “Indian cappuccino.” Proud coffee drinkers in Greece claim dalgona derives from its “frappe” (sound familiar?). A form of dalgona can be found in Libya. Coffee aficionados in Cuba use espresso instead of instant coffee.

ppopyi candy
Image credit: KIMCHIMARI, Dalgona/Ppopgi – Korean Sponge Candy Street Food

We Can’t Make Our Dalgona Without Trade

But these countries aren’t the superstars of coffee trade, nor is the United States. Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia and Ethiopia are the world’s top producers of coffee. Coffee is mainly produced in developing countries located in the Bean Belt and exported to higher income countries (we see you Finland, top consumer of coffee in the world).

The sugar in dalgona coffee (at least outside the United States) is likely to come from one of the largest producers in the world – Brazil, India, China, Thailand or Pakistan. Both sugar and coffee involve tariffs and complicated supply chains that include giant multinational corporations and myriad smallholder farmers growing crops around the world. Yet somehow, they are both quotidian or everyday products that we don’t think deeply about when we buy them. We choose our coffees and sugars from the grocery aisles or coffee shops and move on with our lives.

So the next time you find social media inspiration for your next food craze, think about the global trade that underpins it. The world is a big place, and trade brings it right to our Instagram feeds.

Take the “dalgona coffee challenge” and find out how good trade tastes: video tutorial from Yummy:

Video thumbnail how to make dalgona coffee


Brooke Tenison is an International Economist at the Department of Commerce. She was previously a Research Analyst at the International Monetary Fund, a Graduate Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center, and an Economic Fellow at New Markets Lab. She received her Master’s in Economics from George Mason University. Any opinions expressed are her own and are not representative of her current or former positions.

This article originally appeared on Republished with permission.