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Creating a Logistics Strategy

How much supply chain visbility does your company have? Is your company proactive or reactive to logistics issues? Learn more about creating a logistics strategy that would bring the benefits of supply chain to your company.

Logistics / Supply Chain Spotlight10

Air Cargo Still Volatile

Monday April 14, 2014
Airlines Fight For Cargo Although there is some evidence that the air cargo market is making some kind of improvement, many airlines that operate air freighters are having a terrible time. Cathay Pacific has four older freighters parked in the US, Singapore Airlines have four 747-400's sitting in the Mojave Desert. Cathay Pacific has lost money on air cargo in the last three years, while Qantas is seeing profits melt away.

So who is making money from moving cargo? The answer may be surprising. It is the passenger airlines who seem to be doing well in the cargo market. The trick is not to try to fill a whole freighter of cargo, but to have passenger aircraft that can hold reasonable amounts of freight. The new Boeing 777's can hold up to 20 tons of cargo, double that of the 747, so it can make flights profitable if the cargo hold is full. A number of airlines are using this tactic including Emirates, American, JAL, and British Airways.

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Damaged Roads

Wednesday April 9, 2014
Potholes If you thought your local roads here in the US were bad, give a thought to the situation in the UK, where the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) has released a survey that found that estimated cost of getting roads in England and Wales back into a "reasonable" condition has increased to 12 billion ($20 billion). The estimated time to complete the current work could be as much as ten years.

Over 65 percent of local authorities in England and Wales have roads that were damaged by the bad winter weather this year, including massive flooding. The AIA says that it costs at least 20 times more per square meter to fill a pothole than it does to resurface a road. Despite this, the British government has chipped in a paltry 183 million ($305 million) to help fix the areas worst affected by the flooding.

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Shipping Lithium Batteries

Tuesday April 8, 2014
lithium metal battery ban The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been looking into the dangers of lithium metal batteries on passenger and cargo aircraft. The US and some foreign carriers already ban lithium metal batteries on passenger flights, but many airlines still ship these potentially dangerous goods. A working group from the ICAO, called the Dangerous Goods Panel, has been looking at lithium metal batteries and has performed a number of tests using a test Boeing 727 airframe.

If a lithium metal battery overheats, it can reach temperatures exceeding 760 degrees Celsius. If one battery ignites, it can quickly ignite others. Passenger flights use halon fire suppressant, but this has no effect on lithium metal battery fires. Tests using the 727 airframe found that that smoke caused by the fire engulfed the flight deck within eight or nine minutes of detection, while others caused an explosion that ripped through the aircraft, blew the flight deck door off its hinges and buckled the 727. The ICAO will consider the results of the test and make a decision on the future of carrying lithium metal batteries on any aircraft.

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More Food Safety Issues

Monday April 7, 2014
Food Safety Issues Tyson Foods is reported to be recalling more than 75,000 pounds of chicken products after it was found that some was contaminated by particles of plastic. A number of consumers have been finding small plastic particles in chicken nuggets that they purchased from Sam's Club across the country. The USDA has issued an notice that this is a Class II recall, as it presents a health hazard that has a remote probability of affecting consumers.

Tyson Foods stated that the issues are due to one particular piece of equipment and that a scrapper in a blending machine was the source of the plastic particles. The company has also said that they are implementing corrective measures in all of their facilities to ensure that this type of food safety issue does not occur again. Although there is no estimate of how much the recall will cost the company, it does once again show that the food supply chain in the US can be susceptible to contamination and it may take a couple of months, as in this case, to find out things have gone wrong.

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