Sorry, I’m Not Sure: Supply Chain and Logistics Predictions for 2018

Talking Logistics

Mexico and Canada are heading into 2018 with no clear plan for saving the North American Free Trade Agreement,” states a Bloomberg article published on December 15. North Korea : The more missiles North Korea launches and tests, the greater the risk for military conflict — or worse.

Made in “I Really Don’t Know”

Talking Logistics

As first reported by Fairfax Media , a factory in North Korea has been making high-priced surf and snow gear for Australian surfwear company Rip Curl since at least 2014, with the garments labeled “Made in China.” We do not approve or authorise any production of Rip Curl products out of North Korea.” It’s very likely that North Koreans are producing garments for other brands too, either in the country or as slave labor in China.

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Procurement Can Prepare for  Supply Chain Risk


Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) after their suppliers used third party vendors in North Korea, falling foul of North Korea Sanctions Regulations. Alex Saric, Smart Procurement Expert, Ivalua.

Global Logistics—November 2014

Inbound Logistics

'North Korea,South Korea,and Russia team up to test new trade partnership,GS1 global registry sets new standard with 15 million products,Middle East airports face growing congestion problem,Puerto Rico makes Panama Canal transshipment play with Port of the Americas project,Britain introduces supply chain slavery bill.'

Supply Chains Must Pay Attention to Geopolitical Strife

Supply Chain Brain Podcast

Rising diplomatic tensions in North Korea and around the world pose a serious threat to global supply chains. Many manufacturers have taken steps to protect their global operations from the effects of natural disasters. Read More

What Supply Chain Risks Must Supply Chain Execs Keep Top of Mind?


As seen recently with additional sanctions levied against North Korea and other countries, a change in politics may result in the cutoff of critical supply chain functions. Risk permeates supply chains. The best-laid plans to avoid as many risks as possible often fall on deaf ears in supply chain management, but supply chain executives who take the time to understand the greatest threats can successfully position their companies to overcome such risks.

Supply Chain and Logistics Resolutions for 2017: 4 Things to STOP Doing This Year

Talking Logistics

the collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh that killed hundreds of ‘slave-labor’ employees, Rip Curl apparel marked “Made in China” actually being made in North Korea). Three years ago, I wrote a popular post highlighting “ 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Supply Chain and Logistics Executives.” The same resolutions still apply today, so I encourage you to re-read the post in case you forgot them or ignored the advice the first time around.

Chinese New Year Shutdown 2020: How to Prepare


In mainland China (and even in other countries that celebrate the holiday such as Indonesia, Malaysia, North Korea, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, and Brunei), the Chinese New Year holiday is a very big deal.

Has China lost its relevance as a production location?

Supply Chain Movement

The general price level of products made in China is rising rapidly, and it has been claimed that some of the products actually originate in North Korea. China’s position as a production location is currently a hot topic amongst global thought leaders in supply chain. So has the time come to look beyond China for low-cost production facilities? This is one of the most common questions that I’m asked when holding keynote speeches, workshops or supply-chain training courses.

China 97

Harvey’s Impact on the Global Supply Chain: The Role of Analytics


South China will be exposed to hurricanes, and South Korea which is next North Korea (and the location of production of 50% of the world’s semiconductors) is in a precarious situation.

Cyber Attacks Are Major Risk in New Global Resilience Ranking

Material Handling & Logistics

The fall likely reflects a turbulent diplomatic climate intensified by North Korea’s nuclear threat and signs of Russian election meddling.

Thoughts on Supply Chain Impacts (After Listening to Trump’s State of the Union)


I listened to all one and a half hours of Trump’s State of the Union address last night, and while it was certainly very positive in terms of the economy, it also left me with some unanswered questions about the relationship of the different policy and funding initiatives he proposed for the next few years. Here’s a few of the random thoughts that went through my head, (albeit from a supply chain guy’s point of view). Trump emphasized the growth of manufacturing in the economy. But it also made me wonder – what kind of jobs are these going to create? One of the truths of manufacturing is that many operations are increasingly automated, and that robots are increasingly performing many of these jobs , particularly those related to repetitive manufacturing. For instance, he mentioned how Chrysler, Toyota and others will be building cars in the US – but anyone who has been in an automotive plant knows that most of the jobs involved skilled technicians, of which there is a shortage. So will there really be 200,000 manufacturing jobs? What kind of jobs are these exactly? Which leads to my next thought. Trump was trumpeting the fact that we will be seeing new jobs due to the influx of companies “back to America” because of his corporate tax cut, and that we will be “seeing rising wages” But in the same sentence, he mentioned that “unemployment claims are at a record low”, and that “African American unemployment is at the lowest levels in history”… but this is likely due to the fact that the unemployment rate is ALREADY at 4.1%. And then, he emphasizes how he is going to limit immigration. So let’s see, what does this add up to? Increasing wages, more jobs, and low unemployment – sounds like a labor shortage to me! And this is already in an environment where there is a massive shortage of logistics workers and truck drivers ! One piece of good news is that he plans to invest $1.3 trillion in “infrastructure” We have had a massive problem with poor infrastructure in our airports, roads, bridges, and other transportation channels for many, many years. But this isn’t something you fix in 3 years. It will take a decade or more to truly get the type of investment we need to improve these issues. And then you couple the with the increase in capital investment likely to occur with the corporate tax cut, and again you have more jobs – good thing, right? Not if you don’t have people to fill those jobs, and you don’t have any immigrant workers who can fill in on construction crews, craft labor, and the other trades for which there is already a shortage! He didn’t mention that America had disbanded the TransPacific Partnership , or that the negotiations with NAFTA trade partners and Canada were going badly. Apparently, we don’t need anybody else in the global economy. If these trading partners would just cooperate to drive “fair trade deals”, then we could all get along! But that was exactly what the TPP was – a fair trade deal to level the playing field. Trump didn’t provide a whole lot of details on what he meant by a “good deal”…you can read about it in his book I guess… The narrative on the pharmaceutical industry was also odd. He targeted “reducing the price of prescription drugs” But most of what people buy has already gone generic and is already at the lowest price. And if you put pressure on the fact that Americans pay more for their drugs, then that means going to a “single payor” system, which is why countries in Europe are able to negotiate lower drug prices. But how does that occur if you are “dismantling Obamacare”? And if you do lower the profit margin for pharmaceutical companies, then the amount of money that they have to reinvest in R&D to fight Alzheimers, Parkinson’s, cancer, and other diseases is also shrunk. And how exactly does the FDA approving more drugs help that? It means that pharmaceutical companies need funds to increase their supply chain capacity – which also means more jobs, for which there is already a shortage. So if we step back and think about this for a moment: increased wages, increased disposable income due to tax cuts, increased number of jobs in construction, pharma, and capital projects, plus reduced immigration, will result in wage increases – which ultimately, adds up to higher inflation. That is the one thing we can definitely forecast will happen if all of this comes to fruition. What we really face here is a shortage of talented workers to fill all of these jobs! But I didn’t hear Trump speak about training or education in the speech. That’s the one part that I kept listening for, but didn’t even hear mentioned once. Lots about “wanting people to be safe”, lots on defense spending to “make America great”, lots on “depraved characters” in North Korea, and odd comments about “steel in our spine”… but not so much on making people smarter to be able to adapt to this new economic vision. Emerging Issues in Supply Chain Forecasting Global Supply Chain Impact of Trump on Supply Chain Supply Chain Economics Supply Chain Management Transportation Planning Working Capital Management

What’s Happening in Washington that’s Impacting Trade Today

BluJay Solutions

and the Republic of Korea have reached an agreement in principle on KORUS trade negotiations, which includes quotas at 70% average exports of steel and aluminum based on 2015-2017 data, and an increase in U.S. parts in April because it was violating rules and selling to North Korea and Cuba. Global trade is a moving target in today’s political scene. How are these issues in Washington, D.C. impacting your world and supply chain?

In Chains: How to Approach Human Trafficking in your Supply Chain


Malaysia, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, and Thailand were among the worst countries for human trafficking violations, with Nepal, Indonesia and Iran mentioned as frequent violators as well. Several firms are leveraging such technology to explore their supply chains in depth, as we found at May’s North American Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference. Are You Linked to Forced Labor?

I Will Be Wrong Again: Supply Chain and Logistics Predictions for 2017

Talking Logistics

Russia, Iran, North Korea, and ISIS : Call them “The Unpredictables” (you can probably add China to the mix too). Past performance is not indicative of future results. This is not only true for financial investments, but also for supply chain and logistics predictions.

Forced Labor in Seafood Supply Chains


State Department responded to the media reports by blacklisting Thailand – essentially placing constraints on Thai trade similar to those placed on North Korea. Introduction. Shrimp tacos. Blackened catfish. Grilled mahi-mahi. Salmon burgers.

What of our Brad?


So, with two busy boys and twins on the way, they have been granted refugee status from Vancouver’s Lower Mainland (where the housing costs are just north of Stupidsville). There is a great commercial on radio these days. You remember radio don’t you?

Top 10 Most Corrupt Countries of 2018

Material Handling & Logistics

North Korea. Transparency International released its annual ranking, Corruptions Perceptions Index 2017 , on Feb. 21 and the group said that “despite attempts to combat corruption around the world, the majority of countries are moving too slowly in their efforts.

Navigating the Future in an Uncertain Political and Regulatory Environment


The Supply Chain Resource Cooperative held its bi-annual Industry Partner Meeting in the Talley Student Center at North Carolina State University this past week.

This Week in Logistics News (September 5-9, 2016)

Talking Logistics

The kids are back at school, we have air conditioning again, and North Korea tested a nuclear bomb yesterday. “If Everything is back to normal. If it’s not love, then it’s the bomb that will bring us together,” Morrissey sings in this week’s Song of the Week. I’m rooting for love.