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Supply Chain Matters Update Two: Automotive Service and Spare Parts Networks Respond to Crisis

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Supply Chain Matters provides another update to the ongoing crisis involving aftermarket spare parts and service management supply chains within the Automotive sector as unprecedented levels of product recalls stress the system to its limits. U.S. automakers alone have recalled more than 30 million vehicles this year as a result of a heightened regulatory environment that has prompted auto makers to issue a recall out of an Abundance of caution and legal protection. Regarding the product recalls related to the airbag inflators produced by Takata Corrp., this has been a rather busy week of finger-pointing and consternation. Last week, U.S. regulators nearly doubled the estimate of vehicles subject to recall. Reports have come to light that auto makers and regulators were aware of Takata air bag inflator problems for several years. The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office that led the investigation and $1.2 billion fine on Toyota to settle a previous […]


Report on Arctic Northern Passage Shipping Volume

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Two years ago. Supply Chain Matters called reader attention to an important milestone in Asia and North Atlantic Ocean transit.  At the time, a Chinese icebreaker was successful in completing the first ship voyage that utilized an Arctic Ocean and polar icecap route to travel from China to an Icelandic port. Last year, we highlighted reports that a Chinese cargo ship successfully made the first ever commercial transit of the Northwest Passage.  The Yong Sheng, a cargo vessel operated by state-owned Cosco Group set sail from the port of Dalian for Rotterdam. This week, the Wall Street Journal reported (paid subscription) further volume increases for this northern shipping route. The article cites data from the Artic Institute in Washington DC indicating that 71 ships carried 1.3 million tons of cargo via the Artic route in 2013. That was up from 46 vessels in 2012. The Institute indicates that most of […]


Another Important Indication of Chief Supply Chain Officer Agenda

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As we have stated in previous commentaries, Supply Chain Matters does not tend to comment on the huge plethora of opinion research studies concerning the discipline and state of global supply chain management unless we feel the research is meaningful and based on sound research practices.  By our view, there are too many outlets, beyond experienced analyst anchored firms, producing so called research vs. opinion of the day among a limited set of respondents. In an October 2013 Supply Chain Matters commentary we highlighted some important findings from the Chief Supply Chain Officer Report conducted and compiled by SCM World. We were impressed with the research approach as well as the key findings. This year, we were able to obtain a copy of The Chief Supply Chain Officer Report 2014, Pulse of the Profession. Our thanks to Supply Chain Matters Sustaining Sponsor E2open for providing us with a copy of […]


Syracuse University’s Whitman School Announces Annual Salzberg Award Recipients

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The H.H. Franklin Center for Supply Chain Management at Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management earlier this month presented its Annual Harry E. Salzberg Memorial Award. The Salzberg award is noted as the oldest supply chain award in the United States and was created in 1949 with a gift from Murray Salzberg in honor of his father Harry E. Salzberg, a transportation entrepreneur.  The announced winner of this year’s 65th Annual Salzberg award was Cummins, Inc., a global based designer manufacturer and distributor of diesel and natural gas engines and related technologies. Accepting the award on behalf of Cummins was Theodusia Rush, Executive Director of Global Supply Chain Planning and Logistics. Presenting the award on behalf of the University is Gary La Point, Professor of Practice and Director of the Salzberg Program at Syracuse University. Established in 1949, the annual Salzberg award is presented to an organizationor individual […]


China Branded Trains Appearing in a U.S. Subway System

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If our readers have had the occasion to travel to Boston, you might have experienced the public transit subway system which is referred to as the “T”. Typical to the historic nature of the city, its subway system dates back to the late 1800’s. Today, its subway lines are denoted by colors, namely the Red, Green, Orange and Silver lines. Last week, another very important milestone took place. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation awarded a contract to China’s state-owned CNR Corp. for the replacement and delivery of 284 modern subway cars.  The important headline for this development was the awarded contract cost, namely $567 million, is a rather compelling sum for this amount of modern equipment.  It its reporting, Bloomberg News echoed that this was the first deal of this kind for a Chinese company in the U.S.: “The deal breaks new ground for Chinese train makers whose overseas push, […]


Severe Congestion at Key West Coast Ports Lead to Needs for Creative Actions

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Throughout the summer months, Supply Chain Matters as well as other supply chain management focused media have been monitoring the ongoing threat of potential west coast port disruptions. The primary threat resulted from the expiration of the labor contract among the Pacific Maritime Association, representing 29 U.S. west coast ports, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).  During July, a Supply Chain Matters commentary cited a published report in Logistics Management made the observation that the threat of U.S. West Coast port disruptions raised an open question as to “peak shipping season” this year. Logistics Management further conducted a reader poll of 103 buyers of freight transportation and logistics services. That survey indicated 68.1 percent of respondents expecting a more active peak shipping season this year. Some respondents were reported to be concerned about potential transportation lane disruptions in the fall. Perhaps, in retrospect, that was insightful thinking by […]


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