Afternoon Coffee: Mars Aims to Fix ‘Broken’ Global Supply Chain, North Carolina Ports Delay Reopening


Mars reiterated Wednesday its commitment to changing the way it approaches environmental sustainability, particularly in how the company manages its global supply chain, according to a press release. Places where Mars plan to adapt its strategy include sourcing, where it wants to “move away from a traditional commodity approach” to instead actively sourcing key agricultural materials, and deepening collaboration and partnerships to ensure improvements span the whole food industry.

“The transformation of supply chains is necessary across most of the materials we used to call commodities,” said Barry Parkin, chief procurement and sustainability officer at Mars. "In fact, I believe we're seeing the end of the commodities era, where materials used to be sourced from largely-unknown origins and bought purely for price on a transactional basis.

"The future will require sourcing from known origins and in many cases known farms,” he continued,” with price and sustainability impacts evaluated side by side and generally from longer-term partnership arrangements with fewer suppliers. We have started to make this shift."

Florence Aftereffects  

Two North Carolina ports shut down by Hurricane Florence, the Ports of Wilmington and Morehead City, will remain closed longer than expected, Supply Chain Dive reports. While employees will return to the two ports on Thursday, vessel operations will likely not resume “until the end of the week.” The ports of Georgia, Virginia and South Carolina all opened Monday.

Asia’s Oil Aspirations 

Global oil pipelines will increasingly be added in Asia, with the continent forecast to contribute nearly half of global petroleum products pipeline additions to 2022, according to a press release from GlobalData. The company’s report predicts Asia will contribute a total length of 15,355 km by 2022, which will account for around 49% of the global planned petroleum products pipeline length additions.

Japan Trade 

And finally, a trade update: Japan’s trade deficit is feeling the strain of global trade tensions, MarketWatch reports, having almost doubled in August from the previous month. Japan posted a trade deficit of 444.6 billion yen ($4.0 billion) in August, while the country’s trade surplus with the U.S. fell 14.5% from a year ago.

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