Afternoon Coffee: Cost reduction & tech hinder procurement firms; Renewable energy consumption overtakes coal in U.S.; TradeLends integrates DP World

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A survey has found that procurement leaders are being forced to decide whether to engage in cost reduction practices or invest in the tech necessary to help them survive, Supply Chain Dive reports. The survey was conducted by market research company Forrester. The issue has struck many companies as they struggle to weather the coronavirus crisis, and are forced to find emergency measures to save money.

The survey found that geographic and time zone gaps were the biggest issue for procurement and business teams, and a lack of collaborative tools the second biggest. To combat the issue, Forrester recommended that firms invest in software that provides real-time collaboration internally with procurement teams and supply chain partners. This way, firms can be prepared for the increased supplier risk that will surely appear once the effects of the pandemic subside, the report said.

Renewable energy overtakes coal in the U.S.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration announced that the country consumed more energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind, in 2019 than it did from coal, CNN reports. This is the first time renewable resources have overtaken coal since 1885, when hydropower was still a fledgling industry. Coal consumption last year fell by 15%, marking the sixth year in a row of declines and the lowest level of use since 1964.

Renewable energy hit its fourth year in a row of all-time high consumption in 2019, with wind overtaking hydro energy for the first time ever. The organization said that it expected renewable sources to generate more electricity than coal in 2020 as well, despite the disruptions from the coronavirus. However, the EIA said that the statistics measure only consumption, and not power generation, which is something that coal still maintains over renewable sources.

DP World integrates with Maersk's TradeLens

DP World, the Dubai-based global logistics provider, and the AP Moller-Maersk blockchain platform TradeLens have begun integrating operations, Supply Chain Dive reports. DP World operates 82 terminals globally and has begun connecting its Dubai and Kochi, India terminals to TradeLens.

TradeLens hopes that DP World will enhance its ability to process accurate data and further remove paper documents in the procurement process, as well as reduce costs for DP World customers.

TradeLens' boss Mike White said of the partnership in a press release: "We are excited to welcome DP World and eagerly await the creation of new potential ways of working for shippers and consignees in global trade."

Didi Chuxing raises $500 million in funding

Didi Chuxing, the China-based transportation company, has raised $500 million in funding for its autonomous driving subsidiary, Reuters reports. The funding round was led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2. This marks the largest round of funding in China’s self-driving market.

Didi Chuxing plans to use the funding for further research and development, testing and deployment of the autonomous driving services. The company has open-road testing licenses in California, Beijing and several other Chinese cities for its autonomous vehicles.

Spend Matters PRO offer extended for May

Now through the end of the month, a Spend Matters' special PRO Expert Survival Pack is available to procurement practitioners only* at up to 50% off. The discount applies to PRO subscription content from our analysts and other services. — Learn more

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