Welcome to the Precision Software Weekly News Round-Up: 9 March 2018. This week we are looking at BMW’s blockchain trial to remove child labor from their supply chain, trade compliance as a competitive advantage, China’s export boom, Tesla’s electric semis and more.

Supply Chain

BMW Takes Part in Blockchain Trial to Remove Child Labor from their Supply Chain

BMW is to take part in a pilot project using blockchain to remove child labor from its cobalt supply chain. There is documented evidence child and forced labor is used in cobalt mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo. However getting around this issue presents challenges. About two-thirds of the world’s supply comes from the DRC, and approximately a fifth of this comes from unregulated mines. BMW uses cobalt in their electric vehicle batteries. However there is huge demand for cobalt around the world. Cobalt is also used in smart phone batteries. This is one of the reasons why the global market for it doubled between the end of 2016 and the end of 2017. Read the full article here.

Companies Failing to Realise the Benefits of Digitalization Technologies  For Their Supply Chains

A recent survey by DHL has found that 95 percent of companies and supply chain professionals are not capitalizing on the benefits of technological developments. Innovative technologies such as robotics, AI, AVs, blockchain, big data analytics and sensors are changing the way companies do business. They also have the potential to disrupt traditional supply chains. To read more, please see the full article on Supply Chain Digital.

Retail

“Entitled” Online Consumers Offer Opportunities for 3PLs

Are retail consumers living in an age of entitlement? Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor of Logistics Management thinks so. More importantly, he argues that the retail reverse loop represents offers a huge opportunity for logistics managers and 3PLs. Read his analysis here.

 

Global Trade

German Stock Markets React to Possible Trade War

The possibility of a trade war resulting from US tariffs on steel and aluminum has rattled Germany’s Dax index. On Tuesday, the Financial Times reported that the Dax is “challenging London’s FTSE 100 as the worst performing major European stock market this year.  For more on this, please see the Financial Times.

Huge Upsurge in Chinese Exports

Trade relations with the US may be at a low point, but Chinese trade is buoyant. This February, exports rose 44.5 percent from 2017. That’s significantly more than analysts’ 13.6 median forecast. In January 2018, Chinese exports grew by 11.1 percent. Imports are also up — 6.3 percent in February. However growth is lower than expected. The median forecast predicted 9.7 percent growth. To read more, please see the full article on Reuters.

Precision Report: Trade Compliance as a Competitive Advantage

This week, Precision’s international trade expert Jerry Peck offered insight into how best-in-class companies leverage trade compliance as a competitive advantage. We also offer an analysis of the current state of global trade, discuss risk factors such as uncertainties around trade agreements, hybrid sanctions and political upheaval. If you missed it, read our trade compliance blog post here.

Transportation

Tesla’s Electric Semis Hit the Road

Tesla new electric semis made their first cargo deliveries this week. Fittingly, the electric trucks delivered battery packs from the Tesla factory in Nevada to the company’s auto plant in Fremont, California. For more information, and to see a video of the trucks, click here.