Supply Chain by the Numbers

- June 30 , 2011


Supply Chain by the Numbers for Week of June 30, 2011


FDA Has Big Job with Imports; South African Drug Company Cuts DC Electricity Use in Half; Moving Van Goghs not Easy; Indian Farmers Throw Up Steel Wall Against POSCO Plant



Much to our surprise, the percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients in medications sold in the US that are currently manufactured offshore, according to a new report from the FDA on its plans to improve import product safety. While we suspect many of those imports may be from Europe, where there are generally very mature product quality standards and practices, increasingly they are coming from less mature economies such as China (remember the Baxter-Heparin disaster). The FDA also says that between 10% and 15% of all food consumed by US households is now imported from abroad, as are nearly two-thirds of the fruits and vegetables and 80% of seafood eaten domestically - and that these numbers are growing.




The amount of electricity consumption South African pharmaceutical manufacturer Adcock Ingram had to reduce in a newly acquired DC three years ago, when it turned out the local utility couldn't deliver the juice to run the air conditioning needed for the prescription and over the counter medicines. According to logistics manager Kirk Nash at the SAPICS conference this week in Sun City, SA, the goal was achieved in the four months they had until go-live through changes in the lighting systems, a "building control system," changes in fork truck battery charging, but most impactfully a new Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) cooling system that the company is now using for another DC without the power availability constraints. See Green Supply Chain News: In a Pinch, South African Firm Learns How to Cut Distribution Center Electricity Usage in Half.

$12 Billion

Amount that South Korean steel giant Posco's plans to invest in a new steel plant in Indian. However, after finally receiving government approval for the plant in the Indian state of Orissa, the project is now back on hold, as state officials are stymied in acquiring all the needed land. Local farmers this week sat their children in rows on the street to prevent state officials to enter the area beginning the land acquisition processes. Indian company Tata had to move an already constructed car to a different part of India three years ago after similar strong protests by local farmers.


 $25 Billion

The value of the artwork soon being transported by the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia from its current location to a new building six miles away. It is believed to be the largest logistics move by dollar value in history. Needless to say, many precautions are being taken, from expert packaging operations to decoy trucks that will not actually be carrying any artwork to use of active RFID/GPS tags on the frames or crates. The exact date of the move is naturally enough not being announced to the public. We'd take this freight tender for a mere .5% of the declared value and retire, though recognize any OSD claims could be a real bear to absorb.