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Supply Chain by the Numbers

- Oct. 12, 2023


Supply Chain by the Numbers for October 12, 2023


IMF Forecasts Weak US, Global Growth in 2024; Supply Chain Execs Invest in Agility and Resilience; Volvo Sees Big Gains wIth SuperTruck2; Maersk Buildng Green Methane Ship



Not surprisingly, that is the number of companies that said they took actions to make their supply chains more flexible, agile and resilient in the past year, according to a new report from the consultants at McKinsey. It wasn’t quite 100% in the same survey last year, when 97% of respondent cited such strategies. How did companies do it? 66% of supply chain execs in the survey said their companies brought suppliers closer to their main markets, a 34% increase from 2022, driven mostly by the automotive and consumer industries. Four in 10 (42%) of companies said they made moves to nearshore production, a 25% increase year-over-year. A similar number (44%) of respondents said their companies increased backup production sites in the past year, up from 22% in 2022.



That is the size in TEU of a new containership from industry giant Maersk Line that can run on so-called “green methanol,” according to a recent announcement from the company. Green methanol is produced from either from biomass feedstocks or renewable electricity and captured CO2. Ship fuel is the cause of 95% of Maersk’s CO2 emissions, and the company has said that finding an alternative fuel versus traditional diesel will be the key to achieving its 2040 net-zero goals. The new ship is under construction at HD Hyundai Heavy Industries in South Korea and will be delivered next year. In a statement, Maersk said that “The latest addition to our fleet proves it is possible to sail a container vessel on green methanol. Our goal is to make this the standard for all new build Maersk vessels in the future.”





That is the weak forecast for US GDP growth in 2024, according to an updated forecast released this week by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). That would be down from projected growth for 2023 when the data come of 2.1%, IMF says. Growth in 2022 was also 2.1%. On a global basis. ISM projects GDP growth of 2.9% for next year, following a rise of 3.0% this year. China’s 2024 growth is forecast at 4.2%, following a rise of 5.0% in 2023 and just 3% in 2022.




That was the improvement in overall freight efficiency versus a 2009 baseline achieved by Volvo Trucks North America, as part of the US Dept. of Energy’s “SuperTruck 2” program, Volvo announced this week. That coming after almost seven years of R&D. Volvo plans to put the new truck on display for the first time publicly at American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition in Austin, Texas, Oct. 14-17. The futuristic truck is the result of a multiyear collaborative research and development project conducted by several original equipment manufacturers, engine maker Cummins Inc. and other industry partners under the SuperTruck II program co-funded by the DOE. Volvo said it made this improvement by making significant changes to the truck’s aerodynamics, among other advances. As a result, the entire tractor-trailer combination was designed by the engineering team to smoothly displace air with minimal resistance, resulting in what Volvo said is a 50% lower drag than Volvo Trucks’ 2009 baseline. The program is experimental, with the technologies unveiled not necessarily commercially available.

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