BDP Trendwatch: The battery supply chain is finally coming to America; POLB’S Tomley addresses zero emission truck & equipment challenges; Third rail union rejects contract as deadline for agreement looms

The battery supply chain is finally coming to America

It’s official: the supply chain for electric vehicle batteries is coming to America. 

Redwood Materials Inc., the battery recycling company created by Tesla co-founder J.B. Straubel, said it has reached a deal to supply Panasonic with billions of dollars in critical battery components that will be produced in the US for the first time. 

The agreement marks the first major contract for domestically processed cathode material, a substance that’s responsible for more than one third of the expense of a finished battery pack. The material will supply Panasonic’s new battery plant in Kansas City, Kansas, when mass production begins there in 2025. The plant is expected to produce cells primarily for Tesla electric vehicles.



POLB’S Tomley addresses zero emission truck & equipment challenges

In a recent Pacific Merchant Shipping Association (PMSA) opinion piece written by economist Jock O’Connell, O’Connell worries that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) may be burdening California ports by failing to make sufficient provision for the challenges of transitioning harbor trucks and marine terminal cargo-handling equipment to zero emissions: “CARB had already been pressing the state’s logistics industries, including its seaports, to embrace zero emission modes of moving goods. In particular, CARB has targeted the state’s ports, so often labeled by editorialists as the state’s biggest stationary sources of toxic emissions that one might wrongly conclude that the ports have done nothing to improve matters. The remarkable progress the ports have actually made in slashing emissions and the unsympathetic response from the air quality regulators is a testament to the old adage that no good deed goes unpunished.



Third rail union rejects contract as deadline for agreement looms

A third union rejected its labor agreement with railroads on Monday, fuelling concerns the nation may face a rail strike or lockout in December.

The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, which represents approximately 300 rail workers, has agreed to maintain service until Dec. 9 as part of a “cooling off” period. The union said it will continue to negotiate with the National Carriers’ Conference Committee, which represents railroads in bargaining.

Supply Chain Dive


China’s global port investments give rise to security worries

Security concerns related to Chinese investments in overseas ports are mounting as the country’s firms acquire more stakes at shipping hubs around the world and geopolitical tensions rise.

Chinese companies have expanded investments at foreign ports in recent years and now run major container terminals in locations including Belgium, Israel, Spain, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates. All told, Chinese and Hong Kong-based firms hold stakes in terminal leases or concessions at 95 foreign ports, according to research by Isaac B. Kardon of the U.S. Naval War College and Wendy Leutert of Indiana University.

The Wall Street Journal


Biden proposes new sustainability rules for federal suppliers

The United States, one of the world’s largest buyers of goods and services, last week announced a set of new rules for suppliers as it seeks to meet sustainability goals.

The Biden-Harris administration’s Federal Supplier Climate Risks and Resilience Proposed Rule would require major federal contractors and suppliers to set emissions reductions goals aligned with the Paris Agreement, and publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions as well as climate-related financial risks, according to a Nov. 10 White House fact sheet.

Supply Chain Dive


Shipping joins producers to scale up green hydrogen-based fuels this decade

Organisations and initiatives across the shipping value chain, joined by some of the top producers of green hydrogen, have signed on to a joint statement at COP27, committing to the rapid adoption of green hydrogen-based fuels this decade.

The signatories have agreed to work on commercially viable zero-emissions vessels operating on the deep seas by 2030; scale up production of green hydrogen to 5.5m tons per year by 2030 for use in shipping; and complete decarbonisation of the shipping sector by 2050 at the latest.

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