Trendwatch: 6 reasons why global supply chains are shifting; COP28 concludes with agreement to move away from the use of fossil fuels; Scientists assess global maritime traffic during COVID-19

6 reasons why global supply chains are shifting

A new wave of supply chain shifts is spreading after the pandemic, and behind it lies a complex set of global business decisions made to optimize operations.

Companies had been considering production shifts for years, even before 2020. Now, as firms crawl back from an unending list of disruptions, experts say those decisions have accelerated as cost pressures, policy incentives and new ways of thinking recently converged to influence supply chain resilience strategies.

For some, those goals include de-risking their operations from geopolitics after several high-profile wars and coups have shaken up logistics. For others, moving sourcing, logistics or production networks is a means to chase lower costs, emissions and lead times all at once.


COP28 concludes with agreement to move away from the use of fossil fuels

A new deal has been agreed at the United Nations climate summit in Dubai – COP28 – after days of negotiations.

For the first time, the deal calls on all countries to move away from the use of fossil fuels. However, the text of the final agreement stopped short of demanding that fossil fuels be phased out.

“Together we have confronted realities and we have set the world in the right direction,” COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber said, hailing the agreement by almost 200 countries as an “historic package”.


Scientists assess global maritime traffic during COVID-19

The study led by researchers at the Marine Biological Association (MBA) and the COVID-19 Bio-Logging Initiative, assessed changes to global shipping and fishing activity, revealing in unprecedented detail how the rapid implementation of restrictions and lockdowns affected human mobility on the ocean in 2020.

Researchers used satellite and nightlight data to detail surprising complexity in maritime traffic patterns, investigating vessel activity from the global to the local scale across major fishing areas, exclusive economic zones and marine protected areas to determine where the largest reductions and increases in activity occurred in 2020.

Globally, changes were small: shipping activity in Exclusive Economic Zones decreased by 1.35 % and high-seas shipping activity increased by 0.28%.


Inflation edges lower, but still too high for the fed

The victory dance on inflation will have to wait.

Inflation has stabilized late this year at well below last year’s high but still above prepandemic levels, tempering hopes for near-term Federal Reserve rate cuts and maintaining price and interest-rate pressures on weary Americans.

The consumer-price index rose 3.1% in November from a year earlier, a slight slowdown from October but above June’s 3% reading, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Prices were up 0.1% from the prior month, stronger than the steady reading economists had expected.

The tepid pace of improvement was “mildly disappointing, but trends remain favorable,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. Cost declines for gasoline and long-lasting goods last month mostly offset price increases for housing, auto insurance and some other services.


Biden-Harris Administration and BAE Systems, Inc. Announcement

  • Biden-Harris Administration and BAE Systems, Inc., Announce CHIPS Preliminary Terms to Support Critical U.S. National Security Project in Nashua, New Hampshire

“We have been clear since day one that the CHIPS for America Program is about advancing our national security and strengthening domestic supply chains, all while creating good jobs supporting long-term U.S. economic growth. As national security becomes as much about the chips inside of our weapons systems as the weapons systems themselves, this first CHIPS announcement shows how central semiconductors are to our national defense,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we have reached preliminary terms to make a substantial investment in New Hampshire’s expanding defense industrial base, which will help make our country and supply chains more secure and bolster the economy of the Granite State.”