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There’s no doubt that 2020 was a real whirlwind. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, both personal and professional lives had to shift to a “new normal” the likes of which most people had never experienced before. As supply chains readjusted to the environment, both logistics and transportation were significantly impacted by shifts in capacity, high demand, and other constraints.
Along the way, the logistics industry also found new ways to innovate and diversify; expand its horizons and help those in need. In a world that feels separated by lockdowns, travel restrictions, and other uncertainties, DB Schenker has worked with partners worldwide to keep everyone connected.
As part of that commitment, the logistics provider worked hard to keep everyone “in the know” about the latest logistics trends, opportunities, and challenges—even as the environment was changing daily. Here’s a rundown of our top-ranked blogs from 2020:
#1) A Focus on Health and Safety in the Warehousing Environment
As e-commerce boomed and demand for warehousing services skyrocketing, keeping workers and customers safe suddenly become a top priority for warehouse and distribution centers worldwide.
Busy places where employees are constantly in motion, picking and packing shipments, driving forklifts, and interacting with one another, warehouses and distribution centers must take special care to ensure that their employees, business partners, and customers stay healthy and safe.
With e-commerce volumes on the rise and more customers buying from the safety of their own homes, the warehouse has become an even busier place than it was pre-COVID. Expected to protect their employees during any environmental or economic conditions, these facilities are now working on the front lines of a global pandemic—a status that makes them even more vulnerable to potential infection and outbreak.
#2) A Winning Combination: Able Sport Relies on DB Schenker for Domestic and International Logistics
A six-time Paralympian, an Ironman triathlon record-breaker, and a 5-time Falmouth Road Race wheelchair division champion, Krige Schabort is the winner of numerous marathon world championship medals. As president of Able Sport, he’s also a DB Schenker customer who relies on the global logistics provider to ship his company’s products to athletes around the world. An extremely accomplished individual both on and off the racecourse, Schabort lost his legs in 1987 during the South African Border War when a bomb exploded just six feet away from him.
Now, he’s putting advanced racing equipment into the hands of disabled racers who need those products to be able to compete in and win races. Located worldwide, his customer base includes individuals, organizations, and countries like Argentina and China, both of which have current orders in the pipeline for multiple sets of racing chairs and wheels.
#3) Ocean Outlook: Chinese Manufacturing Revs Back Up
In this blog, Peter Nordstrom, DB Schenker’s Head of Ocean for the Americas, details the current ocean shipping environment and shares his advice to shippers who are planning their supply chains for the remainder of the year. Nordstrom joined DB Schenker as the Regional Head of Ocean Product across the Americas in early-2020. At the time, COVID-19 was largely relegated to China and had yet to begin wreaking havoc on nearly every country around the world.
Reflecting on 2020, Nordstrom says the post-Chinese New Year ramp-up was extremely slow, mainly because many Chinese factories never went back into full production after the nationwide holiday. “We’ve seen a pretty clear ramp-up in volumes, with manufacturers and factories in China basically getting back to normal,” says Nordstrom. “There’s somewhat less capacity than there was before Chinese New Year, but things are more or less getting back to normal.”
#4) Supporting Green Supply Chains: Leather Sustainability in Argentina
Ever since Walter Lebach founded Sadesa in Buenos Aires, Argentina 78 years ago, the company has been making a name for itself as one of the country’s most successful exporters of leather.
The company began as a rawhide exporter, concentrating its trading operations in Europe, and today is one of the largest leather manufacturers in the world. Specializing in high-quality bovine leather that’s used to manufacture footwear, leather goods, and upholstery, Sadesa delivers innovation, quality, service, and value on a sustainable basis.
As a manufacturer, Sadesa has taken its sustainability practices right into its product line, where leather is often viewed as a material that promotes longevity and quality. As synthetic leathers, plastics, and other “fast fashion” materials continue to fall out of favor with today’s eco-conscious consumers, Sadesa’s products are used to make apparel, purses, and footwear that can last for years or even decades.
#5) Youngstown & DB Schenker Move Superfruits Across the Americas
As one of Peru’s leading pomegranate producers, Youngstown Distributors, Inc., of Reedley, Calif., supplies the world with arils of very high quality. The company peels the fruit by hand using an intricate process, and then carefully transports the precious arils from Lima via airfreight to both Los Angeles and New York.
Since 2008, DB Schenker has been providing the logistics support that helps Youngstown get its arils to specific destinations on time and in good condition. The freight itself requires special handling from the time the pomegranates are peeled by hand—revealing their high-value fruit—until they reach their U.S. destinations.
#6) Getting Hot Air Balloons to their Destinations on Time
As the world’s leading manufacturer of hot air balloons, Ultramagic sells balloons that range from those that can accommodate a single person all the way up to 30-person aircraft. To get the absolute best view of the 2019 solar eclipse in July, the company sent balloons from Barcelona, Spain to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Once in Argentina, the gigantic balloons were transported to San Luis, where they took part in the Argentina Balloon Eclipse Experience. The transportation and logistics involved with the point-to-point trip were complex and involved several different providers. DB Schenker, for example, managed the ocean transportation and logistics processes for the cargo as it traveled from Barcelona to Buenos Aires (and back).
#7) Port of Halifax: Canada’s Atlantic Gateway to the World
As North America’s first inbound and last outbound ocean gateway, the Port of Halifax in Nova Scotia is two days closer to Europe and one day closer to Southeast Asia (via the Suez Canal) than any other East Coast port. This puts the port in the unique position of being able to serve a wide range of destinations from its deep, wide, ice-free facilities.
One of the “naturally” deepest ports on North America’s East Coast, Halifax has two container terminals that feature depths of over 16 meters. Undergoing continuous improvement projects, Halifax connects some of the world’s largest shipping lines to over 150 different countries worldwide. Managed by the Halifax Port Authority (HPA), on behalf of the Government of Canada, the port encompasses 265 acres of land and includes a diverse selection of properties and assets.
#8) Making the Grade: DB Schenker & Porsche Pair Up to Open New Warehouse in Canada
Already working together in China and South Korea, Porsche and DB Schenker extend their long-running relationship to Canada, where the automaker opened a 176,000-square-foot parts distribution centre (PDC) in Mississauga, Ontario in 2019.
For Porsche, DB Schenker manages the parts storage and inventory management; picking and packing; and dispatch to the final destination (in Canada). The new facility shipped about 282,000 orders during its first year in operation. The global logistics provider will work with the manufacturer of high-performance automobiles to run a streamlined logistics process that caters to Porsche’s highly-discerning customers. Previously, Canadian Porsche Centres received their spare parts and lifestyle accessories from three PDCs in the U.S.