Global Supply Chain Review: October

October has made its close, and we’re back with the global supply chain news that has shaped the past four weeks.

U.S.: As manufacturing closes its fifth straight month of growth, economists and supply chain leaders wait to see how election results might shape the future of the field. But as automation and other disruptive technologies cause rapid evolutions, we must also keep an eye to what kind of labor a growing manufacturing sector will need.


U.K.: So, Brexit. You didn’t think it was over, did you? As talks near, numerous questions emerge about the effects on foreign labor and trade in the U.K. With citizens now fearing for their own employment stability, an unexpectedly high number of workers polled have said they plan to leave the country within 2 years.


Puerto Rico: The debt-negative spiral continues, and the governor has proposed centralized bookkeeping and more rigorous accounting controls to slow the danger. For those unwilling to wait out the process, they have become part of a migration to Florida, becoming part of the tourism and service workforce.


Brazil: Global supply chain recognizes sustainability as a major key word these days; so it’s of global interest that this nation’s green house gases have been identified as a by-product of deforestation. With increasing concerns about how the 3.5% increase in emissions will affect the coffee industry, scientists worldwide are looking for solutions.


France: This month’s closure of the Calais refugee camp known as the Jungle has created a migrant crisis within French borders—and tension with British neighbors. As both nations struggle to accommodate adults and children who have been displaced, they also struggle to provide healthcare in an overwhelmed system and to ensure access to education and employment.


Germany: As VW comes to agreements in the U.S. to begin repairing its emissions scandals, investigations have failed to implicate corporate leaders in Germany. Effects are starting to appear in the supply chain, as VW has announced delays to its technology projects in order to cut costs.


Canada: Closing out the month of trade deals, Justin Trudeau signed onto the CETA to solidify trade with the EU in a post-Brexit world. As tariffs are radically reduced or eliminated, importers and exporters on both sides look forward to expansion and streamlined supply chain.


Mexico: Who doesn’t love avocados? But fans of the food have faced high prices and limited stock this month, due to strikes. As prices rose from $30 to $90 a box, restaurants have not been the only ones feeling the pinch. Supermarkets also feel the effects, as the higher cost per piece leads to lower margins and losses as stock sits unpurchased on shelves. How will winter, and the off season, affect the strikes?


Madagascar: The island nation has become a testing ground for peaceful supply chain usage of drones. After years of r&d, drones are prepared to deliver medicine and crucial healthcare supplies to regions that are otherwise off the grid. How long before the technology spreads to other regions of the world?


What stories fascinated you this month? Be sure to tell us on Twitter.

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