May 17, 2020

Canadian fourth quarter freight rail figures give hope

Supply Chain Digital
Canada Supply Chain
Freight rail
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Railroads in Canada shipped 609,000 units in December, setting a freight rail record and providing a glimmer of optimism for the regional economy
Concerns over the fate of the U.S. economy are troubling, but news today out of its neighbor to the north is encouraging. Canadian National Railway and...

Concerns over the fate of the U.S. economy are troubling, but news today out of its neighbor to the north is encouraging.

Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Railway, the country’ two biggest freight rail companies, posted strong numbers toward the end of 2011. Freight rail is often a bellwether for signs of economic progress, and if that truly is the case, Canada could be in good shape.

According to data posted by the Association of American Railroads, Canadian freight volumes grew the fastest in the fourth quarter in 2011. Commodity carloads were also showing promising signs, and grew 6.8 percent from November to December on seasonally adjusted rates.

An intriguing set of numbers in research conducted by Bloomberg who that rail carload changes have successfully predicted GDP changes three months into the future 63 percent of the time since 2000.


European rail execs meet over freight corridor

Third quarter freight rail review

Check out January’s ‘Best Of Supply Chain Digital 2011’ issue here!

Railroads in Canada moved approximately 609,000 units in December in record-setting fashion, ending 2011 on a high note. The benchmark was set during the peak season of 2007, but last year’s figures were a 3.3 percent increase over the previous high.

Despite those signals that Canada’s economy could be on the fast track to growth, RBC Global Asset Management chief Economist Eric Lascelles warns against looking at traditional economic indicators.

“One of the great challenges right now is there is an incredible skew among economic indicators,” said Lascelles. “Now is the sort of time when you want to look at unusual indicators because the traditional ones just aren’t giving a clear picture.”

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Jun 8, 2021

DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID

3 min
Global logistics leader DHL’s new white paper highlights what supply chain professionals have learned one year into the pandemic

Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.


This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go. 


Public-Private Partnerships

With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”. 


Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats. 


In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.


“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”. 


How Do We Sustain Immunisation? 

By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”. 


Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared. 

Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.

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