May 17, 2020

Top Ten Supply Chain Topics of 2012

New Year
Supply Chain
Freddie Pierce
3 min
We take a look at some of the top stories of 2012
__PLACEHOLDER__Follow @Ella_Copeland 2012 has been quite the year for the Supply Chain industry. Having endured a number of challenges over the past 12...


2012 has been quite the year for the Supply Chain industry. Having endured a number of challenges over the past 12 months, we have lost some industry giants, gained some new players, and made some unusual collaborations.

 It is now time for the industry to look forward to the range of fresh approaches, emerging markets and revolutionary technologies that 2013 has in store, with the help of some of our best articles on the biggest topics from over the last few months.

1.       New Technologies:Whether it concerns user interfaces, new devices or the potential effects of 3D Printing, 2012 has seen a range of new technology, which combined is likely to promote major changes in the operation of the global supply chain.

2.       A new approach to procurement: Sustainable & Ethical Procurement are at the forefront of any good Supply Chain Manager’s mind following the consumer-led call for reform which has occurred over the last few months. With scorecard systems and industry accreditation for sustainable and ethical practice on the rise, it is important to check your procurement methods are squeaky clean.

3.       Pay attention to life cycles:The product life cycle is in decline, according to Karsten Horn, of supply chain optimisation specialist INFORM, which has added a whole new slant to demand planning.

4.       The rise of rail freight: The future looks bright for those in the rail freight industry, as rail enjoys a new found popularity, becoming the eco-friendly freight method of choice for a number of retailers and experiencing an oil boom in Canada.

5.       Couriers enjoy a rise in online ordering: Couriers across the world are enjoying a rise in online shopping, leading to increased demand for next day delivery. With companies looking into more and more innovative ways to sate the next day demand, it is important to evolve your operations to respond to orders ASAP.

6.       The new dawn of outsourcing: With the need for increased cost cutting and a focus on the most efficient processes, outsourcing is the future for supply chain companies, according to Ahmed Mazhari from Genpact. Make sure you look into the best ways to embrace your outsourcing opportunities.

7.       Green Transportation:The focus is on green energy for 2013, with the shipping, trucking and aviation industries all racing to get ahead in the conversion to low CO² operations. Make sure you’re up-to-speed with all the options available!

8.       Port Investment: With a number of investments occurring in ports and distribution centres across the world, freight channels are increasingly connected across a range of vehicle options, it seems huge ‘logistics districts will be a development in the future, encouraging multi-location distribution.

9.       Arctic Shipping:Whether you are pro or against Arctic Shipping it is clear that new routes through the Northern Sea it will stay in our headlines for a while to come. Following the first Chinese ship to cross the Arctic just a few months ago, it is important to weigh up the environmental responsibility of crossing these challenging routes.

10.   Industry leaders: Finally, Supply Chain Digital has ventured behind the scenes of some very influential supply chain companies and associations over the past few months, offering you the chance to learn some more from the experts! Look forward to more revealing reports in 2013!

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Jun 16, 2021

EU and US agree end to Airbus-Boeing supply chain tariffs

3 min
Supply chains embroiled in Airbus-Boeing dispute will no longer be impacted by $11.5bn tariffs imposed on food and beverage, aircraft and tobacco

The EU and US have agreed to resolve a 17-year dispute over aircraft subsidies, suspending tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of goods that have plagued procurement leaders on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Under an agreement reached by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on Tuesday, the tariffs will be halted for a period of at least five years. 

It will bring an end to punitive and disruptive levies on supply chains that have little to do with the argument, which became embroiled in the trade battle. Businesses on both sides of the dispute have been hit with more than $3.3bn in duties since they were first imposed by the US in October 2019, according the EC. 

The US imposed charges on goods upto $7.5bn in response to a World Trade Organisation ruling that judged the EU’s support of Airbus, its biggest aircraft manufacturer, unlawful. A year later in November 2020, the EU hit back. The WTO found the US had violated trade rules in its favourable treatment of Boeing, and was hit with EU duties worth $4bn. 

In all the tariffs affected $11.5bn worth of goods, including French cheese, Scotch whisky, aircraft and machinery in Europe, and sugarcane products, handbags and tobacco in America. Procurement leaders on both sides of the fence were forced to wrestle with tariffs of 15% on aircraft and components, and 25% on non-aircraft related products. 

Boeing-Airbus dispute by the numbers  

  • The dispute began in 2004
  • Tariffs suspended for 5 years 
  • $11.5bn worth of goods affected by tariffs
  • $3.3bn in duties paid by businesses to date 
  • 15% levy on aircraft and 25% on non-aircraft goods suspended

Both sides welcome end to tariffs 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen branded the truce a “major step” in ending what is the longest running dispute in WTO history. It began in 2004.

“I am happy to see that after intensive work between the European Commission and the US administration, our transatlantic partnership is on its way to reaching cruising speed. This shows the new spirit of cooperation between the EU and the US and that we can solve the other issues to our mutual benefit,” she added.

Both aircraft manufacturers have welcomed the news. Airbus said in a statement that it will hopefully bring to an end the “lose-lose tariffs” that are affecting industries already facing “many challenges”. Boeing added that it will “fully support the U.S. Government’s efforts to ensure that the principles in this understanding are respected”. 

The US aerospace firm added: "The understanding reached today commits the EU to addressing launch aid, and leaves in place the necessary rules to ensure that the EU and United States live up to that commitment, without requiring further WTO action."

This week’s decision expands upon a short-term tariff truce announced in March this year. The EC says it will work closely with the US to try and further resolve the dispute, establishing a Working Group on Large Civil Aircraft led by each side’s trade minister.

Airbus last month signalled to suppliers that post-pandemic recovery was on the horizon, telling them to scale up to meet a return to pre-COVID manufacturing levels. “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury, adding that suppliers should prepare for a period of intensive production “when market conditions call for it.”

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