North East US winter storm causes shipping disruption
Winter Storm Juno, which has brought snow and gale force winds to the North East Coast of the United States, is causing severe disruption to shipping across the entire coastline. Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) advises that with snow accumulation likely to exceed two feet, closures are now in place at the Port of New York and New Jersey and Long Island Sound Point Judith Pilot Station.
The severity of the storm has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a Winter Storm Warning and Coastal Flood Warning for South eastern New England. Current predictions estimate sustained north-northeast winds as high as 40 knots, with gusts up to 65 knots along the coast. In Northern New England, the US Coast Guard has set port conditions to X-Ray for coastal Maine and New Hampshire.
With all vessels having been instructed to moor or remain at anchor, ISS has closed its Secaucus office today. However, staff remain available 24 hours a day on 001 732 636 7778, on mobiles and via email.
The weather is expected to improve later today and ISS is keeping its clients updated using the following link: Winter Storm Juno Advisory, where further information is available. Decisions about reopening ports for Wednesday will be made by the relevant authorities later today.
Inchcape Shipping Services is the world's leading maritime services provider. With 300 proprietary offices in 67 countries, and a workforce of over 3,800 the company’s diverse global customer base now includes owners and charterers in the oil, cruise, container and bulk commodity sectors as well as naval, government and inter-governmental organisations.
For regular shipping updates, please visit: www.iss-shipping.com
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.