May 17, 2020

American Global Logistics joins Blockchain in Transport Alliance

blockchain supply chain
american global logistics
Blockchain
James Henderson
2 min
American Global Logistics has signed up to join the Blockchain in Transport Alliance
American Global Logistics hasannouncedits membership in the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA).

BiTA was formed by experienced tech and transporta...

American Global Logistics has announced its membership in the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA).

BiTA was formed by experienced tech and transportation executives to create a forum for the development of blockchain standards and education for the freight industry.

Blockchain is a “secure internet”—a digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.

In a statement, American Global Logistics said BiTA brings together freight and transportation companies that are working towards the development of blockchain technology.

Gartner quantifies the business value-add of blockchain at $176bn by 2025, and then exceeding $3.1trn by 2030.

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"We believe in the future of blockchain technology and its future in sharing logistics information securely between all of the different links in a global supply chain,” said Jon Slangerup, Chairman and CEO, American Global Logistics.

“Joining BiTA will enable AGL to collaborate with the most innovative companies in the country as we determine the future of blockchain in the transportation industry.”

In comments carried by Supply Chain Dive, Slangerup added that he believes blockchain will provide a minimum of 20% in cost savings for supply chains, "equating to hundreds of billions of dollars of savings within our industry alone and more than a trillion dollars across all sectors and supply chains."

Other companies that are members of BiTA include FedEx, UPS, SAP and C.H. Robinson. 

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Jun 23, 2021

Japan Seeks to Revive Stalled Semiconductor Industry

TSMC
Taiwan
Japan
Semiconductor
Elise Leise
3 min
As international supply chains falter, the Japanese government intends to incentivise foreign chipmakers to build localised foundries

Post-pandemic, Japan has seen the consequences of relying solely on foreign imports for its semiconductors. Over 64.2% of its chips are usually imported from South Korea and Taiwan, leaving the country dependent on its neighbours. Industries from auto manufacturers to consumer electronics firms wait for chips, to no avail. But now, the Japanese government looks likely to put real funding behind its semiconductor industry, with top officials emphasising their support.

 

Domestic supply chains have never been more important. Rather than remain tied to international shipping routes during shortages and delays, governments are doing everything in their power to develop local lines of supply. But the question remains: can Japan pull it off? 

 

How Will Japan Pay For It? 

Herein lies our first issue. Japan’s debt has rapidly increased over the past few years, and the semiconductor industry will need roughly a trillion yen—US$9bn—in this fiscal year alone. This cost, however, pales in comparison to what Japan could lose if it fails to keep up with Europe and the US. Both nations have launched aggressive funding measures to revive their local semiconductor industries. And if Japan refuses to invest due to its debt, it could slow down progress in fields ranging from artificial intelligence to autonomous driving. 

 

According to Tetsuro Higashi, the former president of Tokyo Electron and Japan’s top government advisor in semiconductor strategy, ‘If we miss this opportunity now, there may not be another one’. Yet one advanced wafer fabrication factory can cost more than US$10bn, and any money poured into the industry will go fast. That’s why Japan, rather than invest trillions and trillions in failing domestic firms, is considering a second option. 

 

What Do They Plan To Do? 

Japan now intends to look abroad and convince overseas chip foundries to come to its shores. Its past failures mostly centred on trying to merge domestic firms that were already going through tough times. ‘This sort of made-in-Japan self-reliance approach hasn’t worked out well’, said Kazumi Nishikawa, a director at the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry’s IT division. ‘This time the goal is to offer a strong incentive for an overseas logic foundry to come to Japan’. 

 

As follows, Japan will now reach out to industry partners and leaders in other countries, including the industry heavyweight Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), to build Japanese bases. According to the South China Morning Post, the heart of Japan’s mission is a US$337.2mn research and development project in Tsukuba that will involve TSMC and more than 20 Japanese firms. ‘I think we need to cooperate with our overseas counterparts’, said Akira Amari, a senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. ‘[And] TSMC is the world’s top logic chipmaker’. 


Indeed, if that’s Japan’s strategy, the future looks bright. TSMC recently set up a venture near Tokyo to research energy-efficient 3D chips with several Japanese partners. And in the future, the multinational chipmaker may consider expanding its Japanese operations—that is, if government incentives pave the path forward.

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