Manufacturing logistics and procurement – February 2023

28 February 2023

Developments in logistics
According to ING (in Dutch), the disruptions in supply chains of the past three years may lead to supply gains in the future in addition to persistent supply pains. The pain is mainly in the higher cost levels due to higher inventory positions and in the gradual decrease in dependence on China. The gains lie in the structural takeover of retail's inventory position, the opportunities for greater value creation offered by digitalisation and data-driven entrepreneurship, and in the likely shortening of chains in the long run.
In a survey by PwC, nearly three quarters (73%) of CEOs say they believe global economic growth will decline over the next 12 months. Inflation (40%), macroeconomic volatility (31%) and geopolitical conflict (25%) rank as the top global threats, as cyber and health risks fall from a year ago.

Supply chain and fulfilment
A report by McKinsey offers a view of the flows driving global integration, an assessment of interdependency and concentration risks and the important role of multinational corporations. You can download the report after registering.
AutoStore has published a report with insights in warehouse management and fulfilment. According to the survey participants, the top three current challenges facing organisations are: rising energy costs (32%), increasing labour costs (27%) and supply chain and shipping constraints (26%). You can download the report after filling in your details.
Lund University has published a paper (3 MB) in the journal Resources, Conservation & Recycling entitled ‘Replacing plastic with corrugated cardboard: A carbon footprint analysis of disposable packaging in a B2B global supply chain—A case study’.

Automation and AI use in the supply chain
University of Leiden has published an article about the ROBUST consortium, which is the initiative of the Innovation Center for Artificial intelligence (ICAI). ICAI has received 25 million euros from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) to strengthen fundamental AI research.
The McKinsey Global Industrial Robotics Survey reveals that industrial companies are set to spend heavily on robotics and automation. However, many will need help to complete the journey.

Design method for producing customisable forming shoulders
On 22 December 2022, Ellen Lucas held a speech entitled ‘Developing a design method and tool for producing customizable forming shoulders’, as part of her master assignment at University of Twente. Chairman of the assessment committee was prof. Roland ten Klooster who holds the NVC Chair Packaging Design and Management.

Required dwell time for heat sealing
University of Twente researchers have published a paper (2 MB) in the journal Packaging Technology and Science entitled ‘Estimating minimum required dwell time for the heat sealing of talc containing polypropylene/low-density polyethylene packaging films’.

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