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  • Writer's pictureStephen Fodor

Tracking Trapped Boxes; Counting Amazon Votes; Speeding Up Doses

April 7, 2021

(WSJ) There were dozens of containers filled with flat-pack furniture, millions of cases of beer and thousands of containers of waste paper.The Suez Canal blockage created a kind of snapshot of global trade that’s usually in constant motion, the WSJ Logistics Report’s Jennifer Smith writes, and tracking data from supply-chain technology provider E2open and its Inttra shipping-sector platform showed a broad range of goods trapped on container ships around the canal. The company’s platform counted more than 66,000 containers, measured in 20-foot equivalent units, stuck at sea, including Europe-bound apparel and consumer goods shipments as well as loads of industrial parts heading to the U.S. Coast. The vessels are now steaming to various destinations, but delivery delays may continue for a time as ships back up at already congested ports. The delays could reverberate across supply chains as the movement of containers needed for export remains out of balance.


The outcome of the union election by Amazon warehouse workers in Bessemer, Ala., could come this week. Federal labor officials have been going through the mail-in ballots for about a week, the WSJ’s Sebastian Herrera reports, as workers and the e-commerce giant watch for results that experts believe could trigger stronger unionization efforts across the company’s operations. Amazon has highlighted its $15-an-hour pay and benefits as the count has proceeded, even as the company has come under fire from critics over its working conditions and tax payments. The election in Bessemer will determine whether the warehouse employees will become the first group to unionize among Amazon’s roughly 950,000 U.S. workers. Organizers have said that forming a union would allow workers to collectively bargain over safety standards, breaks, pay and other issues that have been at the center of disputes between Amazon and its workforce across hundreds of facilities.

Supply Chain Strategies

Pharmaceutical companies are in a race to expand the Covid-19 vaccine supply chain.Moderna will have contract drug manufacturer Catalent step up its production of the company’s vaccines, the WSJ’s Jared S. Hopkins reports, while the U.S. is trying to accelerate vaccinations in the face of rising numbers of Covid-variant cases. Under a new agreement with Moderna, Catalent will shift manufacturing of the shot to one faster production line from two slower ones, and new doses will be ready for shipping starting next month. The pace of vaccinations is speeding up as state governors expand eligibility for the shots at the urging of the White House. The effort suffered a blow when a production problem at a plant run by contract manufacturer Emergent BioSolutionsruined a batch of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. J&J is taking over production there under a plan pressed by the Biden administration.

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