Posts in Transportation

Air Cargo Security: Maintaining Product Quality & Preventing Threats

November 19th, 2019 Posted by Air, Food & Beverage, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Transportation 0 thoughts on “Air Cargo Security: Maintaining Product Quality & Preventing Threats”

Air Cargo Security: Maintaining Product Quality & Preventing Threats

Authors: QProducts & Services Team, Under the Direction of Paul Yadron, Sr. VP of Sales

 

U.S. air cargo supply chain handles more than 50,000 tons of cargo each day, of which 7,500 (15%) is designated for domestic passenger carriers, and the remaining 85% is designated for all-cargo carriers, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Over the past 3-4 decades, air cargo transport has offered a means by which to expeditiously move cargo from points of production and manufacture to points of distribution and sales.

 

Major events over the last few decades have led to increased security measures for the air cargo supply chain, while also allowing us to learn about possible additional security threats and how to prevent them. The quick transport of products by air is especially important for perishable goods, as a major benefit of shipping goods by air is timing. So how do we secure these threats, and how do we maintain the quality of our products?

 

 

 

 

What is Air Cargo Security?

 

First and foremost, the air cargo industry consists of a complex distribution network linking manufacturers and shippers to freight forwarders, off-airport freight consolidators, and airport sorting and cargo handling facilities where shipments are loaded on and unloaded from an aircraft. Under the Aviation Transport Security Act of 2004, air cargo is defined as goods, other than baggage or stores, that are transported by aircraft. Items shipped by aircraft generally consist of time-sensitive and high-value commodities. Common examples of air cargo include high-value machine parts and manufacturing equipment, electronic components for manufactured goods, consumer electronics, jewelry, and perishable items such as flowers, fruits, fresh fish, and pharmaceuticals.

 

Air cargo security measures aim to protect cargo from theft, but they also secure cargo against incoming materials such as bombs or drugs. Security is a very critical element of the air cargo supply chain. Regulators, organizations, and the industry overall are working together to further secure the air cargo supply chain while ensuring the flow of commerce.

 

 

Maintaining Air Cargo Product Quality

 

As we discussed, a major benefit to shipping items via air is time. The faster a product can get to its destination, the better. When it comes to food, beverage, and pharmaceuticals, these items cannot last very long in transit as the biggest challenge of keeping perishable products fresh has to do with temperature.  The longer an item stays exposed to high temperatures, the quicker it loses its freshness. We all know that temperature-controlled shipping is critical for delicate materials such as pharmaceuticals, medicines, and food.

 

For the pharmaceutical industry, the IATA (International Air Transport Association) Time and Temperature Sensitive Label became effective July 1st, 2012. This label ensured the integrity of the time and temperature of sensitive healthcare air cargo shipments and also ensured that the air cargo supply chain is prepared to handle the demands of these healthcare shipments. The overall aim is to ensure patient safety through effective cold chain distribution. Therefore, it is imperative that airlines, ground handling agents, and other stakeholders within the supply chain are familiar with the regulations and appearance of the label. It is also imperative that effective cold chain solutions are put into place to secure the successful air transit of healthcare products.

 

Unfortunately, one of the main costs with the transportation of perishable items such as fruit and vegetables is wastage due to spoilage related to inadequate temperature management during transit. Keeping perishable food items cool, cold, frozen, or deep frozen is the only way to guarantee product quality and shelf-life as it arrives at the end of a transportation process. Leveraging the proper cold chain equipment such as palletized technology can increase product shelf-life, increase profits, and reduce food loss.

 

 

 

Security Threats to Air Cargo

 

In the United States, security of air cargo shipments and international shipments to and from the U.S. is regulated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Security threats can impact product integrity and create safety issues in certain markets. Security threats can damage the product altogether, resulting not only in lost product, but additional costs. Historically, security measuring surrounding all-cargo operations have focused on the threat of hijackings, particularly those that could result in using the aircraft as a weapon of mass destruction. According to the Congressional Research Service, a 1994 incident involved an off-duty FedEx flight engineer who attempted to hijack a FedEx DC-10 aircraft and crash it into the company’s Memphis, TN headquarters. At the time, there was no federal requirement to screen personnel or personal baggage carried aboard cargo aircraft. This particular hijack attempt was unsuccessful; however, the threat still remains in the air cargo industry.

 

Another security threat to air cargo includes the threat of explosives. A long-standing concern for cargo loaded on passenger aircraft, several incidents have shown that U.S. bound air cargo shipments are targeted. For instance, the Congressional Research Service reports that on October 29, 2010, intelligence and law enforcement agencies in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and in the United Kingdom discovered explosive devices concealed in packages shipped as air cargo bound for the United States. Authorities in the U.S. were able to bring down the aircraft; however, the details of this incident highlighted a number of specific challenges to securing air cargo. First, the explosives were difficult to detect using explosive detection equipment and canines. Second, questions were raised regarding the implementation and effectiveness of risk-based targeting methods to identify suspicious cargo. And third, the multiple international airports and air cargo facilities that served as intermediate transfer points illustrated the highly interconnected nature of the international air cargo industry, which necessitates close collaboration and coordination among governments, forwarders, air carriers, and airport operators to address security.

 

While we don’t want to assume this threat, the “Insider Threat” still presents a threat to air cargo security. While shippers may have limited ability to target a specific aircraft or even predict if an item will move on a passenger aircraft or an all-cargo aircraft, insiders working in the air cargo industry could use their access and knowledge to carry out an attack. The Congressional Research Service states, “Historically, in the United States, air cargo supply chains have been infiltrated by organized criminal elements conducting systematic theft and smuggling operations. Overseas, there is growing concern that terrorist networks could infiltrate airports and air cargo operations to gather information about possible weaknesses and exploit vulnerabilities in the supply chain.”

 

Lastly, theft is a very real concern in the supply chain, including the air cargo supply chain. While cargo is more vulnerable to theft when hauled by a truck, cargo theft gangs are seeking opportunities to steal cargo from airports as some items shipped by air tend to be high value items. According to Air Cargo Eye, in February 2017, thieves escaped with rare 15th and 16th century antique books valued at more than $2.3 million after they broke into a facility at London’s Heathrow Airport. In March 2017, thieves were seen masquerading as police officers while using what were reported as police vehicles intercepting a cargo of $1.7 million of banknotes shortly after the aircraft had arrived at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.

 

 

 

Preventing Air Cargo Threats

 

Whereas the air cargo industry has favored risk-based approaches for both cargo planes and cargo placed aboard passenger aircraft, some policymakers have argued that more comprehensive screening of cargo is needed to make cargo security comparable to the screening of airline passengers and baggage. The 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 required 100% physical screening and inspection of all cargo placed on passenger aircraft. Acceptable screening methods include x-ray systems, explosives detection systems, explosives trace detection, TSA-certified explosives detection canine teams, and physical searches conducted in conjunction with manifest verifications. Cargo documents and known shipper verification are not acceptable screening methods.

 

While TSA has approved a number of detection systems for screening air cargo to meet the requirements of the 100% screening mandate, none of these devices have been approved for the screening of palletized or containerized cargo. According to the Congressional Research Service, it is estimated that palletized cargo makes up 75% of all cargo carried on passenger planes. The lack of an approved technology for screening pallets leaves the industry dependent on work-around solutions, largely involving the off-airport screening of cargo combined with approved supply-chain security measures to prevent tampering after the item is screened.

 

In regard to air cargo theft, organizations can take the following actions to help prevent theft in the industry:

  1. Thoroughly screen prospective employees
  2. Carefully select transportation partners and intermediaries
  3. Provide security training within your organization
  4. Incorporate surveillance into the duties of security guards, and have guards patrol away from perimeters
  5. Leverage technology such as equipment tracking, security seals, or locks
  6. Periodically conduct security audits

 

In addition to the organizations themselves being involved, various supply chain security measures provide options for preventing and detecting tampering while maintaining the integrity of the shipment. These measures include tamper-evident and tamper-resistant packaging, cargo tracking technologies, and identifiers to designate screened cargo.

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Today, thousands of products are being delivered by air freight. This service has made it possible for people and organizations around the world to have the goods needed for everyday life. Several industries have been able to grow internationally due to air freight, although there are challenges faced along the way.

 

The industry still faces the challenge of security threats and how to combat them to ensure the safety of the product and passengers. Technology continues to advance to screen cargo for these threats, and technology advances even further to maintain product quality and safety aboard an aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) forecasts that steady U.S. and world economic growth will drive more modest annual increases of about 3% in air cargo shipments over the next two decades. Innovation, education, and due diligence will continue to help the industry combat air cargo security.

 

As the air cargo supply chain continues to grow, I hope this information was helpful in answering some of your questions regarding air cargo, security, safety, and product quality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cannabis Disruption in the Pharma & Chemical Industry

October 18th, 2019 Posted by Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Transportation 0 thoughts on “Cannabis Disruption in the Pharma & Chemical Industry”

Cannabis Disruption in the Pharmaceutical & Chemical Industry

Authors: QProducts & Services Pharma & Chemical Team, Under the Direction of Jim O’Donnell

 

The recent and continuous growth of the cannabis industry has attracted many businesses to join in on this lucrative and evolving space. With the recreational use of cannabis now legal in 11 states, and medical marijuana legal in 33 states, cannabis is on its way to possibly becoming an $80 billion industry by 2030, according to estimates by Cowen, Inc. The explosive growth of this space in a short period of time has created a need for a new era of supply chain management to help adapt to new regulations, distribution models, and other challenges related to a highly regulated but thriving industry, according to Green Entrepreneur. In the pharmaceutical and chemical industries specifically, we’re experiencing the continuous rise of medicinal marijuana and new insights for Big Pharma and its supply chain.

 

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis, also referred to as marijuana, comes from a group of three plants with psychoactive properties: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. When the flowers of these plants are harvested and dried, you’re left with cannabis, one of the most common drugs in the world. It is made up of more than 120 components, also known as cannabinoids, of which we can find cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While THC is psychoactive, CBD is not, and you can find cannabis products that contain just CBD, THC, or a combination of both.

 

Where Did CBD Come From?

 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound extracted from hemp or marijuana. The 2018 Farm Bill excluded hemp from the definition of marijuana and removed it from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

 

CBD was first discovered by Dr. Roger Adams and his team at the University of Illinois in 1940, however, its structure was not made clear until 1963. While it may lead some to assume that CBD is a newly discovered ingredient, cannabis and CBD have a history that dates back thousands of years. According to CBD Origin, the first documented use of cannabis-derived medicine dates back to 2737 B.C. It can be said that Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung used a cannabis-infused tea to aid with a variety of ailments including memory, malaria, rheumatism, and gout. Throughout history, cannabis and CBD have been used for therapeutic purposes, however, during the rise of modern medicine, it was not recognized due to a lack of scientific evidence.

 

More recently, and with the legalization of medical marijuana, researchers have been prompted to dive more into CBD and its potential medicinal uses. While the stigma towards CBD and cannabis has changed over the last few decades in the United States, we are still in the early stages of research, legalization, and recreational use. However, with the federal legalization of hemp and hemp-derived CBD, more and more CBD products are being sold online by major retailers including Sephora and Neiman Marcus.

 

 

The Legalization of Hemp

 

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, was signed on December 20th, 2018, and will remain in force through 2023. The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill allowed the legalization of hemp agriculture and products in all 50 U.S. states. In the United States, hemp plants are defined as any cannabis plant that has 0.3 percent or less THC. Any cannabis plant that has a THC content greater than 0.3 percent is classified as marijuana. From a chemical composition standpoint, hemp cannot get you high.

 

According to Analytical Cannabis, the increased legality of hemp is largely to thank for the rapid acceleration in diversity and availability of hemp-derived CBD oil. Unless you go to a marijuana dispensary to purchase CBD oil, the CBD oil that you find is made exclusively from the hemp plant, which is also referred to as hemp oil or CBD hemp oil. Since CBD can be extracted from hemp, CBD is legal. However, there is still work to be done when it comes to FDA regulation. According to a leader of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new cannabinoid work group, there is more research to be done before federal authorities can allow CBD treatments into food and beverage products. Just like any other new ingredient going into food or drugs, the FDA is unlikely to approve over-the-counter use without further research on the ingredient and its health benefits. With that being said, certain companies with a loyal customer base are likely to wait until CBD is FDA approved prior to marketing CBD products to consumers. While FDA approval is in the works, fortune 500 companies are educating themselves on the evolving market, investing heavily, and laying the groundwork within their networks.

 

 

The History of Medicinal Cannabis

 

Medicinal cannabis, also referred to as medicinal marijuana, has been widely known for its use in medical treatments and therapy, which has garnered national attention in recent years. While evidence suggests cannabis use more than 5,000 years ago in what is now Romania, there is only one direct source of evidence that cannabis was first used medicinally around 400 A.D. In the U.S., cannabis was widely utilized as a patent medicine during the 19th and early 20th centuries. According to Medical Daily, in the late 1700s, some American medical journals were suggesting using hemp seeds and roots to treat various health problems, including skin inflammation and incontinence. William O’Shaughnessy was an Irish doctor in the British East India Company who touted medical marijuana’s benefits for rheumatism and nausea in England and America.

 

The Marijuana Tax Act was the very first federal restriction of cannabis use and cannabis sale, taking effect in 1937. Subsequent to the act of 1937, legal penalties for possession of the drug began to increase in 1951 and 1956 with the enactment of the Boggs and Narcotic Control Acts. In 1970, prohibition under Federal Law occurred with the Controlled Substances Act and marijuana was classified as a Schedule 1 drug. Then, in 1996, California became the first state to allow legal access to and use of cannabis for medicinal purposes under physician supervision with the enactment of the Compassionate Use Act. According to Business Insider, medical marijuana is legal in 33 states in 2019. Medical Daily also states that only people with certain qualifications can obtain the drug. That will usually entail children with epileptic conditions, or sometimes cancer patients who use cannabis to ease the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation. Some states allow patients with HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, or even Chron’s disease to obtain medical cannabis.

 

 

The Rise of Medicinal Cannabis

 

As restrictions are lifted and research into medical cannabis continues, more recent research has started to explore more of its therapeutic benefits. For instance, a 2015 study found that cannabis could be effective in treating schizophrenia. In addition, research has shown that the drug can help stop severe seizures and even cure migraines.

 

According to Harvard Health, the most common use for medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control. While marijuana isn’t strong enough for severe pain (for example, post-surgical pain or a broken bone), it is quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age. In 2014, a survey conducted in California found that medical marijuana patients agree that the drug works as 92 percent of them said that medical marijuana alleviated symptoms of their serious medical conditions including chronic pain, arthritis, migraines, and cancer. According to WebMD, the number of registered U.S. medical marijuana patients rose from more than 641,000 in 2016 to nearly 814,000 in 2017. In states where medical marijuana is legal, there seems to be somewhat of a general consensus that it is helpful in treating a variety of ailments. However, for more serious conditions, pharmaceuticals remain a necessity for patients.

 

 

Disruption Within the Pharmaceutical Industry

 

Marijuana’s growing availability, both recreationally and medically, is impacting the pharmaceutical industry in various ways. First, the cost of healthcare could decrease for people who use marijuana as a treatment. This could reduce healthcare costs for the rest of the U.S., as well. However, lower costs also means less profits for doctors, hospitals, and the pharmaceutical companies. The reduced need for pain medications or even mental health medications is a great example of the current disruption occurring within these industries. According to Health Care in America, on average, in states where medical cannabis is legal, doctors prescribe upwards of 260 fewer doses of antidepressants and 560 fewer doses of anxiety medication than in other states, per doctor. A survey of more than 1,300 U.S. cannabis consumers, conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine, found that about 80% had used marijuana as a substitute for pharmaceuticals, primarily opioids. As Green Thumb Industries stated, “Every day, more and more patients are opting to use it as a replacement to traditional prescription medications that may cause unwanted side effects.” This presents the opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to invest in the medical marijuana market to develop products or participate in research.

 

Second, it’s important to note that other drug companies are starting to invest more time and money in cannabis research now that 33 states and the District of Columbia allow medical marijuana. For example, the pharmaceutical industry has sponsored more than 120 federal clinical trials involving cannabinoids, or chemicals that are unique to the marijuana plant. Additionally, GW Pharmaceuticals recently received federal approval for the epilepsy treatment Epidiolex, the first prescription drug derived from cannabis. Also, the Canadian marijuana company, Tilray, announced in December 2018 that they have signed an agreement to partner with Novartis subsidiary, Sandoz, to sell medical marijuana in countries where it is legal.

 

According to Investor’s Business Daily, companies ranging from small biotech stocks to giant pharma companies such as AbbVie are exploring cannabis medicine and what products can be derived from it. Many companies are in the startup phase, but hundreds of studies are underway on possible uses for cannabis. Additional companies working in cannabis medicine that are studying laboratory-created cannabinoids include Cara Therapeutics, Corbus Pharmaceuticals, Insys Therapeutics, and Zynerba Pharmaceuticals.

 Challenges in the Supply Chain

 

In the U.S., California’s market is by far the largest in both geography and in the number of users regarding the cannabis industry. California distributors believe that they can develop reliable logistics to support the current cannabis market that would solve challenges across other regions, should cannabis become legal at the federal level. Currently, the nation faces the challenge of cannabis distribution as federal laws currently prohibit the transportation of cannabis across state lines. Because cannabis is illegal at the federal level, freight trucks that are regulated by the Department of Transportation are unable to carry cannabis. In addition to logistics operations, the cannabis industry still faces the stigma against the trade and the challenges that come with financial transactions as well.

 

As for medical marijuana, the same restrictions apply as medical marijuana is not yet legal in all 50 U.S. states. Changing national laws will make it easier to work with the cannabis industry in states where it is legalized, but the real breakthrough will be full, nationwide legalization that allows for interstate commerce.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

The legalization of medicinal marijuana presents both opportunities and challenges for the pharmaceutical and chemical industry. For many pharmaceutical companies, the chance to service a market with predictable high margins is definitely a growth factor. If and when cannabis is removed from its Schedule 1 status, the flood-gates are expected to open even further.

 

As cannabis continues to have an impact on the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, I hope this information was helpful in answering some of your questions regarding the rise of medicinal marijuana and how it is expected to impact these industries.

Cannabis Disruption in the Food & Beverage Industry

September 17th, 2019 Posted by Food & Beverage, Transportation 0 thoughts on “Cannabis Disruption in the Food & Beverage Industry”

Cannabis Disruption in the Food & Beverage Industry

Authors: QProducts & Services Food & Beverage Team, Under the Direction of Kevin Lynch and Stephen Wozniak

 

The recent and continuous growth of the cannabis industry has attracted many businesses to join in on this lucrative and evolving space. With the recreational use of cannabis now legal in 11 states, and medical marijuana legal in 23 states, cannabis is on its way to possibly becoming an $80 billion industry by 2030, according to estimates by Cowen, Inc. The explosive growth of this space in a short period of time has created a need for a new era of supply chain management to help adapt to new regulations, distribution models, and other challenges related to a highly-regulated but thriving industry, according to Green Entrepreneur.

In the food and beverage industry specifically, we’re experiencing mainstream adoption from food and beverage companies, new and increased competition, and challenges in the supply chain.

 

What is Cannabis?

 

Cannabis, also referred to as marijuana, comes from a group of three plants with psychoactive properties: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. When the flowers of these plants are harvested and dried, you’re left with cannabis, one of the most common drugs in the world. It is made up of more than 120 components, also known as cannabinoids, of which we can find cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While THC is psychoactive, CBD is not, and you can find cannabis products that contain just CBD, THC, or a combination of both.

 

 

Where Did CBD Come From?

 

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound extracted from hemp or marijuana. The 2018 Farm Bill excluded hemp from the definition of marijuana and removed it from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

 

CBD was first discovered by Dr. Roger Adams and his team at the University of Illinois in 1940, however, its structure was not made clear until 1963. While it may lead some to assume that CBD is a newly discovered ingredient, cannabis and CBD have a history that dates back thousands of years. According to CBD Origin, the first documented use of cannabis-derived medicine dates back to 2737 B.C. It can be said that Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung used a cannabis-infused tea to aid with a variety of ailments including memory, malaria, rheumatism, and gout. Throughout history, cannabis and CBD have been used for therapeutic purposes, however, during the rise of modern medicine, it was not recognized due to a lack of scientific evidence.

 

More recently, and with the legalization of medical marijuana, researchers have been prompted to dive more into CBD and its potential medicinal uses. While the stigma towards CBD and cannabis has changed over the last few decades in the United States, we are still in the early stages of research, legalization, and recreational use. However, with the federal legalization of hemp and hemp-derived CBD, more and more CBD products are being sold online by major retailers including Sephora and Neiman Marcus.

 

 

Image result for cbd oil stock image

 

 

The Legalization of Hemp

 

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the 2018 Farm Bill, was signed on December 20th, 2018, and will remain in force through 2023. The passing of the 2018 Farm Bill allowed the legalization of hemp agriculture and products in all 50 U.S. states. In the United States, hemp plants are defined as any cannabis plant that has 0.3 percent or less THC. Any cannabis plant that has a THC content greater than 0.3 percent is classified as marijuana. From a chemical composition standpoint, hemp cannot get you high.

 

According to Analytical Cannabis, the increased legality of hemp is largely to thank for the rapid acceleration in diversity and availability of hemp-derived CBD oil. Unless you go to a marijuana dispensary to purchase CBD oil, the CBD oil that you find is made exclusively from the hemp plant, which is also referred to as hemp oil or CBD hemp oil. Since CBD can be extracted from hemp, CBD is legal. However, there is still work to be done when it comes to FDA regulation. According to a leader of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s new cannabinoid work group, there is more research to be done before federal authorities can allow CBD treatments into food and beverage products. Just like any other new ingredient going into food or drugs, the FDA is unlikely to approve over-the-counter use without further research on the ingredient and its health benefits. With that being said, certain companies with a loyal customer base are likely to wait until CBD is FDA approved prior to marketing CBD products to consumers. While FDA approval is in the works, fortune 500 companies are educating themselves on the evolving market, investing heavily, and laying the groundwork within their networks.

 

 

Related image

 

 

Mainstream Adoption in Food & Beverage

 

Cannabis-infused food and beverages are becoming a major trend as legalization grows across the country. According to Green Market Report, consumers in California purchased $180 million worth of cannabis-infused food and drinks in 2016, which rose to 18% in 2018. In Washington, sales of cannabis-infused treats increased 121% in 2016, and since Colorado first allowed recreational cannabis use, sales tripled from $17 million in the first quarter of 2014 to $53 million in the third quarter of 2016. Dixie Elixirs, a Colorado-based company that sells cannabis-infused products such as truffles, chocolate bars, mints, and juices, was one of the first companies to enter the market.

 

According to Food Institute, it is rumored that the Coca-Cola Company is reportedly in talks with Aurora Cannabis about developing cannabidiol-infused beverages, and is said to be particularly interested in drinks that can ease inflammation, pain, and cramping. Pepsi and Starbucks have indicated that they are monitoring developments, however, they have no plans at this time to pursue cannabis based or infused beverages. Furthermore, some major players including Constellation Brands, Molson Coors Brewing, and AB InBev have already invested in CBD and THC-infused non-alcoholic beverages. Given the mainstream adoption by many organizations, certain companies are reluctant about getting into CBD-infused products, even where they are legal. Many wonder if the products will harm their reputation or if they will be well-received by customers.

However, the data tells us that those apprehensions could likely be proven wrong. According to a study from A.T. Kearney, 30% of Americans are willing to try a cannabis-infused non-alcoholic beverage, and 17% would be interested in an alcoholic drink containing the substance.

 

Similarly, alcohol consumption is declining globally, and consumers are moving away from sugar-filled drinks in favor of healthier alternatives. More recently, New Age Beverages announced that it aims to release a line of CBD-infused drinks under the Marley Mellow Mood brand. While a market for non-alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages is emerging, this could lead to a disruption of the beverage market as new product lines are released and marketed as health drinks. Overtime, products using CBD as an ingredient could be considered part of the health and wellness space.

 

Although there is an emerging market for non-alcoholic cannabis-infused beverages, the wine industry has also started to develop cannabis-infused wines. California-based Cannavines has already released two CBD-infused wines: Red Blend x Headband and Chardonnay x Sour Diesel.

 

 

Image result for cannabis infused beverage

 

 

New and Increased Competition

 

The explosive growth of cannabis has caused companies across the food and beverage industry to take notice. The legalization of cannabis presents a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity for food and beverage companies to take action and establish themselves as dominant players in a competitive market. As certain organizations are exploring the market and learning about the value cannabis can have on their business, investors seem to be getting in on what some are calling “The Green Rush.”

 

Constellation Brands is already positioning themselves by taking advantage of the opportunity as they announced as of October 1st, they would acquire a 9.9% minority stake in Canopy Growth, a Canadian marijuana company. The $191 million deal will allow Constellation Brands to develop cannabis-infused beverages and not only stay ahead of evolving consumer trends, but stay ahead of the competition as well. According to The Wall Street Journal, Rob Sands, Constellation Brands’ CEO, stated that he doesn’t consider marijuana a serious threat to the beverage space, but that Constellation isn’t going to “stand around twiddling its thumbs” as the market grows.

 

According to the New York Business Journal, cannabis company Elev8 Brands Inc. recently purchased New York-based distributor YP Natural Inc., which distributes mainstream, non-CBD natural brands including Mondelez-owned Tate’s Bake Shop. The move is in an effort to expand their distribution and work to bottle their own brand of iced tea infused with CBD. Additionally, cannabis company Newstrike Brands Ltd. struck a deal to create co-branded edibles with Canadian specialty foods company Neal Brothers Inc., with the goal of creating cannabis-infused beverages. Across the U.S. and Canada, this expansion presents the potential opportunities for food and beverage companies to enter the market or possibly encounter increased competition within a new market.

 

 

Image result for the green rush

 

 

Challenges in the Supply Chain

 

In the U.S., California’s market is by far the largest in both geography and in the number of users regarding the cannabis industry. California distributors believe that they can develop reliable logistics to support the current cannabis market that would solve challenges across other regions, should cannabis become legal at the federal level. Currently, the nation faces the challenge of cannabis distribution as federal laws currently prohibit the transportation of cannabis across state lines. Because cannabis is illegal at the federal level, freight trucks that are regulated by the Department of Transportation are unable to carry cannabis. In addition to logistics operations, the cannabis industry still faces the stigma against the trade and the challenges that come with financial transactions as well.

 

The Wall Street Journal states that for more than 20 years, since California legalized cannabis for medicinal use in 1996, growers or cooperatives handled the delivery of their products to end users themselves. C4 Distro, a new cannabis distribution company, has already begun to implement a modern, advanced supply chain to California’s cannabis industry. Similar to beer distribution, manufacturers deliver their products to C4’s facilities where testing and taxes are handled. Then, the products are deployed to stores via the sales team, delivery teams, and trucks. However, alcohol is a legal product at the federal level while cannabis is not. Also, operators that serve other industries must be licensed specifically to handle cannabis, and those facilities would need to comply with state regulations. More recently, all cannabis goods for sale in California must be tested at licensed labs and have labeling showing the amount of THC in the product and must be sold in child-proof packaging.

 

Jennifer Lee, Partner and Cannabis Leader for Consumer Advisory and Analytics at Deloitte, stated “Most current and likely cannabis consumers want a variety of products offered at reasonable prices from suppliers who can vouch for the safety and origin of those products. Cannabis companies will need to have secure supply chains to protect the quality and integrity of their products, and retailers will need to meet consumer expectations, including providing a positive, engaging retailing experience and protecting the privacy of their customers, especially online.”

 

However, in many ways, the supply chain developing around legalized marijuana in California could lay the groundwork for an effective supply chain if cannabis were to achieve legalization at the federal level. The companies in California that are currently building a “cannabis superhighway” throughout the state similar to beer distribution could become well-positioned to handle logistics, merchandising, and compliance during the process while the drug is not fully legalized throughout the nation yet. In the future, it’s possible that we could see cannabis become a major part of the food and beverage supply chain, specific to alcohol, due to the involvement throughout the distribution process.

 

Image result for medicinal marijuana logistics

 

Final Thoughts

 

While there is increasing acceptance, there is still a need for education in the cannabis market. Due to the state by state legalization in the U.S., we have the opportunity to learn what is needed for a successful supply chain and we can also learn what could go wrong on a smaller scale.

 

For many organizations, the combination of existing profitable operations, advanced technology, and the prospect of gaining market share is exciting and presents many growth opportunities in an evolving market. From a supply chain perspective, businesses should be prepared and educated on the impact that cannabis could have on the food and beverage space specifically. From mainstream adoption by some of the major players to challenges and growth in certain states, companies have the opportunity to make the right moves ahead of the competition.

 

As cannabis continues to have an impact on the food and beverage industry, I hope this information was helpful in answering some of your questions regarding our supply chain, competition, and an outlook on the market.

Protect from Freeze During This Weekend’s Storm

January 18th, 2019 Posted by Intermodal, Over the Road, Temperature Protection 0 thoughts on “Protect from Freeze During This Weekend’s Storm”

This weekend is the beginning of a multi-week cold front sweeping across the Midwest and Northeastern USA. Between today and January 31st, temperatures will reach 10-15°F lower than normal winter lows and will cause high-impact icing on major lanes. By understanding this new weather pattern, you can decrease freeze risk this weekend and in the future.

According to the Riskpulse® Chief Meteorologist, Jon Davis, this weekend’s snow storm will have a “major impact—likely the kind we will be talking about for years to come.”

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 4.20.04 PM

The storm will begin today (Friday) and will continue until Monday. Its power will intensify as it crosses the country from West to East. The Northeastern region will experience the most impact with snow totaling 8-10 inches in major cities like Boston and New York. In addition to the snowfall, an Arctic Cold will move in behind the storm causing high winds and icing. By Monday, the storm is expected to subside.

 

The impact of the storm includes high-impact icing events through the East Coast, starting near Harrisonburg and moving north toward Eastern Massachusetts. With a half-inch of ice, lane closures are to be expected over the weekend. Roads will likely begin to reopen between Monday and Tuesday as the storm impact wears off.

Northeastern Lanes Impacted

Most lane closures are expected to occur during the day Sunday into early-Monday.

Snow

I-90: 511 high risk miles
I-95: 415 high risk miles
I-81: 365 high risk miles
I-80: 302 high risk miles

Ice

I-95: 286 high risk miles
I-81: 249 high risk miles
I-80 80 high risk miles
I-90: 67 high risk miles

Midwest Region

After this weekend’s storm, another is expected to move through the Midwest/Great Lakes region on Tuesday, January 22. The metro areas of Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Buffalo will be the most impacted by snow, Artic Cold and the Lake Effect. Periodic conditions of heavy snowfall are expected through February.

This weekend’s ice storm strength will compare to these top 8 Northeast US Ice Storms.

How to Avoid Freeze

While rerouting shipments in response to these weather conditions is encouraged, a more proactive approach is recommended for long-lasting operational efficiency. A proactive strategy includes two key elements: (1) Identification of high-risk events at least one week before they occur and (2) the ability to decrease overall risk-level of products on live shipments.

 

(1) Identify High-Risk Events

Artificial Intelligence software has made the cold chain smarter and safer than ever. Now, high-risk weather events can be forecasted up to 14 days in advance with Sunrise by Riskpulse. The technology assesses the impact on specific lanes and, due to the severity of risk, assigns a “Risk Score” to that lane. Equipped with quantitative data, your team can respond to storms (like the one this weekend) up to two weeks prior.

 

(2) Decrease the Threat

Unfortunately, damage to perishable commodities can occur at any point along the route, even with AI software like Sunrise. Some of the most common temperature excursions are due to reefer power outages, waiting at terminals, and cross-docking—all are periods where active temperature control is not turned “on”. By utilizing passive temperature protection, such as thermal container liners or insulated pallet covers, overall risk is decreased during transition periods. In fact, our proprietary CargoQuilt® provides freeze protection for CRT and 2-8°C commodities in extreme conditions, including this 2-8°C air freight pharmaceutical shipment.

Home of Thermal Shipping Products, Insulated Shipping Containers, Pallet Wraps, Thermal Blankets, Insulated Foil & More!
Passive Temperature Protection products, like thermal blankets, insulated pallet covers, and container liners, can protect from freeze. QProducts & Services has a portfolio including dozens cold chain products customized for over 140 lane-specific scenarios.

Freaking Out?

If you’re scrambling to protect shipments during this multi-week cold front, we recommend speaking with Riskpulse to receive your lane-specific risk score. When your results come back, you’ll be equipped with accurate data to make operational decisions. In the case your lanes are deemed high-risk, passive thermal protection can keep your temperature sensitive commodities in spec (CRT/ Ambient and 2-8°C) for extended periods of time—even when shipping dry.

 

Get this winter’s full weather report by listening to the entire Riskpulse webinar Winter Storm and Article Cold Update here.

Cargo Containers in an ocean port

Making the Switch from Air to Ocean

September 18th, 2018 Posted by Air, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Temperature Protection, Transportation 0 thoughts on “Making the Switch from Air to Ocean”

Value of Thermal Blankets Verified as an Integral Part of the Transition from Air to Ocean

CargoQuilt® protects from both heat and cold, as well as other environmental hazards.

CargoQuilt® Wraps Up Additional Savings For Shippers

August 28th, 2017 Posted by Food & Beverage, Over the Road, Temperature Protection 0 thoughts on “CargoQuilt® Wraps Up Additional Savings For Shippers”

As published in Food Logistics Magazine: http://www.foodlogistics.com/article/11598291/cargoquilt-wraps-up-additional-savings-for-shippers

ARTICLE AUG 27, 2014

Kevin Lynch, National Account Manager at Q Products & Services’ (QPS), a manufacturer of insulated blankets, confirms that capacity issues in the trucking sector, particularly for OTRrefrigerated, are extremely tight.

“Our customers and prospects both are telling us when it comes to capacity for OTR refrigerated, it’s just not there,” he says. To make matters worse, most OTR refrigerated carriers do not have immediate plans to invest in new equipment to add capacity either, says Lynch.

QPS manufactures passive temperature protection products, including the Multi-Trip CargoQuilt, the flagship product in their quilt fleet, which covers an entire or partial load of freight enclosed in a trailer or container, for either domestic or international shipments. The CargoQuilt protects against freezing, heat and condensation damage.

While it is a relatively simple product, its ability to save money for shippers who covert their OTR refrigerated shipments to intermodal dry shipments is impressive. Furthermore, it gives shippers added flexibility by allowing them to use temperature-controlled equipment only when they really need it.

“It’s a win-win for shippers, because not only is there capacity on intermodal, but it’s a more cost effective compared to OTR,” says Lynch. Once shippers begin using the insulated blankets and understand how well they perform, they start looking elsewhere in their supply chain for opportunities to use insulated blankets, Lynch adds.

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If you're searching for thermal shipping, insulated shipping containers, pallet wraps, thermal blankets, insulated foil, banana blankets, tote covers, drum covers, thermal blankets, shipping blankets, electronic cargo locks, or ice cream bags, you found all that and a whole lot more. We are fully committed to providing a passive thermal solution from top to bottom, nose to rear, of your temperature sensitive cargo.

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