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Lightweight Plastics to Create Cleaner Future

The Energy & Water Appropriations Subcommittee report includes significant funding to support lower-carbon vehicles and to drive development of new technologies that use lightweight materials. According to Joshua Baca, vice president for plastics at the American Chemistry Council, “Lightweight plastics help automakers build safer, more fuel-efficient cars and are essential to creating our nation’s low-carbon infrastructure.” The American Chemistry Council released an article applauding the House of Representatives’ continued recognition in the important part lightweight plastics and polymer composites play in reducing carbon emissions and increasing automobile safety.

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Farmers Cannot Ship Crops, New Crops Coming

Supplies are available, demand is high, but the means of transportation and delivery are far behind schedule. This is leading to another issue altogether: with a new season on the way and a warehouse full of produce ready to be distributed from last season, farmers are not sure how they will store their fall crops, or if their produce from the current season will survive long enough to make it to their final destination. Exports are struggling to make themselves more attractive to shipping companies who seem to be focused on taking advantage of the historically high-paying incentives set by Asian imports. NPR released an article detailing the struggles currently faced by farmers around the country regarding supply and demand.

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Container Crisis: Where Are They?

Containers have been increasingly elusive since the beginning of 2020, not due to a lack of quantity, but because of supply chain disruptions displacing shipments. Efforts to combat high demurrage costs at congested ports have led to supply chain managers redistributing receiving areas in attempts to get shipments as close to their destinations as possible for faster delivery. Some U.S. exporters say shipping lines are refusing to send boxes inland to pick up their cargo because they are trying to get empty containers back to Asia quickly to take advantage of historically high shipping prices for exports from the continent. An article published by the Wall Street Journal outlines the details behind the question, “Where are all the shipping containers?”

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Heatwaves to Cause Worst Wildfire Season on Record

Unprecedented weather across North America could lead to trucking, logistics, and supply chain issues with little to no warning. A BBC article states that the heatwave in the United States is contributing to America and Canada’s worst wildfire seasons yet. With reports from the US drought monitor affirming that at least half the nation has been multi-year drought, that in combination with the record heat spikes creates “sky-high” potential for spontaneous wildfires to ignite and spread rapidly, especially in the Southwest. These unprecedented weather scenarios could lead to additional delays and issues with shipping and logistics nationwide, and globally.

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Predictions for Hurricane Season

Now is the time to secure supply chains through the fall for what could be an above-average hurricane season in the Gulf area. A recent article details a forecast of the 2021 hurricane season according to hurricane research specialists at Yale University. After earlier-than-anticipated Elsa surged its way across the coast, experts are predicting a season of what they refer to as “hyperactivity”, specifically noting a low probability of El Nino forming as a substantial contribution to the potential increase in storms, as well as an overactive monsoon season in West Africa.

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