Today is the last Friday of 2016, and this marks the close of the last week of 2016. We wish everyone a peaceful and joyous New Year. Let’s take a look at some stories that caught our eye this week:

I. One of the biggest stories of the year was the bankruptcy of shipper company Hanjin. It has been months since the company originally declared bankruptcy in courts in South Korea, and the ripple effects have been vast. This week it was announced Hanjin has agreed to sell its majority stake in the terminal operating companies at the Seattle and Long Beach, California, ports for $78 million. Luxembourg-based Terminal Investment Limited is the new owner outlined in the deal (which includes forgiving a $54.6 million outstanding balance due from Hanjin and taking on $202.9 million in debt, which is a big reason why the $78 million purchase price was so low).

II. Panasonic has invested $256 million in a factory in Buffalo, New York. The factory will produce Panasonic’s “high-efficiency PV cells and modules as part of a deal with Tesla. The solar panel factory is scheduled to go online in 2017. A Tesla spokesperson reports that the solar tiles are on track to start rolling off the line by mid-summer 2017, and the company expects to produce both solar roof tiles as well as more traditional solar panels at the Buffalo factory.

III. A recent article in Forbes is wondering out loud if Apple will soon be relocating its supply chain to the US. However, looking closely at reports makes this seem improbable. An insider, “claims that much of the manufacturing technologies for the suppliers servicing the Apple supply chain (covering panels, lens modules, touch panels and other unique hardware) are difficult to relocate.”

IV. Finally, let’s close out the year with a look towards 2017. Paul Martyn, an executive in the supply chain industry, is sharing five supply chain predictions for the new year. One of them is, “excellence will be measured by adaptability.” Martyn goes on to discuss behavior-based robots within this prediction. It’s an interesting and exciting read as we all take the leap towards 2017.

Image Credit: Tesla blog

As of September 8, 2020, Crimson & Co (formerly The Progress Group/TPG) has rebranded as Argon & Co following the successful merger with Argon Consulting in April 2018. 

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