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January 2 2023

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22 Journal of Commerce | J anuar y 2, 2023 EXECUTIVE COMMENTARY ANNUAL REVIEW & OUTLOOK 2023 Shippers flexible, adaptable, and scalable to the demand. US Meat Export Federation Dan Halstrom President and CEO For US red meat export- ers, securing ground and ocean trans - portation capacity con- tinues to be challenging, although congestion at US ports has recently eased to some degree. The US Meat Export Federa - tion (USMEF) is encouraged by passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act and the subsequent development of US Federal Maritime Commission rules regarding deten- tion and demurrage charges and making vessel space available for export cargo. It is essential that red meat exports — especially chilled products — depart our ports in a timely and consistent manner so that the US can maintain its reputa - tion as a reliable supplier. Labor availability is also a major challenge at every phase of the meat production, processing, and transportation chain. This situation has improved as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have eased but still represents a notable constraint. The Biden administration has made expansion of meat processing capac - ity a top priority, and initiatives aimed at achieving this goal show a great deal of promise. However, finding sufficient labor will be a key component in the success of these new and expanded facilities. USMEF is optimistic that global demand for US red meat will be strong in 2023, although economic headwinds continue to grow. Inflationary pressure on con - sumer spending and weakened currencies in key markets are significant challenges. These condi- tions make it all the more essential that our industry is able to move shipments in an efficient and cost-ef- fective manner, so that our products remain price-competitive. JOC common shipments of fruit with set-point 10-15°C can represent a net savings of up to $65 per trip, per container and a positive environ - mental impact. The UN estimates about 14 per- cent of food is lost between harvest and retail. Our job is to minimize transportation risks in the cold chain and help ensure that tempera - ture-control measures are carried out throughout the transportation process and with proper refrigeration equipment such as efficient container reefers, gensets, etc. Since 2020, the pharmaceuti - cal cold chain has also been under great pressure to distribute a high- value load: COVID-19 vaccines. Reliable, temperature-controlled equipment providing security, traceability, and temperature mon- itoring has been critical. Thermo King's end-to-end transport and storage solutions proved to be the Gigaton Challenge to reduce one gigaton of carbon dixoide (CO2) emissions from our customers' foot - prints by 2030, are changing every major aspect of our business. Demand for climate-focused innova - tion has never been higher, but there is a lot to do to change our industry. In container refrigeration, three main factors impact sustainability in the cold chain: Move across the product range to the lowest global warming poten - tial (GWP) refrigerants. Indirect emissions linked to power consumption and the source of energy for refrigerated cargo (reefer). Our Container Fresh and Frozen (CFF) reefer is a game changer, responding to customers needing to reduce cost, increase sustainability, and comply with IMO 2030 requirements. CFF is up to 20 percent more energy efficient vs. competitive units, which on Wine and Spirits Shippers Association Alison Leavitt Managing Director What a difference a year makes. As we plan for 2023, we strive for deeper strategic relationships with our car- riers, working toward a shared vision and a mutually agreed definition of success. Differentiation among car- riers is stronger than it has been in years, and we can find synergies and align expectations that are not homo- geneous across the carrier spectrum. Challenges will continue, and our supply chain is in no way out of the woods. With global orders decreasing, congestion decreasing, and a reduc- tion in global order volume, capacity is opening up. Accompanied by a massive vessel orderbook and an influx of new capacity, carriers will again be looking at blank sailings and laying up or scrapping vessels to avoid the downward spiral of rates. Flexibility and accountability on both sides of the negotiating table will be necessary. The COVID-19 pandemic was a global tragedy, but it has forced new thinking, innovation, and myriad contracting options. We also have OSRA-22 and continued developments in the rulemaking that are changing the traditional balance of power. I find these changes to be refreshing, open - ing doors for partnerships with our vendors that can take many different forms. We are in a "reset mindset" as we move into this post-pandemic phase. We want a stable and strong ocean carrier industry; we want mutual accountability; and we want our carri - ers to work toward sustainability. As a non-asset-based entity, we look at the options to reduce emissions — using vendors that offer reusable insulation material used to protect wine from temperature fluctuations, or opting for recyclable flexi-bags for bulk products, or researching our own initiatives to offset carbon through external part - nerships. Much more is needed to stop the tidal wave of climate damage, and this effort needs to be supported by all stakeholders. We intend to embrace innovation and new ways to partner. The creativity that stemmed from the crisis is unlikely to last. Shippers tend to have short memories, and some are already forgetting the supply chain prob - lems of the last two years. Let's take the lessons and the positives that came out of a global disaster and use them to build back integrity and create a more resilient and sustainable supply chain. "The pandemic was a global tragedy, but it has forced new thinking, innovation, and a myriad of contracting options." ▶ "Inflationary pressure on consumer spending and weakened currencies in key markets are significant challenges." Dan Halstrom

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