THE DAILY SCOPE, 12/29/21: We have reported extensively on supply chain issues affecting retailers across the consumer electronics sector since the beginning of the pandemic. The global congestion that has slowed delivery times this holiday season started with the initial shutdowns of manufacturing during the early days of the pandemic, as countries around the world scrambled to impose lockdown measures. Even when manufacturing did pick back up in the following weeks and months, it did not result in output returning directly to pre-pandemic levels. This dynamic created a backlog and made it tough for an already stressed global manufacturing network to keep up with new orders being placed throughout 2020. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 38.8 percent of small businesses in the United States have experienced supply chain disruptions, and 28 percent of retailers have been subject to shortages and struggled to maintain stock items.
Thus, retailers and brands have had to get creative to circumvent these shortages by increasing routes and methods of getting products to the consumer. For example, due to backups at the Los Angeles port, the computer manufacturer Acer Inc. began rerouting shipments up to Canada. This move increased trucking distances but decreased the amount of time that the company’s containers spent stalled at ports of entry. Other methods of circumnavigating the supply jam have included air transport, which is much more costly, and stockpiling products in warehouses that are closer to manufacturing centers. Some companies, such as the Electric Bike Co., have also increased production capacities while streamlining product design to ensure the most efficient methods of output.
In other news, 2022 is set to be a big year for electric vehicles (EVs). Within the last month, South Korean auto manufacturer Hyundai announced the release of the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which is the company’s first fully in-house electric car. However, of more significance for the future of sustainable vehicles is the company’s decision to close its combustible engine development center in South Korea, as reported this week by The Korea Economic Daily. The closure comes as Hyundai seeks to accelerate its transformation into becoming primarily an EV manufacturer. Buildings once used to develop Hyundai’s combustible engines are being transformed into development centers for EVs. For example, the powertrain development center is being transformed into an electrification test facility. There is also a new battery development center, where researchers are looking to perfect the development of battery production for EVs. EVs are set to take over the market in the coming decades and consumer electronic retailers would do well to install EV chargers in their parking areas to act as a draw to consumers. Furthermore, the rise in EVs will present an opportunity for retailers to add home chargers for EVs to their inventory lists.
CES 2022 will also be an exciting platform for companies to showcase a plethora of sustainable initiatives. Doosan Bobcat, the heavy machinery manufacturer, has announced that on January, 4 it will hold an event to exhibit technology and sustainable solutions in robotics, autonomy, and electrification within the construction industry. This is part of the company’s push to see greater sustainability within the construction industry, which currently accounts for over 40 percent of annual global CO2 emissions.
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