Borderlands: Adopt tech standards before pandemic benefits manufacturers, survey finds

Borders is a weekly recap of developments in the world of cross-border trucking and trade between the United States and Mexico. This week: Adopting technology standards before the pandemic has benefited manufacturers; eBay opens platform to millions of sellers in Latin America; Bull Moose Tube Announces Texas Plant; and CBP seizes $ 4 million worth of fake items in Port Houston.

Adopt tech standards before pandemic benefits manufacturers, survey finds

Manufacturers and suppliers who adopted Industry 4.0 standards before the coronavirus pandemic were better equipped to handle the disruption, according to the BDO 2021 Industry 4.0 survey.

The survey, which interviewed 100 CFOs from different manufacturing sectors, also said that companies adopting Industry 4.0 standards are better positioned for growth than less digitally advanced companies.

Industry 4.0 has been defined as a new phase of the industrial revolution that focuses on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning and real-time data to reduce the costs of operating inefficient supply chains. .

“The most important thing that we saw in the survey results is really the accelerated catalyst that the pandemic has been for organizations that are really taking steps to embrace new technologies in order to digitize their supply chain,” said Eskander Yavar, national leader of BDO manufacturing practices. FreightWaves.

Chicago based BDO United States srl is a professional services firm that provides tax, financial and consulting services to a range of publicly traded and private companies.

BDO’s Industry 4.0 2021 survey was conducted in January, among 100 CFOs in the manufacturing industry for companies with revenues between $ 250 million and $ 2 billion.

Yavar said that before the pandemic, manufacturers and suppliers had only made “incremental changes” in technology investments.

“With the widespread impact of the pandemic that has turned everything upside down over the past 12 months, you see people really doubling down on 3D printing, blockchain, 5G in the sense that will happen to Internet of Things (IoT) technology. “, Yavar mentioned. “Businesses are at this stage of their evolution with all of this – call it non-traditional factors like national trade policy, pandemic supply chain issues – where it’s almost like you’re not starting to digitize, you are about to be irrelevant for years to come.

One of the main findings of the survey was that 88% of (re) born digital manufacturers plan to increase their digital spend in the next 12 months, compared to 47% of traditional manufacturers.

(Re) born in digital are manufacturers who are either newer companies that have integrated Industry 4.0 technologies into all of their operations from their founding organizations, or established organizations that have adopted Industry 4.0, according to BDO.

The number of (re) born to digital manufacturers was only 24%, compared to 76% of traditional (digitally less advanced) manufacturers, according to the survey.

Yavar said the disparity could be attributed to how quickly the technology is emerging, as well as the cost of adopting IoT technologies. He said he expects the number of digital (re) born to increase every year as companies become more familiar with emerging technologies.

“We are really seeing that every year more and more new companies are really starting to (re) born in digital, compared to traditional manufacturers who are struggling to get the capital investment to make some kind of improvement in the market. digital automation perspective, ”Yavar said. “Think about the distribution space, where more and more companies are adopting a business-to-consumer model with a powerful e-commerce engine and an order fulfillment mechanism in their warehouses. We just see this trend rising more and more year by year.

eBay opens platform to millions of sellers in Mexico and Latin America

eBay is in partnership with the Latin America e-commerce service center StoreON Streamline the sale of products and services from Mexico, Colombia and Peru to the United States, according to a Release.

The partnership will allow up to 2 million Latin American sellers to use eBay’s platform for cross-border e-commerce to reach more American buyers.

Sellers from Latin American countries using eBay won’t have to worry about English skills, the international logistics operator, managing foreign currencies or nationalizing products, according to Ilya Kretov, managing director of eBay for global emerging markets.

“With our 187 million global buyer base, eBay provides a reliable platform for businesses to grow successfully and become part of the global economy, especially at critical times like these,” Kretov said. in a press release. declaration.

StoreON, based in Bogota, Colombia, helps small and medium-sized businesses that want to grow through online sales.

Bull Moose Tube announces factory in Texas

Bull Moose Tube plans to build a hollow channel tube and garden hose plant in Sinton, Texas.

The 350,000 tonne per year plant will be built on the campus of Steel Dynamics Inc.’s upcoming flat-rolled steel plant in the same city.

“The new plant will expand our geographic footprint and allow us to better serve customers not only in the Southwest, West Coast and Mexican markets, but across the business,” said Tom Modrowski, president and chief executive officer of Bull Moose Tube, in a statement. declaration.

Sinton is approximately 25 miles northwest of the Port of Corpus Christi. The Bull Moose Tube factory, which will create around 50 jobs, is expected to open in early 2023.

Bull Moose Tube, based in Chesterfield, Missouri, manufactures welded steel pipe for the construction and transportation industries, as well as other markets. The company operates seven factories in the United States and Canada.

Steel Dynamics is building a $ 1.9 billion flat roller steel plant in Sinton, slated to open in 2021. The company is one of the largest domestic steel producers and metal recyclers in the United States, with clients across North America.

CBP seizes $ 4 million in fake Apple and JBL items in Port Houston

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Port Houston recently intercepted more than 70,000 counterfeit Apple and JBL electronic items.

When the shipment arrived in Port Houston, CBP discovered various Apple products such as AirPods Pro, Apple Watches, Apple Lightning cables, and iPhone cases. Officers also discovered JBL speakers in the shipment. CBP did not say when the seizure took place.

Images of the items were sent to trademark owners, who confirmed the items were counterfeit. The retail value of genuine Apple and JBL products is said to have been $ 4 million.

“Transnational criminal organizations are relentlessly trying to fund their illegal activities by fabricating bad knockoffs of genuine designer labels,” said Roderick Hudson, Port Manager of Houston CBP.

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