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Stick the landing, stick the 2024 forecast

In this article, John Denslinger takes a detailed look at the year ahead and then expands on four potential landing scenarios: soft, bumpy, hard and crash When fiscal year 2023 closes, a majority of companies will see growth exceeding original forecasts. The outlook back then was murky at best: rampant inflation, interest rates on the rise with no apparent upper limit, supply chain disruptions and acute labor shortages. Would there be a recession or soft-landing? Despite all the conjecture, the economy just didn’t contract. Contrary to historic norms, consumer spending remained consistently stronger than economists predicted. Employment actually strengthened as…

Navigating the trade tide shift in ocean transit

John Denslinger dives deep into the ocean of trade transit, revealing that growth on the Gulf and East Coast is likely to exceed that of the West Coast in the coming decade Eighty per cent of global trade is moved by ocean shipping. That’s an incredible figure made possible by a sprawling network of ports, massive container ships and two vital canals. Ocean routes and transit times have remainedpredictable for years. America’s ports once shared the same consistency, but the ‘trade tide’ is changing that. To be competitive requires investment and America’s gateways have invested heavily in port automation, harbor dredging for larger…

America—intelligent packaging replaces smart

Starting with cardboard boxes, John Denslinger walks readers through the history of packaging innovations concluding with intelligent packaging bristling with electronics.   It wasn’t long ago goods shipped in simple cardboard boxes with little more than a sender’s name and destination address. As years passed, package design and materials steadily improved, affording better product protection, brand graphics and lower overall costs. As e-commerce exploded, consumers began to expect more. They wanted the ability to track and verify home deliveries. Companies also sought more: eliminating routing delays, lost shipments and returns due to packaging failures. Both needs were reasonable but real-time…

Battle for rare earth minerals

To some, ‘battle’ might be overkill describing the outlook for rare earth minerals. Afterall, these minerals are actually abundant and found on every continent. Like most battles though, engagement with opposition occurs on multiple fronts. Such is the case for rare earth: trophy minerals are seldom extracted from a single, concentrated deposit; mineral processing entails a complex and expensive transformation to a useful alloy; and unfortunately, the US finds itself in a weak starting position with just a single operating mine and zero refining. Three massive fronts to remedy if we are serious about restoring one of America’s vital supply…

Recession or recovery?

In this article, John Denslinger reminds readers that even in a recessionary environment, next-gen electronics technologies and applications will still see growth. Forecasting 2023 is a challenge given so much economic uncertainty. Will it be recession or recovery that dominates the calendar? It’s anyone’s guess as there seems to be no common path forward. A prolonged contraction suggests a year of sluggish economic growth. But, if the Fed can tame inflation, minimise employment losses, stabilise consumer and financial confidence, and do it quickly, a second half recovery is possible.   On the macro level, the economy is either transitioning or…

AI unknowns outweigh knowns

John Denslinger explores the growing role of artificial intelligence in business environments and offers an opinion on the recently published Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights AI is largely desired for its data analytics, but generally comes with embedded algorithms particularly in customer, employment and productivity software packages often unbeknownst to procurement teams. Likewise, large enterprise platforms updated by outside vendors may introduce additional or modified AI functions likely enhanced by cloud-based machine-learning systems. There can be no doubt, AI is becoming ubiquitous as a super-automated, decision-making tool. Coupled with machine-learning, AI’s overall capability is nothing less than scary…