By Paul Page 

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AstraZeneca PLC has built a formidable supply chain behind its bid to join the front-runners racing to deliver a Covid-19 shot . The British drugmaker has assembled a network of manufacturing and distribution partners spanning the globe, the WSJ's Joseph Walker and Jenny Strasburg write, while striking deals with governments that have sought to lock in vaccine supplies. The efforts reflect the broader actions pharmaceutical companies, logistics operators and transport carriers have been undertaking to ensure vaccines are delivered to as many people as possible. AstraZeneca is in an unusual position because it has the least vaccine experience among major suppliers but has promised the world more than three billion doses. The company plans to roll out hundreds of millions of doses in the first quarter and ramp up production afterward, pending regulators' approval. That positions AstraZeneca as the likely dominant supplier to the developing world and poor, hard-to-reach populations.

QUOTABLE

SUPPLY CHAIN STRATEGIES

American consumers looking for home-exercise equipment are spinning their wheels waiting for delivery. Peloton Interactive Inc. is struggling to meet demand for its high-priced connected stationary bikes and treadmills, the WSJ's Sharon Terlep reports, triggering frustration among would-be owners who are enduring monthslong delivery delays as they try to ramp up their homebound exercise routines. The backups are the result of an explosion in demand since pandemic lockdowns began at the onset of the pandemic. Subscriptions for Peloton's interactive workout classes have nearly doubled since March but the equipment isn't keeping up. Peloton says the delays are primarily due to shipping logjams, particularly at seaports where bikes are being brought in from overseas manufacturers. Peloton's supply-chain woes may open the door for smaller rivals like Nautilus Inc. Even that company is getting hit by shipping delays, however, although Nautilus has managed to get wait times down to four to five weeks.

SUPPLY CHAIN STRATEGIES

The farming sector is looking up in Singapore, quite literally. Businesses in the tiny, skyscraper-studded nation are trying to reinvent agriculture, the WSJ's Jon Emont reports, by converting industrial buildings into vertical farms outfitted with climate-controlled rooms and special lighting. The projects are part of the city-state's attempt to address its near-total dependence on the outside world, a reliance that has grown more troubling amid coronavirus-related border closures and international trade fights. Food security has become a concern around the world during the pandemic, but it's particularly pressing in Singapore. The government wants 30% of the island's nutritional requirements produced in Singapore by 2030, up from less than 10% today. That's a heavy lift in a country with only about 500 acres of farmland. High-tech farms have been springing up to meet the demand, but they need to increase their scale to make dent in the country's food needs.

IN OTHER NEWS

Initial U.S. jobless claims rose for the second straight week. (WSJ)

A measure of U.S. consumers' economic outlook fell sharply in November. (WSJ)

Oil prices are rising on upbeat reports on coronavirus vaccines. (WSJ)

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. named John Kuhlow chief financial officer while realigning duties for other senior executives. (Dow Jones Newswires)

General Electric Co. is cutting more jobs in its jet-engine business because of the pandemic's impact on commercial air travel. (WSJ)

Best Buy Inc. warned it expects pandemic-driven sales gains will taper off after third-quarter online sales soared 174%. (WSJ)

Dick's Sporting Goods Inc.' third-quarter e-commerce sales rose 95% and profit nearly tripled from last year. (WSJ)

Spices supplier McCormick & Co. is buying hot-sauce maker Cholula. (WSJ)

Apparel materials supplier Invista is expanding capacity at a Shanghai plant producing nylon and other products for China. (Sourcing Journal)

Mapletree Investments plans to develop a logistics park with 2.5 million square feet of warehouse space on Japan's Kyushu island. (Straits Times)

Blackstone Group Inc. has dropped out as a potential bidder for XPO Logistics' European supply-chain business. (Bloomberg)

Chinese load-matching startup Full Truck Alliance completed its $1.7 billion funding round. (Nikkei Asian Review)

Clarksons Platou says expanding offshore wind projects will need some $12 billion in new vessels over the next five years. (Lloyd's List)

Mediterranean Shipping Co. is buying second-hand, mid-size container ships, some already in its fleet through charters. (The Loadstar)

Hapag-Lloyd AG's Rolf Habben Jansen and Jeremy Nixon of Ocean Network Express will head the World Shipping Council trade lobby. (TradeWinds)

Supermarket chain ShopRite opened its third microfulfillment site in New Jersey. (Winsight Grocery Business)

Canadian retailer Loblaw Cos. Ltd. will use self-driving trucks from Gatik for deliveries in the Toronto area starting in January. (TechCrunch)

ABOUT US

Paul Page is editor of WSJ Logistics Report. Follow the WSJ Logistics Report team: @PaulPage, @jensmithWSJ and @CostasParis. Follow the WSJ Logistics Report on Twitter at @WSJLogistics.

Write to Paul Page at paul.page@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 25, 2020 09:35 ET (14:35 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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