Now you can eat the barcode

TruTag’s ‘edible barcodes’ are secure crypto anchors that can authenticate high-value products like top-grade beef.

US-based provider of product identification TruTag Technologies has formed a strategic alliance with PwC Australia, which will see TruTag’s ‘edible barcode’ technology incorporated as part of the PwC Food Trust initiative.
The globalisation of supply chains has led to a loss of control and visibility. Food misrepresentation, adulteration, diversion and counterfeiting are jeopardising consumer safety and costing the food and beverage industry billions in lost revenue. PwC Australia and TruTag’s alliance is seeking to address these challenges by bringing security and traceability to global food supply chains.
The PwC Food Trust Platform is one of the most advanced and holistic anti-counterfeiting technologies for the food and beverage industry. PwC Australia has developed the Food Trust Platform to provide manufacturers and consumers with greater confidence in the provenance of food products. Integrating TruTag’s edible barcode technology into the Food Trust Platform will enable it to deliver supply chain visibility.
“Blockchain technology offers brand owners a new means of sharing information and improving supply chain visibility,” said lead partner innovation and ventures Trent Lund. “However, these systems are still reliant on ensuring a secure link or crypto anchor between the physical and digital world.
“TruTag’s covert edible barcodes act as a perfect crypto-anchor offering unrivalled security and a unique ability to directly mark foods and food-contact packaging.”
PwC Australia and TruTag are already working on developing supply chain technology programs with lead customers in the meat and wine industry. They are also working to expand their focus into other food and beverage applications.
“We are thrilled to be working with PwC Australia on this initiative,” said SVP business development at TruTag Technologies Barry McDonogh. “PwC brings a shared vision for food traceability, a highly complementary technology platform, and the resources to scale and deliver across multiple industry segments and geographies.”

We have a container blockchain

A new system has been unveiled to link supply chain information through blockchain technology that is expected to revolutionise international trade by removing complexity.
PwC Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Port of Brisbane have collaborated to develop a ‘Trade Community System’.
“To drive new efficiency gains, industry leaders need to develop mechanisms that facilitate the integration and interoperability of commercial operators across the supply chain and logistics sector,” Port of Brisbane CEO Roy Cummins said at the launch of a proof of concept Trade Community System digital application in Brisbane.
“The Trade Community System proof of concept is the first stage in building an innovative end-to-end supply chain that will digitise the flow of trading information, improve connectivity for supply chain participants, reduce friction for business and reduce supply chain costs, providing unprecedented productivity gains for Australia’s international businesses,” PwC Partner Ben Lannan said.
“The port – whether sea or air – is the first and last point of domestic contact in the international supply chain, and is the primary point at which all significant supply chain participants converge. To grow Australia’s trade competitiveness, we need to look beyond our ports.”
The Trade Community System will address a number of points and recommendations from the recently released Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities report.
“As a trading nation, Australia relies on efficient and effective international supply chains to drive its economic engine room,” said director of trade and international affairs at the Australian Chamber Bryan Clark.
Australia has been experiencing growth in its volume of trade, which has increased pressure on supply chains, ports and border authorities to process, screen and clear goods as efficiently as possible in to the Australian Economy.
There are roughly 9 million container movements at our five major ports annually. This figure is projected to rise to 15 million by 2025.
“At present, the current inefficiency across Australian supply chains has added to the cost of doing business, creating up to $450 in excess costs per container.
“This doesn’t just represent in excess of $1bn in value lost, but goes to the heart of Australian commodity trade viability when it gets priced out of the competitive global market,” Mr Clark said.
“It is the right time for industry to initiate a reform and modernisation agenda which will shift the dial for Australia’s international business,” Mr Cummins said.

M&A activity buoyed by ‘megadeals’

Global consultancy PwC has released the newest edition of its quarterly analysis of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the global transportation and logistics (T&L) sector.
The analysis covers all T&L transactions worth US$50 million or more, across passenger air, passenger ground, shipping, logistics, trucking and rail industries.
Global transportation and logistics M&A activity remained stable in 2016, though Q3 2016 was slightly less active. With over 50 deals, the quarter saw a decline of 11 per cent in deal volume compared to both Q2 2016 and Q3 2015.
Despite a gradual decline in volume, M&A activity remains strong with respect to volume and value. There were five transactions over US$1 billion ($1.4 billion), known as ‘megadeals’ in Q3 2016, with the takeover of the Port of Melbourne (PoM) Corp in Australia the largest at $9.7 billion.
According to the report, five megadeals held around a 54 per cent share of the total disclosed deal value in Q3 2016.
Shipping was stable in deal volume in Q3 2016 but saw a surge in deal value driven by the PoM lease. Rail recorded growth from Q2 2016, although from a low basis, and the logistics sector saw a 20% increase in deal volume compared to Q3 2015. In addition, deal value in the sector grew over the past year by more than three times to US$4.6 billion ($6.6 billion).
PwC suggested that general uncertainties related to the US presidential elections, the long-term impact of Brexit, and China’s economic growth paired with reduced forecasts of international trade activity may have impacted recent M&A activity.
While the report states the Asia & Oceania region continues to lead in M&A activity, South America and Europe (excluding the UK and the Eurozone) saw an uptick in deal volume and a sizeable increase in deal value.
“We believe that underlying fundamentals in the industry – a drive to globalisation, corporate outsourcing of the logistics function, the continued global growth in e-commerce and the fragmented nature of some of the key subsectors—will continue to drive growth and associated M&A activity,” the report stated.
“Further, we expect Asia to continue to be a strong contributor to this M&A activity, as consolidation of the sector continues in many countries in the region and companies continue to seek access to the capital markets that help them capture these opportunities.”

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