Welcome to the Precision Software News Round-Up: 13 April 2018. This week we look at cyber threats to aviation and critical infrastructure through vulnerable supply chains, continuing tit-for-tat tariffs between the US and China, Europe’s automotive logistics sector, OEM aftermarket parcel shipping, and last but not least, Precision joins BiTA. 

Supply Chain

Aviation Industry Supply Chains Vulnerable to Cyber Attack

The US Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have warned that the US aviation industry is vulnerable to cyber attack through third-party suppliers. Although aviation organizations generally have robust cyber defenses, small and medium companies in aviation supply chains often have less security than large organizations. For more details, please see Forbes.

UK Infrastructure Supply Chains Under Cyber Attack

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned that since March 2017 there has been a sustained cyber attack on companies in the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) supply chain. The NCSC claims that the hackers responsible have the support of Russia. The US Department of Homeland Security also warned of Russian-backed CNI attacks in the States. For more on this story, please click here.

Global Trade

Agricultural Groups Want Trump to Reconsider Tariffs

After the US proposed steel and aluminum tariffs, American food and agricultural groups warned that this could cause backlash against their industries. Last week, these fears became a reality. China retaliated by imposing a 25 percent tariff on soybean exports. In addition, China announced $3 billion in tariffs on over a hundred other US exports, including fruit and pork. China and the US are engaging in a tariff tit-for-tat. President Trump announced further tariffs on China as a punishment for violations of US intellectual property law. China responded by announcing further tariffs of $50 billion targeting US exports. China is one of the top buyers of US agricultural exports. They are also the largest buyer of American soybeans. Read the full story here.

IMF’s Lagarde Warns Global Trade System in Danger

Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, has said that the current global trade system is “in danger of being torn apart”. Speaking in Hong Kong, Lagarde also urged governments to avoid protectionist policies. She also said that should world trade break down, that would be an “inexcusable, collective policy failure”. Lagarde made these remarks after President Donald Trump threatened $150 billion import tariffs on Chinese goods. In recent days, both Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping have made reconciliatory statements. Xi promised to lower some import tariffs and continue opening the Chinese economy. For more on this, please see The Guardian.

Automotive

Protectionism and Brexit Threatens Europe’s Automotive Logistics Sector

Europe’s automotive logistics sector is performing strongly with volumes rising across the supply chain. However, the US’s increasing protectionism and Brexit are threats. Fears regarding the impact of Brexit on the automotive logistics sector have been somewhat ameliorated. This is the result of the recent agreement of a 21 month transition period after the UK’s departure. This should avoid disrupting supply chains, particularly just-in-time deliveries. However, US tariffs are still a worry. The US is Europe’s most important export market and President Donald Trump has threatened import tariffs on European cars, particularly German models. This is despite excluding the EU from steel and aluminium tariffs until 1 May 1, pending negotiations with Brussels. For more, please see the Journal of Commerce.

The Challenges of OEM Aftermarket Parcel Shipping

The automotive OEM aftermarket has changed. Companies are increasingly sending parcels of individual parts rather than large shipments of freight. In the latest Precision Report, we looking at the challenges of OEM aftermarket parcel shipping. We examine how an enterprise wide trade compliance and transportation execution strategy can help companies control costs while meeting customer expectations. To see the full report, please click here.

Blockchain in Transport Alliance

Precision Software Joins the Blockchain in Transport Alliance

Precision Software, an industry-leading provider of global trade management and transportation execution solutions, announced it has joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA). This is an industry group dedicated to establishing blockchain standards for the freight industry. Precision Software is a division of QAD Inc. (NASDAQ: QADA) (NASDAQ: QADB).

“We are excited to be part of BiTA alongside other global industry leaders in transportation, logistics and supply chain. The shared knowledge will enhance our collective interaction with customers and partners,” said Precision Software President, Steve Gardner. For more details, please see the press release.