In the Precision Software News Round-Up: 10 August 2018, Russia calls US sanctions “economic war”; bpost’s operating income is up by a third; and we announce PRECISION 17.2. Plus this week, DP World acquires Unifeeder and in the Precision Report we discuss aftermarket shipping.

SANCTIONS

EU TO PROTECT FIRMS FROM US SANCTIONS

The European Union has put in place measures to assist EU businesses to continue working with Iran. Firms that do so risk punitive measures from the US for violating reimposed sanctions. As US sanctions went to force so did the EU’s blocking statute. This attempts to protect businesses working with Iran as well as save the Iran nuclear deal.

The EU has told European businesses not to comply with US sanctions. Furthermore, companies who wish to pull out of Iran will need EU approval to do. Those that leave without authorization risk of being sued by EU member states. EU businesses adversely affected by the US sanctions will also be able to sue the US administration in the national courts of EU member states. Despite the EU’s tough stance, there are concerns about the effectiveness of the blocking statute. Companies who continue to do business with Iran could well face the wrath of the US administration. For more on this, please see The Guardian.

MEDVEDEV CALLS SANCTIONS ECONOMIC WAR

This week, the United States announced sweeping new sanctions against Moscow for the nerve-agent attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the UK. The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the poisoning and called the proposed sanctions “draconian” while Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has reportedly called the US decision a “declaration of economic war.”

According to a report from Reuters Medvedev said: “I would not like to comment on talks about future sanctions, but I can say one thing: If some ban on banks’ operations or on their use of one or another currency follows, it would be possible to clearly call it a declaration of economic war. And it would be necessary, it would be needed to react to this war economically, politically, or, if needed, by other means. And our American friends need to understand this.” For more on this, please click here.

CARRIERS

BPOST BOOSTS OPERATING INCOME BY A THIRD

This week Belgium’s bpost announced a second quarter operating income of €928.4m. That is up 32.7 percent on last year. The company claimed that the increase was due to “acquisitions and excellent parcels growth.” In addition, bpost reported organic volume growth of 25.8 percent in its domestic parcels business. The postal operator stated that this was a result of strong growth in e-commerce and consumer-to-consumer deliveries. Revenue for international parcels was also up, now at €4.3m. For more on this, please click here.

LOGISTICS

DP WORLD BUYS UNIFEEDER

DP World extended its European operations with the purchase of Danish logistics company Unifeeder for $765 million. The company stated that this acquisition will allow DP World to broaden its product offering to shipping firms and cargo operators. Unifeeder has a container feeder and short-sea shipping network in Europe. The company also has connections to around one hundred ports serving deep-sea container hubs as well as the European container freight market. For more on this, please click here.

PRECISION NEWS

PRECISION 17.2 RELEASE

This week, Precision Software, an industry-leading provider of global trade management and transportation execution solutions, announced the release of PRECISION 17.2, the next-generation version of its global shipping software. Precision Software is a division of QAD Inc. (NASDAQ: QADA) (NASDAQ: QADB).  The latest release offers effective embedded analytics with richer configurable capabilities for transportation execution and trade compliance; a more refined process for researching compliance failures, new workflow auditing captures and upgraded compression capabilities to reduce the growth of compliance databases. PRECISION 17.2 also incorporates enhancements to the Freight Bill Audit & Pay solution, including detailed cost reporting, invoice dispute handling and simplified tax calculation. To read the full press release, please click here.

PRECISION REPORT: THREE WAYS PRECISION HELPS AUTOMOTIVE PARTS RETAILERS STREAMLINE AFTERMARKET PARTS SHIPPING

Historically, automotive aftermarket parts has been a brick-and-mortar industry. Parts stores as well as auto chains typically sold products in person or over-the-counter in a retail location. In the past, automotive customers were also reticent to order online. Many of these customers were not tech-savvy, particularly among older generations. Parcel shipping was rare, except when initiating a store-to-store transfer. The growth of e-commerce has changed this. Online-only retailers are making inroads into what was once a distinctly technology averse market. In the latest Precision Report, we outline three ways automotive parts retailers can compete with — and win out over — online rivals. To see the full report, please click here.