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Precision Software News Round-Up: 8 February 2019

In the Precision Software News Round-Up: 8 February 2019, US Congress goes to bat for Ireland; FedEx to use TNT’s European road network; UN warns against tariff hikes; US trade deficit declines; DHL’s new electric vans; and the benefits of cloud computing for trade and transportation.

Global Trade

US TRADE DEFICIT FELL IN NOVEMBER

Last November, the US trade deficit fell 11.5 percent to $49.3 billion. Higher domestic oil production and cheaper oil prices helped curb imports. Petroleum products imports declined $1.4 billion. Furthermore, crude oil imports dropped $0.7 billion. In addition, this Wednesday the Commerce Department reported that there had been a decline in imports of consumer goods. Consumer goods imports decreased $4.3 billion. This included a drop of $2.3 billion in imports of cellphones and other household goods. This may be as a result of businesses stockpiling goods due to the ongoing trade war between the US and China. For more details, please see Reuters.

UN WARNS OF GLOBAL IMPACT OF US-CHINA TRADE WAR

A United Nation’s trade official has claimed that US plans to increase tariffs on Chinese goods would have serious consequences for the global economy. The US will raise tariffs on Chinese goods from 1 March if the two countries do not make a trade deal. Should trade talks not prove successful, the US will increase tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200bn worth of Chinese good. For more on this, please see the BBC.

US CONGRESS WARNS AGAINST HARD BORDER IN IRELAND

Ireland’s resistance to a hard border with Northern Ireland received support from the US Congress. This week, members of Congress said that a hard border on the island of Ireland could threaten a potential post-Brexit trade deal between the US and the UK. The warning came from the Democratic Congressman Richard Neal, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. In this position, Congressman Neal would oversee any trade deal between the UK and the US. He noted that the US wanted a deal with UK, but that a hard border was a concern. Republican Congressman Pete King echoed this sentiment. Congressman King said that the border should remain soft if the UK is to seek a trade deal with the US. For more on this, please click here.

Carriers

DHL TO USE NEW ELECTRIC VANS IN THE US

DHL is introducing new 63 electric delivery vans for its US operations. The new vans are part of the company’s aim to use clean transport for 70 percent of first and last mile deliveries by 2025. The NGEN-1000 electric vans, manufactured by Workhorse Group, can travel up to 100 miles on a single charge. They also have low floors and high roofs. This should reduce stress on drivers’ knees and backs, while also maximizing cargo space. DHL will roll out the first 30 of these vans in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more, please click here.

FEDEX AND TNT FURTHER INTEGRATE IN EUROPE

Good news for European shippers. FedEx Express is to use the TNT European road network for FedEx Intra-Europe Economy deliveries. TNT operates 55,000 weekly road trips across 45 countries in Europe. FedEx Intra-European Economy delivers parcel shipments within the EU. Transit times are within 2-5 business days.  The integration should improve transit times on around 40 percent of the lanes where the service is available. The service is first being launched in Germany, the Benelux countries, Spain, Poland and the UK. It will roll out across Europe over the first six months of this year. For more information, please click here.

Precision News

THE BENEFITS OF MOVING GLOBAL TRADE AND TRANSPORTATION OPERATIONS TO THE CLOUD

Blockchain, the Internet of Things, machine learning and data lakes… These are the technologies that have garnered the most headlines in recent years. But the headlines don’t reflect the fact that many enterprises are not rushing to be early adopters. Cloud computing is a different story however.

Businesses around the world have increasingly moved their enterprise applications, platforms and infrastructure to the cloud. Gartner forecasts that the worldwide public cloud services market will grow 17.3 percent this year to total US $206.2 billion. The change to cloud-based processing is not simply to keep up with technology — there are tangible benefits too. In the latest Precision Report we look at the benefits of moving to the cloud, and the advantages of leveraging cloud-based processing for global trade, transportation and logistics operations. To read the full report, please click here.

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