In the Precision Software News Round-Up: 14 December 2018, the EU backs Japan free trade agreement; global retailers commit to a greener strategy; Walmart partners with Rakuten to sell US brands to Japanese consumers; and e-commerce drives Q4 air freight demand. Plus, we look at the benefits of desktop shipping for banks.
On Wednesday, the European Parliament backed a free trade agreement with Japan. Japan’s parliament — the National Diet — approved the agreement the previous Saturday. The agreement should come into force on 1 February 2019. Both parties want the FTA to come into effect before the UK leaves the EU at the end of March next year. The EU-Japan FTA will create the world’s largest free trade zone, accounting for around a third of global gross domestic product. The agreement will remove EU tariffs of 10 percent on Japanese cars. Japanese tariffs of 30 percent on EU cheese and 15 percent on wines will also go. In addition, the FTA will open up service markets including financial services, telecoms, e-commerce and transport. For more details, please see Reuters.
Forty-three global retailers and brands have launched an initiative in response to climate change. The Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action members include Target, Adidas, Gap and H&M. The group plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. This includes phasing out coal across their operations and direct supplier operations by 2025. The group also plans to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2030. In addition, the signatories will look at the use of sustainable materials, greener transport and improving awareness of these issues. To read more, please see Supply Chain Dive.
This week, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that air freight ton kilometers (FTKs) grew 3.1 percent in October. According to IATA, capacity grew at a rate of 5.4 percent, overall. In North America, however, capacity grew at a rate of 8.2 percent. In addition, capacity increased at a faster rate than demand across all regions. IATA expects to end the year on a positive note. This is partly due to increasing e-commerce volumes. E-commerce has helped to offset factors negatively impacting the industry, including lower export volumes. To read more, please click here.
This week Walmart opened its first e-commerce store in Japan. The US retailer is working with Rakuten, Japan’s largest e-commerce store. The two retailers announced this partnership this January. The initial phase, which launched in October, offered online grocery shopping and digital media, such as e-books. Now the two will offer over 1,200 products, including toys and clothes. Walmart will fulfill orders in the US and send them to Japan by air for last mile delivery. For more on this, please see TechCrunch.
Banks are some of the world’s biggest and busiest parcel shippers. Even in these days of 24/7 online banking, financial institutions ship thousands upon thousands of loan documents or credit agreements every year. By law, these and other critical financial documents must be signed on paper. All parties must also receive physical copies. As a result, banks generate a lot of paper that they need to move. Because these documents contain sensitive information, banks need to ensure that only the correct recipient receives them.
In addition, banks ship thousands of documents across regional, national and global locations. This inter-office paperwork often contains confidential data. Therefore, the secure transport and delivery of these documents is paramount.
The aggregate cost of these shipments is high. Banks, therefore, must balance the need for security with the need to control costs. In the latest Precision Report we look at how desktop shipping can help banks achieve this. To read the full report, please click here.