Welcome to the Precision Software News Round-Up: 25 May 2018. This week the EU agrees to free trade talks with Australia and New Zealand; GDPR risks Royal Mail’s profitability; and Tesco Direct shuts down, plus in the Precision Report we look at the complicated area of trade compliance for travel companies.
EU TO HOLD FREE TRADE TALKS WITH AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
The European Union is to hold free trade talks with Australia and New Zealand. The EU hopes to have deals in place before the UK exits the union. This may put the UK in a difficult position. London cannot negotiate trade deals until after Brexit. As a result, the EU could potentially enjoy better terms with the two Commonwealth countries. The UK’s international trade secretary, Liam Fox, recently stated that he hoped to strengthen Commonwealth partnerships with a number of trade deals post-Brexit. This has been dismissed by critics as “Empire 2.0”. You can read the full article here.
GLOBAL TRADE SPREADING PREDATORY FLATWORMS
Here is an unintended consequence of global trade — invasive, predatory flatworms are stowing away on ships and spreading around the world. The Asian hammerhead flatworm has spread to France, plus New Zealand and Australian flatworms that prey on earthworms have made their way to Europe. You can read more on this here.
TESCO DIRECT TO SHUT DOWN
Grocery giant Tesco announced plans to shutter Tesco Direct, the company’s clothing and homewares website. Tesco Direct aimed to compete with retail e-commerce giants such as Amazon. The website sells a range of goods, including clothing, electronics, furniture and toys. Tesco launched the website in 2006, but has not been able to make e-commerce profitable. However, it seems that the company will continue to offer retail goods through Tesco.com, it’s online grocery shopping and delivery service. To read the full article, please see The Guardian.
BREXIT COULD SERIOUSLY DISRUPT IRELAND’S SUPPLY CHAIN
The Freight Transport Association Ireland has warned that Brexit could damage Ireland’s supply chain. The threat to Irish businesses is particularly acute if Britain exits the European Union without a deal. The FTAI’s General Manager, Aidan Flynn stated that efficient trade links between Ireland and the UK are critical to the Irish economy. Research by the FTAI and the Dublin Institute of Technology found that a no deal scenario would lead to increased logistics costs and transportation times. Furthermore, a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland would delay the efficient movement of goods and negatively impact profitability. For more on this, please click here.
PARCELS AND CARRIERS
ROYAL MAIL STOCKS FALL AS GDPR KICKS IN
Royal Mail had a wobbly start on Friday morning as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. The postal service fell as much as 5 percent during the morning, making it one the FTSE 100’s biggest losers. Royal Mail’s letter business has been declining for years. However, the service has generated significant revenue from marketing mail. Under the new GDPR rules EU businesses must have consent to collect and use personal data. Because of this, Royal Mail warned that marketing mail revenues may decline. Although this is a risk to Royal Mail’s profitability, the postal service added more than £2bn to its market value since November 2017. To read more, please see the full article here.