In the QAD Precision News Round-Up: 1 October 2021, UK opens talks
to join CPTPP; UK fuel stations run dry; US and EU officials discuss
trade and China; FedEx is testing autonomous trucks; Boohoo’s shares
drop; plus choosing a multi carrier solution and more.
This week, the UK joined a virtual meeting with the members of the
Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership
(CPTPP) to discuss joining the free trade agreement. CPTPP currently
has 11 members, including Canada and Mexico in North America; Chile
and Peru in South America; as well as Australia, Japan, Malaysia and
New Zealand in Asia-Pacific. The UK’s newly appointed International
Trade Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said that this meeting
represented a “big milestone” for the UK’s admission to the trade
deal. For more information on this news item, please visit Sky News.
On Monday, many gas stations across the UK sold out of fuel and began
rationing sales. The Petrol Retailers Association’s member fuel
retailers estimated that 50 to 90 percent of pumps had no fuel in some
areas. Despite this, the government and fuel retailers are assuring
customers there is plenty of fuel. Furthermore, the UK government has
tried to discourage panic buying to ensure the fuel supply can meet
the needs. However, the fuel shortage is highlighting another issue
affecting supply chains, the shortage of truck drivers. Industry
experts estimate the deficit to be around 100,000 drivers, caused by
COVID-19 and Brexit. In an effort to close the gap, the government
will issue 5,000 temporary visas to foreign truck drivers. For more
information, please click here.
Following on from this, on Thursday, almost 50 percent of
independently owned UK fuel stations were out of at least one type of
fuel. According to the Petrol Retailer Association, which represents
65 percent of the UK’s fuel stations, 27 percent of its members had
run dry. Furthermore, an additional 21 percent, were out of at one
type of fuel, such as unleaded petrol or diesel. To read the details,
please see The Guardian.
This week, on Wednesday, US and European Union officials met to
discuss issues facing the trans-Atlantic alliance. Representatives for
both sides attended the inaugural US-EU Trade and Technology Council
(TCC) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to discuss trade disputes,
regulatory procedures, and develop rules for emerging technologies.
Europe and the United States aim to present a united front as China
gains market share in global markets. For more details, please see CNBC.
FedEx has partnered with autonomous technology developer, Aurora and
heavy-duty vehicle manufacturer, Paccar to pilot autonomous delivery
trucks. FedEx is using Paccar trucks with Aurora’s Autonomous Vehicle
Platform (AVP) for its line haul trucking operations. FedEx began
testing the program on September 22 on its routes between Dallas and
Houston. The trucks run the route multiple times a week with a backup
driver and cover nearly 800 kilometers each round trip. The
partnership aims to deliver efficient transportation combined with
technology on a large scale. For more details, please click here.
This week, UK online retailer Boohoo lowered its full year sales
guidance. Shares dropped 11 percent as a result of disruption in the
supply chain as well as competition from reopened high street stores.
In addition, shipping costs also impacted Boohoo. The retailer
experienced an increase of £26 million in two years.
However, to place this in context, the online retailer’s revenue
soared 20 percent in the six months to August. Over the course of the
pandemic, sales soared as high street retailers closed their doors.
The company also forecast sales growth of between 20 to 25 percent.
Previous guidance had predicted a 25 percent growth. However, higher
costs are likely to impact Boohoo’s profit margins. For more details,
please click here.
The global express and small parcels market has experienced
significant growth in the last decade — only to explode in 2020 once
the pandemic hit.
Last year, over 131 billion parcels were shipped across 13 major
markets. To put that into perspective, that is 4,160 parcels every
single second. Forecasts suggest that volumes are likely to double
within five years to 266 billion parcels shipped in 2026.
Unsurprisingly, much of the growth is due to online shopping.
Consumers have not only embraced online shopping, they are looking
beyond their borders too, increasing the need for international parcel shipping.
Equally importantly, e-commerce has changed customer service
expectations. Across a variety of industries — not just retail —
customers want and expect the same service they receive when they shop
online. That includes prompt delivery. As a result, more small parcel
shipments, going to more domestic and global locations, are becoming
the norm for many enterprises.
Multi carrier shipping software helps organizations control shipping
costs and meet customer expectations. In this QAD Precision Report we
look at 3 questions to ask when evaluating multi carrier solutions for
global parcel shipping operations. To read the full report, please
Did you know that QAD Precision supports FedEx Freight?
Join us for a live webinar on Thursday, 7 October, 2021 at
10am EST where industry experts Teresa Exum of FedEx and
QAD Precision’s Michael Tew discuss benefits of using FedEx Freight
and how QAD Precision customers can leverage this service.
This week, QAD Precision’s Greg Jones, a highly regarded expert on
the US Foreign-Trade Zones program published an article in Trade and
Industry Development. Greg looks at how the FTZ program has helped
companies in strategically important industries including automotive,
energy production, and pharmaceuticals, among others. To read the
article, please click here.