Home-Screen Blog

Blogs

QAD Precision News Round-Up: 20 March 2020

In the QAD Precision News Round-Up: 20 March 2020, UPS expands Covid-19 response; Boris Johnson says no to Brexit delay; US will not suspend China tariffs during crisis. Amazon to hire extra 100,000 employees; Laura Ashley to appoint administrators; carriers respond to COVID19, and more. 

Global Trade

BORIS JOHNSON SAYS NO TO BREXIT DELAY

Boris Johnson has said that he will not seek an extension to the Brexit transition period regardless of disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to Mr Johnson, there will be no delay past the December 31 deadline. This is despite the fact that UK/EU trade negotiations scheduled for this week were cancelled. On Wednesday evening, the EU and the UK exchanged draft legal texts for the future relationship. Negotiations should resume next week. However, the talks can no longer take place in person. For more details, please see RTE.

US WILL NOT SUSPEND CHINA TARIFFS DURING CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said that “there’s no reason” to suspend tariffs on imports from China. Mr Trump’s statement came after 160 business and organizations wrote a letter to the president requesting the delay of tariffs. The businesses asked for the suspension to "mitigate the economic harm from the spread of the coronavirus." While the President has refused to countenance a suspension, the US has granted temporary exemptions on certain medical supplies imported from China. These include sterile drapes, cold packs, disposable shoe covers, face and medical masks and gauze. For more details, please see Supply Chain Dive. 

Carriers

UPS EXPANDS CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE

The UPS Foundation has expanded its response to the Covid-19 outbreak. This includes new grant allocations of more than $6 million to United Nations agencies, humanitarian relief organizations and community-based non-profits and international NGOs. The Foundation’s relief support includes providing transportation, supply chain consultation and financial assistance. The aim is to distribute personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and work with individuals and communities to prevent loss of life. For more information, please see Post and Parcel.

ROYAL MAIL MAKES CHANGES TO DOORSTEP DELIVERY

In response to the coronavirus panic, Royal Mail has made changes to their doorstep delivery. In order to protect employees and customers, postal workers will not hand over hand-held devices to customers to collect signatures. Instead, Royal Mail staff will log the customer's name. This will apply to all deliveries that require signatures. Furthermore, in instances where a parcel won’t fit through a letterbox, the postal worker will leave the parcel at the door. The customer can retrieve it, while the postal worker waits at a safe distance. For more details, please see Post and Parcel. 

Retail

AMAZON TO HIRE ADDITIONAL 100,000 DELIVERY ROLES

Amazon has announced plans to hire 100,000 full- and part-time workers in its fulfillment centers and delivery networks. This announcement comes as Amazon is experiencing a surge in demand for e-commerce deliveries. The spike is due to quarantines and social distancing as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. Amazon reported that its labor requirements are “‘unprecedented for this time of year.” The additional workers will focus on stocking and shipping essential goods. The company is currently prioritizing household staples, medical supplies and other important items. For more information, please see Supply Chain Dive. 

LAURA ASHLEY TO FACE COVID-19 DEFEAT

Iconic fashion to homewares store, Laura Ashley is set to become the first retail casualty of the coronavirus crisis. The retailer’s closure would put 2,700 jobs at risk. Although Laura Ashley initially tried to raise funds, on Tuesday, the company admitted defeat and will appoint administrators. The retailer has blamed its difficulties on a "significant" decrease in trade, compounded with the fact that there is no end to the coronavirus crisis in sight. The Covid-19 crisis has negatively impacted much retail.UK retailers are asking for financial help during the unprecedented pandemic. Amy Higginbotham, retail analyst at analytic specialist GlobalData, stated that “financially weak retailers, of which there are many, are likely to follow Laura Ashley into administration given the current crisis.” For more details, please see Sky News.

QAD Precision News

CARRIERS RESPOND TO COVID-19

These are unprecedented times. Across many countries, businesses are introducing work from home policies where possible. Schools, colleges, and day care centers are closed. Many restaurants, entertainment venues, cinemas and shops have shut their doors for the time being. Concerts, sporting events and large gatherings have been cancelled or postponed. 

These measures impact the way we do business. However, it is important to first note that shipping goods via package is low risk. The World Health Organization has stated it is unlikely that infected persons can contaminate packages and transmit Covid-19 this way. The WHO has answered this and other questions on transmission and protective measures. You can read the WHO Q&A on Covid-19 here

In this special QAD Precision Report we look at how carriers are responding to Covid-19 and what this means for shippers. Please note: this information is correct at the time of publishing. However, the situation remains fluid and changes are possible in the coming days. Read the full report here.

More Blog Entries

Carriers Respond to Covid-19

Across the world, governments are tackling the coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak by putting...

Manufacturers and Companies Respond to Fight Covid-19

In this QAD Precision Report, we pay tribute to companies — and their workers — that are...