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.
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
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
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
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
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.