In the QAD Precision News Round-Up: 23 August 2019, UK to sign “continuity” trade agreement with South Korea, UPS invests in autonomous trucking company; Amazon expands operations in Utah; UK plans for express shipment of medical products; plus leveraging multi carrier software solutions in parcels market and more.
This week, UPS announced an investment in the autonomous trucking company TuSimple based in San Diego. Since May 2019, UPS has pur
chased transportation services from the company and has piloted overnight freight hauls between Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. TuSimples’s driverless trucks rely on camera systems, artificial intelligence and other mapping technologies. Currently, laws require a driver to be present while the vehicle is in transit. UPS has also piloted a number of autonomous drone deliveries in the US and worldwide. For more details, please see Supply Chain Dive.
This week, Japan and the US intend to reduce gaps on trade when Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer meet but it is unlikely that a deal will be made in September. Two days of talks took place from Wednesday in Washington D.C. and will aim to lay the foundation for a possible meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump at the Group of Seven Summit in France later this month. For more information, please see Reuters.
On Thursday, China stated that it hopes the US will stop its tariff action and said that any additional tariffs would lead to escalation. Earlier this month, the US stated that it would impose duties on $300 billion of Chinese goods from September 1 but US President Donald Trump has delayed duties on certain items such as cell phones, laptops and consumer goods to December. Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Fend said that “if the United States rides roughshod over China’s opposition and impose any new tariffs, China will be forced to adopt retaliatory actions”. For more details, please see Reuters.
Amazon has announced the opening of a new fulfillment centre in West Jordan, Utah which will create more than 800 jobs. Amazon’s Vice President of Global Customer Fulfillment, Alicia Boler Davis stated that the company are excited to open the new facility and “to continue innovating in a state committed to providing great opportunities for jobs and customer experience. Employees in the new fulfillment centre will pick, pack and ship larger customer items. For more information, please see Post and Parcel.
As part of Brexit preparations, the UK has put out a bidding for a £25 million ($30 million) contract for “express freight capability” to assist in maintaining the supply of medical devices in the case of a no-deal outcome. With this contract, the government plans to ship small parcels into the UK within 24 hours and larger pallets within four days. This will ensure that vital products reach patients in the event of traditional routes into the UK becoming congested due to custom check and other Brexit related issues. It is hoped that this service will be fully operational by October 24. For more details, please see Supply Chain Dive.
On Thursday, the UK signed a “continuity” trade agreement with South Korea to allow businesses trade freely following Brexit. In June, the two countries agreed to a preliminary deal which is the first post-Brexit deal the UK secured in Asia. In 2018, trade between the UK and South Korea totaled £14.6 billion ($17.7 billion). International Trade Secretary Liz Truss will sign the agreement with South Korea’s counterpart Yoo Myung-hee in London. Ms Yoo stated that the agreement would "remove much Brexit uncertainty" from the partnership between the two countries.
For more information, please see the BBC.
E-commerce has not only changed the retail market but it has transformed the parcel market too. Between 2012 and 2016, global parcel shipping volumes grew by an average of 5.8 percent and jumped 17.3 percent in 2017. It is estimated that approximately 100 billion parcels will be shipped in 2020. This parcel growth has impacted B2B shippers as parcels become a larger component of their transportation mix. Therefore, it is essential for global shippers to manage and control parcel shipping spend, assisted by multi carrier software solutions. Leveraging multiple carriers can provide a business with an advantage, increasing shipping options and offering competitive rates. For more information, please click here.