In the QAD Precision News Round-Up: 26 March 2021, Eurozone
activity improves; UK plans 4 regional trade hubs; UK inflation down
in February; Nike’s US imports plummet; DHL to invest $7 billion in
zero carbon logistics, plus delivery exception management and more.
According to a preliminary survey released on Wednesday, business
activity in the Eurozone grew for the first time in six months in
March. However, with the onset of a third wave of coronavirus
infections and renewed restrictions across Europe, this growth is not
expected to last.
In March, IHS Markit’s flash composite PMI increased to 52.5 compared
to 48.8 in February. This is above the 50 mark separating growth from
contraction and is the highest reading since late 2018. In Germany,
factory output grew to record levels. The German services sector also
expanded, after five months of contractions. Activity in France was
better than expected with manufacturing increasing at its fastest pace
in over three years. For more details, please see Reuters.
On Tuesday, the UK announced plans to develop four regional trade and
investment hubs to boost pandemic recovery. The hubs will open in
Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and Darlington, according to Secretary of
State for International Trade Liz Truss. The UK government said the
hubs will help businesses access major trade markets as well as boost
exports. This announcement comes as new data from the Office for
National Statistics (ONS) shows UK goods exports to the EU declined
40.7 percent in January. You can read more on this story at BBC News.
In February, UK inflation declined. This was the greatest annual fall
in clothing prices since 2009 and also gave consumers access to
cheaper second-hand cars, toys and computer games. The Office for
National Statistics said the annual rate of consumer price inflation
fell to 0.4 percent last month from 0.7 percent in January. However,
the Bank of England expects inflation to rise back towards the bank's
2 percent target in the first half of 2021. BoE cited increases in oil
prices and household energy bills as well as other one-off effects.
For more details, please see RTE.
Deutsche Post DHL Group has announced its commitment to invest €7
billion ($8 .3 billion) over the next 10 years to reduce its CO2
emissions. The company plans to invest in alternative aviation fuels,
as well as increase its zero-emission vehicle fleet and
As part of its plan to reach zero emissions by 2050, the company is
pledging new interim targets. DHL has announced plans to reduce its
greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in line with the Paris Climate
Agreement. In 2020, DHL’s emissions were 33 million tons. The group
committed to reducing its annual CO2 emissions to below 29 million
tons by 2030, despite the expected strong growth in global logistics
activities. For in-depth information, please see Parcel
and Postal Technology
Last week, Nike executives said port congestion and other supply
chain bottlenecks were constraining its inventory levels. According to
Nike, inventory delays of up to three weeks in North America, affected
the timing of its wholesale shipments.
In addition, during Q3, Nike’s inventory in North America was up 31
percent year-on-year, however, much of this was in-transit inventory.
Nike CFO Matt Friend said the inventory in its distribution centers
was down 20 percent year-on-year for the quarter. Mr Friend cited
container shortages, transportation delays and port congestion as the
reasons for the interruption in the flow of inventory supply. For
details and analysis please see Supply
Department store John Lewis has announced that it will permanently
shut eight more of its outlets. This includes locations in York,
Peterborough, Sheffield and Aberdeen and puts 1,500 jobs at risk.
Earlier this month, the retail group reported its first full-year
loss. In addition, John Lewis, announced the closure of four homewares
speciality stores. Last year, John Lewis permanently closed 8 stores.
This was due to the coronavirus pandemic accelerating the shift to
online shopping. At present, e-commerce accounts for three-quarters of
its sales. More information on this story can be found at The Guardian.
In 2020, an iconic British retailer entered administration and later
announced it would be liquidated. The brand was later bought by an
online-only retailer that would not retain any of the company’s
The closure of such a longstanding retailer was a huge blow to high
streets, British and Irish shoppers — and most especially, the
company’s thousands of employees.
But if you’d ever tried purchasing goods online from this retailer,
the closure may not have been a surprise. At a time when e-commerce
volumes are soaring, companies can no longer afford to be lax about
the delivery experience. If they are, their competitors will win
market share and customer loyalty.
If you are aggravated when your packages don’t arrive on time, your
customers are too. In this 3 Minute Explainer, we explain why delivery
exception management is a must-have for parcel shippers. To read the
full report, please click here.