In the QAD Precision News Round-Up: 31 January 2020, MEPs to vote
on Brexit withdrawal agreement; sustainable e-commerce is important
to consumers; Donald Trump signs USMCA into law; plus Brexit: What
happens after 31 January 2020 and more.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has stated that the EU will be the
“stronger team” in trade talks with the UK following Brexit. Mr
Varadkar cited the EU’s larger population and market as being an
advantage. Following trade talks between Mr Varadkar and EU chief
negotiator Michel Barnier on Monday, Mr Barnier stated that the two
sides face “the risk of a cliff edge” if trade terms were not agreed
by the end of the post-Brexit transition period in December. For more
information, please see The BBC.
Britain's exit from the European Union has been put into law as the
bloc’s parliament voted to ratify the withdrawal agreement on
Wednesday. The UK will leave the EU at 11pm UK time on Friday
(midnight in Brussels). Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)
voted by 621 votes to 49 to pass the withdrawal agreement. However,
many MEPs stressed that this was to avoid a no-deal Brexit, rather
than support for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Under this
agreement, Britain will leave the EU institutions but will remain
under most EU rules during a transition period that runs until the end
of December 2020. For more details, please see RTE.
On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump signed the US-Mexico-Canada
Agreement (USMCA) into law. At present, Mexico has already ratified
the trade deal and Canada is expected to do so in the coming weeks.
Retail industry representatives expressed optimism about continued
free trade between the three countries. National Retail Federation
President and CEO Matthew Shay stated that "We hope to see the
Canadian Parliament ratify the USMCA as soon as possible so the
benefits of free trade in North America can continue uninterrupted,”.
For more information, please see Supply
Carbon neutral delivery and recyclable packaging is increasingly
important to online shoppers around the world according to the IPC
Global Postal Industry Report 2019. The survey now reaches
approximately 35,700 consumers in 41 different countries across North
& South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. The 2019 report revealed
that 66 percent of consumers would like their packaging to be
recyclable and 45 percent would like the delivery process to be carbon
neutral. For more details, please see Post
DHL Express has announced plans to invest $3.8 million to expand its
service center in Cleveland, Ohio. This investment will be used to
accommodate expected international trade growth resulting from an
increase in e-commerce and a strong manufacturing presence in the
region. The expansion, along with the addition of state-of-the-art
equipment, will maximize processing capabilities and allow earlier
deliveries. For more information, please see Ajot.
In 2020, UPS is aiming to more than double weekend deliveries in a
bid to satisfy the always-on demands of e-commerce customers. At the
beginning of this year, UPS added Sunday to its weekend services.
Furthermore, UPS said it aimed to expand its year-round Sunday service
to an additional 40 million US customers. According to consultancy
ShipMatrix, average volume of overall US weekend deliveries doubled to
13.5 million units between 2013 and 2019. For more details, please see
On Wednesday, UPS and Waymo announced the launch of a parcel
transportation pilot. During the trial, Waymo’s autonomous Chrysler
Pacifica minivans will collect packages from UPS stores in Phoenix and
deliver them to UPS sorting facilities in Tempe, Arizona for
processing. A Waymo-trained driver will be in the vehicles at all
times. UPS chief strategy and transformation officer Scott Price
stated that the pilot will facilitate getting packages to UPS
sortation facilities sooner and more frequently. Scott noted that the
use of autonomous vehicles also creates an opportunity for later
drop-offs for next-day service. For more information, please see Supply
On Friday 31 January 2020 at 11pm in London — and midnight in
Brussels — the UK will officially no longer be part of the European
Union. While this date is undoubtedly important, in many ways it is
symbolic — business, travel and people’s daily lives will be largely unaffected.
Once the clock sounds the end of the UK’s 47 years of EU membership,
an 11-month transition period kicks in. During the transition period,
the UK will remain in the EU single market and customs union and must
contribute to the EU budget. Furthermore, the rights of British
citizens to live, work, study or retire in the EU will not yet change.
Likewise, citizens of the EU27 countries will continue to have
reciprocal rights in the UK.
Irish rock band U2 famously sang that “Nothing changes on New Year’s
Day.” That is unlikely to be the case on 1 January 2021. That day will
mark the UK’s first day outside of EU rules. British Prime Minister
Boris Johnson has the option to extend the transition period until
2022 or 2023. However, the PM has repeatedly stated his intention to
meet the 2021 deadline. That leaves the UK and EU a maximum of 11
months to agree on the terms of their future relationship. In this QAD
Precision Report we look at the transition period and the future of
the EU/UK trade relationship.To read the full report, please click here.