The future is here. Literally. And I’m not talking about the future of home delivery with drones or robots (more on that later). Today, July 22, 2022, is George Jetson’s birthday. Like the day he was born. The futuristic cartoon is set in the year 2062, where 40-year-old George Jetson lives with his boy Elroy, his daughter Judy, his wife Jane, the family dog Astro and the lovable robot girl Rosie. One of the more interesting aspects of the show is the fact that George’s work week is one hour a day, two days a week. Talk about flexibility. George Jetson commutes to work in an aerocar with a transparent air cushion and sends his children to school in autonomous transparent bubbles that are deployed from the air vehicle. As drones and other advanced technologies become more commonplace, will we enter the world of Jetsons? In the next 40 years, the answer is (most likely) a definitive no. But are the Jetsons just a few centuries ahead of their time? We’ll have to wait. And now to this week’s logistics news.
The drone delivery market continues to heat up as more drone operators and more retailers seek aerial deliveries. Wings by Alphabet Inc The subsidiary has developed a fleet of new prototype drones designed to more efficiently deliver packages ranging from small pill bottles to items weighing up to 7 pounds. The two designs, one that looks more like a small plane used by hobbyists and another with a large belly that serves as extra cargo space, were recently featured in a company blog post. For now, the company is still focused on its original drone design, the Hummingbird WB plane, which is a hybrid that can take off like a helicopter and fly horizontally like an airplane. The two new prototypes are both based on the Hummingbird, which Wing says can carry about 2 pounds and has made hundreds of thousands of deliveries in the suburbs of Dallas, Virginia, Australia and Finland. They use many of the same components as engines and guidance systems and follow similar designs.
Fedex express has announced the launch of a new route between Asia and Europe. Customers in North Asia, including China and Japan, will benefit from increased connection and service reliability through the route. Customers in Singapore will also benefit from increased European inbound capacity. The new flight route connects China’s capital Beijing for the first time with the FedEx Charles de Gaulle hub in Paris, France, with ten weekly connections via Osaka, Japan. This new route will assist businesses by extending the cut-off time for same-day outbound shipments from Beijing to Europe, giving consumers more time to plan their shipments. In addition, Japanese companies shipping time-sensitive packages or items that require strict temperature control and monitoring, such as in the healthcare sector, as well as heavy packages, from the direct connection between Kansai International Airport and FedEx North Pacific Regional Hub and the Charles de Gaulle Hub in Paris, France.
baskets, an international technology group, has signed an agreement to purchase Enspire Commerce™ omnichannel solutions, enVista’s platform, including its order management system (OMS) and freight verification and payment service (FAP). enVista’s capabilities expand Körber’s portfolio to enable companies to meet ever-increasing consumer expectations in today’s highly competitive omnichannel landscape. According to Stephan Seifert, CEO of the Körber Group, “This acquisition is a great addition to our existing product portfolio and another important milestone in our quest to become a global supply chain software champion! At the same time, with more than 400 new colleagues and experts around the world, we are significantly strengthening our footprint to continue to support our clients worldwide.” The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
Here’s an interesting quote from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador when the US started one Trade war against Mexico The government is accused of favoring its state utility and oil company at the expense of American companies.
“Ooooh, I’m so scared…”
The US is seeking dispute-settlement consultations under the US-Mexico-Canada deal, the first step that could result in tariffs on a range of Mexican products. It also presents a challenge from the Biden administration to Mr. López Obrador’s efforts to regain state control of the country’s oil and electricity markets. Mr López Obrador dismissed the US action, attributing it to intense lobbying by what he called corrupt right-wing rivals in Mexico. At the start of the dispute, US Trade Representative Katherine Tai said a series of Mexican policies are undermining American companies and US-produced energy in favor of Mexico’s state-owned energy company Comision Federal de Electricidad (CFE) and oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).
However, recession fears abound America’s ports continue to hit historically high numbers. Last month was the country’s best June ever for container imports. This month looks set to be the best or second best July. According to The McCown Report, imports into the top 10 US ports rose 5.9 percent year over year to 2.16 million 20-foot units in June, beating increases of 3 percent in May and 5.1 percent in the month April. The crowds shifted further east. Imports to major East/Gulf Coast ports rose 9.7 percent year-on-year in June, driven by double-digit increases in New York/New Jersey, Houston and Savannah, Georgia. Imports to ports on the west coast increased by 2.3 percent. Compared to June 2019, before COVID, import volumes into the top 10 US ports increased 26.9 percent last month, McCown said. East/Gulf Coast ports were up 40.3 percent and West Coast ports were up 15.8 percent.
According to a report by Armstrong & Associates, strong consumer demand, ongoing supply chain bottlenecks and tight transportation capacity pushed air, ground and ocean transportation rates to historic levels in 2021 as shippers relied on them Third-Party Logistics Providers (3PLs) Strengthen inventories and avoid product shortages. After a volatile 2020, the Covid-driven 3PL market in the US has created growth opportunities, particularly for 3PLs with strong carrier management, e-commerce and air freight forwarding capabilities. Year-on-year, 2021 saw the fastest 3PL growth since Armstrong began estimating market size in 1995. However, the growth of the 3PL market segment has been patchy. To meet demand, 3PLs increasingly used the spot market to find carriers for the deliveries. While strong demand has fueled growth across the 3PL market, the true leaders have been those companies with strong carrier management capabilities that have innovated technologically. This allows them to efficiently leverage long-standing carrier relationships to meet shipper demand, rather than over-relying on the use of loading boards or traditional means of buying capacity at spot market prices.
Oakland International Container Terminal (OICT) management suspended operations at the Port of Oakland Wednesday due to the independent trucker protests about California’s gig worker law, known as AB5. The port’s other three sea terminals are also virtually closed to trucks, the Port of Oakland told CNBC while some ship work operations are underway. This is the third day that truckers have protested California’s gig worker labor law, sparked by the rise of gig economy platforms like Uber, Lyft and DoorDash. A two-year legal stay was recently lifted when the Supreme Court decided not to hear a case that would have protected truck drivers from the effects of the law. AB5 requires companies that hire independent contractors to reclassify them as employees, but there are some exceptions to the law across industries. The majority of truck drivers in California are owner-operators, and many in this profession are concerned about their future. An estimated 70,000 truck drivers who own and drive their own trucks would be covered by this law, and they do not want to become an employee or join a union to work.
That’s all for this week. Enjoy the weekend and song of the week, Paramore’s future.