UK and European Union agree trade deal

The European Union (EU) and UK have agreed a trade deal that will allow tariff free trade in goods.

The deal comes after weeks of intense negotiations as the two sides worked to thrash out an agreement before the UK leaves the single market and customs union on December 31.

According to the Guardian, the deal guarantees “zero tariff and zero quota” trade on goods worth £668bn in 2019. UK aircraft and trucks will continue to have access to EU states.

However, there will also be increased border checks on goods from January 1, which could put pressure on supply chains as companies adjust to new ways of working.

Logistics UK policy director Elizabeth de Jong welcomed the deal but warned that companies still needed to prepare for new trading conditions.

“A deal is great news for the UK economy,” said de Jong. “Since it removes the risk of tariffs being placed on almost every item imported from the EU, which would have raised prices and slowed the rate of economic growth.

“We are still absorbing all the details, but it looks as though HGVs will continue to have access to the EU market, and aircraft will still be permitted to fly to and from the EU, which safeguards the UK’s highly interconnected supply chains and protects the jobs of those charged with keeping the country stocked with the goods it needs.

For the full story, please click HERE

Source: Air Cargo News

How COVID vaccine transport will reshape freight tech

  • The coronavirus pandemic has boosted demand for digital freight solutions.
  • COVID-19 vaccine transport may do the same for pharmaceutical logistics software and hardware.

The massive undertaking that is COVID-19 vaccine transport raises questions about how the historic event might impact freight-tech companies that have already pivoted and rebranded in response to the pandemic and other disruptions that have shaped the goods movement markets over the past few years.

But don’t start writing code for new temperature-monitoring algorithms just yet, experts caution.

While there are “huge opportunities” in vaccine distribution, few of those opportunities will fall in the laps of new companies built to solve that problem, said Jake Medwell, founding partner of 8VC a venture capital firm that invests in new technologies, including digital freight platforms. (Disclosure: 8VC is a FreightWaves investor.)

That is not to say that the vaccine won’t hasten innovation in freight tech. Building on emerging cold chain solutions and burgeoning interest in pharmaceutical logistics, new and existing players are ramping up GPS and temperature-tracking technologies to deploy in vaccine transport and beyond.

For the full story, please click HERE

Source: Freight Waves

Strong winter storm cranking on cusp of new year

A strong winter storm will likely slow down supply chains, freight movement and business operations this week across several states. The highest impacts will hit the nation’s heartland the rest of this week, heading into 2021.

The combination of snow, ice and gusty winds will cause mostly moderate to locally major disruptions to surface and air transportation from the Central Plains to portions of the Great Lakes. Major cities within the potential impact zone include Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; and Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin. Major interstates within this zone include I-80, I-90, I-35, I-39 and I-43.

A mixture of snow and ice has developed across the Plains. The low pressure system producing the adverse weather will slowly drag across the central U.S. Tuesday and Wednesday. Ice buildup of one- to two-tenths of an inch is possible, especially in the southern half of the potential impact zone within Nebraska, Kansas, northern Missouri and northwestern Illinois.

For the full story, please click HERE

Source: American Shipper

Hapag-Lloyd, ONE order ultra large container ships

Two days before Christmas, Hapag-Lloyd presented its plans for six container ships, each with a carrying capacity of more than 23,500 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). On Christmas Eve, Ocean Network Express (ONE) announced it had signed a letter of intent for the long-term charter of six vessels, each with a capacity of more than 24,000 TEUs.

Hapag-Lloyd’s six ultra large container ships will be built at the Korean shipyard Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and delivered between April and December 2023.

“The vessels will be deployed on the Europe-Far East routes as part of THE Alliance and will significantly increase Hapag-Lloyd’s competitiveness in this trade,” last Wednesday’s announcement said, adding that as part of the German shipping line’s sustainability strategy, “the vessels will be fitted with a state-of-the-art high-pressure dual-fuel engine, which will be extremely fuel efficient. The engine will operate on LNG but has alternatively sufficient tank capacity to operate on conventional fuel.”

Other members of the vessel-sharing THE Alliance are Yang Ming, HMM and ONE.

For the full story, please click HERE

Source: American Shipper

Most shoppers plan on making a return after the holidays

The more retailers sell this holiday season, the more will likely boomerang back as returns in the new year.

That’s especially true this year due to the surge in online selling, with the ongoing pandemic keeping customers from shopping indoors or limiting their numbers when they do. E-commerce soared 31.2% year over year in October and 32.4% again in November. And a quarter of that, on average, is likely to be returned, with even higher rates for apparel and electronics, according to A.J. Hernandez, CEO of crossborder parcel delivery firm SkyPostal.

Others peg typical e-commerce returns at closer to 30%. Either way, that’s already a lot of sales going in the wrong direction. But for several reasons, retailers could see the rate go even higher.

Customer experience platform Narvar, for example, recently found that more than 60% of shoppers are “bracketing,” where they buy multiple sizes, colors or styles of an item, knowing they will return some if not all. That’s a 50% increase in three years, and a 29% increase from last year. Survey respondents told Narvar researchers they’ve done so because their weight has fluctuated during the pandemic (41%), they can’t try things on in a store, as they usually would (31%) or they are trying new brands they’re less familiar with (21%).

For the full story, please click HERE

Source: Retail Dive