Imagine this – You move to California from Great Britain. You decide you’re a bit lonely, so you buy a parrot for good company. You name him Nigel. You teach Nigel to speak, and he learns the language with the British accent that reminds you of home. Unfortunately, one day your feathered buddy flies the coop, and doesn’t return. As the years pass, you resign to the fact that Nigel is gone for good. Four years after Nigel’s disappearance, you receive a random call from a woman saying she has found him. That couldn’t be correct… but the computer chip you placed on him has identified the bird as your buddy Nigel. The woman puts Nigel on the phone, but your long lost buddy doesn’t greet you with a “Cheers” or a “Hello”, but instead says “Hola! Buenos dias!”Que pasó? Little is know about the whereabouts of Nigel over the last four years, but he is now a bilingual parrot. True story…with a couple embellishments by me.
Now on to this week’s logistics news:
- Wal-Mart CEO says ‘no excuse’ for weak U.S. growth, lays out fix-it plan
- Prologis Ramps Up Europe Development on E-Commerce Boost
- Singapore Post to Build Logistics Hub in E-Commerce Bet
- Canadian Pacific Railway Makes Deal Overture to CSX
- In historic move, FedEx Freight workers vote to unionize in Philly
- Solar-powered cargo trikes offer clean ‘last mile’ food transport in Amsterdam
- Ukraine, EU to Launch Free Trade Zone if Russia Violates Brussels Agreements
Wal-mart’s CEO spoke to investors this week and said that the company plans to spend more of its capital budget on building up its e-commerce presence (logstics vendors, take note). Wal-mart has reported six consecutive quarters without growth in comparable sales (same store) in the US, according to the article in Fortune. The company is also placing focus on expanding its omni-channel commerce capabilities to give consumers greater choice in placing and receiving orders.
Prologis, the large international industrial building owner, is increasing the construction of warehouses in Europe to meet increasing demand for addition e-commerce fulfillment centers, according to Bloomberg. The article mentions specific areas including Poland and the English Midlands. The article references CBRE Group stating that tenants are signing the most leases for industrial space in Europe since 2008. Prologis is expected to start building out 5.4 million square feet of warehouse space in Europe this year.
As another example of e-commerce’s affect on fulfillment centers, Singapore Post is going to spend $145 million on a new e-commerce logistics center to support the anticpated increase of online retailing in Southeast Asia. The facility will be 553,000 square feet and capable of handling 100,000 packages daily. Alibaba announced in May it intention to invest $249 million in Singapore Post as a stake in the international logistics business.
According to the New York Times Dealbook, Canadian Pacific Railway recently approached CSX about a potential merger. CSX has rail lines in the eastern US, while Canadian Pacific is primarily in Canada. There is little overlap in geographies, but such a deal would require regulatory approval. As an aside, access to shale oil transportation routes is the motivation that initially popped into my mind. However, I am unsure about the degree to which CSX serves shale oil transport routes. The article does mention that North American railroads are considered to be poorly managed, and the possible efficiency gains from instituting proper management may be the primary merger motivation.
FedEx Freight drivers in Pennsylvania have voted to become represented by the Teamsters Union. This is the first time drivers of FedEx Freight have chosen to be unionized. This vote follows an earlier vote by New Jersey FedEx workers, in which they rejected an organization attempt by the Teamsters. There are five more votes currently scheduled at FedEx terminals across the US.
Progress or regress? I guess it depends on your perspective. Treehugger.com reports that Foodlogica has introduced an e-trike food delivery service that promises “no emissions, no congestion, no polution.” The solar-powered trikes have a custom cargo box to carry packages and cartons. The base price for delivery is 15 Euros.
Rianovski reports that Kiev and Brussels (EU) have stated intentions to launch a free trade zone if Russia violates the the prior agreement. The article quotes the Ukranian representative, Valery Pyatnitsky, as stating
“There is a certain probability – and I’m not implying that this probability is high – that the Russian Federation will withdraw from the agreements, reached in Brussels; in this case, of course, other parties will also be freed from the agreements achieved,”
It sounds to me like the EU and the Ukraine are hedging their bets, or attempting to reinforce the benefits of complying with the agreement. Russia also stated that it would introduce measures should Kiev and Brussels implement the economic actions that were agreed to be delayed.
Have a great weekend!!