It’s a sad day here in Boston – the capital of Red Sox nation. Our beloved baseball team managed to go from last place in 2012 to World Series champs in 2013, only to fall back to last place in 2014. To add insult to injury, the Red Sox basically sold off half the team yesterday just prior to the trade deadline. I have tickets to tonight’s game against the Yankees, but it just won’t be what I had anticipated at the beginning of the season. I know baseball isn’t played in Europe, but no one in Europe will read this post because the continent is on vacation (yes, I am jealous). Now on to this week’s logistics news:
- India’s demands block $1 trillion WTO deal on customs rule
- US growth surges by 4 percent after frosty first quarter
- Steven LaVoie, ArrowStream CEO, in critical condition
- NFL Partners With Zebra Technologies To Provide Next Generation Player Tracking
- Tesla and Panasonic Sign Gigafactory Agreement
The World Trade Organization (WTO) failed yesterday to reach an agreement on standardized customs rules. WTO ministers had already achieved preliminary agreement on reforms to streamline customs procedures. However, ratification was blocked by “India’s demands for concessions on agricultural stockpiling.” India wanted more freedom to subsidize and stockpile food grains than would have been allowed by the agreement. Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia supported India’s position. Trade experts expressed dispair about the failure. Here are a couple of quotes from the article:
Trade experts say Thursday’s failure is likely to end the era of trying to cobble together global trade agreements and to accelerate efforts by smaller groups of like-minded nations to liberalise trade among themselves….””Today’s developments suggest that there is little hope for truly global trade talks to take place,” said Jake Colvin at the National Foreign Trade Council, a leading U.S. business group.”
But some still remained hopeful that progress could still be achieved. ICC secretary General stated, ““Our message is clear. Get back to the table, save this deal and get the multilateral trade agenda back on the road to completion sooner rather than later.”
US GDP expanded at a 4 percent annual rate in the second quarter of the year. And the decline in GDP for the first quarter was revised from negative 2.9 percent to negative 2.1 percent. Inventories played a significant role in second quarter GDP growth, contributing 1.66 percent to the overall growth. This is also reflected in the real final sales (GDP less private inventories) growth of a less substantial 2.3 percent. On a separate macroeconomic note, the Manufacturing ISM purchasing managers’ index for July came out today. It registered 57.1%, indicating growth. Interestingly, wood pallets was the only commodity reported in short supply.
Steven LaVoie, CEO of SaaS supply chain management software company ArrowStream was shot yesterday at his office in Chicago. Allegedly, demoted chief technology officer Tony DeFrances was the shooter. I have included a mention of this article in today’s post in case any readers know Steven LaVoie personally. We wish Steven a strong recovery.
Earlier this week I discussed how the role of data capture advancements has contributed to the analytics revolution in sports as well as supply chain. In addition, I pointed out the importance of out-of-the-box, innovative thinking in realizing progress from these advances. Well, it appears that the NFL is partnering with Zebra Technologies the company’s real-time location system (RTLS) in 17 stadiums for the 2014 NFL Season. RFID tags will be placed in the players’ shoulder pads to capture location movements in real time that can later be used to analyze player movement and calculate statistics of value to team management…and fans as well.
Telsa Motors and Panasonic have signed an agreement to construct a large scale lithium-ion battery factory. Panasonic will supply lithium-ion cells that will be used in the manufacturing process. A Tesla blog post states, “we’re planning to build a large scale factory that will allow us to achieve economies of scale and minimize costs through innovative manufacturing, reduction of logistics waste, optimization of co-located processes and reduced overhead.” The “gigafactory” is expected to produce more lithium ion batteries annually in 2020 than were produced globally (by all producers for all purposes, I believe) in 2013.
Have a great weekend everyone!
This week’s video “People are Awesome.” This video contains some amazing human feats. I found its contents extremely impressive and inspiring.