Ahoy!! Did ye land lubbers know that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day? Here’s a quick primer – “Arrr!” is the official sound, and not, “Arrrgh!” There are talk-like-a-pirate parties all over the world, as this is more than just a provincial phenomenon. Go to the official Talk Like a Pirate website to find a local chapter near you.
Arrr! Now onto this weeks logistics news:
- Zara Builds Its Business Around RFID
- CMA CGM unveils 3-way shipping alliance in efficiency drive
- UPS Expects to Hire up to 95,000 Seasonal Workers
- Faith and Skepticism about Trade, Foreign Investment
- 46 Years Later: Man’s 1967 Jaguar discovered in a shipping container
An article in WSJ discusses how ZARA has circumvented difficulties previously experienced by some of its competitors. JC Penney, for example, began using RFID tags in 2012 but learned that they interfered with security sensors. ZARA has created a process that cost effectively utilizes RFID to achieve substantial inventory management and visibility improvements. The company is embedding the RFID chips in the garment security tags, enabling the tag’s plastic case to protect the RFID chip and streamline the recycling of the RFID chips along with the security tags at the checkout. And the use of RFID on merchandise promises inventory visibility improvements. The article states the following regarding the in-store inventory-taking practices:
Before the chips were introduced, employees had to scan barcodes one at a time, Ms. Martín said, and these storewide inventories were performed once every six months. Because the chips save time, Zara carries out the inventories every six weeks, getting a more accurate picture of what fashions are selling well and any styles that are languishing.
ZARA is resolute in adopting RFID, as the article notes the company purchased 500 million RFID chips ahead of the rollout. Other companies are also embracing the technology, including Macy’s, French company Oxylane Groupe (Decathalon Sports), and U.K.-based Marks & Spencer.
Earlier this week, French container shipping company CMA CGM announced that it had agreed upon a route-sharing alliance with China Shipping Container Lines and United Arab Shipping. The alliance is to known as the Ocean Three, and will cover routes between Asia and Europe and Asia and North America. The alliance is expected to account for 20 percent market share of the Asia-Europe routes and 14 percent of the Asia-Pacific. This alliance comes on the heels of a two-way partnership between Maersk and MSC that was formulated earlier this year. The Ocean Three alliance, formed to save costs on key container routes, will embody a total of 132 ships serving the Asia-Europe and Asia-Pacific routes.
UPS announced that it expects to hire up to 95,000 seasonal workers to assist with the increased volume during the busy holiday season. UPS noted that much of this year’s increase in package deliveries will come from the proliferation in e-commerce. Last year the company planned to hire 55,000 seasonal workers, but only ended up hiring around 30,000. This prefaced the highly publicized UPS performance debacle that occurred last year. Improper strategic planning was stated as the cause of the poor performance. But my own experiences indicate there were also issues at the execution level.
The Pew Research Center released results from its Global Attitudes Survey on international trade. The report, based on survey results of individuals from 44 nations, provides an analysis of perceptions toward the effect of international trade on job creation, wages, and prices. It also discusses perceptions about the effects of direct foreign investment. The results are presented by country and by the economic categories of Advanced, Emerging, and Developing nations.
Finally, an interesting story about the reunion of man with his most prized possession. Ivan Schneider had his Jaguar stolen in 1968 when he was living in New York. Forty-five years later the car was found by Port of Los Angeles customs officials during an inspection of a shipping container destined for the Netherlands. The dailynews.com article quotes Schneider as saying “This is a just a miracle, a miracle. I was 26-years-old then and now I’m 82. It was my first good car – and favorite.” Check out the article for pictures of the car and Ivan Schneider viewing it on screen at the port.
Have a great weekend!
This week’s video is one your kids will like. Here it is, the Comfy Rabbit.