This Week in Logistics News (May 14 – 20)

tysonThere was a lot of buzz this week insisting that time travel is possible, and we now have video proof of it. Or do we? On August 19, 1995, Mike Tyson made his return to the boxing ring after serving a three year prison sentence. His unlikely opponent was the little known “Hurricane” Peter McNeeley, who would last just 89 seconds in the ring with Tyson. Sitting in the third row, a spectator pulled out what appears to be a smartphone to take a video of the fight, something that is commonplace today. However, cell phones with the capability to take videos or pictures were still years away. So the logical answer became that a time traveler went back in time to watch the Tyson-McNeeley fight. And like that, we had proof that time travel was possible. That is until someone did a little further digging to see what recording devices were publicly available in 1995. Turns out the Casio QV-10A, Casio QV-100, and Logitech Fotoman all looked similar to a bulky version of today’s iPhone 6. And like that, time travel was debunked, which is too bad, as I’m sure most of us have an inner Marty McFly adventure they’d like to enjoy.

And now, on to the news.

amazon logoAmazon is looking to either license or acquire a freight management solution. This is in an effort to help run its freight transportation network, which is expanding rapidly. The company has recently leased cargo planes and registered to arrange ocean-cargo shipments as it works towards reducing its transportation and shipping costs. The move to acquire a freight management solution could help it to find the most efficient shipping routes and hire fleets of trucks, ships, and planes to move sellers’ goods. This could be a huge move for Amazon to win the freight business of smaller companies whose goods will end up in an Amazon warehouse anyway, and could push the company towards an end-to-end supply chain option for many businesses.

Amazon has also launched restaurant delivery in Manhattan. Through the Amazon Prime Now express delivery program, resident of Manhattan now have over 350 restaurants they can order from through Amazon. Unlike many competitors, Amazon does not charge a fee for delivery; instead, they charge a much higher rate to the restaurant than their competitors. However, with the volume Amazon can drive, it is a steep price that restaurants are willing to pay. At the same time, it takes the burden off the restaurant to handle deliveries. Amazon is also rolling the service out in Dallas, TX, making the service available in 10 US cities.

hours-night-truck-stopAn amendment set to come to the Senate floor this week would, if made law, bring back regulations requiring truckers’ 34-hour restart to include two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods and limit the restart’s use to once a week. The amendment was filed Tuesday, the same day the House released a bill that would essentially do the opposite – permanently nix the 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. requirements and the once-weekly limit. The key differences between the two bills being proposed are the when they are reverting rules back to: the Senate bill reverts back to restart rules of 2013 while the House bill reverts back to 2011. It will certainly be an interesting issue to watch.

UPS SAPUPS and SAP have announced plans to launch a distributed, on-demand manufacturing network based on 3D printing. The service will be available at more than 60 UPS stores in the US. Users can go online to place 3D printing orders, which will be sent to the nearest UPS store that can handle the order. Some orders will even be available for same-day shipping, which can reduce the time for production part approval. The service will be targeted towards manufacturers looking to reduce slow moving inventory or looking to quickly prototypes.

Aeropostale_0Aéropostale will start receiving the rest of the inventory it has ordered from MGF Sourcing under a settlement that ends the bankrupt teen-apparel retailer’s feud with one of its largest clothing suppliers. The proposed settlement will finally put an end to the bitter feud in which Aéropostale claims that MGF—which is owned by Aéropostale’s biggest lender—imposed stricter payment terms that forced the retailer into its recent filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Assuming the deal is approved next week, Aéropostale stores would begin receiving merchandise from MGF with a 14-day payback period. Upon payment, the two companies would sever their relationship, which was only in the second year of a 10 year sourcing agreement.

cargo weightAnd finally, an industry group (OCEMA) representing ocean carriers will work with six major ports in the U.S. to develop a common solution that would help exporters comply with a new container-weighing safety measure. The action is aimed at breaking an impasse over new requirements that exporters fear will create giant backlogs at shipping gateways. Currently, these backlogs can occur when companies try to verify the weight of ocean-going cargo. A new requirement stipulates that shippers report the weight containers, not just the goods inside of them. Shippers fear the extra time required to weigh containers will cause logjams and run the risk of cargo being left behind.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the weekend and the song of the week, Back in Time by Huey Lewis and the News.

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