This Week in Logistics News (December 3 – 9)

c2s_super02015d_14612181_8colTom Brady is the GOAT. And by GOAT, I mean the greatest of all time. At least according to some people. And according to some stats. The one stat that people are referencing are his record setting 201st win, collected last Sunday afternoon against the LA Rams. This win put Brady one win ahead of his rival Peyton Manning to become the winningest quarterback of all-time, if you include regular season and post season wins. As a Pats fan, it’s tough to say he isn’t the greatest of all time. I honestly can’t think of one quarterback I would rather have on my team. But again, as a Pats fan, I really dislike Manning, Dan Marino, and Brett Favre. So congratulations to the winningest quarterback in history, and hopefully he’ll add a few more wins and rings to that tally.

And now, on to the news.

walmart logoWalmart is investing $1.3 billion in logistics in Mexico, which is Latin America’s second largest economy. This announcement comes at an interesting time as President-elect Trump has attacked US companies that are investing in Mexico, as well as threatened to renegotiate or scrap a major trade deal with the country. The investment will not result in any jobs being moved from the US to Mexico, but is intended to fuel the company’s expansion plans in Mexico. The investment is for building out back-end infrastructure, including new distribution centers. According to Walmart, the investment will create 10,000 permanent new jobs.

nikola_unveils_its_hydrogen_powered_semi_truck_wide_imageNikola Motor company just unveiled a huge class 8 truck that is powered by hydrogen fuel cell. This is big news as more and more companies are trying to figure out how to get the most out of electric vehicles. One problem has been the limited range of electric vehicles, with most topping out at around 250 miles. According to its creators, the Nikola One, which is designed for long-haul good transport across a large landmass, will be able to travel between 800 and 1,200 miles on a single tank of fuel. Additionally, it will deliver over 1,000 horsepower and 2,000 foot-pounds of torque, which is about double the power of today’s diesel trucks.

20161207ups_delivery_bikeUPS is testing bike-based deliveries in Portland, OR. The program uses electrically assisted tricycles to deliver goods in urban areas, which the company has been doing in Hamburg, Germany since 2012. The eBike uses battery-powered electric motors that allow riders to cover greater distances, carry heavy loads, and navigate hills and other terrain. Riders can operate the eBike on either battery power or pedal power alone, or use a combination of the two. As part of the test, UPS will evaluate whether the eBike program was successful and whether it is a viable permanent option for the future. If it is, the company expects to roll out more bikes in other US markets.

960x0Amnesty International has published a report into the practices of major consumer goods companies. And the report is not flattering. The human rights NGO has examined the palm oil supply chain and found evidence of forced labor, child employment, and dangerous working conditions. The primary company under investigation is Wilmar, the world’s largest producer of palm oil. But Wilmar supplies companies such as Colgate, Nestlé, and Unilever with palm oil. These companies tout the fact that their products use sustainable palm oil. But the findings from the report contradict these claims. As a result, these companies are heavily criticized for allowing these conditions to exist within their supply chain.

rhode islandAnd finally, the state of Rhode Island is moving forward with a law signed in February by Governor Gina Raimondo that allows the state to install truck-only tolls to help raise money to repair bridges and roads. At the time of the signing, 76% of truckers said they would avoid Rhode Island if the state enacts a trucks-only toll plan. Well, Rhode Island Department of Transportation said Monday it has begun seeking proposals by companies looking to design, build, and operate the tolls. The first tolls will be erected along I-95 in southwest Rhode Island near the Connecticut border. The state law allows 18-wheelers to be charged up to $20 on a one-way route through the state between Massachusetts and Connecticut. The state plans to award a contract in the spring and complete toll construction by late 2018.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the weekend and the song of the week, from the Karate Kid, Joe Esposito’s The Best.