This Week in Logistics News (July 7– 13)

Phew! All of the boxes were finally moved in. The house was in disarray, but my wife and I were happy to finally have the family back in a home of our own. Then the cleaning began. Why is it that the process of cleaning a house reveals so many problems? Things look so much cleaner from a distance. And why does cleaning also reveal so much dysfunction? When it comes to buying a home, ignorance is definitely bliss. It reminds me of the movie The Money Pit. That was a classic 80’s comedy!  And now, on to this week’s logistics news.


The US and China are announcing additional tariff on each other’s goods in what is beginning to look more and more like a potential trade war. I am on record stating that I see the Trump administration’s tariff “threats” as posturing meant to set up future negotiations that will hopefully obtain trade benefits on the margin. I still believe this is the case, but I am open to admitting I was incorrect if tariff exchanges throw the US into a recession. Anyway, in the latest tariff “volley”, on Tuesday the Trump administration announced another $200 billion worth of Chinese exports slated for a proposed 10% tariff. According to the Office of the US Trade Representative, this is being done in response to “China’s retaliation and failure to change its practices.” China recently imposed tariffs on $34 billion in US exports to China. Anyway, you get the tennis metaphor….

JDA Software announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Blue Yonder, a Germany-based provider of machine learning and AI solutions to the retail industry. JDA stated that the acquisition will allow it to “more quickly embed new levels of actionable intelligence across all areas of its SaaS solution roadmap.”  AI and machine learning are central tenets of the recently launched JDA Luminate Platform, a connected platform that combines next generation digital technologies with product enhancements to JDA’s core solutions.

Target has expanded its curbside pickup service to 200 sites across the US. “Drive Up'” fulfillment option of the the click and collects service allows customers to order through Target’s mobile app and then have their order hand delivered to their car in the store lot. I believe that Omni-channel initiatives such as this program at Target are critical for retail chains to remain competitive in a time when e-commerce is growing rapidly at the expense of storefront sales.

The petroleum supply chain is near and dear to the hearts of my automation colleagues at ARC Advisory Group. As such, events in the industry are closely watched. Earlier this week, Norwegian oil workers went on strike, leading to a shutdown of a Shell oil field. Brent crude prices increased temporarily, only to fall steeply later in the week. Let’s hope that this supply dispute is resolved quickly.

Truck driver shortages are showing potential to hinder the growth of the US economy. Members of Congress are looking at changing a regulation that prohibits drivers under the age of 21 from driving commercial vehicles over state lines. The proposed legislated, called the Drive-Safe Act, would open cross-state trucking to drivers as young as 18 years of age. the hope is that this change in regulation would increase the number of candidates for these jobs.

Geodis noted on its website that Geodis teams were involved in delivering extra pumping capacity to the rescue teams at the cave in Thailand. The company expediently delivered emergency equipment from the US to Thailand. Congrats to Geodis for being part of such an inspiring effort!

That’s all for this week folks!