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This Week in Logistics News (June 20 -26)

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logistics news

Baseball is back! Well, sort of. After a long series of negotiations, Major League Baseball and its players have finally agreed on a format to begin the 2020 season. The season is set to begin in late July and will be condensed to a 60-game schedule with a number of changes from a normal season. Unlike a normal season where every team plays every other team, this year, teams will only play teams from their 10-team division. For example, the Red Sox will only play against the East, with 40 games against the AL East and 20 games against the NL East. The DH will be used in both leagues, and if a game goes to extra innings, each half inning will begin with a runner on second to cut down on the length of games. The short season also poses a few interesting questions. For example, will anybody hit .400 this year? While Ted Williams was the last player to hit .400 in 1941, there have certainly been 60-game stretches where a player has hit .400 since then. Another interesting question is whether or not the best teams will make the playoffs. Last year’s World Series winner, the Washington Nationals, were 27-33 through 60 games, and would have missed the playoffs. The final question is how long can baseball last or will the season even start? Over the last few weeks, dozens of players have tested positive for coronavirus, mostly in team-centric clusters, thus placing the season in jeopardy. But for now, baseball is back. Oh, did I mention that stadiums will be empty due to coronavirus? And now on to this week’s logistics news.

logistics news

The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCSMP) released its 31st annual State of Logistics Report earlier this week. The report seeks to provide an in-depth look at the logistics industry, from logistics costs to emerging trends. At a high level, the report highlights that demand in some sectors, such as heavy industry and hospitality have plummeted while other sectors including grocery and e-commerce have soared. According to the report, “booming e-commerce and increasingly demanding consumers are fueling record-breaking growth in parcel and last-mile delivery. However, shippers and 3PLs are struggling to efficiently meet rapidly changing consumer delivery demands.” We will be digging deeper into the report for an upcoming article.

In the US, major meat processing plants have shut down at varying times due to coronavirus outbreaks. And this is clearly not a US-centric problem. In the UK, there are rising fears that more factories will be shut down which could impact the meat supply chain abroad. According to Unite the Union, a British and Irish trade union, more meat factory coronavirus outbreaks are “likely” in the wake of news of three processing plants having clusters of cases. In the last two weeks alone, positive cases were confirmed at a 2 Sisters Food Group chicken plant in Llangefni, Wales, an Asda meat processing facility in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, and a Rowan Foods site in Wrexham, North Wales. These facilities have been shut down and it remains to be seen if more cases will pop up and what the effect on the meat supply chain will be.

logistics news

Speaking of coronavirus cases at meat processing plants, China has suspended imports of poultry from a Springdale, AR Tyson Foods facility. China’s General Administration of Customs office announced the suspension Sunday in a news release noting that hundreds of employees at the facility have tested positive for coronavirus. This is not the first outbreak at a Tyson Foods plants, which has forced operations to shut down in North Carolina, Nebraska, and Iowa. Late last week, Tyson Foods announced the results of COVID-19 testing at its facilities in Benton and Washington counties, AR. Of the 3,748 employees tested, 481 or 13 percent tested positive for COVID-19, with 455 or nearly 95 percent asymptomatic.

While China has suspended imports of poultry from the US, federal agents have seized nearly 20,000 pounds of illegal meat arriving from China at the Los Angeles – Long Beach port in California. According to officials with US Customs and Border Protection, 19,555 pounds of prohibited pork, chicken, beef and duck products were intercepted. Most of the animal products were mixed in boxes of headphones, door locks, kitchenware, LCD tablets, trash bags, swim fins, cell phone covers, plastic cases and household goods in an effort to smuggle them into the country. According to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, meat from China must be closely inspected as the country is affected by African swine fever, classical swine fever, Newcastle disease, foot and mouth disease, highly pathogenic avian influenza, and swine vesicular disease.

On Tuesday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that a decoupling of the US and Chinese economies will result if US companies are not allowed to compete on a fair and level basis in China’s economy. Mnuchin also said that he had every expectation that China would hold up to the terms agreed upon for the Phase 1 trade agreement, calling on China to increase purchases of US goods, energy, and services. Last month, I wrote that Chinese buyers have canceled a large number of soybean and pork order from the US, adding to the speculation that the trade agreement that was struck in January is in jeopardy as the two countries are still at odds. Mnuchin has since said “if we can compete with China on a fair and level playing field, it is a great opportunity for US businesses and US workers, as China has a large, growing middle class. But if we can’t participate and compete on a fair basis, then you are going to see a de-coupling going forward.”

As the world continues to adjust to the new normal of coronavirus, we are also eagerly awaiting a vaccine. As of this writing, at least 11 vaccines have reached the clinical trial stage, which is pretty promising. However, there is now an unexpected bottleneck in the process: a shortage of glass vials. The rush to manufacture a vaccine has resulted in a rush to secure supplies. The issue with the glass supply chain is that the market is traditionally fixed, and slow growing. This means that it is also prone to shortages, such as this one. The relatively low number of glass manufacturers contributes to the issue. Experts are concerned that the slow market, paired with the lack of manufacturers and the exponential rise in demand, could lead to difficulty in producing the billions of vaccine doses needed.

Amazon has made a strong push to eliminate counterfeit items from its marketplace. This became especially true as counterfeit protective equipment hit the market during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, Amazon has formed an internal “Counterfeit Crimes Unit” to bolster its fight against counterfeit products on Amazon.com, as the company seeks to show that it is tough on e-commerce crime. According to a news release, the new unit brings together former federal prosecutors with investigators and data analysts to “more effectively pursue civil litigation against bad actors, work with brands in joint or independent investigations, and aid law enforcement officials worldwide in criminal actions against counterfeiters.”

Ohio and Indiana have teamed up to promote autonomous driving technology to move freight between Columbus, OH and Indianapolis, IN. This is thanks to matching federal grants for the I-70 Truck Automation Corridor Project. The joint project, which will see nearly $9 million invested in the I-70 corridor, will use smart logistics solutions along the 175-mile stretch of I-70 between the two cities. The project allows freight companies and truck automation vendors to deploy partially automated trucks on I-70 between Columbus and Indianapolis. To ensure the safe deployment of these technologies on public roads, the Ohio-based Transportation Research Center (TRC) will offer professional driver training for participating fleets and perform an automation audit of I-70.

Many truck manufacturers see electric trucks as the future of the industry. Now, California, Oregon, and Washington are making big plans for electric truck infrastructure for the West Coast. The project has been dubbed the West Coast Clean Transit Corridor Initiative, and it involves 9 utilities and a pair of agencies working in tandem. The plan is to create electric charging stations every 50 miles along Interstate 5 by 2025, with other highways included in the plan as well. The initial phase will include 27 stations for medium-duty vehicles, such as delivery vans. However, by 2030, more than half of these stations will be upgraded to also charge big rig trucks. California will have 16 of the charging stations, Oregon will have 5, and Washington will have 6. This is certainly an ambitious plan to make electric trucks a mainstay in the future of trucking.

That’s all for this week. Enjoy the weekend and the song of the week, Bruce Springsteen’s Glory Days.

Source: https://logisticsviewpoints.com/2020/06/26/logistics-news-june-20-26/

Automotive

Infamous Antarctic Snow Cruiser Recreated In CGI For Excellent Mini-Doc

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Vehicles built for a specific purpose are always the most exciting. Whether it’s a track-focused hypercar or desert-busting trophy truck, focused engineering will always create something exciting. One of the most interesting purpose-built vehicles was the infamous Antarctic Snow Cruiser. This innovative mobile base was created to help the Americans explore and claim previously unknown terrain in Antarctica. Sadly the results never lived up to expectations and the Antarctic Snow Cruiser now lives in infamy.

In 1940 America launched its largest expedition to Antarctica. Before this expedition, private American expeditions were completed, but they were not government-backed which meant America had no official land claim on Antarctica. In the 1940s world powers planned to claim land in this frigid landscape and look for valuable natural resources.

To claim valuable Arctic real estate quickly, the government back American expedition had a secret weapon. And by secret, I mean a hugely publicized overengineered mobile base known as the Antarctic Snow Cruiser. The Antarctic Snow Cruiser was meant to cross the inhospitable Arctic landscape with ease thanks to superior American engineering. The Antarctic Snow Cruiser was going to cover more land than anyone before while giving America a valuable land claim near the South Pole.

The Antarctic Snow Cruiser had an innovative powertrain much like a modern-day diesel-electric locomotive. Power came from two diesel engines that would send power to four electric motors to move this massive mobile base. With one motor at each wheel, the Antarctic Snow Cruiser previewed the preferred drive train for all modern-day electric vehicles.

The Antarctic Snow Cruiser was a fantastic idea, however, due to tight timelines production was rushed. This meant the team had barely any time for their creation and had to build based purely on theory. This meant the Antarctic Snow Cruiser was a massive failure let down by a weak powertrain and smooth tires that had no grip on the Arctic ice. With modern technology, it would be fantastic to see a second attempt at the legendary Antarctic Snow Cruiser concept.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.motor1.com/news/535992/arctic-snow-crusier/?utm_source=RSS&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=RSS-category-technology

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Automotive

Why MPG should matter for electric vehicles

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If saving the environment is merely a lifestyle choice, the automakers and their latest electric vehicles have got us covered. Tesla’s Plaid touts performance. Leafs, Priuses and Volts preach humility. And Ford is flexing its muscle with launches of electric Mustangs and F-150s.

But if consumers’ choices are going to contribute to a greener future — if they’re going to opt for energy efficiency over flash — they need the ability to make smart purchasing decisions. To enable that, an old-fashioned measuring stick from the gasoline era could come in handy: the concept of miles per gallon.

In the electric vehicle (EV) era, car shopping is no longer a simple matter of finding a high-MPG car and a cheap gallon of gas. Electricity costs are confusing. Price and efficiency information is hard to find and harder to understand. And ultimately, you have to do the math.

That means getting to know electric energy’s unit of choice: the kilowatt-hour, or kWh — a string of characters better suited to an engineering textbook. To determine their costs and carbon footprints, drivers must solve the brain teasers that turn kWh into dollars and miles.

If you don’t do that, you’re trusting the automakers to do the right thing for you and the environment.

The government can lead on this problem. In fact, it has, and it does. Gas pumps have long been required to list the price of a gallon, gallons pumped and total fill-up cost. A vehicle’s EPA-mandated miles-per-gallon rating — displayed on dashboards and on every new car’s MPG sticker — ties it all together.

So maybe we already have a common denominator for the EV age. A familiar, tangible energy unit that gives us an apples-to-apples way to think about cost, efficiency and pollution.

Fellow Americans, say hello — again — to the gallon. Even as we leave the gas-powered car behind, we can keep its energy unit. It’s tangible, and if it works for the energy contained in gas, we can make it work for electricity.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a gallon of unleaded gas contains about 34 kWh of energy. Knowing that, you can easily deduce how much your energy purchase costs and how far it can take you. The gallon can even help you better understand your other electricity usage, putting your home energy costs on an apples-to-apples basis with your automobile’s energy costs.

When I gallon-ized my energy bills for the month of August, I learned:

  • My house used 56 gallons (1,888 kWh) worth of electricity.
  • My average home electricity cost was $6.34 per gallon.
  • At a Tesla supercharger, I paid $8.43 per gallon (25 cents per kWh).

The government already publishes an MPG equivalent for electric and hybrid vehicles. Using MPG, it becomes clear that electric vehicles make up for a lot of that high cost-per-gallon in efficiency, often with ratings over 100 MPG.

MPG is already good for more than car shopping. New York City’s MPG mandates have doubled taxis’ fuel efficiency since 2009. (The city also reserves a portion of taxi licenses — medallions — for hybrids.) Uber and Lyft have announced green initiatives, but their lightly regulated status has let them avoid MPG standards.

Smart energy shopping alone will not solve climate change. Energy watchdogs also need to monitor the industry’s carbon impact from both electricity generation and EV-related hardware manufacturing.

All else equal, though, using less energy means less pollution. And common units can steer us toward smart choices that encompass far more than our cars. Should I buy batteries so I can stock up on electricity when it’s cheapest? Do solar panels make sense? What about better insulation or more efficient appliances?

A high-MPG vehicle and a home that also goes a long way on a gallon? Together, that would be a solid lifestyle choice.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/09/25/why-mpg-should-matter-for-electric-vehicles/

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Automotive

Why MPG should matter for electric vehicles

Published

on

If saving the environment is merely a lifestyle choice, the automakers and their latest electric vehicles have got us covered. Tesla’s Plaid touts performance. Leafs, Priuses and Volts preach humility. And Ford is flexing its muscle with launches of electric Mustangs and F-150s.

But if consumers’ choices are going to contribute to a greener future — if they’re going to opt for energy efficiency over flash — they need the ability to make smart purchasing decisions. To enable that, an old-fashioned measuring stick from the gasoline era could come in handy: the concept of miles per gallon.

In the electric vehicle (EV) era, car shopping is no longer a simple matter of finding a high-MPG car and a cheap gallon of gas. Electricity costs are confusing. Price and efficiency information is hard to find and harder to understand. And ultimately, you have to do the math.

That means getting to know electric energy’s unit of choice: the kilowatt-hour, or kWh — a string of characters better suited to an engineering textbook. To determine their costs and carbon footprints, drivers must solve the brain teasers that turn kWh into dollars and miles.

If you don’t do that, you’re trusting the automakers to do the right thing for you and the environment.

The government can lead on this problem. In fact, it has, and it does. Gas pumps have long been required to list the price of a gallon, gallons pumped and total fill-up cost. A vehicle’s EPA-mandated miles-per-gallon rating — displayed on dashboards and on every new car’s MPG sticker — ties it all together.

So maybe we already have a common denominator for the EV age. A familiar, tangible energy unit that gives us an apples-to-apples way to think about cost, efficiency and pollution.

Fellow Americans, say hello — again — to the gallon. Even as we leave the gas-powered car behind, we can keep its energy unit. It’s tangible, and if it works for the energy contained in gas, we can make it work for electricity.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a gallon of unleaded gas contains about 34 kWh of energy. Knowing that, you can easily deduce how much your energy purchase costs and how far it can take you. The gallon can even help you better understand your other electricity usage, putting your home energy costs on an apples-to-apples basis with your automobile’s energy costs.

When I gallon-ized my energy bills for the month of August, I learned:

  • My house used 56 gallons (1,888 kWh) worth of electricity.
  • My average home electricity cost was $6.34 per gallon.
  • At a Tesla supercharger, I paid $8.43 per gallon (25 cents per kWh).

The government already publishes an MPG equivalent for electric and hybrid vehicles. Using MPG, it becomes clear that electric vehicles make up for a lot of that high cost-per-gallon in efficiency, often with ratings over 100 MPG.

MPG is already good for more than car shopping. New York City’s MPG mandates have doubled taxis’ fuel efficiency since 2009. (The city also reserves a portion of taxi licenses — medallions — for hybrids.) Uber and Lyft have announced green initiatives, but their lightly regulated status has let them avoid MPG standards.

Smart energy shopping alone will not solve climate change. Energy watchdogs also need to monitor the industry’s carbon impact from both electricity generation and EV-related hardware manufacturing.

All else equal, though, using less energy means less pollution. And common units can steer us toward smart choices that encompass far more than our cars. Should I buy batteries so I can stock up on electricity when it’s cheapest? Do solar panels make sense? What about better insulation or more efficient appliances?

A high-MPG vehicle and a home that also goes a long way on a gallon? Together, that would be a solid lifestyle choice.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/09/25/why-mpg-should-matter-for-electric-vehicles/

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Automotive

The Best Selling Vehicles in America, By State

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When CEOs of major companies are selling their shares, investors can’t help but notice.

After all, these decisions have a direct effect on the personal wealth of these insiders, which can say plenty about their convictions with respect to the future direction of the companies they run.

Considering that Big Tech stocks are some of the most popular holdings in today’s portfolios, and are backed by a collective $5.3 trillion in institutional investment, how do the CEOs of these organizations rank by their insider selling?

CEO Stock Shares Sold H1 2021 Value of Shares ($M)
Jeff Bezos Amazon (AMZN) 2.0 million $6,600
Mark Zuckerberg Facebook (FB) 7.1 million $2,200
Satya Nadella Microsoft (MSFT) 278,694 $65
Sundar Pichai Google (GOOGL) 27,000 $62
Tim Cook Apple (AAPL) 0 $0

Breaking Down Insider Trading, by CEO

Let’s dive into the insider trading activity of each Big Tech CEO:

Jeff Bezos

During the first half of 2021, Jeff Bezos sold 2 million shares of Amazon worth $6.6 billion.

This activity was spread across 15 different transactions, representing an average of $440 million per transaction. Altogether, this ranks him first by CEO insider selling, by total dollar proceeds. Bezos’s time as CEO of Amazon came to an end shortly after the half way mark for the year.

Mark Zuckerberg

In second place is Mark Zuckerberg, who has been significantly busier selling than the rest.

In the first half of 2021, he unloaded 7.1 million shares of Facebook onto the open market, worth $2.2 billion. What makes these transactions interesting is the sheer quantity of them, as he sold on 136 out of 180 days. On average, that’s $12 million worth of stock sold every day.

Zuckerberg’s record year of selling in 2018 resulted in over $5 billion worth of stock sold, but over 90% of his net worth still remains in the company.

Satya Nadella

Next is Satya Nadella, who sold 278,694 shares of Microsoft, worth $234 million. Despite this, the Microsoft CEO still holds an estimated 1.6 million shares, which is the largest of any insider.

Microsoft’s stock has been on a tear for a number of years now, and belongs to an elite trillion dollar club, which consists of only six public companies.

Sundar Pichai

Fourth on the list is Sundar Pichai who has been at the helm at Google for six years now. Since the start of 2021, he’s sold 27,000 shares through nine separate transactions, worth $62.5 million. However, Pichai still has an estimated 6,407 Class A and 114,861 Class C shares.

Google is closing in on a $2 trillion valuation and is the best performing Big Tech stock, with shares rising 60% year-to-date. Their market share growth from U.S. ad revenues is a large contributing factor.

Tim Cook

Last, is Tim Cook, who just surpassed a decade as Apple CEO.

During this time, shares have rallied over 1,000% and annual sales have gone from $100 billion to $347 billion. That said, Cook has sold 0 shares of Apple during the first half of 2021. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t sold shares elsewhere, though. Cook also sits on the board of directors for Nike, and has sold $6.9 million worth of shares this year.

Measuring Insider Selling

All things equal, it’s desirable for management to have skin in the game, and be invested alongside shareholders. It can also be seen as aligning long-term interests.

A good measure of insider selling activity is in relation to the existing stake in the company. For example, selling $6.6 billion worth of shares may sound like a lot, but when there are 51.7 million Amazon shares remaining for Jeff Bezos, it actually represents a small portion and is probably not cause for panic.

If, however, executives are disclosing large transactions relative to their total stakes, it might be worth digging deeper.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/the-best-selling-vehicles-in-america-by-state/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-best-selling-vehicles-in-america-by-state

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