Alibaba Takes a Hit From Coronavirus [Wall Street Journal]

E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. could ultimately benefit from the coronavirus outbreak even as travel lockdowns and quarantines complicate its delivery operations. The epidemic has dampened consumer demand for some goods and stranded workers at home leaving factories dark and straining Alibaba’s logistics arm, which is now operating at 20% capacity. The company expects challenges in the short run, but said it is also seeing a significant increase in online purchases of groceries and basic staples as consumers avoid stores. Segments like its online video business could get a bounce as more people are stuck at home. 

DHL Supply Chain could lay off up to 144 workers in Detroit as it bids for contract renewal [Crain’s Detroit Business]

Supply chain management and third-party logistics company DHL Supply Chain has notified the state of 144 potential layoffs in Detroit as it vies for new contracts. DHL said in a notice filed with the state that it had scheduled the 6500 Huber St. facility to close on March 27 for around three months or so for maintenance. Its potential reopening depends on whether an expired service agreement with a customer is replaced or extended, the notice said.

European expansion efforts are going strong for project44 [Supply Chain Management Review]

Chicago-based project44, a technology services provider offering standardized, secure Web service API (application programming interfaces) integrations enabling 3PLs and shippers to connect with carriers in real time, this week heralded its ongoing growth efforts in Europe. One key driver for the company in Europe is its late 2018 acquisition of Nørresundby, Denmark-based GateHouse Logistics, a logistics technology provider focusing on securely sharing data across the supply chain, with an emphasis on visibility of inbound and outbound logistics. 

Kraft Heinz turnaround starts with new talent [Supply Chain Dive]

The supply chain overhaul needed at Kraft Heinz will take years, said CEO Miguel Patricio Thursday on his third earnings call in the position. In the fourth quarter, the company achieved its first net reduction of U.S. supply chain costs in two years, though other detractors kept the savings from showing up in the final results. The official turnaround plan will consist of three stages and started with the new 2020 fiscal year, according to Patricio Kraft Heinz continues a massive SKU-reduction effort, which Patricio detailed on his November earnings call​. 

Newly Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in China’s Hubei Province Rise Sharply [Wall Street Journal]

China’s leaders are trying to stabilize an economy reeling from the deadly coronavirus outbreak. Beijing is offering tax relief and other measures as businesses only slowly reopen after the extended Lunar New Year holiday with worries growing over logistics bottlenecks tied to the country’s attempts to hold back the virus. Chinese officials say they need to ensure delivery of supplies for outbreak response, and Beijing is urging countries to cease travel restrictions that have prompted widespread flight cancellations, cutting into airfreight capacity. Official figures show China’s overall air cargo business fell 4.9% in January from a year ago. 



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