Boeing has confirmed a string of European airline and aerospace industry customers for its digital flight operation and supply chain management solutions. Unveiled to media on Wednesday afternoon at Aviation Week’s MRO Europe in London, the airframe OEM, named seven airlines entering into agreements with its aftermarket services division, launched back in 2017. Four airlines have signed up for Boeing Maintenance Performance Toolbox modules. Freighter airlines ACE Cargo and Star Air, both European cargo operators, have agreed to multi-year contracts for the offering, which is aimed at increasing efficiency with fleet-wide document management. Italian operators Neos and Blue Panorama have also penned similar agreements.
Nearly five decades after pioneering the air express business with the launch of FedEx. Fred Smith is trying to reset the delivery giant for a changing world. Global trade is slowing, tariff fights have companies rethinking supply chains and the rise of one-time customer Amazon.com as a competitor show FedEx is operating in a very different business environment than the one that Mr. Smith himself helped create. The threats have sapped FedEx’s finances at a time when the company is racing to adjust to modern delivery demands. Some investors say the company has hewed too closely to its Express operations even as the growth of e-commerce means shipments increasingly need to travel from warehouses to nearby homes, not long distances overnight. Mr. Smith is changing the operations, though some analysts question whether the changes are big enough or coming fast enough.
The world loses about $400 billion of food before it even gets delivered to stores, according to the United Nations. Some 14% of all food produced is lost annually, with central and southern Asia, North America and Europe accounting for the biggest shares, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization said in a report, citing the latest data as of 2016. Better cold storage and infrastructure would help reduce losses, but more detailed data on the supply chain is needed to tackle the problem, it said. Food wastage is drawing increased scrutiny because of the contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and as more than 820 million people are estimated to go hungry each day. World leaders have pledged to try to halve global food waste at retail and consumer levels by 2030 and reduce food production losses. Companies are also trying to improve efficiency in the food industry.
President Donald Trump announced Friday the U.S. will hold off on the tariff hikes originally scheduled for Oct. 15. The tariffs were set to go from 25% to 30% on $250 billion in Chinese imports. The announcement came hours after Trump tweeted that "Good things are happening at China Trade Talk Meeting." China has, in turn, agreed to buy between $40 billion and $50 billion in U.S. farm products. The agreement also included concessions on intellectual property, according to The New York Times. Trump told reporters it would take "five weeks or less" to get the deal in writing. However, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, this "phase one" deal does not affect the 15% tariffs on $160 billion of Chinese goods set to go into effect on December 15.
New turmoil in the Middle East is raising the uncertainty in global automotive supply chains. Volkswagen AG delayed approval of a new car plant in Turkey as economic pressure from the West mounted over the country’s military incursion into northern Syria. Volkswagen’s management board was expected to give final approval in the coming days to invest $1.1 billion to build a plant with an annual capacity of 300,000 cars, the latest sign of how Turkey’s automotive sector has become woven into the fabric of global manufacturing networks. After years of Western investment, there are more than 400 major automotive suppliers there, including Bosch GmbH, Continental AG and Magna International Inc., and many feed auto factories in Europe. The sector has moved beyond producing cars for the Turkish market: Last year around 81% of the vehicles produced in Turkey were exported.
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Congestion rises on multiple fronts due to black swans and systemic issues, while there finally seems to be some good news coming out of Long Beach and Los Angeles. Also, the Ever Given is back!
While coverage of COP26 has been all but scarce this past week, this week’s Friday Five has the supply chain angle to Glasgow’s buzzing talks, plus a port congestion update and an innovation win for Walmart.
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