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PRECISION NEWS ROUND-UP: 24 JULY 2020

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Global Trade

UK WANTS BREXIT FREE TRADE DEAL, BUT PREPARED FOR NO DEAL OUTCOME

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has stated that the UK wants a Brexit free trade deal with the EU but is prepared for a no deal scenario. The two sides have failed to make headway on a number of issues. These include negotiations on EU access to UK fishing waters, the governance of the deal, the European Court of Justice’s role and “level playing field” guarantees for goods. This latest round of negotiations took place in London. The lack of progress in critical areas has created fear of a no-deal outcome. For more details, please see RTE.

US IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON 11 CHINESE COMPANIES

The US is stopping Chinese companies from purchasing American technology. This is in response to allegations that these companies are associated with human rights violations in Xinjiang. The list of companies compiled by the US Department of Commerce includes biotech firms and those that manufacture consumer goods such as wigs and home appliances. The US alleges that these companies use forced labor involving Muslim-majority Uyghurs and other minority groups in the Xinjiang region. Furthermore, according to the US State Department, China has imprisoned approximately 2 million Uyghurs and other minorities in so-called “re-education camps” since 2015. Chinese officials, however, maintain that these measures have been undertaken to tackle extremism in line with both national and international law. For more information, please see CNN.

Carriers

OVER 10% OF DPD’S UK FLEET NOW ELECTRIC

DPD has surpassed its own target for 10 percent of its UK van fleet to be electric, zero emission vehicles by the end of 2020. The carrier has achieved this target five months ahead of schedule. As a result, DPD now has the UK’s largest and greenest delivery fleet. This year, DPD has delivered approximately 5 million zero emissions parcels. This represents a reduction of nearly 2 million kilograms of C02. The delivery company estimates that it will deliver 10 million parcels on its green fleet by the end of this year. For more information, please see Post & Parcel.

Retail

AMAZON EXPANDS SCOUT DELIVERY BOT TO 2 MORE STATES

Amazon has announced that it is expanding its Scout automated delivery robots to two additional cities. This is as a result of the demand for contactless delivery during lockdown. Developed by in-house engineers, Amazon will roll out the Scout delivery bots for testing in Atlanta, Georgia and Franklin, Tennessee. The autonomous vehicles can travel several miles a day across urban areas, and use cameras and ultrasonic sensors to detect and avoid obstacles. For more information, please see Charged Retail.

JEFF BEZOS BECOMES $13 BILLION RICHER IN ONE DAY

In more Amazon news, on Monday, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos became $13 billion (£10 billion) richer in one day after Amazon shares increased by approximately 8 percent. According to Bloomberg, Mr. Bezos' fortune grew by $74 billion (£58 billion) this year alone. Estimates put current his wealth at $189.3 billion (£148 billion). In 2020, Amazon shares spiked more than 70 percent as the company benefits from a surge in online shopping due to the coronavirus lockdown. For more details, please see Sky News.

MARKS & SPENCER TO CUT 950 JOBS

Marks & Spencers has become the latest UK high street retailer hit by the coronavirus pandemic as it announced the loss of 950 jobs at its head office and stores. The latest job losses follows cuts relating to the shutdown of 54 stores in the past year. The announcement of approximately 70 more closures will affect hundreds of more jobs. This month, the British high street has announced thousands of job losses with John Lewis and Boots reporting 1,300 and 4,000 jobs losses respectively. Other famous high street fashion retailers announcing layoffs include Topshop owner, Arcadia; menswear retailer TM Lewin; and Ted Baker. For more details, please see The Guardian.

UK GROCERY STORES SEE SHARP INCREASE

While high street fashion retailers are struggling, UK food retailers are seeing a boom. The sale of alcohol, tea and coffee in UK supermarkets and corner shops has increased amid the coronavirus lockdown. In the past month, the value of beer, wine and spirits sold via grocers increased 41 percent. Consumers continue to eat and drink at home, despite the reopening of pubs in England on July 4. Additionally, tea and coffee sales through grocery stores were up £24 million in the past month. For more information, please see The Guardian.

Precision News

3 MINUTE EXPLAINER: WHAT IS MULTI CARRIER SHIPPING SOFTWARE?

In our new 3 Minute Explainer series we undertake to explain best practices, solutions or functionality in no more than 3 minutes. This week we are tackling the — often misunderstood — multi carrier shipping software.

As the name suggests, multi carrier shipping means using more than one carrier to deliver parcels. Multi carrier shipping software allows you to:

  • Automatically switch between carriers
  • Compare rates, routes and transit times
  • Select the best carrier and service level for your needs
  • Automatically generate carrier compliant shipping labels, the manifest and all necessary shipping documents
  • Track shipments from pick-up through to delivery

If you use one carrier for domestic shipments and another carrier for international deliveries, that’s not multi carrier shipping. To read the rest of the 3 Minute Explainer, please click here.

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