Uncertainty Amid Covid-19 Dampens Demand For Office Space Worldwide
According to property consultant, DeVono Cresa, demand for office space in London dropped by 30% in the first quarter, fueled by virus and Brexit fears. Global financial institutions and serviced office proprietors are leasing less space worldwide in the wake of the pandemic. Although some businesses are cutting costs in the short term by migrating to the serviced office business model, many firms are reconfiguring their existing furniture layout and adding dividers or screens to adhere to social distancing guidelines in the medium term. In the long term, a major redesign of the workplace will be necessary to adapt to a new reality and changing business practices.
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Manufacturers Who Cut Inventories And Profit Margins To The Bone Are The Most Vulnerable To The Current Crisis
In order for western manufacturers to remain competitive, many components are sourced from China. When China delays manufacturing, western manufacturers’ ability to finish their products and deliver them to market is impeded. To compound that problem, inventories are typically stockpiled for just 15-30 days due to cost-saving inventory management methods such as “just in time delivery”. That spells double trouble for manufacturers and consumers alike.
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(Photo credit: Julius Silver)
Mysterious Bullet-Shaped Aircraft Appears In The Skies Of California
An experimental aircraft, shrouded in secrecy, has been seen flying near Victorville, CA. Word is that it’s a prototype of the Otto Aviation Celera 500L which according to patents filed, would cruise around 500 mph up to 65,000 feet. The plane is purported to be 10 times more fuel efficient than other jets with similar cruise speeds and much lower operating ceilings.
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(Photo Credit: SoCal Airshow Review)
US Manufacturer Of Trading Desks Provides Global Solution For Trading Firm In London, Singapore, Shanghai And Geneva
LaCour, a US based manufacturer of high-end, custom-designed trading desks, contracted Overseas Brokers for a series of turnkey international furniture projects. The flagship project in London entailed international shipment from the factory in NJ, customs brokerage, delivery, installation and day 2 support for 155 trading desks in London’s most iconic office building, affectionately known as the “Walkie Talkie building”. These high visibility projects were all completed on schedule for a top-tier global trading firm, on behalf of Insidesource, a leading office furniture dealer based in the US.
High Mobility and Adjustability Are Shaping Modern Office Design
The office design most suited to the mobility of the digital age must incorporate several elements, according to associate designer Stephanie Allen at Cooper Carry:
- Quiet spaces for focusing on detail-oriented work
- Spaces that encourage creativity and collaboration with surfaces to post conceptual materials
- Casual lounge areas
- Private rooms for confidential discussions
- Wi-Fi everywhere
Read more about the hottest trend in office space on Forbes.
(Photo Credit: Mindspace on Forbes)
In The Future The Workplaces That Will Attract The Best Talent Will Be Circular
Environmental sustainability in the context of the workplace involves such measures as using sustainably sourced paper, as well as recycling paper and even selecting sustainable furniture for long term use. To minimize the impact on the environment, and attract socially conscious workers, the office of the future will not include inexpensive, low-quality furniture that won’t last and cannot be easily refurbished. Investing in high quality product makes the furniture last longer and reduces waste. If the product outlives the business, it still retains some resale value and is more likely to be repaired and reused than scrapped. Rather than disposing of outdated IT equipment, hard dives can be wiped clean and reprogrammed for reuse. Using sustainable resources to create adaptable, modular workspaces which can be reconfigured for future growth and changing needs is a strategy that will be cost-effective while meeting the standards of a new generation of environmentally conscious workers. Read more about the circular future of the workplace here.
Spot Rates Quoted By Shipping Lines Are Often Lower Than Service Contract Rates
Given the increased efficiencies achieved through digital freight platforms, dynamic pricing in the spot rate market often yields lower rates than service contracts. Contract rates are agreements between a shipper and a carrier in which a shipper commits to a large annual volume of containers in order to benefit from a lower rate than that offered to the general public.
Read more on JOC.
Container Rates for Trans-Pacific Freight From the US to Asia Hit Rock Bottom
The imbalance of trade between Asia and the US keeps trans-Pacific westbound freight rates lower than eastbound rates. Most ships arriving from Asia to the US are heavily booked, while the return voyages are booked at less than 40% capacity. The imbalance is compounded by the current trade war. The strong dollar and retaliatory tariffs from China have made exporting from the US more costly. Further downward pressure on rates is caused by a larger volume of low value commodities like scrap materials being exported to Asia, while finished consumer goods imported to the US command higher freight rates. To learn more about the reasons for lower westbound freight rates, read here.
The Future Of Environmentally Sustainable Supersonic Air Travel And Time-Critical Air Freight Is At Our Doorstep
Boom Technology, a US-based supersonic transport startup, is developing a supersonic jet in partnership with Japan Airlines that will fly from NY to London in less than 3.5 hours. The new jet, named Overture, is expected to be in service for passenger flights as soon as 2025-2027. The reappearance of supersonic jets has the potential to transform the marketplace for time-critical air freight carriers and for courier giants such as Fedex and DHL, by reducing the transit time as well as the environmental impact of freighter aircraft. Boom Technology is exploring ways to improve on the Concord jet by using a new technology being developed by Prometheus, for producing aviation fuel which is converted from CO2 emissions in the atmosphere into liquid hydrocarbon and then transformed into aviation fuel. As a result of developments in propulsion technologies, the new jet is expected to fly at speeds in excess of Mach 2.2 without the use of afterburners, reducing the noise level and environmental damage associated with the first generation of supersonic aviation. Read more about this exciting development here.
Oversize Project Cargo Transported Via Seasonal River Route To Reach Otherwise Inaccessible Remote Destination
Huge pieces of cargo for a gas processing plant in Russia are being transported using custom designed multi-modal methods and custom designed lifting equipment. Transport from the ocean port of discharge to the inland destination involves a fleet of barges, tug boats, shallow draft pontoons and purpose built cranes. The river journey requires 21 days to navigate over 1400 miles of shallow waters. It will take 5 seasons to transport all 176,000 tons of oversize equipment needed as the river is only accessible several months each year.
Read more about this oversize cargo project at: JOC