Alibaba And Amazon Battle For 3PL Supremacy

Alibaba and Amazon are battling to control the third party logistics market by providing supply chain logistics services to outside clients.

Cainiao, the logistics division of Alibaba, is now offering end-to-end logistics services to Japanese and South Korean importers and exporters and have started an air charter service between Asia and South America. While Amazon is well on its way to becoming a global player in providing logistics services to other companies as an extension of the logistics infrastructure they created to serve their own needs, Alibaba understands they must catch up with Amazon’s growing dominance in the field to remain viable.

Cainiao aims to cover international shipping by sea and air, customs clearance, trucking, warehousing and last mile delivery. By offering an in-house turnkey service, they will reduce transit times, take control of their supply chain and reduce costs that will benefit consumers through more competitive pricing and faster delivery times.

Alibaba plans to operate about 1,300 chartered flights by the end of 2020.  Amazon is offering a full range of logistics services in Europe and recently opened an air hub in Germany to support its Prime delivery service . In the U.S., Amazon offers ocean freight services for its own imports as well as other customers.

Read more about this transformation at:
https://www.freightwaves.com/news/alibaba-moves-into-japan-with-third-party-logistics-offering

Warehouse with Boxes

(Photo credit: Alibaba Group)

Boeing aircraft lined up on concrete and also on railway sidings

Aircraft Fuselages Are Shipped By Rail In An Unusual Combination Of Transport Modes

 

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A unique combination of transport modes was captured on video in a way you wouldn’t expect when Boeing 737 MAX aircraft fuselages were filmed during transport by rail through a narrow railroad tunnel. Although the video may seem to show something that can’t possibly be right, it is all too real.

The fuselages are manufactured by Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita, Kansas. Transporting such large pieces of equipment presents a challenge due to height and width limits for over-the-road transport. Due to their dimensions, they must be transported by rail without the wings attached, as the fuselages alone are too long to be transported over the road from the factory in Kansas to Boeing’s assembly facility in Washington State. The fuselages are meticulously prepped for shipment on railcars to ensure sufficient clearance through tunnels.

On June 4, 2020 Spirit AeroSystems was directed by Boeing to stop production on four 737 MAX shipsets and avoid starting production on sixteen more units for delivery in 2020 due to COVID-19’s impact on air travel in an effort to reduce unnecessary production costs. Spirit’s production was subsequently lowered from 125 units to 72 units for 2020. As of September 2020,  CEO Tom Gentile said Spirit expects to be back to 10 aircraft per month on the 737 in January.

That is good news for Boeing, the passenger airline industry and the air cargo industry. Of course railroad executives will be very happy to resume shipments of this special cargo. The Boeing 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 after two fatal crashes.

Read more about the ripple effect that the grounding of the 737 MAX created in combination with the challenges presented by the pandemic at:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7803821/Airplane-fuselages-bound-Boeings-737-Max-production-facility-sit-storage-supplier.html

 

container offload: furniture truck in front of an office with windows

Overseas Brokers Handles LaCour Trading Desk Project in Australia

LaCour has continued to expand its partnership with Overseas Brokers to handle their global transportation by sea and air, cross-border customs formalities, delivery and installation of their products, all over the world. LaCour is a major manufacturer of custom-designed trading desks, and we’ve completed projects in London, Monte Carlo, Geneva, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, San Juan, and Brisbane, Australia. Next up is Paris, France.

Take a look at photos from a 300 desk project we handled, on behalf of LaCour, from New Jersey to Australia, for a metals and energy trading company. The photos show the process at destination starting with grounding of ocean containers at site, installation of frames, attaching work surfaces and placement of pedestals. Through Overseas Brokers’ global network of trusted logistics partners, we are able to make this a cookie cutter process for global distribution, easily duplicated worldwide – without the need for a local dealer in every market.

LaCour Trading Desks being installed in an office

LaCour Trading Desks being installed in an office

LaCour Trading Desks being installed in an office

 

Orient Overseas Container Line,

Sky High Ocean Freight Rates From Asia Attract Government Scrutiny

Ocean carriers have been skipping sailings to shore up their bottom line during the virus-induced downturn in manufacturing and consumer demand. Tactical blank sailings combined with record breaking rate spikes in the trans-Pacific trade have increased carrier profitability now that manufacturing and demand are coming back online. Decreased capacity and increased rates are helping ocean carriers recover at the expense of the global economy while suppliers struggle to meet pent up consumer demand. Government regulators have begun to exert pressure on ocean carriers to restore capacity and restrict rate increases. It has been customary to blank sailings during the Chinese Golden Week holiday, however the threat of intervention will surely impact carrier cost manipulations and capacity decisions.

Read more about this trend at:

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/red-hot-ocean-rates-could-spark-government-intervention

(Photo credit: OOCL)

Heavy haul truck moves an excavator on a 9-axle rig

The Largest Energy Project In Canadian History Requires Import Of 1 Million Tons Of Oversized Construction Equipment

Shipments of massive excavators for the $40 billion LNG Canada energy project are shipped on board roll on/roll off ships to the Port of Tacoma, Washington. The equipment is driven on and off the ships via an enormous ramp with under-deck access. After arrival in Tacoma, they are hauled to Kitimat, BC for construction of the LNG facility and a 420 mile pipeline. The removable goose-neck trailers are fitted with 7 to 9 axles because transport is restricted to 34,000 lbs per axle most of the year. In snow and freeze/thaw conditions, the trailers are upgraded to 10-12 axles to redistribute the weight of the heaviest equipment.

Read more about this project’s complex logistics at:
https://www.joc.com/breakbulk/roro-cargo/high-and-heavy-hits-road-lng-canada-project_20200824.html

(Image: Spruce Hollow Heavy Haul moves an excavator from Port of Tacoma to Kitimat, BC, on a 9-axle rig. Photo credit: Spruce Hollow Heavy Haul.)

Cathy Pacific Aircraft

Airlines Retrofit Passenger Aircraft To Handle Cargo

Cathay Pacific supplements their cargo capacity and cuts some of their losses related to the pandemic by removing economy seats from Boeing 777 planes to transport more medical supplies, PPE and other critical shipments. They are required to keep the front and rear seat rows in place to protect the aircraft from cargo that could shift due to turbulence.  Cargo is placed in fire-retardant bags because passenger cabins aren’t equipped with fire-suppression systems.  The airline follows in the footsteps of Air Canada and Lufthansa who have reconfigured some passenger planes for cargo.

Read more about this trend at:
https://www.freightwaves.com/news/cathay-pacific-strips-seats-from-777-aircraft-for-cargo

(Image Credit: Cathay Pacific)

Airline with baggages secured to seats

Deuce Drone in air with package

Drone Delivery System Aims to Make Mid-Size Retail Chains Competitive With E-Commerce Giants

Deuce Drone announced a test of their last mile delivery system which is intended to make delivery directly from stores to consumers faster and more affordable. Rouses Market, which operates 64 grocery stores in the south, has partnered with Deuce Drone to test a same day delivery system by drones in order to make last mile delivery faster and less costly than vans, so they can compete with Amazon.

Read more at:
https://www.supermarketnews.com/online-retail/rouses-markets-pilot-drone-delivery-groceries

(Image courtesy of: Commercial Drone Professional of Deuce Drone)

Man Directing Drone

New Drone System Developed For Long Distance Delivery

Civil drone operators are currently restricted to line-of-sight operation of one drone at a time to avoid collisions. Satellite operator, Inmarsat Group Holdings, has partnered with Altitude Angel LTD to operate drones over long distances safely by integrating a backup satellite connection for areas with no land-based communications . If they can prove safe operation to regulators, fleets of remotely operated drones could be deployed to transport tons of goods. Read more about this development at:

Read more about this development at:
https://www.ttnews.com/articles/satellite-firm-develops-long-distance-system-delivery-drones

(Photo Credit: Chip Chipman/Bloomberg News)

Fixed-wing drones that are launched by catapults and recovered using this arrestor system (from Zipline)

Drone Manufacturer Asks FAA To Approve Unmanned Medical Supply Flights In Response To Pandemic

Zipline is offering to setup a drone-based supply chain across the US for distribution of emergency supplies such as medicine, PPE gear, test kits and even blood to ease supply chain blockages. The drones are launched by catapult and recovered by an arrestor system. The company has been operating the drones to deliver emergency medical supplies to remote locations in Africa for several years.  Medical supplies are dropped by parachute to healthcare workers and rushed to areas suffering severe shortages.

Read more at:
https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2020/april/13/zipline-pitches-drones-for-us-coronavirus-relief

(Photo credit: From Zipline via AOPA: Zipline created these fixed-wing drones.)

White Water Boat with cargo with "Houston Express"

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.

Read more about how the current crisis is impacting global supply chains at:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/supply-chains-and-coronavirus/608329/

(Photo credit: Julius Silver)