AEB News Brief

The AEB News Brief

Trending today: Following the successful expansion of same-evening delivery in Germany, Zalando is now testing it in Switzerland. Plus, Tesla soon will significantly increase the production of the Model 3.


Welcome to the AEB news brief. It's our regular update on major events and interesting things going on in the world of supply chain, global trade and logistics. You can find the brief by following our pages on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Following the successful expansion of same-evening delivery in Germany, Zalando is now testing it in Switzerland. They say that in addition to speed, comfort and control over package delivery are becoming increasingly important for Zalando customers and with many working during the day, a delivery service has to adapt to the customer and be integrated into their everyday life. (Tamebay)

With some security best practices, enterprises can significantly reduce the chances that a potential supply chain attack will affect business operations. Attackers today are getting increasingly creative with how they target organizations, often utilizing the supply chain as a point of ingress — exactly the kind of thing that keep security pros up at night. Rather than attack their targets directly, attackers today are perfectly happy to compromise one of their third-party providers and accomplish their end goal that way. (InformationWeek)

With the rapid advancement in technology such as AI, biometrics, automation and GPS, the global logistics industry has seen a smooth and streamlined way of operating. Here are some of the technological trends that will revolutionize the logistics industry in the upcoming years. (Entrepreneur)

Developing Asia will maintain strong but moderating growth over 2019 and 2020, as supportive domestic demand counteracts an environment of global trade tensions, according to a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released today. In a supplement to its Asian Development Outlook (ADO), ADB maintains growth forecasts for developing Asia at 5.7% in 2019 and 5.6% in 2020—unchanged from its April forecast. (FinChannel)

Tesla soon will significantly increase the production of the Model 3 according to the latest news - first the upcoming increase was hinted by internal email, written by Jérôme M. Guillen, Tesla’s President of Automotive to employees. Now, the precision stamping service provider China FineBlanking Technology (CFTC) - one of Tesla's suppliers from China, will reportedly double its monthly shipments for components of relays used in the Tesla Model 3 from 20,000 to 40,000 as early as August 2019. (InsideEVS)


June 24, 2019

Uber’s plans to start delivering fast food by drone in San Diego this summer are nearly coming to a head, reports Bloomberg Businessweek. The company has been discussing the possibility of trials here since last May, but the report reveals fresh details about the project. (TheVerge)

Zomato,  one of India’s largest food delivery firms, may have figured out a faster way to crawl through dense populated routes: going via air with drones. The company, which has expanded its restaurant listing and booking service to about two-dozen markets in recent years, said today it has successfully tested a payload delivery from a hybrid drone. (TechCrunch)

DHL Express and drone manufacturer EHang have entered into a strategic partnership to develop a fully automated drone delivery solution for China’s metropolitan areas. The cooperation has already started with a maiden flight at the EHang Command and Control Center in Guangzhou. (Electrive)

A few years ago Jeff Bezos made a prediction. By 2018 his e-commerce empire, Amazon, would be delivering items by drone. Prime Air has yet to launch. But startups are making progress—mostly in health care, where they are vying to tap into a lucrative, $70bn global market in health-care logistics. As they deal with regulators and investors, these firms are charting the course for other aerial deliveries. (TheEconomist)

A range of United Nations agencies are already exploring use cases for unmanned aerial vehicles, actively using drones in their work, or focusing on the regulatory environment that will be needed for drones for good to take flight. One of the barriers that stands in the way of more drones reaching impact at scale is a clash of cultures between agencies experimenting with the tech and those tasked with creating guidance on its safe use. (DevEx)

News Brief
News Brief

June 10, 2019

FedEx will not renew a contract with Amazon for sending packages through its Express air shipping network. The decision will likely result in the loss of millions in potential revenue for FedEx, but analysts say the decision will pan out for the shipping carrier in the long run.  FedEx's long-term play is for carrying more profitable packages without growing volume to keep up with Amazon's rapid growth. (Business Insider)

While many major U.S. companies have publicized their entry into the blockchain space, American retailer Target has been quietly working on a blockchain-powered solution for supply chain management. ConsenSource has been in the pipelines since mid-2018, but now Target is stepping up its involvement in the blockchain space with a pledge to support the Hyperledger Grid project, a ledger-based solution for all types of cross-industry supply chain scenarios. (Forbes)

The logistics industry in the UAE is in for big growth with more logistics parks coming up in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and Chinese companies are  set to invest more than $4 billion in logistics projects in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, according to the President of National Association of Freight and Logistics (NAFL). (ZAWYA)

Bank of England policy makers reiterated the downside risks to the U.K. economy from Brexit and global trade tensions, even as they emphasized that interest rates could still rise. (Bloomberg)

In a full-blown trade war, where tariffs were to go back to levels that existed before the multilateral trading system was created, global trade would plummet 17 per cent - more than it fell during the Great Recession of the late 2000s. Keith Rockwell, the World Trade Organization's (WTO) director for information and external relations, told a three-day workshop for regional parliamentarians on Tuesday (June 11) that this was the dip its economists had estimated, with trade-restrictive measures on the rise. (TheStraitsTimes)

AEB newsbrief
AEB newsbrief

May 29, 2019

Panasonic CEO Kazuhiro Tsuga said the company may not make enough battery cells for Tesla next year, Bloomberg reported. According to the publication, Tsuga said Panasonic intended to increase battery-cell production this year before deciding whether it will make further investments. (Business Insider)

First, Amazon made two-day shipping the norm. Now, as it aims to cut that to a single day, the company is encouraging its employees to quit and start their own delivery businesses. Under a new incentive program, announced on Monday, Amazon said that it would fund up to $10,000 in start-up costs and provide three months of pay to any employee who decides to make the jump. (The New York Times)

The U.S.-China trade war has entered a dangerous new phase. Tariffs are up and there’s the threat of more to come. A quick fix is still possible, with Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping set to meet at the G-20 summit next month. But at this point, it looks more likely that the trade war will be long, messy—and expensive. (Bloomberg)

TRADE tensions between the United States and China may have prompted supply chain shifts to Vietnam, with the latter seeing record investment approvals for projects from China and Hong Kong so far this year, said economists in separate reports in May.  (The Business Times)

5G technology is popular on both sides of the political aisle but some security concerns remain, especially when it comes to the supply chain. Chinese-run telecom companies Huawei and ZTE have been effectively black listed by the US government because of vulnerabilities in their products, but now the concern is less to do with federal technology and more focused on smaller governments domestically, as well as global allies. (Federal News Network)

News brief
News brief

May 14, 2019

Amazon and Kohl’s are expanding their partnership that allows customers of the former to return their items to the latter’s retail stores. Beginning in July, Kohl’s will take back items you’ve ordered from Amazon and want to return for a refund. You don’t need to pack them up in a box, either; the retailer will handle all aspects of shipping and get the items back to one of Amazon’s return centers on your behalf. And everything is completely free. Kohl’s has been offering this convenience since 2017 at around 100 of its stores, but in July, it’ll be available at every location. (TheVerge)

Swedish truckmaker AB Volvo reported a first-quarter operating profit that beat market expectations on Wednesday on the back of stronger pricing and easing supply chain constraints that yielded efficiency gains. Adjusted operating income at the maker of trucks, construction equipment, buses and engines rose to 12.70 billion Swedish crowns (£1.5 billion) from 8.30 billion a year ago, and beat the mean forecast of 10.19 billion in a poll of analysts. (Euronews)

New technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, can potentially and significantly disrupt existing supply chain operating models, information technology research and advisory multinational Gartner VP analyst Christian Titze said on Tuesday. Gartner identified various strategic supply chain technology trends that have broad industry impact, but have not been widely adopted. These technologies are, however, experiencing significant changes or are reaching critical tipping points in capability or maturity. (Engineering News)

Renault presents the EZ-Flex, a demonstrator for last mile city logistics. The agile and all-electric light commercial vehicle is on its way tocompanies throughout Europe who will use the e-van for two years in a sensible trial. The Renault EZ-Flex is strictly targeted and build with commercial users in mind. For now, a dozen of the new small electric transporters are on the way to select clients. The vehicle is equipped with sensors to understand better the use cases, and user feedback will prop up this data. Measuring includes geolocation but also stops, range and other user data. (

“Tariffs.” It’s kind of a dirty word to some small business owners, and we’ve discussed the negatives that paying more for foreign products and commodities can bring. Higher-priced raw materials, such as aluminum and steel, can push up the cost of domestically-produced goods; on its face, that’s not a welcome change. Add in the fact that complicated trade relations are causing some countries to stop buying American altogether, and U.S. businesses are right to worry. There’s another side to the coin of limited global trade, however, and it’s actually a good one. (

News bried
News bried

April 17, 2019

Tesla swept into the automotive industry on a wave of positive buzz and disruptive promise. Now the company is learning that large-scale automotive manufacturing is notoriously hard to perfect. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has acknowledged that supply chain problems have led to production delays, missed quotas, and busted deadlines. Past production problems have sent Tesla’s stock price tumbling. In order to mitigate the damage, Tesla has decided to eliminate several color options. This quick fix might help to speed up production, but it does nothing to solve the distribution issues that put production in turmoil in the first place. (

Apple is having little trouble getting its manufacturing partners, including two of its largest suppliers, Foxconn and Taiwan Semiconductor, to use clean energy — at least for the equipment needed to create and produce Apple’s products. Less than four years after the technology giant launched its ambitious supply chain clean energy program, more than 44 are on board. And interest is picking up: The company added 21 partners in the past year alone. (Greenbiz)

Uber Technologies Inc. is expanding its business helping independent trucking companies with logistics. Next month, Uber Freight will start operations in the Netherlands, marking the unit’s first international expansion, the company said.  (Bloomberg)

Google drone
Google drone

April 7, 2019

Amazon has been talking about drone deliveries for years now. It seems to be the one thing that Jeff Bezos truly wants, his Rosebud, if you will. That’s why it must really, really sting that rival company Google looks set to be the first to begin real, commercial drone delivery service. Wing, a drone delivery startup owned by Google parent company Alphabet, got approval from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and will begin deliveries in Canberra, presumably quite soon. (PLANELOPNIK)

The world economy is still slowing, the International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday, but a pickup is on the horizon — growth is expected to recover next year unless "policy missteps" get in the way. The organization, which monitors emerging risks and lends to countries in distress, cut its growth forecast for 2019 to 3.3%, down from 3.5% in January's edition  of the World Economic Outlook. (CNN)

On one hand, U.S. auto sales are falling and anxieties are rising. On the other hand, the industry is feeling a fresh wind of bullishness. Automakers have announced a series of major investments to expand, restart or retool existing plants and hire more workers to boost production. The projects are welcome news for suppliers and economic development officials in several locations, and hardly a sign of trouble ahead. (Automotive News)

Californian carmaker Tesla has shared a video of the first delivery of electric cars on an electric Tesla Semi prototype. Sporting a car trailer with four Model 3s on board, the fully electric semi is shown pulling up to a very excited family who are evidently thrilled at being the first ever customers to have their new car delivered by electric truck. The video was preceded by a photo release from Tesla on social media channel Twitter, showing the very happy family receiving and posing for photo in their Model 3. (The Driven)

More than 90% of companies’ environmental impact comes from their supply chains, McKinsey estimates. According to these estimations, retailers’ supply chains typically account for 11.5 times each company’s impact. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) recent ‘Sustainability, the Missing Link’ global report commissioned by LLamasoft revealed 60 percent of supply chain decision makers consider sustainability and profitability as being equally important. But the research also highlighted tension between these priorities in global supply chains, with respondents divided on whether cost is a motivator or a barrier to the adoption of a sustainable supply chain strategy. (Financial Director)

News Brief
News Brief

April 3, 2019

Global sales of Counterfeit andpirated goods have soared to 460 billion euros ($522 billion) a year, amounting to a whopping 3.3 percent of world trade, according to a report published Monday. (France24)

Adidas has warned that it will not be able to meet growing demand in the mid-priced market fully because of supply chain shortages. “Consequently, growth is expected to be negatively impacted, particularly in North America during the first half of the year. The overall impact on the company’s full year growth rate in 2019 is anticipated to be between 1 and 2 percentage points.  (LogisticsManager)

Beijing’s stance on digital currencies has been well documented. Publicly, it wants nothing to do with them and will not permit its population to trade or own them. The underlying blockchain technology remains of great interest, to both business and the state. One of China’s largest ecommerce enterprises, Alibaba, is taking a closer look at this with the launch of two new blockchain affiliates via its payment arm Ant Financials. (AsiaTimes)

The world’s largest logistics provider is steering clear of the sector’s increasingly active mergers-and-acquisitions market. Frank Appel, chief executive of DHL parent company Deutsche PostAG , said in an interview that the scale of the DHL’s forwarding, express and supply-chain business means there are few opportunities for significant combinations that would also pass muster with antitrust regulators. (WSJ)

Supply chains are moving onto cloud-hosted platforms. In these environments hundreds of thousands of partners on a supply chain can share inventory, shipping information and invoices. Here are seven reasons why platformisation could be the future for supply chain management. (Raconteur)

News Brief
News Brief

March 15, 2019

UK lawmakers have voted in favor of delaying the Brexit process, acknowledging that more time is needed to break the deadlock over Britain's departure from the EU. But they decisively rejected a call for a second referendum. (CNN)

Thousands of companies that do business with Amazon were notified last week that they had been removed from the company’s own list of vendors, de facto being pushed to do business on Marketplace. Amazon is only saying the move is part of its regular review process and while some are speculating there may be other reasons for the change, the push is seen by many as part of a longer-term strategy to eventually eliminate most of its own direct selling efforts. (Forbes)

Adidas AG said a supply-chain bottleneck in North America would prevent it from meeting demand for its products in coming months, sending shares down amid concerns the world's second-largest sporting-goods maker could lose its footing in one of its most important markets. (MarketWatch)

BMW and Daimler are in talks to cooperate in developing vehicle platforms for electric cars in a step that could save each carmaker at least 7 billion euros (£5.9 billion), Sueddeutsche Zeitung and Auto Bild said on Thursday. The two premium carmakers already have a joint procurement program and recently extended their alliance to include development of advanced driver assistance systems and mobility services. (Euronews)

The Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) Standards Council board has approved its first official standard to improve supply chain efficiency. Previously, there had been no consensus on the framework over how applications could be built. Companies were using their different perspectives on what tracking and visibility entails. (Supply&DemandChainExecutive)

News brief
News brief

March 12, 2019

Could Amazon Make a Bid for FedEx? Thee-commerce giant has been building up a significant in-house logistics unit, but buying the shipping powerhouse would also solve some problems. (The Motley Fool)

How should manufacturers use digital technologies, in particular automation, to improve the internal supply chain – from Goods In to Goods Out? BMW has embarked on a program that aims to tighten every single link in their supply chain, external and internal, to create a model of manufacturing efficiency. (TheManufacturer)

Alibaba announced that they would be working on their own blockchain solution to closely monitor their supply chains, a move that has been necessitated as the company has moved beyond its own borders. (CoinTelegraph)

Cloud-based IT systems, as well as augmented and virtual reality technologies are changing the way engineers, designers and researchers in OEMs and suppliers work through the automotive supply chain on future products and services. (AutomotiveIT)

Hermes plans to deploy 1,500 electric transporters across Germany in the coming years. “We are focusing clearly on the nationwide expansion of electric mobility. As part of our comprehensive mobility concepts, for instance, we are testing other alternative modes of delivery such as electrified cargo bikes,” said Schabirosky. (Hamburg News).

The news brief
The news brief

April 15

Three-quarters of UK warehouse owners say their space is full to capacity and storage costs have soared by up to 25% in the past three months after a surge in Brexit-related inquiries. (The GuardianYou can find help and insight for Brexit in our Brexit toolkit. It's loaded with all you need to know to navigate your way through any outcome.

The 8,000 truckers who work for Walmart are getting a raise, as the retailing heavy weight looks to hire hundreds more amid an ongoing shortage of drivers. Starting next month, truck drivers will get a per-mile hike of one cent and an extra $1 each time they drop a trailer at a destination, Walmart said Wednesday. That will bring average pay for drivers to $87,500 a year. (CBS News)

Amazon has been quietly shipping thousands of ocean freight containers out of China and to the West Coast, in another sign of its increasing logistics ambitions and an entire supply chain play, according to a report in USA Today. (MultiChannelMerchant)

Ever since Tesla’s inception, Panasonic has been the automaker’s only approved battery supplier when it comes to its electric vehicles. Now Tesla is reportedly looking to approve its second one in order to supply battery cells to Gigafactory 3 in China. (electrek)

Supply chains around the world are being transformed. External pressures, technology trends and internal evolution are prompting companies to re-evaluate their network to determine how their future supply chain should be structured, both in terms of capacity and capabilities. What should you do now? A good first step is consider the broad ongoing trends that will impact the supply chain of the future.  (Supply Chain Management)

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