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Chain links: What we’re reading this week

By Mark Solomon | 11/25/2015 | 7:31 AM

Yes, Virginia, there is a cloud. Why were U.S. ports empty leading up to peak season? And a global insurer enters the transportation market to underwrite assets.


The real-world consequences of the cloud

“The cloud,” it turns out, is not some amorphous, disembodied place in the ether. It’s a series of gigantic, energy-devouring data storage facilities in places like Swedish Lapland. (Facebook has a facility there that runs on hydropower.) This interview with Tung-Hui Hu, a former network engineer and author of the book A Prehistory of the Cloud, explains the technology behind the cloud and traces its development back to the Cold War and—surprisingly—the Southern Pacific Railroad. 

Source: The Boston Globe


Global trade slowdown: The mystery of empty U.S. ports

The rush of consumer traffic at America’s most popular stores in the weeks before Christmas is usually preceded by heavy traffic at American ports. But not this year. 

Source: Fortune.com


Logistics of online shopping are still something of a mess

Online retailers are still struggling to get the back-end logistics right. Which means that the industry is very probably riding into a perfect storm on November 27, also known as Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year in the US and the UK.

Source: The Financial Times 


Just paint the whole week black

The “Black Friday” phenomenon has morphed into a week-long event, thus taking some pressure off logistics and delivery firms.

Source: Forbes


Allianz covers the world

Allianz, the global insurance giant, forms a transportation underwriting operation to insure assets 

Source: Allianz


The potential of Uber 

Uber wants to become a logistics firm by transporting everything, not just people, a UK publication says.

Source: The Drum 


How to get to profitable fulfillment

A JDA executive writes about the five ways of achieving profitable fulfillment while satisfying the increasing demands of customers.

Source: Multichannel Merchant



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