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Chain links: What we're reading this week

By Mark Solomon | 02/17/2016 | 10:36 AM

Amazon takes on the lord almighty. Switzerland goes underground to develop a national logistics network. And DOT rings in its golden anniversary.


Amazon Building Global Delivery Business to Take On Alibaba

Bloomberg Business reporter Spencer Soper got ahold of an internal report from Amazon that envisions a global delivery network. Called “Dragon Boat,” this project is continuing as planned, according to internal sources, and would spur the launch of a new venture called “Global Supply Chain by Amazon.”

Source: BloombergBusiness

Revolutionize your product packaging strategy in 2016

While many companies overlook their packaging supply chain, there are huge opportunities to reduce lead times and cost by creating a “customized packaging supplier network,” according to this article from Steve Schoultz, vice president of Sourcing and Packaging for the packaging company InnerWorkings.

Source: Packaging World

Companies are reimagining business processes with algorithms

This Harvard Busines Review article discusses how some business are using “machine reengineering” to quickly redesign their processes. The redesigns are based on the predictive capabilities of machine-learning algorithms. The article discusses a global consumer food company implemented a collision avoidance system that helped alert delivery drivers of potential dangers.

Source: Harvard Business Review

Real estate executives predict logistics rents to peak in 2016

Industrial property is at a premium, vacancies are at all-time lows, and rents have been steadily rising. But that multi-year cycle may end this year as developers begin to add large amounts of supply, and more so-called spec property hits the market.

Source: National Real Estate Investor

Under the mountains for the Swiss supply chain

Switzerland is planning a mega-project called “Cargo sous terrain” that is envisioned as a nation-wide, underground, autonomous transport network. Specifically the system comprises a three-lane network hosting electric, drone delivery capsules. The vehicles are to be designed around the standard cargo Euro-pallet (being able to hold two), and will travel via an induction rail process at 30 kilometers per hour, 24/7. Switzerland has long been at the crossroads of pan-European transport, but its mountainous terrain has posed unique challenges.

Source: Global Risk Insights

FedEx ramps up its charitable giving

FedEx Corp. rolled out a charitable giving program, FedEx Cares, which will invest $200 million in more than 200 communities over five years. The Memphis-based delivery giant increased its corporate giving budget by 35% to meet the goal during the fiscal year that began July 1, said Patrick Fitzgerald, senior vice president, FedEx Integrated Marketing Communications. FedEx officials said $50 million of the commitment would be in donated shipping and logistics services for disaster relief efforts and special transportation.

Source: Memphis Commercial Appeal via Transport Topics

DOT holds golden anniversary celebration

The U.S. Department of Transportation was created in late 1966 and started operations in early 1967. Getting a jump on the commemoration, DOT held a 50th anniversary celebration last week hosted by Secretary Anthony Foxx and featuring six of his predecessors, including 93-year-old Alan Boyd, the first DOT secretary.

Source: Transport Topics



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