May 17, 2020

Australia cattle ban lifted

Supply Chain
Supply Chain Ban
Australia Supply Chain
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Australia’s temporary ban on cattle trade with Indonesia affected the cattle supply chain
Australias cattle supply chain has been flawed for a long time. Just search “Australia Cattle” on YouTube and several animal abuse videos w...

Australia’s cattle supply chain has been flawed for a long time.

Just search “Australia Cattle” on YouTube and several animal abuse videos will show up. One video surfaced in Australia that showed animals screaming and writhing as their throats were repeatedly slashed.

To combat the abuse, the Australian government decided to halt its $350 million a year cattle trade with Indonesia. Australian beef exports account for up to 40 percent of all beef eaten in Indonesia.

“The ban was a reminder of awareness of how to treat cattle,” Thomas Sembiring, chairman of Indonesia’s Beef Importers Association, said.

As the world’s largest exporter of livestock, Australian farmers were outraged by the decision. One iconic Outback cattle ranch, the Bullo River Station in the Northern Territory, was put up for sale.

Thanks to the outcry from the farmers, the Australian government announced yesterday that they were ending the Indonesian cattle ban, as long as each cattle ranch displayed visible humane practices that could reportedly be made public.

Still, the decision to overturn the ban didn’t come without a backlash from Australian MPs, who argue that the decision was made much too soon. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard is currently walking a tightrope of sorts and can’t afford any sort of public backlash with a heavily scrutinized carbon tax being announced on Sunday.

The Australian cattle supply chain has its problems, and gives credit to the Australian government for attempting to act swiftly to solve it. However, it looks like they may have acted a little too quickly this time.

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Jun 15, 2021

FedEx is Reshaping Last Mile with Autonomous Vehicles

3 min
FedEx is expanding a trial of autonomous vehicles in its last-mile logistics process with partner Nuro, including multi-stop and appointment deliveries

FedEx is embarking on an expanded test of autonomous, driver-less delivery vehicles to develop its last-mile logistics. 

The US logistics firm piloted autonomous vehicles from Nuro in April this year, and the pair will now explore that further in a multi-year partnership. Cosimo Leipold, Nuro’s head of partnerships, said the collaboration "will enable innovative, industry-first product offerings that will better everyday life and help make communities safer and greener". 

FedEx will explore a variety of on-road use cases for the autonomous fleet, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries, going beyond more traditional applications of the technology in single-route movement of goods from A-B. Exponential growth in ecommerce is spurring its broader experimentation in new autonomy solutions, Fed-Ex says, both in-warehouse and on-road. 

“FedEx was built on innovation, and it continues to be an integral part of our culture and business strategy,” said Rebecca Yeung, Vice President, Advanced Technology and Innovation, FedEx Corporation. “We are excited to collaborate with an industry leader like Nuro as we continue to explore the use of autonomous technologies within our operations.”


The changing role of couriers 

Unlike structured delivery networks, operating under long-term partnerships and contracts, agility is where couriers deliver true value - and their ability to deftly solve last-mile fulfilment has most acutely been felt during the pandemic. For the billions of people around the world forced to stay at home to protect themselves and their communities from the spreading COVID-19 virus, couriers have been a constant. They may have been the only knock at the door some people experienced for weeks or months at a time. 

But the last-mile has been uprooted by a boom in ecommerce, a shift that has been most apparent in the UK, US, China and Japan, according to the Global Parcel Delivery Market Insight Report 2021 by Apex Insight. These are markets with dominant economies and populations used to running their lives with a tap of a screen or double-click of a mouse. 

“Getting last mile delivery right has long been a challenge for retailers,” says Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Consumer Goods and Retail at Capgemini. “In 2019, 97% of retail organisations felt their last-mile delivery models were not sustainable for full-scale implementation across all locations. Despite increasing demand from customers, companies were struggling to make the last mile profitable and efficient.”

Jacobs says that the pandemic alleviated some of these stresses in the short term. With no other option, consumers were understanding and tolerant, if not entirely happy, with longer delivery times and less transparent tracking. “But, as extremely high delivery demand continues to be normal, customers will expect brands to contract their delivery times,” he adds. 

Last mile's role in ESG

Demand and volume weren’t the only things that have changed during the pandemic - businesses looked closer to home and as a result became more sustainable. Bricks and mortar stores were transformed from mini-showrooms to quasi-fulfilment centres. Online retailers and other businesses sought local solutions to ship more faster. In densely populated London, UK alone, Accenture found that delivery van emissions dropped by 17%, while Chicago, USA and Sydney, Australia saw similar emissions savings. 

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