May 17, 2020

Canada Post lockout continues

Supply Chain
Supply Chain Problems
Canada Post
Canada Pos
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Reports suggest Canadian government could force 48,000 Canada Post employees back to work, ending lockout
The NFL isnt the only company that has locked out thousands of employees. Canada Post, the Crown-run postal operator, locked out its 48,000 unionized w...

The NFL isn’t the only company that has locked out thousands of employees.

Canada Post, the Crown-run postal operator, locked out its 48,000 unionized workers earlier this week following 12 days of rotating strikes.

 The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) had instituted rolling strikes for almost two weeks across the country, which has significantly cut mail volume. Canada Post said that the CUPW strike cost the company roughly $100 million Canadian dollars, prompting the lockout.

Canada Post workers have worked without a collective agreement since Jan. 31. The main arguments between the Crown and the CUPW stem from a proposed pension plan that would take five more years of service for workers to receive pension, and the government’s insistence on a lower wage structure for new employees.


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Adding fuel to the fire is the speculation that Canada Post workers could be forced back to work by a Conservative government’s litigation, which would end the labor dispute at the cost of workers’ right to strike.

“We are supposed to be in a free society with free speech and free negotiations,” Denis Lemelin, president of the CUPW, told The New York Times.

A report in the Vancouver Sun suggested that the Canadian government is intent on moving quickly to end the labor disputes, while The New York Times piece hinted that an end to CUPW lockout might have to wait until next week.

Despite the inactivity of the Canada Post, global shipping companies like UPS and FedEx don’t expect to benefit from what might be a chance to lure customers away.

“I don’t think we view this really as an opportunity,” Pat Stanghieri, vice president of UPS Canada told The New York Times.

In addition to the Canada Post lockout, 3,800 Air Canada workers were striking before a tentative agreement was announced Thursday.

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Jun 21, 2021

Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight

2 min
Elon Musk’s tunnelling firm plans underground freight tunnels with shipping containers moved on “battery-powered freight carriers”, according to reports

Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports. 

A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers. 

Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US. 

The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two. 


Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels

The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.

The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete. 

Tesla’s supply chain woes 

Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue. 

Elon Musk Tweet

Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely

Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany

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