Top four logistics and transport stories you may have missed over the holidays
Here at Supply Chain Digital towers, today is the first day back at the office after the Christmas holiday. If you are like myself, you will have over-indulged in Turkey and experienced a whole world of cheese. Not at the same time though, because cheesy turkey would be weird. Super weird. Maybe being away from your business for a fortnight has meant you’ve been out of the loop for a bit though.
Well here’s where we come in, because we kept up with the news so you didn’t have to. Here is our rundown of the top four logistics and transport stories you may have missed over Christmas. We have everything from the devastatingly serious to the pretty whacky. You’re welcome.
- City Link’s sudden administration
On Christmas Eve City Link Limited was placed into Administration and Hunter Kelly, Charles King and Tom Lukic of EY were appointed joint administrators.
The business has ceased to accept new parcels from customers and its depots will remain open for a short period of time to enable customers or intended recipients to collect parcels.
Shockingly, the 2,700 workers found out they were redundant on Christmas Day. Those customers who placed parcels with City Link on Christmas Eve for delivery are urged to go to the depot to retrieve their parcels as soon as possible. Any intended recipients who have been notified of a failed delivery are also urged to go to the depot to collect their parcel as soon as possible.
City Link will no longer be able to deliver any further parcels and customers are urged to make alternative arrangements for future deliveries.
There has been a degree of public backlash towards the owner of City Link’s private equity owner, Better Capital and the Tory donor Jon Moulton. He is worth £100m and remains largely unaffected.
Negotiations with Royal Mail and DX Group did not result in a deal after the two firms were approached over a takeover.
2.Korean Air and the ‘nutgate’ scandal
Amazingly, Cho Hyun-ah, the 40 year old daughter of the airline’s chairman and former head of in-flight service, has found herself detained as a result of a tantrum over macadamia nuts on 5 December.
She was arrested on 30 December after prosecutors sought a detention warrant for Cho who faces charges of violating aviation safety laws. The incident is reported to have emanated after she was served nuts in a bag and not a bowl.
In what is being labelled ‘nut rage’ on social media, the A380 jet returned for the chief attendant to disembark. The flight arrived in Incheon Seoul Airport 11 minutes late, and the airline officials are reported to have tried to cover up the incident.
- Yodel struggle to deliver parcels sufficiently
Coming off the back of the late November logjam that occurred after the Black Friday and Cyber Minday gimmicks, you would have thought Yodel would get its act together for the busy Christmas appear. But it appears it still had some problems, particularly the in the last mile of the supply chain.
David Higgerson has produced an amusing blog post which does not reflect too well of Yodel and its delivery personnel. Link to the article named ’27 ways Yodel brings people together on Twitter’ is here:- https://davidhiggerson.wordpress.com/2015/01/01/27-ways-yodel-brings-people-together-on-twitter/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
4.Sunken ships, listing and abandoned immigrants equals a treacherous sea freight winter
It has been a torrid Christmas period in the European waters. First, the Italian coastguard has had to mount multiple rescue operations to abandoned cargo ship adorned with hundreds of refugees drifting in the Adriatic Sea. Then serious incidents occurred quite close to the UK over the New Year. An alarm was raised by a passenger ferry in the Pentland Firth off Scotland after its crew spotted the upturned hull of a Cyprus-flagged ship Saturday.
Searchers on two helicopters and four lifeboats were looking for survivors from the bulk carrier Cemfjord, which was carrying cement from Aalborg, Denmark, to Runcorn on England's west coast.
Also over the first weekend of 2015, a cargo ship reported to be carrying around 1,400 expensive cars on board. Salvage experts have boarded after it was stranded in the Solent off the Isle of Wight after it was deliberately run aground.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
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.
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