Trans-Pacific Trade Delayed to 2013
An interagency working group led by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has goals to facilitate cooperation and coordination among international regulatory bodies, manufacturers, and suppliers. The Trans-Pacific Partnership will discuss adopting international standards and reporting requirements that can streamline regulatory checks and reduce overlapping ones.
The interagency group formed initially in 2012, but U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donahue said he expects the pact will be completed in 2013, later than expected. The group wrapped its 13th round of negotiations July 2-10 in San Diego, California, discussing further the more than 20 chapters under negotiation, including proposals in intellectual property rights, and tariff packages on industrial goods, agriculture, and textiles.
Eight Pacific Rim nations currently have agreed to abide by the pact: the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. According to The Washington Post, Japan, a major player in global supply chain, is a possible partner. “It’s unclear if Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has sufficient domestic support for the move,” according to the article, although many countries are hopeful the country will join the talks.
The development of this Trans-Pacific Partnership will influence nearly every aspect of the supply chain, from manufacturing costs to international tariffs to regulatory costs and time involvement.
Some critics have said that the trade agreement may render negative consequences if it is one that excludes countries like China and India. Jagdish Bhagwati of The Australian Financial Review says he will urge Australia to look toward China and not have “false choice.” “We cannot afford to alienate China,” he said.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership will continue its negotiations this year. Visit www.ustr.gov for more information.
Uber Freight to Acquire Transplace in $2.2bn Deal
Uber Freight is to acquire logistics technology and solutions provider Transplace in a deal worth $2.25bn.
The company will pay up to $750m in common stock and the remainder in cash to TPG Capital, Transplace’s private equity owner, pending regulatory approval and closing conditions.
“This is a significant step forward, not just for Uber Freight but for the entire logistics ecosystem,” said Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight, and former founder of the Uber-owned trucking start-up Otto.
Uber’s Big Play for Supply Chain
Transplace is one of the world's largest managed transportation and logistics networks, with 62,000 unique users on its platform and $11bn in freight under management. It offers truck brokerage and other capacity solutions, end-to-end visibility on cross border shipments, and a suite of digital solutions and consultancy services.
The purchase is the latest move by parent company Uber, which launched as a San Francisco cab-hailing app in 2011, to diversify its offering and create new revenue streams in all transport segments.
Transplace said the takeover comes amid a period of “accelerated transformation in logistics”, where globalisation, shipping and transport disruption, and widespread volatility are colliding.
Uber Freight plans to integrate the Transplace network into its own platform, which connects shippers and carriers in a dashboard that mirroring the intuitive experience found in its consumer vehicle booking and food ordering services.
“This is an opportunity to bring together complementary best-in-class technology solutions and operational excellence from two premier companies to create an industry-first shipper-to-carrier platform that will transform shippers’ entire supply chains, delivering operational resilience and reducing costs at a time when it matters most,” said Ron.
Frank McGuigan, CEO of Transplace, said the resulting merger will offer enhanced efficiency and transparency for shippers, and benefits of scale for carriers. “All in all, we expect to significantly reduce shipper and carrier empty miles to the benefit of highway and road infrastructures and the environment,” he added.
History of Uber Freight
Uber Freight was established in 2017 and separated into its own business unit the following year. In 2019 the company had expanded across the entire continental US, established a headquarters in Chicago. Later that year it launched its first international division in Europe, initially from a regional foothold in the Nertherlands, and later moving into Germany.
The logistics spinoff attracted a $500m investment from New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group in October 2020, and launched a new shipping platform for companies of all sizes in May, partly in response to a driver shortage in Canada.