Tesco Lotus distribution centre in Asia 'cutting edge', says CEO
The Asia CEO for Tesco, Trevor Masters, has praised the company's latest structural investment in the Khon Kaen province as they experience continued growth in Thailand and other countries in South Asia
UK-based supermarket giant Tesco, who operate as Tesco Lotus in Thailand and earns more than £3 billion in revenues, has opened a new distribution centre in the country.
The facility in the Khon Kaen province, which will support business growth and serve customers in the north east, has been described as being a place that would be cutting edge anywhere in the world by the Asia CEO Trevor Masters.
Masters said: “Facilities like Khon Kaen DC will help us to pursue our strategy of disciplined international growth. It will allow us to grow our market share in a region with huge opportunity – in this case the developing upcountry areas of Thailand.
“It is the expertise we deploy at facilities like Khon Kaen which will help us to succeed in those bigger markets of India and China. As we enter into partnerships in these countries to help us find better ways of growing, we’re bringing those world-leading distribution and supply chain skills – developed in DCs around the globe – to complement our partners’ local market knowledge.”
The hub has been created to take the pressure off the retailer's central depots in the capital city of Bangkok and will service area of 52,000 square metres, making the structure one of the country's biggest distribution centres.
The opening represents Tesco Lotus's latest contribution to the Thai economy, said chief executive John Christie. He said: "We have invested 2.5 billion baht (c.£45 million) in building this state-of-the-art distribution centre and the project has already created nearly 1,000 new jobs in the local area,"
The distribution centre will be the fifth one in Thailand, with the others being centred nearer the Bangkok region. They serve Tesco Lotus stores of all formats in the north eastern region, from the smallest Express marts to the biggest Extra stores.
Tesco only entered Thailand in 1998 but has become one of the company’s best performing businesses. The company has bounced back from the devastating floods in Thailand in 2011. Tesco’s response to the disaster won praise as it built temporary bridges and provided rowing boats to help customers buy their food from affected stores. Chris Bush, the head of Tesco Lotus during the crisis, is now the chief executive of Tesco’s UK business.
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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