Warehouse lease fuels rumours Amazon Fresh is to hit London in September
Rumours are rife that Amazon Fresh is about to hit the United Kingdom in September, due to the ecommer...
Rumours are rife that Amazon Fresh is about to hit the United Kingdom in September, due to the ecommerce giant signing a 10 year lease on the Weybridge warehouse in Greater London which has been recently vacated.
Amazon’s grocery service has been available in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and most recently San Diego on the West coast of USA and now the UK’s beleaguered supermarket chains may have to deal with a new challenge. Sources believe London could see the new venture next month with Leeds getting the service in April 2016.
Logicor's 304,751 square feet facility has been available since Tesco left the site at the end of 2014, and tucked just inside the M25 motorway it offers an ideal location to send deliveries to the heart of England’s capital.
In California, shoppers use the Amazon Fresh service to buy food from local shops and restaurants, while a wireless device called Amazon Dash monitors when users run out of household essentials and orders replacements, much like a present day embodiment of a futuristic Internet of Things vision. Amazon already sells items such as tea, toothpaste and washing-up liquid, but Amazon Fresh includes fruit, vegetables, bread and meat.
The company confirmed it was opening a delivery station in Weybridge, but declined to comment whether this would form part of Amazon Fresh in the UK, calling the potential launch of a grocery service “rumour and speculation”.
But numerous media outlets are reporting the service will start imminently, including Business Insider which lists the Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos as an investor. Billion entrepreneur Bezos is a modern day phenomenon; building up the firm from his Seattle garage as an online bookshop in 1994 to revenues of $89 billion twenty years later. He also now owns the Washington Post, after buying it for $250 million in 2013.
The Amazon Fresh grocery delivery launch would be yet another landmark in the company’s relentless push forward, as it now offers delivery within one hour on over 20,000 products in London and Birmingham, as well as providing a locker parcel drop service on the London Underground network.
So readers- what do you think, will this ambitious move work out? Will Amazon Fresh start to chip away at the likes of Ocado, Tesco and Sainsbury’s? Or is this more about perfecting the art of speedy last mile delivery? Let us know in the comments below and on Twitter.
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.