Today’s Pickup: European Commission unveils plans to deal with hard Brexit

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Good day,

At the wake of the Brexit discussions and attempts to soften the blow by the May government, the European Commission has come up with its own plans to deal with a possible hard-Brexit, if the exit plans cop out before the finishing line. The proposed legislations cover several issues ranging between transportation and customs to climate policy and financial services regulations.

It is interesting to note that freight haulers moving on road between the EU and the UK would be able to do so without the need for permits in the subsequent nine-month period from the day of the Brexit commencement. Regardless of this, the EU has warned that transport of goods would face delays at the customs checkpoints across entry ports into the UK. Brussels also has a backdoor to all this – that the regulation relaxations are strictly time-limited and the EU could end privileges any time without consulting with the UK post-Brexit.   

Did you know?

A 2017 study by Cornell University placed the average cost of coffee production at $1.40 a pound. Coffee prices have been below that price for 20 straight months, the longest stretch since 2008 and is poised to notch a 20% drop this year.


“Riders have been paying more every two years for almost a decade. But in that time, public transit service has deteriorated.”

– John Raskin, head of NYC’s Riders Alliance, on NYC’s public transit systems getting from bad to worse

In other news:

Uber loses latest legal bid over driver rights

Uber has lost an appeal against a ruling that its drivers should be treated as workers rather than self-employed. (BBC)

Cargo ships are the world’s biggest polluters — but no one wants to fix it

Hauling goods around by sea requires roughly 300 million tons of dirty fuel, producing nearly 3% of the world’s carbon emissions, giving the international maritime shipping industry roughly the same carbon footprint as Germany. (Inverse)

Opel says it’s turning its hometown into ‘Electric City’ with 1,300 charging stations

Opel announced its electrification plan last year and it will involve four electric vehicle models (BEVs and PHEVs) by 2020 and a complete electrification of its lineup by 2024. (Electrek)

Online merchants face logistics challenges – record holiday sales or not

Of the record $17.8 billion in sales generated by independent US retailers and restaurants on “Small Business Saturday” earlier this holiday shopping season, 41% came from online buyers, a 17% increase over last year. (Forbes)

China’s ‘Belt and Road’ plan in Pakistan takes a military turn

Under a program China insisted was peaceful, Pakistan is cooperating on distinctly defense-related projects, including a secret plan to build new fighter jets. (The New York Times)

Final Thoughts:

The European Union has officially announced its plans to cut down carbon emissions from new cars by a whopping 37.5% by 2030 – a move that could force OEMs to consider phasing out gas-guzzling vehicles and opt for electric variants instead. The regulations could have been more stringent if not for Germany’s intervention, which is surprising, as the Merkel-government has been very vocal about the need for reducing global carbon footprint.

As per the new regulations, OEMs would have to keep an eye on their overall auto sales, making sure they sell a higher fraction of electric vehicles to offset their sales of combustion engine models. Automakers across Europe are decidedly unhappy about the turn of events, with the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) issuing a statement criticizing the legislation, saying the regulations are too harsh and that no one knows how to achieve the said limits by 2030.

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Vishnu Rajamanickam, Staff Writer

Vishnu writes editorial commentary on cutting-edge technology within the freight industry, profiles startups, and brings in perspective from industry frontrunners and thought leaders in the freight space. In his spare time, he writes neo-noir poetry, blogs about travel & living, and loves to debate about international politics. He hopes to settle down in a village and grow his own food at some point in time. But for now, he is happy to live with his wife in the middle of a German metropolitan.