Today’s Pickup: Ford launches new SUV in China, Ron takes the lead on Uber Freight

(Image: Shutterstock)

Good day,

Tariffs levied by China, Canada, Mexico, and the European Union are impacting a wide range of produce for farmers and consumers alike. Throughout the 2017 cherry season, exporters paid a 10% tariff on cherries, but in April 2018—just ahead of the start of sweet cherry season—China announced their imposition of a 15% tariff on cherry shipments. Three months later, China tacked on an additional 25% tariff on cherries, bringing the tariff total to a staggering 50% on cherry imports alone.

Then, in June and July, the European Union instituted a 25% tariff on American cranberry juice concentrate imports. It plans to impose a higher tariff on sweetened dried cranberries in the near future. China more than doubled their tariffs on US dried cranberry imports, lumping an extra 25% tariff on top of the preexisting 15% tariff.

An already oversupplied market has caused prices of the berry to plummet this season, and coupled with mounting tariffs, concern among growers of the tart treat has risen.

Ocean Spray’s Director of Global Corporate Affairs, Kellyanne Dignan, who provided the company’s perspective on the issue: “Ocean Spray believes in free trade. As a cooperative of family farms in the US, Canada, and Chile we are proud to be the world’s largest supplier of cranberry products and one of the world’s best-known farmer-owned brands.” (FreightWaves)

Did you know?

According to a survey conducted by the Warehousing Education and Research Council, 25% of warehouses are using voice-directed picking technology. Ten years ago, only 6% of warehouses utilized the technology. (Global Trade).


“So if I’m a carrier salesperson,” continued Brothers, “I get dozens of emails from carriers we work with every day that say ‘I’ve got a truck in Atlanta,’ ‘I’ve got a truck in Dallas,’ and it’s very hard for me to remember. What Capacity Creator does is forward that up to a machine learning algorithm that takes that unstructured data and turns it into structured data that automatically matches capacity to your available load list.” (FreightWaves)

—Robert Brothers, Manager of Product Development at McLeod Software

In other news:

Ford to launch new basic SUV as part of China revival effort

As part of their new growth plan, Ford will sell a new “entry level” SUV in China. The Ford Terrain is one of 50 vehicles Ford anticipates to release in China before 2025 (Reuters).

Odfjell COO: We will compensate for Bow Jubail oil spill losses in full

Norwegian Odfjell will pay the for the cleanup of the June 23 oil spill in the Port of Rotterdam. The vessel leaked over 200 tons of fuel.

FedEx: no residential surcharges this holiday season

For the second year in a row, FedEx will not apply residential peak surcharges on shipments sent during the holiday season, aiming to support small to medium-sized businesses (Supply Chain Dive).

Instead of houses, young people have houseplants

The Economist reports that exports of plants from the Netherlands—by far the world’s biggest producer of plant life—have increased from $6bn in 2000 to $9bn in 2016 (The Economist).

Chinese truck-hailing app on course for $10 billion valuation

Manbang Group, also known as the Full Truck Alliance Group, is in search of $1 billion in new funding. Manbang Group’s mobile app pairs merchants and drivers. In June 2018, 3.1 million truckers logged into the Manbang app at least once a month (WSJ).

Final Thoughts:

As reported by FreightWaves‘ Brian Straight: Uber shut down its self-driving truck platform last week but promised in an exclusive interview with FreightWaves that Uber Freight was not going anywhere. Today, the company has not only confirmed that promise, but it has doubled down on the future of Uber Freight.

Uber announced that it is spinning off Uber Freight into a separate business unit of Uber and is bringing back Lior Ron, who co-founded Otto Trucking which Uber announced it was acquiring in 2016, to lead the unit. Ron was also head of product at Google Maps prior to founding Otto.

Hammer down everyone!

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Maria Baker, Staff Writer

Maria is a staff writer who has covered everything from the environment to sign-on bonuses and women in the industry. She is a recent graduate of Sewanee: The University of the South, where she majored in English literature and minored in environmental studies. Maria loves writing about freight almost as much as she loves Emily Dickinson and the self-imposed challenge of finding the best iced mocha in Chattanooga.