Today's Pickup: Nestlé's supply chain surveillance will begin in December

 Palm oil fields prior to harvest.  (Photo: Shutterstock)

Palm oil fields prior to harvest. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

With peak season just around the corner, parcel giant UPS (NYSE: UPS) announced last week that it expects to hire about 100,000 seasonal employees to support the anticipated surge in package volume that will begin in November and continue through January 2019. E-commerce is projected to continue its strong growth during the holiday season, and the company regularly ramps up hiring to accommodate the peak months.

Traditionally, the parcel market has largely been focused on commercial shipments between businesses. However, the last 15 years has seen a dramatic shift in the industry, as the emergence of e-commerce within retail has forced parcel delivery companies like UPS and FedEx (NYSE: FDX) to rethink their delivery network. The majority of the growth in the parcel industry is now being driven by rising demand for e-commerce, bringing along with it added demand for last-mile residential deliveries.

“Every year, we deliver the holidays for millions of customers,” said Jim Barber, chief operating officer. “In order to make that happen, we also deliver thousands of great seasonal jobs at our facilities across the country.”

Did you know?

The Georgia Port Authority approved $92 million in funding for the Mason Mega Rail Terminal. The new terminal will bring the Port of Savannah’s intermodal rail capacity to 1 million containers annually.

The terminal is expected to be in-service by 2020. The site will include 124,000 feet of new track, 88 automated switches and rail control devices.

Quotable:

“Let’s make this clear: There is no actual flood of competition coming.”

—Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein Co., on the electric vehicle market ahead of 2020.

In other news:

Maersk warns customers they must help pay its bigger fuel bills after 2020

New bunker surcharge mechanisms will roll out in 2020, according to Maersk. “The cost of compliance with the new regulation will be significant, so the cost of shipping will increase,” said the carrier (The Loadstar).

General Mills posts sales growth, but North America underperforms

Sales may have risen for General Mills last quarter, but North American business has slowed. Earlier in the year, the company cited rising freight costs as a factor in slashing 625 jobs. (The Wall Street Journal).

Noah’s Ark except it’s a school bus: Truck driver rescues 64 dogs and cats from floods of Hurricane Florence

A truck driver from Tennessee has taken a bus through areas affected by Hurricane Florence to rescue and rehome shelter animals from rising floodwaters (The Washington Post).

Nestlé accelerates No Deforestation commitment by implementing 100% satellite monitoring coverage of its global palm oil supply chains

By December 2018, Nestlé will use satellites to monitor 100% of their palm oil supply chain in order to prevent deforestation. "Our 'eyes in the sky' will monitor our palm oil supply chain 24/7, regardless of their certification status. This will enable us to further disclose publicly what we find, where we choose to suspend non-compliant suppliers, and where we choose to engage and improve the situation,” said Benjamin Ware, Global Head of Responsible Sourcing, Nestlé S.A. (Nestlé).

Audi plans a dozen electric vehicles to take on Tesla lineup

Audi has announced their plan to introduce 12 fully electric vehicles on the market by 2025 (Bloomberg).

Final thoughts:

Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 storm as its wind speed dropped, sparing many buildings, trees, and power lines from the more extensive wind damage of a major hurricane. Still, Florence’s slow pace across the state dumped massive amounts of rain onto North Carolina, with localized totals around Wilmington exceeding 40 inches.

Floodwaters damaged critical commodity infrastructure in a number of sectors, from Duke Energy’s (NYSE: DUK) coal ash deposits, which were partially washed into the Cape Fear River watershed, to hog waste lagoons. The word ‘lagoon’ is a bit of a euphemism to describe where the feces from North Carolina’s roughly 8.9M pigs end up: in about 4,000 open-air pits dotting the eastern portion of the state. The only practical measure hog farmers can do to avoid lagoon breaches is preemptively spraying hog waste on fields outside the lagoons, fields about to receive near-record rainfalls.

The North Carolina governor’s office pushed back against clean water advocates’ concerns about uncontained toxic hog waste, saying that the farms had suffered no substantial damage. Meanwhile, the NC Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Michael Regan said today that a hog lagoon in Duplin County had breached, and that at least seven others have overflowed.

Hammer down everyone!