Today's Pickup: Oil price stabilizes even as Iranian threat refuses to die down

 (Photo: Pexels)

(Photo: Pexels)

Good day,

The oil market seems to have a semblance of stability over the last few days, after reports came out that Saudi Arabia and Russia would consider increasing their oil production output to ease market volatility over high oil prices. This could be due to the steady reduction in oil output from Venezuela and the perceived sanctions against Iran after the U.S. pulled out of the U.S.-Iran Nuclear Deal. 

Tensions fomented in Iran after the sudden complications, with senior officials in the country concerned that Iran could exit the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty (NPT), which could potentially lead to an arms race in the Middle East. 

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei had put forth a demand to the European Union, for guaranteeing the selling out of Iran’s oil if Iran was to remain in the nuclear deal that the U.S. exited. But this is getting increasingly difficult as the banks and oil companies are extremely wary of the existing political tension and are not willing to work with the EU on salvaging the deal. 

Did you know?

National average spot market truckload rates moved slightly higher on the DAT Solutions network of load boards last week as both the number of posted loads and trucks also rose, amid signs of tighter capacity. The number of available loads increased 1.3% and truck posts edged 2.2% higher for the week ending May 26 compared to the previous week.

Quotable:

“Recycling is very important. Seventy percent of the tires in the world are recovered; compare that to only 14% of plastic today that is recovered.”

- Cyrille Roget, Group Technical and Scientific Communication Director at Michelin

In other news:

New electric OEM debuts small bus, sets sights on trucking

Lion Electric Co. is targeting medium to heavy-duty urban trucks in classes 5-8 in applications ranging from ambulances to service trucks, cranes and delivery trucks. (CCJ)

Roadcheck focus on ELDs to trim US truck capacity further

Shippers could face challenges finding trucks June 5 to 7 as an annual three-day roadside safety blitz tests electronic logging and hours-of-service compliance. (JOC)

UK small business federation decries 'supply chain bullying'

UK’s Federation of Small Businesses wrote a letter to Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 Index companies, accusing them of "squeezing" suppliers and unfairly delaying payments (Retail Dive)

DHL to build logistics innovation center in Chicago area

First U.S. technology hub will open in 2019, supporting warehouse and transportation platforms such as smart glasses, collaborative robots, and chatbots. (DC Velocity)

Can Robots Help You Manage Inventory Better?

Less than 10% of the total warehouses in the U.S. use automated storage and retrieval systems, as the vast majority use racks and other storage solutions that require a lot of floor space and human labor. (Logistics Viewpoints)

Final Thoughts:

Over 50% of all the food retailers in the world now have an online presence, according to a report published by the Institute of Grocery Distribution. The report goes on to mention that only about 11% of the businesses are without any specific plans for creating a digital strategy. 

The Asian markets are leading the charge in the digitization process, as online fresh produce sales in China is expected to grow by 286% in the next five years, accounting for 11.1% of the total market. Comparatively the U.S. market growth is not anticipated to be quite as large, but would still account for about 2% of the world’s online fresh produce market. 

As the line between brick-and-mortar stores and online platforms gets thinner, we should introspect on how both the channels could be fused together to give a personalized experience to consumers in the future. Businesses are collecting extensive amount of consumer data including tastes and preferences, and with the rise of artificial intelligence, it might soon be possible to create a brick-and-mortar reality that is as easy and exciting as a digital storefront. 

Hammer down everyone!

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