AUTOMATION OF PACKAGING IN THE COURIER INDUSTRY

I got the idea to share this blog when I received and unpacked a delivery at the weekend. Online shopping is part of our daily lives, especially since the pandemic, people are using online e-commerce platforms to purchase more than before.

How to make the most of the packaging space in a delivery box?

When receiving an online delivery, we will notice that sometimes there is a lot of space left in the delivery box, which is a waste of space. So, are there any advanced solutions to this problem? A number of e-commerce platforms have made improvements to their packaging processes, using automated packaging robots to achieve effectiveness and efficiency, such as Amazon and JingDong in China. They have both chosen the CMC CartonWrap robot system, supplied by CMC Srl in Italy.

The CMC CartonWrap is an automated carton packing system for e-commerce packaging needs. The robot enables goods in an order to be 3D scanned as they travel along a conveyor belt. These items are then placed in suitably sized customised boxes created by the robot. CMC Cartonwrap variable carton packaging solution breaks away from conventional packaging and enables on-demand personalized packaging. Furthermore, CMC claims it can achieve speeds of up to 900 orders per hour.

The operation of CMC CartonWrap robot system

The advantages of this new packaging process are obvious, which not only saves labour but also reduces the waste of packaging material. This hits exactly the right spot in a labour-intensive industry like logistics, reducing labour dependency and labour costs.

CMC CartonWrap is now being used by companies in China, the United States and Sweden, among many other countries. The system offers significant labor savings, while reducing storage and transportation costs. The application of automation equipment in the field of logistics is becoming more and more advanced and user-friendly. Perhaps in the near future, most of the express deliveries we receive will be packaged by such robots.

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THE CURRENT PROBLEM OF THE FREIGHT FORWARDING SECTOR

“The shipping containers prices have skyrocket”

I would like to share with you some actual information about the freight forwarding sector. Actually, I’m doing an internship in an international shipping company, and I found interesting to share with you some relevant information about the actual moment of the sector which is also related with this subject.

Regarding the Shanghai index, the container cost has been reached an average of 2.900$ for 20-foot containers. It is 3 times more expensive than January 2020.

Type of containerJanuary 2015January 2020February 2021
20 foot450$1.000$2.900$
40 foot 1.800$5.200$

From the financial crises of 2008, the shipping companies have maintained a very cheap price for the freight of containers, trying to fight against the economic recession. But after the coronavirus crisis this price has been multiplied, and many economists argue that the prices from before will never come back.

One of the reasons of this price increasement is because most of the containers are stocked in China. China receives more empty containers for their exportations than full containers for their importations. Therefore, there is a bottle neck that block a fluent motion of containers and cause an increasement of the prices. Furthermore, during the Chinese New Year holiday, the majority of the factories shut down for two weeks, so the movement of containers has been heavily affected. For this reason, many companies wait for weeks for containers and are paying premium rates to get them faster, causing shipping costs to skyrocket.

A part of that, it is also true that today there is a major demand than offer provoked by a high increasement of the e-commerce companies. Day to day, there are more and more companies that want to import and export goods, but there are not enough containers for all of them. Therefore, it is absolutely understandable the increment of prices due to the increment of the demand.

Many economists argue that the prices of shipping containers are starting to stabilize, but they also maintain that prices will never be as years before. Some experts say that the freight forwarding companies have an agreement for maintaining these high prices, so, perhaps the golden age of import and export of goods is over.

More information:

https://www.eleconomista.es/empresas-finanzas/noticias/11049734/02/21/El-precio-del-transporte-maritimo-se-triplica-y-no-volvera-al-nivel-preCovid.html

Massive problem to luxurious brands:Excess inventory?

The impact of Covid-19

Luxurious brands are facing a significant challenge under the Covid-19. The demand declined massively since the outbreak in 2020  with a big loss in sales in the high-growth market of China. What is worse, the travel restrictions across Europe and the US causes a drop in demand. For example, the store closures in Italy indicated that Chinese shoppers are not allowed to purchase at the level before crisis. This has led to the main problem to luxurious brand likely.

Under the pandemic: The empty street in Barcelona

Few customers in luxurious brand stores

When I was traveling to Madrid in September 2020, I noticed that the tourists declined massively, which I could see the main street is not as crowded as before. Moreover, there was always long waiting line in front of the luxurious stores but it is totally different now. What I saw was few customers with some employees, which amazed me a lot and made me realized how the crisis damage the each industry. I believed the excess inventory must be much more after the pandemic, so where are they delivered?

There were lots of customers shopping at Louis Vuitton before the Covid-19

Burned them rather than the discount

Unlike fast-fashion brands, the luxury brands have a high conscious on the product value. In order to protect the brand image, some luxury companies refused to give the discount on the products. In stead, they burned the excess inventory. For example, Burberry destroyed excess clothes, perfume and accessories worth £28.6 million in 2018. Under the government intervention, other brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior made a commitment to stop burning excess products. Moreover, French government has required domestic brands to recycle or donate any products they intended to destroy, which aimed to make it sustainable.

Where inventory should be delivered now?

“Nobody really knows.” By Credit Suisse sell-side analyst Guillaume Gauvillé

Seasonality dominates not only ready-to-wear brands but also luxury brands. Normally, some luxury companies deliver off-season products to the outlet malls such us La Roca Village in Barcelona or Bicester Village in London, which is the main way to deal with the excess inventory. However, the leader brand like Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior do not give sales in outlet and even in stores. They tried to redistribute inventory to the region which could help assuage but the effect seemed to be limited because the pandemic damaged all over the world.

Therefore, inventory management could cause problems for most luxury brands in 2021. Additionally, the other challenge will be navigating the potential impact on their positioning and how they are viewed by consumers.

Gucci store in La Roca Village

Inventory Costs – Pillage & Ullage

Watching the video about Inventory Management from Mal Walker I stumbled across two terms I have never heard before and which aroused my curiosity – Pillage and Ullage.

Inventory Management – An Introduction with Mal Walker

While Ullage describes the unexplained loss or damage of goods, Pillage characterizes the actual theft. The annual cost of inventory theft is around $15 billion for warehouses, manufacturers and shippers and therefore needs to be considered in an inventory cost calculation. I didn’t expect this number to be this large because of the highly advanced security standards implemented in all the companies I visited in Germany. The word security refers to the condition of a closed system (like a warehouse) being protected from intentional intrusion and harm from the outside. But what if the harm does not come from the outside?

The Article: “Prevent Theft in your Warehouse” offers small insights about two contract delivery drivers working for Amazon, who routinely stole goods from their employer for at least 6 years. The two drivers, who also happen to be roommates, later sold the stolen goods to two frauded pawn shops and received $4 Million from them. The pawn shops actually sold the goods again on Amazon, as third party sellers and generated over $10 million. Full information about the Amazon theft ring can be obtained here.

In industrial security there is a 10 / 80 / 10 rule, which implies that 10% of your employees will never steal from you, 80% can be motivated to steal or not to steal and the remaining 10% will steal whenever they can. It is important to focus on the 80% and motivate them not to steal by reducing the opportunities and therefore the temptation on one hand and making sure the employee feels appreciated both personally and financially on the other hand. If you are looking for in-depth information about industrial & warehouse security I recommend this paper from Cisco-Eagle.

THe magic of Christmas Supply Chain Management

When we were asked to write a post on any logistics topic which intrigued us, a question which I had since a child popped into my mind. If we were to be Santa, how could we coordinate the Christmas deliveries? All kids are going to bed and await anxious the next morning to open their present laying under the Christmas tree. No mistakes can be made, all presents have to be delivered and we just have one night to do it. If we were to be Santa Claus, would it be possible? This is a question we all could have asked ourselves on a Christmas Eve as a child, as an adult or as a logistics manager.

So lets face the premises of our logistics problem.

  • 25,8% of the world population are children, so we have a total of 2.024.784.000 children, from those 31.2% are Christians , which mean we have a total of 631.732.608 clients to serve
  • We have one night to deliver. Due to time zones difference (like if we were Phileas Fogg) , we have a total of 22 hours to deliver each house
  • An archetypical Christmas present weights more or less 1 kg and is 50cm long, 30cm wide and 20cm deep, and we assume one kids receives 2 presents on average, so we need to deliver 1.227.465.216 packages.

Premises set, how could we, as very joyful Christmas manager elves, set a Supply Chain which could face this ultimate problem?

So first, lets talk about storing. With just one factory in the North Pole we would need to supply all the present. Well, certainly, the North Pole is not the best location from a logistics perspective, but we can’t change it. So if a present is 30.000 cm³ and weights 1kg; and let’s assume we can store 10 present piled up and, as we are magical elves, don’t need any hallways, how big is our warehouse. Well our floor has to be 12.274.652 sqm and at least 3m high. Is this realistic? Sure thing! Amazon has 150 fulfilment centres (this is how they call their logistics hubs), with an average surface of 147.000 sqm. Therefore, a total storage surface of 22.125.000 sqm; more than Santa.

And now the next step in our supply chain, how do we distribute all packages from the North Pole to each home. Critics will say one single reindeer-powered sleight would not suffice, so lets try to answer them by their terms: truck, plane or ship? An average truck has a cargo capacity of 35 m³. By our calculations, in one truck Santa could fit more or less 1200 presents. That would mean, Santa’s fleet would need a total of 1.022.887. trucks for delivery. If we compare it to the roads of the EU, this number looks small. Only inside the EU borders there are 4.315.718 truck operating. And what about planes? Well, the biggest cargo plane is the Antonov An-225 Mriya, with a cargo space of 1.300 m³ and cargo capacity for 250.000 kg. This would mean we can load 44.000 packages, which would have a weight of 44.000kg. Summing up, Santa´s plane fleet would need 27.897 Antonov An-225 Mriya planes; a pity there is only one of those in the whole globe. Last but not least, ships. The biggest cargo ship available is the HMM Algeciras, with a cargo capacity of 24.000 TEU and a length of 399.9m and depth of 33.2m. In each TEU – container (6.1 m length, 2.44 m width and 2.59 m height) we can fit 33.2 m³ of load. This would mean 1106 presents per container. So in a HMM Algeciras ship the total number of presents would be 26.544.000. packages. This leads to the result that the naval fleet of Santa consists of 47 HMM Algeciras ships to serve the 1.227.465.216. packages.

So we can store and move the presents. But how can we distribute them? Well, we need some reinforcements. Let’s assume Santa asks for some help from his friend Jeff. Based on Amazon’s statistics a rider delivers between 30 and 50 packages a day. So an average of 40 a day in an 8-hour shift. Therefore, we would need 30.686.630. drivers to deliver to each endpoint all the packages. This is more or less the population of countries such as Mozambique or Nepal.

To sum up, lets grab our initial question. Is it possible to deliver the needed amount of presents in one single night if we exclude magical interferences from the operation’s problem? Well, my personal guess is YES. If you coordinate deliveries very tight and have the needed assets it could be possibly done. But how does Santa manage this each year? Well, that’s the magic of Christmas Supply Chain Management!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
https://theloadstar.com/wp-content/uploads/CILT-interview-with-Santa-Claus.pdf
https://visual.ly/community/Infographics/business/logistics-santa-claus
https://www.goship.com/blog/the-logistics-behind-santa-claus/
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2521973/The-science-Santa-Mr-Claus-eat-150-BILLION-calories-visit-5-556-houses-SE

Fuel cards for fleet operations

In the logistics sector, the fleet operations plays a big part. Vehicles used by companies in this sector can reach hundreds or even more. So, the management in the use of funds in this department can be challenging. Large funds are used for petrol. Imagine yourself as a manager in this department. With the huge number of vehicles and drivers, it is not surprising if you get confused about monitoring whether the petrol allowance you gave to your drivers was used for petrol or not.

Thus, there’s a need for a system to improve the accounting for the fund for petrol. One of the systems is the fuel card. I used to work in the fuel card department. I learned a lot about the benefits of using it. Using fuel card, companies can request for monthly statements showing the date of transaction, amount of fuel purchases (and other services available at the fuel station) and balance of the card. The fuel card has many features such as monthly consumption limits. And also, it can be assigned for a particular vehicle or general use (several vehicles).

In this photo, I was topping up customers’ fuel cards

Despite the systemized use of the fuel card, the fleet operation manager may need to assign a staff member to monitor the cards because it can be used incorrectly. For example, the driver can negotiate with the petrol filler. The filler will swipe the card for 100 euros but pump for 50 euros worth of petrol and the remaining amount can be negotiated between the driver and the filler. This is just one of the irregularities I discovered in my work experience in the fuel card department.

Proper use of petrol cards are very important not only to help with accounting and reporting but also because in some governments like the UK which offer VAT refunds for fuel purchases used for business purposes also have a stake in fuel card fraud detection and prevention. So, if the use of the card is wrong, the bottom line is that the government is defrauded out of the tax that should have been paid for the fuel.

LOW STOCK IN EXPENSIVE RENTAL AREAS IN VALENCIA

Personal thoughts

I am from Valencia, and before Covid-19 changed our lives I used to go to the cinema once per week, at the ABC cinemas in Calle Colón in the center of Valencia. When I left the cinema at midnight, I realized that the street was plenty of trucks, unloading mercancy to all the shops of the street.

Analyzing the rental price

First of all, I start doing research about the prices of the rental in Calle Colon and surroundings. The Colon street or “Golden Mile” is the prime zone in Valencia, with 80 €/m2/month to 130 €/m2/month. The avarage surface of the commercial establishments goes since 200 to 400 square meters. For example, to understand the dimension of the number, If you have a store in Colon street with 150 m2 you are paying 15.750 €/month only in the rent.

Decentralized logistic centers / Short restock cycles

All these shops used to have a logistic center in other part of Valencia, commonly in villages near to the city. The price of the square meter in this zones could be 5 times lower than in the city center.

All things considered, it is more profitable for them to pay more to the transport companies to restock two or three times per week. They cannot afford to store many items in their commercial facilities. That facts explain that the majority of the nights Colon street is full of trucks doing unload task to all the stores.

DRUNI example

This is a perfumery store, is allocated near to the Colon street, in an expensive zone too. I was there a few months ago, and I realized that in the stores shelves there was only 2 or 3 items of each cologne.

This store have the logistic center in Alberic, a small village in the south of Valencia. They restock 2 or 3 times per week. With this technique they can offer more vairety of items but in less quantity.

If they run out of a specific product they will check if there are some available in surroundings stores of Druni. This technique allow to have a few but enough product in each store. If you have the bad luck that they do not have the product that you want in any of the near stores, they will ask for the product to the logistic center and in two business days you will have it in the store.

As you can see in the picture, they have many stores in the city center of Valencia, so it is easy to find any kind of druni product.

Do Boeing manufactures its own engines?

Photo by Manfred Irmer on Pexels.com

I always felt interested in figuring out how things are done. And when I saw these complex heavy machines that can take to the skies, I wondered how do they manage to build such a thing. Well, after a few hours of research, I realized that one company itself is not capable of manufacturing all the necessary parts and build an airplane their own.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

One of the most important parts of an aircraft is its engine, and yes Boeing alone does not manufacture its own engines. They have to rely on its suppliers to get the job done when talking about these components. Pratt & Whitney is one of Boeing’s main engines supplier and there are some other important providers within the supply chain like Tool Gauge, who produces some metal parts used in the engine.

But why does not Boeing manufactures its own engines? what is the main reason behind this?

Well, the main reason is because producing an engine is a highly complex and specialized job, therefore you need a lot of experience and high capacity to deliver a high quality product at an affordable cost, and at the right time. It seems that the aerospace supply chain is quite complex, here is an article that explains how this industry is changing due to emerging markets like China and Latin America, and how important its supply chain is to reduce costs and deliver a high quality service, see article.

And if Boeing wanted to start manufacturing its own engines, they would have to invest a lot of money in training its employees, hiring new people, acquiring new machinery, and all of the important tasks related to setting up an aircraft engine factory. In the video below you can see a further explanation on why companies like Boeing and Airbus keep relying on their suppliers.

A solution for logistic mobility in cities

After the development of the industrial revolution, logistical problems began to appear in the cities related to the parking of cars due to the increase in the concentration of population in the cities and with it, the increase in the number of vehicles.

This led to solutions for more efficient mobility in large cities such as New York or Chicago. The problem was that the price of land in the cities was increasing, so the investment in the construction of a conventional parking was not feasible.

For this reason, in the 1920s, the first high-rise car parks began to be installed, created by the Westinghouse company.

Nueva York ya ideó la solución a los problemas de aparcamiento en ...

Today, 100 years later, this solution is again strongly presented for the concept of so-called smart cities.

In fact, in Spain, the first city to develop this idea has been Alcalá de Henares.

Although with a slightly different and more updated technology, it is curious how, passing years and years, solutions and ideas that were created a long time ago are still useful and valid.




https://www.convi.net/nueva-york-ya-ideo-la-solucion-a-los-problemas-de-aparcamiento-en-1930/

https://www.abc.es/motor/reportajes/abci-funcionara-primer-aparcamiento-vertical-espana-201903150133_noticia.html

Green logistics

The sector of logistics has also committed with the compromise of finding solutions to take care of the planet and reduce our impact. One of these alternatives for future transportation is Green Logistics which is based on transforming the logistics systems and processes using innovation in order to develop a strategy more respectful with the environment. The main objective of this philosophy is improving the efficiency of the transport and reducing the impact on the environment but also obtaining an economic rentability for the businesses.

Regarding the transportation, Green Logistics tries to cut down the sources of pollution, coming these emissions from vehicles so new advances in the automotive sector as well as the incorporation of electric vehicles will reduce pollution levels. In addition, load and route optimization, such as reducing travel distance, could help to the amount of CO2 emissions.

La “Logística verde” y el fraude ambiental de Volkswagen ...

Green logistics connects the environmental issue with logistic activities; thus it is obvious that other parts of logistics are involved. In the terms of packaging, eco-friendly packages could be used in deliveries and reusable materials could be returned when the transportation is all completed.

However, Green Logistics has also some disadvantages to keep in mind as it explains this article: https://transportgeography.org/?page_id=6497

5 examples of the black swan theory

Today we are going to find out what the black swan theory means, how it affects the economy and the society overall and several examples of how the black swan events have changed the words.

The black swan theory or theory of black swan events is a metaphor that describes an events like the economic downturn and pandemic that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and often change the direction of politics, the economy and business, and influence the course of history. Even though,the black swan events are often inappropriately rationalised after the fact with the benefit of hindsight.

  • The Black Pestilence  in the 1300s destroyed the feudal system in Europe, replacing it with more modern hiring relationships. Only three centuries later, the deep economic crisis caused by the Hundred Years War between England and France led to a new leap of innovation that radically modernized agriculture.
  • SARS pandemic in 2002-2004 sped up the growth of the small company Alibaba, which traded over the Internet. Now it is a retail leader in Asia. This growth was fueled by anxiety and panic of people who tried to avoid contact with each other as much as possible – almost the same as what we see now.
  • The 2008 financial crisis also contributed to new technologies. In Western countries, companies like Airbnb and Uber instantly became popular, because in times of crisis, people tried to save on everything: arrange joint living and group for trips.
  • The video game industry has taken the trend and has also dramatically changed course. In 2011, thanks to Nexon in Asia and King in the West, free games with in-game purchases began to develop rapidly.
  • With the advent of Covid-19, we already see the first signs of how consumer and company behavior is changing. Airline profits are falling due to travel denials, stocks of drugs, cereals and toilet paper are running out in retail chains, and work at home is becoming the norm.

Some of these changes are a direct but short-term reaction to the crisis. All this will return to normal after defeating the coronavirus. However, some changes will remain, creating the basis for long-term innovation, and will dictate the business environment for many years to come.

Interesting fact: in the opposite to my personal opinion, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the inventor of the “black swan” definition considers black swans to be an unforeseen events that have significant consequences for the economy. At his point of view,the COVID pandemic could have been prevented, so it may be called a white swan, rather a black one.

21TH CENTURY Logistic Center

This is how Mercadona employees call their logistics center located in León. This logistics center receives this name due to its commitment to technology so that employees do not have to make physical efforts during their workday. In the next post I am going to show you what I have learned about how this large 80000m2 facility works.

To get an idea of ​​its distribution, this logistics center consists of 4 warehouses: one for dry products, one for cold products, one for frozen products and one for packaging. In addition, they have a bread factory. It employs 400 employees, of the 100 are dedicated to maintenance activities and the other 300 to supervision.

How do they work?

When they receive the trucks with the products, they separate the products into two categories, the products with high turnover and the products with less rotation. Products with a high turnover do not undergo any manipulation, they are directly sent to the stores as they arrive.

However, the products with less turnover go through several processes before being sent to the stores since the stores hardly have a warehouse because what matters is that the products are in view of the consumer, so they have to distribute it in boxes. First, a machine disassembles the pallet that contains only one product.

Second, each box is associated with a chip so that you have full control over its location. Later the product box is associated with other boxes of other products that will form the pallet that goes to the stores (each store has different interests, so each pallet is different), this process is called ‘wedding’.

Finally, another high-tech machine that knows the size of each product, places the boxes appropriately on the pallet based on their volume and fragility. After this step, the pallet is ready to be shipped. This entire process reduces 75% the time on the work that employees did manually.

As employees assure, the most complex thing about these centers is that the materials and information flow properly.

In addition, as additional information, to get an idea of ​​the magnitude of this logistics center, each day they receive 1,000 trucks and are responsible for distributing the products to 110 stores in 4 different autonomous communities such as Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y León.

Order picking with smart glasses

Studying the warehousing slides for the exam, I realised that some of the equipment used in warehousing is long-standing. For that reason, looking for latest technologies and how to include them in the warehouse I found the existence of the smart glasses.

Smart glasses, also known as vision picking, enable employees of the warehouse to work having their hands free in order to do their operations easier. This is not the only advantage of these glasses, in fact, productivity can improve around 15 percent on average, and it is not necessary any infrastructure to use them.

But, how do these smart glasses work? Employees see in their glasses a visual display with the picking instructions including information about the progress, location, quantity or the next pick. Virtual reality also shows where the items should be located freeing workers from reading papers or devices so they can work more comfortably. In addition to be a faster, more accurate and efficient system than traditional methods, the usability of the smart glasses is simple and intuitive so onboarding and training times can be reduced.

One example of the implementation of vision picking in warehousing operations is the DHL warehouse in the Netherlands, as it is explained in the video.

In this link you can find more information about the internet of things world and the smart warehouse including the smart glasses: https://www.datexcorp.com/iot-and-the-smart-warehouse/

the oil is running out of space to be stored

As a habitant of this world, one can recognize that the Coronavirus is affecting the world’s economies, however this is not the unique crisis that nowadays threats the global economy. Before the boom of the pandemic there were clues which indicated that the oil was about to suffer a price crisis due to the disagreements between the producer countries members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia.

Then, at the begging of the Covid-19 juncture the prices of the hydrocarbon started to drop also, so, these crises mixed and created an atmosphere of economic uncertainty for developing and developed countries. But how these crises interact one each other? Well the answer relies in the fact that both Russia and Saudi Arabia “opened the tap” in the production and started a price-war in a moment where the world is not demanding such amount of petroleum due to the coronavirus disease.

Oil prices

A long-lasting war is not affordable for small producers or high-cost producers like the United States. Additionally, the oil-based developing economies are facing challenges because with the current prices and lack of demand there is not enough money neither to cover the demands of a confined population nor paying the international debt. The analysts consider that in April some 6 million barrels per day might literally have nowhere to go.   

However, the countries do not want to be the first ones in turning off the production even when they are having loses, that could mean a supply glut so overwhelming that the world won’t have enough space to store it. Since the warehousing systems are designed to move the merchandise rather than store it for a long time; Goldman Sachs says that “the facilities, terminals, ships and pipelines could reach the capacity for the first time since 1998”.

Oil Storage Company in Rotterdam - Delta Oil Tanking BV
Bulk oil storage tanks

This represents a challenge to the international logistic, which is trying to find ways to storage the oil which is not being sold in the market but that stills coming like if it was. For that purpose, the option of using the crude carrier vessels as floating storage, although these ones will not cover all the space needed to keep the potential surplus. The market recovery seems to be far, but the reality is that while the world fights back the Covid-19, there are other crisis that also threat the economy.

The flying challenges in the current situation

Because of the pandemic, flights that have not been canceled at all are only operated with a couple of passengers on board.

Apart from obvious financial losses and environmental concerns, flying on empty aircraft causes other problems. For example, purely physical problems – related to weight and balance.

When only a few people fly, passengers are either evenly seated in the cabin or added to the luggage compartment to balance their weight.

In a highly simplified scheme, the aircraft is arranged like a giant swing. By default, the center of gravity of the aircraft is near the main landing gear. But in fact it turns out that the center of gravity of a particular aircraft on a particular flight can shift – because of the passengers, luggage, fuel. The center of gravity changes even during one flight.

Before departure the operator calculates the take-off weight – he takes into account the weight of the empty aircraft, passengers, luggage, cargo and fuel. This is to determine the center of gravity of the aircraft as accurately as possible.

For example, the Embraer E175 has engines in front of its wings, so its center of gravity is closer to the front of the aircraft. As the fuel burns, it shifts towards its tail.

Before departure, the airline’s dispatcher gives the pilot a special uniform that indicates how many passengers will fly, in which part of the cabin – front, middle or rear – they will sit, how much luggage they have and where exactly they will load it. Taking all this information and many other important factors (e.g. the angle of flap deviation) into account, the computer calculates the centre of gravity and take-off speed. Large aircraft such as the Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 usually have no weight or balance problems even when the aircraft is almost empty – if passengers are evenly distributed throughout the cabin. But crews of not so big cars quite often have to transfer passengers.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/empty-planes-weight-balance/

INSATIABLE DEMAND

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are in shortage due to a surge in demand because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There is an urgent need for new treatments as the pandemic that has killed 42,000 people globally puts a strain on healthcare systems and wreaks havoc on financial markets.

Studies are underway in a number of countries to see whether hydroxychloroquine and the related malaria drug chloroquine may be effective in controlling the spread of coronavirus, which has led to a surge in demand for the treatments.

The agency has said it was working with companies making generic versions of the drugs to ramp up production.

The unprecedented demand created by the global pandemic is creating shortages for even basic over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol, as supply chains strain from the manufacturers that produce the medications to the wholesalers that deliver them to pharmacies, making it extraordinarily difficult to keep shelves fully stocked for key items in hot zones like New York.

Pharmacies are improvising when they can. City Drug & Surgical in one Manhattan’s neighborhood has been making hand sanitizer since the brand names sold out about three weeks ago. It takes about 40 minutes to make a batch of 24 bottles. They sell out the same day.

The first chamber of Ocado’s robot warehouse system

Just it sounds the swoosh of wheels from 1,100 waist-high cuboid swarm robots, zipping along a grid system the size of several football pitches. The robots collect groceries from crates beneath them, and drop them off at a packing station.

Occasionally they would all simultaneously come to a halt, green lights blinking, awaiting their next command, received via an unofficial 4G network custom-built by Ocado.

Underneath them, side-by-side with humans, another robot consisting of only one arm was being trained to pack the goods gathered by the swarm to fulfil individual orders.

The chill the temperature was to protect the cold food. There’s a good reason why data centres full of computer servers are often built inside icy mountains or under oceans. Electronics get hot.

Ocado is a significant tech firm that has invested millions in developing robotics with the ambition of becoming a people-free platform.

That means that from the moment you place your online order to the moment it arrives at your door (via a driverless van of course), there will be no human intervention.

The plant process 65,000 orders per week.

This technology was described as part-robot, part-phone, because of their 4G communications.

Ocado’s facilities

LOGISTIC STRATEGIES AND CROSS – DOCKING

In relation to our last class session and what it has to do particularly with logistic warehouses, cross – docking is an alternative that is configured and positioned within the logistic sector and the supply chain. Cross docking (also called dock crossing), refers to a logistic technique in which storage time is non-existent or limited. In short, it seeks the possibility of carrying out the entire logistics process in the shortest possible time and without having to incur higher storage costs.

Cross-docking can be adapted to any merchandise: it does not matter if it is raw materials, finished articles or components destined for factories, physical stores or final customers. Following the cross-docking strategy, the goods remain in the warehouse for a very short time after receipt. Furthermore, with this methodology, it is not placed on the shelves and therefore it is not necessary to carry out the picking process. This is the origin of the term in English, since the operation only requires crossing the docks of the warehouse.

¿ How do cross-docking operations work?

In a traditional supply chain, the warehouse represents a key link connecting suppliers (supply) to consumers (demand). This flow is discontinuous, since supply and demand are not synchronized and the link is based on the figure of the warehouse. The goods are stored there until the demand is activated.

However, the advance of information systems and software applied to logistics has led to increasingly agile and integrated supply chains. It is in this context that cross-docking becomes popular, since the key to the success of this working methodology is the perfect coordination of all those involved: suppliers, warehousemen, transporters and end users.

Phases of cross-docking

In general we can conclude that the main phases of the cross-docking operation are:

  1. Distribution scheduling by suppliers.
  2. Reception of the goods in the warehouse.
  3. Recording and reviewing of cargo received as part of the quality control procedure.
  4. Repacking, consolidation of orders (if necessary) and dispatch of the goods

Types of cross-docking

The cross-docking activity can be carried out with different loading units (pallets, boxes, kits…). There are different ways to organize the types of cross-docking, but if we look at the steps required to perform it, we can highlight.

Pre-distributed cross-docking: The pre-distributed one represents the most basic cross-docking model. In it, the load units are already prepared and organized by the supplier taking into account the final demand. Therefore, the cross-docking operation is limited to receiving the goods and dispatching them without further intervention by the warehouse workers.

Consolidated cross-docking: In a consolidated cross-docking scheme, the goods do have to be handled to adapt them to the requirements of the end customer. Then, the load units received are transferred to a cross-docking zone or conditioning area where theya are examined and adjusted to the orders demanded.

This may involve organizing pallets from smaller loading units or vice versa: dividing the goods into individual packages or product kits.

Hybrid Cross-Docking: This is a more complex type of cross-docking that involves preparing orders in the conditioning area by taking part of the
goods from the trucks received and part of those already stored in the facility. In these cases, the goods received can be moved to a temporary storage area instead of directly applying cross-docking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt8qKSQLP0M

Traceability in logistics

Hello in this last post I want to talk about a tool and process that are very important when we are a producer of meet or want to export some aliments from a country to another.

The concept of logistics traceability refers to the possibility of identifying the origin and the different stages that a product goes through throughout the production process, as well as its subsequent logistics distribution until reaching the final consumer.

Therefore, a traceability system comprises a set of procedures that make it possible to know the location of a product in the supply chain at all times, as well as to trace its route or know in advance what path it will follow.

The European food safety regulation (Regulation (EC) nº178/2002, which establishes the general principles and requirements of food legislation, creates the European Food Safety Authority and establishes procedures related to food safety) obliges all those involved in the food chain to have access to a registration and identification system that allows you to “track” the product forward, backward and in the internal process itself (from the field to the table). This means having adequate records during all phases of the production process: from the arrival of raw materials to the departure of the final product and all the logistics that the cycle requires.

Manufacturers and consequently consumers benefit from the application of this tool.

Usefulness of traceability

– Build trust in consumers.

Traceability makes it easier to provide relevant information to the consumer about the

origin of the product and other important information (eg place of birth,

bait, slaughter or cutting of an animal, allergen content, organisms

genetically modified, …). In this way the producer or manufacturer achieves

build consumer confidence in their products.

– Cost reduction.

Apart from its importance in food safety, an adequate traceability system can provide relevant information to the company to optimize process control and internal management.

In addition, upon detecting any problem in any ingredient or process, an adequate traceability system will quickly locate the affected products and limit the repercussions. In this way, both possible personal damages to consumers and damages to the production company are avoided.

Traceability is an indispensable tool for food quality control, safety and quality.

Traceability kit

The company’s Traceability Plan must include the following aspects:

• Backward traceability.

• Internal or process traceability.

• Forward traceability.

• Lot identification and definition.

• Traceability of materials and objects intended to come into contact with foods.

• Procedure for locating, immobilizing and removing the products

FRESH MEAT

In the livestock sector (cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs) there is an official database, called SITRAN (Animal Traceability System), which collects information about animals, their movements and the destination of the products and by-products that originate . SITRAN is not exclusive to the meat sector, but can provide adequate data to the company’s traceability system.

IN LIVESTOCK FARMS

– Identification Document of each animal with its veterinary treatments, movements of entry and exit of the farm, etc.

Once the livestock arrives, the entry documents (as well as, where appropriate, the individual identification of the animals) and the transport documents with the numbers of the animals are checked and entered into a database.

Once the animals are slaughtered, the carcasses are labeled with the corresponding individual or collective information.

Each half channel or commercial unit will have sanitary marking and will be labeled with all the data related to thesource channel.

IN THE EXPLODED ROOMS

The half carcasses arrive from the slaughterhouses, are weighed and identified with new labels that add to the information that comes from the slaughterhouse, its weight and the date of entry into the cutting room.

DISTRIBUTION OR RETAIL TRADE

Traceability is a tool of vital importance for the proper functioning of the Food Safety System and assumes that the origin and destination of a food product can be identified, as well as any of the phases of its production.

All food companies and operators: producers, processing industries and fruit and vegetable producers must have a traceability system adapted to their size and resources, which will have records, preferable but not necessarily computerized, that will guarantee the effectiveness of the system.

Here is a link about food traceability

Ford automation warehouse systems

Good morning! Today I want to talk you about the automation systems you can find in Ford motor company, or at least, the two more interesting systems, in my opinion, while managing a big storage as Ford in Almussafes, Valencia.

Ford_logo.svg

All my family has been working at Ford for more than 40 years, so I am a kind of a Ford child, so that’s the reason why I’m always driving Ford cars, for those of you who have seen my car, or past cars.

When I was 16 I was offered the opportunity to do an internship at Ford during the summer break, from June to the beginning of August. It wasn’t the type of internship you do during your university studies, but a kind of internship to understand how the company of our parents was working. It was 2009, I was young and I didn’t know much about life( as now), so I was amazed by the robots and all the technology of Ford but something that surprised me the most was the warehouse where they used to have the smaller parts (like screws, nuts…). They had it automatized as in this video, but in the biggest place you can imagine and with more than 8 different robots that were supplying different desk that then were trasportedthis parts to the different plants where the assembly was made.

I’ve been trying to look for their system now, but there isn’t much information about it, nevertheless, I have found an interesting system that is working in the engines plant to manage the warehouse and make the inventory of the different engine parts.

Here you can see how all the work is developed by robots that, completely alone, manage the storage:

 

As always, let me know if you want to share something or if you liked it.

Three types of innovations that are likely to continue after the victory over the COVID19

The supply chains will integrate into flexible and resilient ecosystems

Because of the coronavirus, China had to cut back on production and supply, which triggered the chain reaction we may see today. This is a weak point of the existing global scheme.

There is a need in deliveries across countries and suppliers while supporting cost savings through increased production and traceability. To do this, there is a need of global platforms with sophisticated technologies – 5G, robotics,  blockchain (a continuous sequential chain of blocks containing information, built according to certain rules.) These technologies will help to establish a contact between customers and numerous reliable suppliers in a common network.

As the result, this will cause increased demand for unmanned vehicles and drones, as drivers will not be enough to completely cover the needs of online trading. Traditional B2B platforms like Amazon and Alibaba are likely to become leaders in this area and will begin to fight for ownership of such an ecosystem in the next ten years.

Smart cities will become a commonness

The coronavirus pandemic caused officials to work fast. China broke all records by building a huge hospital in Wuhan with an area of ​​almost 60 thousand square meters in just 10 days! South Korea conducted speed tests for 200 thousand citizens and used smartphones to track the movements of infected people to quickly alert healthy people about such movements.

All these measures could be further improved if there were more “smart” cities in the world. According to a recent study by the University of Glasgow, of the 5,500 major cities, only 27 have this level of technological development.

The authorities will undoubtedly take this tactic into service, and investments will shift towards smart cities. In the event of new crises, it will become important to carefully monitor and maintain order. Mostly, smart governments, specialized companies like Cisco, Microsoft and Siemens, as well as digital city startups across Europe and the USA will benefit from this.

Psychological assistance using digital technology

Coronavirus will accelerate the transition to “remote” and online training. It’s harder to figure out what will happen if most people need to work together remotely and indefinitely.

It is possible that such a transition will begin to undermine the morale, productivity and psychological health of employees around the world, so companies need to prepare now.

IT companies such as Github and Automattic, that use the remote work model could share their experiences and invent appropriate technologies to help people all over the world.

For individuals working remotely, the prospects are also not so bad. Several startups are already providing psychological assistance (such as Braive and Moment Pebble) so they can also share help and solve the isolation problem. There are networking programs such as Ripple that will help with mentoring and development – and this becomes more relevant than ever if you work remotely.

Santiago Bernabéu becomes a Distribution Center

Because of the big problem related to COVID-19 Real Madrid C. F. has facilitated the stadium to the government to be a key logistic partner during epidemic as a solidarity act.

Real Madrid is cordinated with different organism such as Top Sports Commission, Madrid Ministry and the Government in order to manage all together the supply and distribution of sanitary materials from donations.

As we saw in class a distribution center is a warehouse or other specialized building which is stocked with products to be redistributed to retailers, to wholesalers, or directly to consumers. In this case, they receive a lot of donations from different people or organisms most related with sports and then they distribute to the hospitals, residences, etc, acording to the government. See the following picture for a better understand of situation.

In this situation, this building can be consider a key partner because it finds inside the city, it’s one of the best comunicated points of the whole city and it has a lot of space to carry out the activity.

If you are more interested, here you can see more information:

https://www.abc.es/deportes/real-madrid/abci-madrid-y-crean-gran-centro-aprovisionamiento-material-sanitario-bernabeu-202003261331_noticia.html

https://logistica.cdecomunicacion.es/noticias/sectoriales/37324/el-santiago-bernabeu-sera-un-gran-centro-logistico

Important elements for supply chain strategy

What is supply chain strategy?

Supply chain strategy refers to a strategy of how the supply chain can achieve the business and organizational goals of the enterprise in the process of enterprise development.

It must be consistent with the strategy of enterprise development.
World-class companies such as Apple, Cisco, Amazon, and Procter & Gamble all promote strong collaboration between their supply chains and business teams to execute business strategies.

Important elements for supply chain strategy

Application of supply chain strategy

Procter & Gamble represents the efficiency strategy, and its main products are Functional products. Procter & Gamble’s supply chain requires maximum resource utilization, minimize inventory, maximize inventory turnover, and the shortest order delivery time. The selection criteria of suppliers are low prices and guaranteed quality. The P & G supply chain strategy is to reduce operating costs and maximize overall efficiency.

And Apple represents the Responsiveness strategy. As the world’s most famous electronic product design manufacturer, Apple’s business strategy is very focused on product innovation, iPhone products will launch a new product every six months, so Apple’s supply chain strategy must also be very agile, The speed of product iteration must be fast enough so that it can keep up with the pace of enterprise development. The supply chain focuses on products quickly occupying the market, and logistics costs are not particularly valued.

Here is a short video to analyse how to quickly define the supply chain. It is very clear and interesting. Please have a look!

TOYOTA, FORMULA 1 AND THE SMED

Before telling you a story about Toyota and Formula 1, let me begin by explaining what is the SMED.

SMED stands for Single Minute Exchange of Die. This method is used in the Just-In-Time strategy, which is a method related to inventory where materials are only ordered and received when they are needed. The goal of Just-In-Time is to decrease waste and increase the efficiency of the inventory process. Keep reading until the end, I promise the fun story will come soon!

The aim of the SMED is to reduce the time it takes to produce some parts of the product, to reduce the overall cost of making a product or delivering a service and to increase the flexibility in the production process.

The way to implement the method is the following one:

Implementing Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED)

If the concept of Single Minute Exchange of Die remains unclear, you can check this 1min video. 🙂

Now, let’s talk about Toyota and Formula 1. Toyota is actually one of the first company who began using this method. It was created by Dr. Shigeo Shingo, who was an industrial engineer from Japan.

They began using it as when they were trying to improve the time it was taking to change the tires of the car during races. In 1950, it was taking one whole minute (which can strongly impact the race!) to change the tires. Today, it only takes..2 seconds! Watch this video if you want to see how SMED can make major improvements in terms of efficiency and reduction of “waste”! 🙂

Sources: https://www.sixsigmadaily.com/single-minute-exchange-of-die-smed-definition-example/ & https://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/business-process-management-bpm/articles/single-minute-exchange-of-dies-smed

The Evolution of Container Ships

Over the years a lot of development has taken place, in the ships and in the technology itself.

International cargoes were manually packaged and loaded into ships by port workers until 1956 and it was Malcom McLean, owner of a US trucking company, that realised what a waste of time and money that was. The whole process, loading and unloading, was highly complicated and the worktime invested could have been useful elsewhere.

During this time, McLean had the revolutionary idea to create a standard-sized trailer that could be loaded onto boats in one step and hundreds of these containers would find space on the boat.

Thanks to McLean`s idea, the length of time that ships stayed in the port was extremely shortened and the need for port workers had been reduced. His improvements became more and more a standard process and a lot of other companies followed his ideas.

The lack of standardization was still an issue and needed to be adapted. As a result, now a 20-foot and 40-foot shipping container is the most common size. Along with a few uncommon sizes, McLean pathed the way for a global standard container size.

Arrive Logistics cuts 10 % of thier workforce, what is next?

Arrive Logistics is a freight brokerage base in Texas. The Coronavirus pandemic also effected the freight markets and therefore in response they are cutting approximately 10% of their workforce.

“It’s a difficult decision and conversation,” Woodhead said. “We’re a people-first organization, and we carried that philosophy into how we handled this. We take our people very seriously and wanted to treat these conversations with the most respect we could give them.”

Not only Arrive Logistics has to take dramatic measures to ensure that the company will survive through this dilemma, Logistics platforms see a 25 % fall I order volume as the outbreak is still continuing.

“Eight percent of the overall trading volume happens through our platform, we used to get around 80,000 to 90,000 container bookings every month, that has fallen by a good 25%,“

Another player in the shipping space, Freightwalla, which manages cargo movement for exporters, said the entire industry was facing multiple challenges and the situation was changing dynamically. With labour being asked to stay at home and many fleeing to their hometowns, industrial production had been hit, in turn, affecting the export sector.

Unfortunately, an end of the pandemic is not yet in sight and therefore many businesses will have to take drastic measures to ensure their survival. The first wave of cutting workforce is just starting and it remains unclear how many will follow.

Global shipping industry affected by COVID-19

— Container shipping

“Because some countries have closed their borders and sealed ports, many of our original orders have been postponed or canceled, not to mention new orders.” A person engaged in shipping logistics stated to the reporter in frustration.

Because of the spread of the new coronavirus epidemic, global trade has suffered a major impact, and the port industry has encountered severe challenges. For example, the negative impact of Shanghai Port in China is more obvious. In the first two months of this year, cargo throughput was 88.12 million tons, a year-on-year decrease of 14.7%, and cargo throughput fell to fourth place in the country. The decline in the throughput of Shanghai Port is only a microcosm of the impact of the Chinese port industry on the epidemic.

Now, the ‘pause key’ has been pressed all over the world.

As of March 31, according to incomplete statistics, currently half of China’s top ten trading partners have announced the closure of ports. This means that even if the international shipping market remains unimpeded, the goods may not be received after they are shipped to overseas ports, causing the entire trade chain to be equally incomplete. Some countries directly block foreign trade. Therefore, unless some medical, daily necessities and commodities, another trade demand is bound to shrink sharply.

The shrinking foreign trade demand can also be reflected in the shipping market. According to the average daily freight rate of Panamax (average charter period of 4 routes), as of March 30, the data was 5253 US dollars/day. Although it rose slightly from the previous month, it has fallen by 31.7% compared with the beginning of the year.

— Dry bulk shipping

In addition to the container shipping market was affected, the international dry bulk shipping market has also slumped recently.

The International Baltic Freight Index (BDI), which reflects the trend of the international dry bulk shipping market, showed an overall downward trend. The BDI index fell to 411 points on February 11, the lowest level since March 2016. (The BDI index comprehensively reflects the bulk shipping charges of global minerals, grain, coal, cement, and other civilian and industrial raw materials, and is also closely related to the international economy and commodity trade to a certain extent.)

JING DONG

Yesterday, Liu Qiangdong of JD.com stepped down as JD.com ’s legal person and executive director and went on a hot search. Therefore, I would like to share this B2C company that attracted me through the advantages of very high timeliness.

JD’s self-operated products can guarantee the quality, especially its one-day and next-day services are very satisfactory to me. For example, my home appliances (washing machines, air conditioners, water heaters, etc.) are almost all bought by JD, because JD will arrange the installers to our house directly. There is no need to contact and there is no installation fee, they will charge a material fee according to the situation.

At present, JD Logistics is the only enterprise in the world that owns six logistics networks for small, medium, large, cold chain, B2B, cross-border and crowdsourced (Dada). JD focuses on the six development cores of warehousing, distribution system construction, information system, after-sales service, platform seller support, and business data, and prepares for the latest enterprise development strategy from three channels: procurement, operation, and information.

In 2007, JD.com decided to build its own storage and distribution. This year, JD.com ’s annual operating income was less than 500 million yuan.


In 2010, only 3 years after the start of self-built warehousing and distribution, JD.com began to have the same-day delivery and 211 time-limited delivery capabilities in some cities (orders before 11 a.m. and received on the same day; orders placed before 11 p.m. can be placed in the afternoon of the next day Received before 3 o’clock).


As of December 31, 2019, JD Logistics operated more than 700 warehouses nationwide, including the cloud warehouse area, and JD Logistics operated and managed a total storage area of ​​approximately 16.9 million square meters.

Here is JD the schematic diagram of multi-scene integrated supply chain services.

Flat bottles of wine and their impact in logistics

The global wine industry is estimated to use more than 35 billion glass bottles a year, and transportation (in most cases in boxes of six or 12) involves large volumes of unused airspace.

The origins of the flat wine bottle

Developed originally to facilitate the seamless delivery of wine into UK homes via the letterbox, our innovation was conceived by wine retailing entrepreneur Santiago Navarro and his co-founder Joe Revell created the company Garçon Wines.

They set out to improve consumer convenience, cut the costs of failed deliveries which in the UK alone are estimated to be £1.6 billion, and help to reduce the near 1 million kilograms of carbon emissions associated with missed deliveries in the UK.

Santiago Navarro says that the recycled plastic used for the bottles was safe and did not affect the taste. The company said it used technology that reduced the ingress of oxygen into the bottles for about a year.

Their impact on wine logistics

With a goal of significant advancement in wine logistics, packaging and sustainability, Garçon Wines have created a game-changing case for multi-bottle transit and delivery.

This packaging is innovated and improves sustainability, it fits 10 flat bottles in a space that only fits 4 round, glass 75cl bottles, which means 2.3 times more wine fits on a pallet, reducing the number of HGVs needed and allowing companies to slash their logistics costs and supply chain greenhouse gas emissions by 60%.

It is also lighter and takes less space, Packed with our lightweight bottles, the whole case weighs just 9kg, making it 36% lighter based on a pro-rata comparison with an average six bottle case, and it is safer for workers to handle across the supply chain. The box is made from 100% sustainably sourced cardboard and 100% recyclable.

As a summary that says it all, one pallet loaded with flat bottle cases could carry 1,040 bottles of wine, compared with 456 round bottles.

urban alternative transport

As a continuation of the topic of public transport, which I mentioned in a previous article, there are also points in Valencia where you can rent transport to move around the city. It is not considered public, but is controlled by the city council. They are the ones who decide whether to issue a permit and establish zones and a rental locations.

A long and familiar Valenbisi bike chain. A total of 2,750 bicycles are available to users distributed in 275 Base Stations strategically distributed throughout the city. Until recently, the network had only ordinary bicycles at its disposal, updated its stations, and now you can also find electric bikes around the city.

In order to rent a bike, you need to register on the site, buy a card and check in every 30 minutes at the rental office, otherwise additional funds will be charged.

It should be noted that the bicycle network influences a great importance in the life of the city, but with the arrival of electric motorcycles in the market, more and more loses its relevance.

http://www.valenbisi.es/

Leased the electric motorcycle have become very popular. The companies providing this service have made it as easy as they could to rent such a vehicle. All you have to do is download an application, upload a photo of your driver’s license, and once the information has been quickly verified, you can already enjoy the bonus minutes given by almost any company that has entered this market.

It good to say it is a very convenient and fast way, which partly helps save time and money. One trip for two people is sometimes cheaper than on public transport for two. But you also get the time savings mentioned above. The electric motorcycle can be left absolutely anywhere in the city where motorcycles are allowed to park, so they have very easy access.

https://movilidad.acciona.com/es_ES/valencia/

Let’s talk about the new fashion of electric scooters. It is one of the latest transportation trends in the world. It really is a scooter as we know it but it is powered by an electric motor and a rechargeable battery. Unlike a normal one, it propels you without moving your feet.

In Valencia, unfortunately, the electro scooters were not approved by the local authorities. So let’s look at the example in Madrid.

Madrid is an good city to get around on an electric scooter. It has slopes, large streets in many areas and distances that are not saved in “two steps”. Although it is true that it does not have as many bike lanes that could be adapted for scooters as other Spanish cities, it is a city with space for everyone and, in addition, pollution would be reduced with this mode of transport, or so say the promoters of the electric scooter in Madrid.

The truth is that the companies behind the electric scooters in Madrid have encountered very restrictive regulations in the capital, and it is not easy to get around Madrid. The city has very limited areas where we can move in this type of transport, but the truth is that licenses have been granted to 18 companies, for a total of 8,160 new scooters, so it is to be expected that It is easier to see them in Madrid.

The conditions of the APPs of electric scooters are quite simple. Basically, it is about making an account with an associated email, as well as associating a payment method (PayPal or card). In the APP we locate the scooter and, once we have it in our possession, we unlock it using the camera to scan the QR code.

Using an electric scooter is very convenient. I tried this type of transport in Portugal, which helped me a lot in the absence of a driver’s license.

https://www.li.me/pt/

Comparing these three types of transport, which now exist on the market of provided services, instead of public transport, electric scooters obviously benefit. If you do not have the right to drive such a vehicle, you can rent an electric bike or an electric scooter. Each of these modes of transport has its pros and cons, but it serves as one of the solutions to the problems that currently exist in connection with the city’s traffic with private vehicles.

Amazon’s operating strategy during the Virus

1 The impact one Amazon
For FBA sellers, they have sufficient inventory, which is the most benefited seller group in this virus, they are basically not affected by this virus 

Self-delivery sellers have been greatly affected by the virus. Especially sellers in the shop-shopping mode cannot deliver in time, so start the holiday mode decisively.

In the supply chain, many factories have postponed the resumption of work, and most factories will start operations in March, which will lead to untimely product supply, but many sellers are now anxious to prepare for the annual prime day, which may be inconvenient .

Logistics, with the gradual control of the virus, logistics and traffic are gradually returning to work, all shipping schedules and ports are also operating normally, but air transport flights are reduced, short-term logistics costs will definitely rise, here, solemnly rumor, the United States does not prohibit Receipt and delivery. Therefore, as long as it can be sent to the United States, FBA warehouses can be received normally.

2. What can we do during the virus 

1. Eliminate inventory. During the virus , the products in good-selling stores will face out of stock, but the indicators of their own slow-moving products will soon rise, which will help us clear our inventory. Sellers can increase the exposure and clicks of slow-moving products through advertising. 

2. Hot products. Out of stock is a problem that many sellers will face during this time. In order to prevent out of stock, you can increase prices in stages.

3. Selection. This time is a great time for everyone to meditate. For example, looking at the current situation, the concept of health is becoming more and more popular. Therefore, health categories such as fitness equipment may be a good idea for product selection. 

4. Order with the factory in advance. Before the factory starts, it is necessary to make an appointment with the factory in advance for product production scheduling, so that you can also catch up with prime day.

How far is the drone delivery from us?

After placing an order online, the order is automatically transferred to the e-commerce storage center. All the goods in the storage center are transported from the factories of various brands by driverless trucks. After the truck delivers the goods, the warehousing robot automatically unloads and enters the warehouse.

After receiving the order, the warehousing center sends instructions to the warehousing robot. The latter goes to the corresponding warehouse area to find the shelves. With the cooperation of the intelligent mechanical arm, the goods are picked.

Then, the warehousing robot sends the goods to the packaging robot, packs and pastes the logistics bill, and then delivers the package to the drone or delivery robot, which will directly deliver the package to the consumer’s door.

From consumers placing orders to delivering packages to their doorsteps, the entire process behind them is done intelligently and unmanned. Is this a scene only in science fiction?

Not exactly. In fact, it is coming towards us. Although it will take time to be completely intelligent and unmanned, they have penetrated into the basic links of logistics such as warehousing, transportation, and distribution.

“The development of logistics technology has gone through the stages of mechanization, automation and nowadays has reached intelligence”

In the mechanization stage, logistics machinery and equipment appeared one after another and used in logistics activities, but the application of computers was still very few, the automatic control system was few, and the automatic stereoscopic library was only applied in a limited number of fields.

In the automation stage, automated stereo libraries are gradually popularized, and AGV (Automatic Guided Vehicle) technology and a series of management systems are born.

In the intelligent stage, the production logistics system taking the opportunity of Industry 4.0 was applied on a large scale, robots, drones, and “goods to people” and other technologies emerged one after another, and various traditional technologies and emerging technologies began to integrate. At this stage, modern information technologies such as the Internet, big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence have become mainstream.

We also see that logistics companies, e-commerce companies, and solution providers such as UPS, Amazon, Tucson Future, Ignore Iris, etc. are all exploring, testing, and landing the application of these latest technologies in different links in the logistics field .

“The era of unmanned smart logistics is coming soon”

In the future, unmanned warehouses can coordinate systems and equipment through intelligent means. People will participate in warehouse operations as administrators and monitor the normal operation of machines and intelligent equipment in the warehouse.

One day, unmanned driving has completely replaced the role of driver, and the car has become a highly automated means of transportation. The real intelligent matching of the car and the cargo will be a revolution in the whole logistics transportation mode.

At the same time, at the end of the future, we can make our own choice: let the courier deliver it to the door, pick up the package at the courier downstairs, or deliver it to the door by the drone.

With the strong promotion of emerging technologies such as the Internet, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and robots.

we believe that this day is really not far away.

How complicated is Olympic logistics?

What is Olympic logistics?

Olympic Logistics is a physical flow process that consists of basic logistics activities such as transportation, storage, packaging, loading and unloading, distribution, distribution processing, and information processing, and is related to hosting the Olympic Games from the supply location to the receiving location.

How complex and difficult is the demand for Olympic logistics?

As the world’s largest sports event, the Olympic Games has more athletes and spectators than any other sports event, which has caused huge logistics demand. Taking the equipment required for the competition as an example, its number far exceeds that of other competitions, which is a big problem for the logistics system of the host city. Take the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil as an example. The Olympic Games will use 32,000 table tennis balls, 400 soccer balls, 8400 badminton balls, 250 golf carts, 54 boats, 80,000 chairs, 70,000 tables, 29,000 mattresses, and 60,000 hangers. , 6000 TV sets and 10000 smartphones.

Four major problems of Olympic logistics

1. Concentration

During the Olympics, venues such as Olympic competition venues, Olympic villages, and news centers were distributed in a concentrated manner. According to data from previous Olympics, during the opening and closing ceremonies of the general Olympics, athletes, spectators, journalists, venue equipment, and news equipment will be more concentrated in space. Fully considering the concentration problems of Olympic logistics, when planning the logistics system, it is necessary to rationally allocate logistics resources in space, which can not only reduce logistics costs, but also meet the logistics demand relationship.

2. Uncertainty

Olympic logistics demand has great uncertainty. It is difficult for logistics managers to make logistics work plans. Not only must they master the basic planning methods and capabilities, but the most important thing is to fully consider the various situations of plan failure. During the general Olympics, 40% of the storage space is used to store all competition equipment, and the remaining 60% is used to store unknown items. Due to the uncertainty of demand, logistics managers must constantly redesign the placement of warehouse items to adapt to new storage needs.

3. Security

Due to the peculiarity of the Olympic Games, the objects of the Olympic logistics demand-competition equipment, news equipment, living materials, etc. in the event logistics are almost all key items, requiring a high degree of security.
At the Atlanta Olympics, 85% of the sports equipment came from abroad. Due to the great distance between the place of production and the place of consumption, once these sports equipment is damaged, it is difficult to quickly find alternatives, which will inevitably affect the competition as scheduled. High-tech products such as computers and radio broadcast equipment are of high value and involve information confidentiality. They also require a high degree of security and require the use of bar code recording and tracking.

4. Staged

The Olympic logistics system is phased in time and can generally be divided into establishment, resupply and recovery. During the establishment phase, the logistics personnel’s work is relatively busy. The venue logistics manager controls the order processing, submits the equipment and equipment orders to the Olympic main warehouse, and sets up the transportation schedule; the re-supply phase occurs during the Olympic Games. The logistics activities are mainly to re-enter some For consumer goods, the workload of the staff is very small; the recovery phase takes place after the Olympic Games and is the busiest of the three phases. The recovery phase needs to return all the facilities and equipment transported from the Olympic main warehouse.

“Our biggest challenge is to plan and implement all warehouse processes and procedures. We must be foolproof. Although no one pays attention to us, I am responsible for my The team is proud. “

3M, science applied to life, but distribution network made them great

3M company ,acronym for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing company, the 3M Company is an American multinational conglomerate corporation operating in the fields of industry, worker safety, health care, and consumer goods.

With over 79,000 employees, they produce over 55,000 products, including: adhesives, abrasives, laminates, passive fire protection, dental products, electronic materials, medical products, Car care products(like sun films, polish, wax, car shampoo,treatment for the exterior, interior and the under chassis rust protection) electronic circuits and optical films.

The History of 3M

Five businessmen founded the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company as a mining venture in Two Harbors, Minnesota, in 1902. The goal was to mine corundum, but this failed because the mine’s mineral holdings were anorthosite, which had no commercial value. Co-founder John Dwan solicited funds in exchange for stock and Edgar Ober and Lucius Ordway took over the company in 1905. The company moved to Duluth and began researching and producing sandpaper products. William L. McKnight, later a key executive, joined the company in 1907, and A. G. Bush joined in 1909. 3M finally became financially stable in 1916 and was able to pay dividends.

The company moved to St. Paul in 1910, where it remained for 52 years before outgrowing the campus and moving to its current headquarters at 3M Center in Maplewood, Minnesota in 1962.

Nowadays, 3M has operations in more than 60 countries – 29 international companies with manufacturing operations, and 35 with laboratories. 3M products are available for purchase through distributors and retailers in more than 200 countries, and many 3M products are available online directly from the company.

3M products are sold through numerous distribution channels, including directly to users and through numerous wholesalers, retailers, jobbers, distributors and dealers in a wide variety of trades in many countries around the world. Management believes the confidence of wholesalers, retailers, jobbers, distributors and dealers in 3M and its products — a confidence developed through long association with skilled marketing and sales representatives — has contributed significantly to 3M’s position in the marketplace and to its growth. 3M has 157 sales offices worldwide, with nine in the United States and 148 internationally.

3M has established many overseas subsidiaries, which is responsible for management of local marketing, and procurement of raw material. Take asian market as an example, 3M launched their sub-company in Singapore many years ago, in order to conduct Asia Pacific area business, until now , the Asia Pacific market devoted almost 25-30 % margin profit to 3M sales performance, and approximate 70% in entire overseas sales performance for 3M.

In addition, their factory was established in Jiangxu Province China, where located in a clusters of manufacturing and raw material exporting area.

will AGV logistics robot replace manuel?

Generally, the travel route and behavior of the AGV can be controlled through a computer, or the electromagnetic path-following system can be used to set up its travel route. The electromagnetic track is pasted on the floor, and the unmanned vehicle moves and moves according to the information brought by the electromagnetic track.

AGV is characterized by wheeled movement. Compared with walking, crawling or other non-wheeled mobile robots, it has the advantages of quick action, high work efficiency, simple structure, strong controllability and good security. Compared with other equipment commonly used in material transportation, AGV’s active area does not need to lay rails, support frames and other fixed devices, and is not limited by the site, road and space. Therefore, in the automated logistics system, it can fully reflect its automation and flexibility to achieve efficient, economical, and flexible unmanned production.

With the popularity of automation, AGV is favored by all walks of life. In the development atmosphere of Industry 4.0, the Internet + big data + manufacturing began to merge, smart manufacturing and smart factories sprung up in large areas, and smart logistics appeared in everyone’s eyes.

From the perspective of practical applications, AGV robots do not require manual participation during operation, which greatly reduces labor costs, and can also cooperate with different AGVs to improve work efficiency and production quality. But the connection between them requires the support of the network, and the emergence of 5G can be said to be just right. In addition, the help of other intelligent machines or intelligent systems is needed, and the intelligent factory is the best implementation scenario.

AGV robots can rescue workers from dangerous and harsh working environments, and are gradually replacing traditional manual manufacturing.

What will the future be like?

green Logistics – new truck shape could reduce the fuel consumption

The EU Commission set a target to cut emission of big trucks and buses by 30 percent by 2030. This is part of the international program to fight the climate change and make the world greener again.

Almost every truck operates with diesel and to meet the goal of a significant reduction of that consumption, optimised aerodynamics could offer an improvement. The most aerodynamic shape is a drop shape, which can be find in birds. The aim is to reduce the air resistance as much as possible.

The picture shows the different kinds of shapes and how the airflow develops around it. The last picture is similar to nowadays common truck and offers the most surface and therefore the most resistance.


You probably know that phenomena from a really windy day. If you walk straight into the wind direction, the resistance and effort to get forward will be much more increased instead of walking sideward. This is the basic idea behind a new aerodynamic truck shape and could reduce the fuel consumption tremendously.

In the video below below, you can see how the company MAN tries to approach this future scenario by closing the gap between the trailer and the driver cabin and creating a drop similar shape.

Do you think that in the near future all trucks could look like that? Or do you have concerns about loading capacity and the efficiency will suffer?

The three world’s e-commerce giants all use the unmanned system to improve the capability of their warehouse

Like the yesterday’s class showed that the warehouse has five basic operations: receiving, put away to storage, order picking, order grouping/unitizing, shipping. We can see many changes in current warehouse system. Now I want to share you with the unmanned sorting warehouse.

Jingdong was the first company that has built a system about totally unmanned warehouse.

As the video shows, all the five basic operations are done by the robot. Once the warehouse has received the goods, the Robot Arm can sort the goods and measures its weight and its volume. Then the robot arm can give a visual inspection.

Robot Arm

After that, the goods will be stored by the three-dimensional warehouse by the automatic conveyors. Here are using the stackers lifting machines and pallets or boxes to put the goods in stereoscopic warehouse.

Stereoscopic warehouse

Next when there get some orders, the goods will be sent to the robot pickup station. After picking up, the robots also can attach invoice to the courier, package automatically, attach waybill and with the conveyors system, the goods could be sorted to different location. Here we can see the company is using the supply robot, that the robot can calculate the route itself by using the QR. Every small hole corresponds to a province, when there are full of products, the system can pick them up and transport them to the truck. Finally, the truck can bring these parcels to other provinces. All of these processes are unmanned system. By the way, Alibaba also uses the supply robot.

In addition, Amazon also has their own unmanned sorting system and all the technology has saved much walking time than before. Three-dimensional warehouse has more capacity than the conventional racking.

In conclusion, all of the E-commerce giants accept the new technology to modify their procedure and improve the capability to process orders.

Using RFID system at the tooling department of an Aircraft Maintenance Center

Hey Space Geeks! Now that we know that we are not alone, we are here, another week, with a new edition of “short but curious” post. We can’t talk always about space, but we can do it about “things that fly”, so lets start.

In this case, I would like to share you my experience about implementing a RFID system in a warehouse in the Cessna Spanish Citation Service centre here in Valencia, a maintenance centre for Beechcraft and Cessna jets.

Valencia-Service-Collage
Cessna webpage picture

In our case the problem wasn’t with the parts storage, but with the tooling storage. Then, we decided to apply a technique, usually used to better track the boxes or pallets in a traditional warehouse, to our tools. As the main issue of the maintenance plant was that the mechanics usually forgot where the tools where and sometimes they got loose even inside of the planes( that later were flying to countries as far away as Egypt), we decided to implement a tracking system that was already working in the aircraft building facilities. Taking into consideration that the tools in the aeronautics industry are extremely expensive, the company decided to invest in the RFID system.

The tooling department, then started to add the tags to the boxes with the tools and to the tools themselves( you can see how it works here and here). Given each tag a tracking number in the system and assigning this tracking number to the corresponding tool. Then we gave the mechanics a card that they should attach to their accreditation card( when working in the air area of an airport you should always wear an accreditation card that allows you to pass do different zones). In that way, we got the opportunity to identify which mechanic has taken each tool, at what time, and where the tool was. So at the end of the day, when doing the inventory, we were able to find who had each tool ( or who lose it).

Nevertheless, as usual with this system, not all was wonderful. There were some problems:

  1. The tags were perfect for some tools, but big for others, especially for the calibration ones or the precision ones. We couldn’t attach it to them, as the precision would be lost. Then the only option was the 3 of this list, with its own problems.
  2. The system sometimes fails. Mainly because the mechanics put their cards with the telephones and the cards stop working.
  3. The tags were attached to the boxes of most of the tools. Sometimes the mechanics took the tool out of the box and then lose it. This made the system fail, as before implementing it.

Nowadays as far as I know, the system is getting better with some modifications and the Textron Aviation group( whose Cessna is part of) is starting to implement it in some other Maintenance Centers around the World.

As always, let me know if you have any question or if you want to share any similar experience.

 

 

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, Transportation and logistics

Cirque du Soleil is an entertainment company and the world’s largest theater producer. It is based in Montreal, Canada.

EFM is a logistics company specialised in multi modal transport. Since 2000 they have been providing logistics solutions to the live events industry.

Leading brands and the biggest names in Music, Sport, Automotive, Events, Stage & Screen trust and rely on them to manage their global event logistics. They have been behind the successful delivery of many of the greatest shows of the 21st century.

In 2017 EFM was designated to deal with the vehicle and coordinations for Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza show. They organized everything to move the show from Perth to Singapore, where they tied down cutting edge endorsement from Singapore Customs to permit the high worth shipments to be brought into Singapore.

They took care of the entryway to entryway transportation, in addition to the lifting and establishing of 78 delivery compartments, including all the set, outfits, creation and specialized hardware, and the team gear. Also, they took care of further shipments into Singapore, to get together with the primary show from Paris, Melbourne and Montreal.

In Perth, they had side loaders at the Belmont Park Racecourse, to lift all the compartments onto trucks to move them from the scene to the port. The activity was amazingly tight with only six hours between the planned assortment time of the last holder and the cut-off time at the port for the shipment.

On appearance in Singapore, the EFM crew had two days to clear and convey the initial three compartments to the Marina Bay Sands. Fro some of the tasks they used a 180 ton crane. They finished the activity three hours in front of calendar and premiere night of the visit in Singapore was a colossal achievement. The show showed up in Shanghai and has since been touring in China, where they have moved everything from Shenzhen to Hong Kong.

Although Cirque Du Soleil worked with EFM they signed an agreement with DHL in 2014 so they became official logistics partner. I recommend you to visit the website of EFM, they have lots of cases of study of their most successful and biggest projects, EFM.

Impact of Coronavirus on International Logistics

Many industries have been affected since the coronavirus swept the globe, especially cross-border e-commerce. Now let’s talk about how cross-border e-commerce is affected.

The first is the platform. Affected by this epidemic, all cross-border e-commerce platforms will be affected to varying degrees. This is reflected in the difficulties of small and medium-sized sellers, slow logistics and delivery times, and foreign consumers’ short-term trust in Chinese goods. Based on various factors, although Amazon Global Open Store, eBay, AliExpress, Wish and other cross-border e-commerce platforms have issued policies and measures, they will inevitably affect the transaction value and business of cross-border e-commerce. Business platform. Revenue and other performance, and even operating results in the first half.

The second is the supply chain. In the short term, cross-border e-commerce goods will be out of stock.Most small and medium-sized cross-border e-commerce sellers have insufficient stocking, and there will be no stock when the products are sold out.

The third is logistics. China’s logistics has not yet fully recovered, and procurement is completely inoperable. In international logistics, the cost of small package express will increase greatly due to the reduction of flights. We must consider shipping, but the delivery time will be extended, and the consumer experience is not good. At present, many countries have completely stopped flights to China, and some countries have reduced flights to China. This will have a greater impact on logistics to countries such as Africa, especially for enterprises that use postal parcels as their main logistics method.

The changed distribution channels—taking masks as an example

Those days are very tough for me and everybody. Because when I was in China, in this moment, China was suffered the coronavirus, people could not be permitted in the streets. And the biggest problem was that we need to wear the mask when we wanted to go to supermarket. But it was very difficult to buy the masks in this time. Some retailers had some inventory about the masks, but some of them wanted to be paid for more money based on the situation of the supply and demand imbalance. Because the masks are really useful in this situation. Here you can see some information about the suggestion about wearing masks.

In this time, many manufacturers had seized the opportunity to product the masks for the public. Meanwhile, the National Health Agency had controlled the current factories. Once they had product masks, the masks would be uniformly deployed. The government just like a retailer, after receiving the demand of the province, they gave information to the factories. The factories delivered the masks like FTL to the province. At this moment, the distribute network just liked a Manufacturer Storage with Direct Shipping. There is a hand drawing about the direct shipping, may be interesting for you.

When the production gradually improved, the citizens also could get some masks in case to go shopping, but they needed to order the masks in the Internet first, and then when the community hospital received the masks, the citizens could pick the masks in this place with the previous order information. Meanwhile, the citizens also could reserve the protective suits from the manufacturer. The community hospital was a Cross-Dock DC. This distribution network is Manufacturer or Distributor warehouse Storage with Customer Pickup.

And there were established many small factories for produce different types of masks and other medical protective equipment. Mouths later, the situation of China is better than before. And the production of manufacturers is very high. However, the demands of masks inside China are saturated. Therefore, some manufacturers are taking the measure about shipping directly with the retailers provide the information flow. This has changed to the first one way. But the role of retailer is not the government anymore. It’s the real retailer.

Nowadays, the coronavirus spreads fast. All the world may need the qualified masks. There are many distributors who collect the materials and import to other countries by carriers, such as Amazon and Alibaba, some bigger companies. Then, there are many small distributors, they would like to do the resell to the customers in the abroad. This distribution network just called Distributor Storage with Carriers Delivery.

The world is changing, for every company, there won’t be one distribution network. With the marketing is changing, choosing the right distributed way to deliver could reduce the cost and attract more customer.

From here to eternity, HOW LOGISTICS CAN POWER THE FUTURE OF SPACE TRAVEL

When Adrian Dalsey, Larry Hillblom and Robert Lynn founded DHL in 1969, they didn’t know they would revolutionize the world of logistics. Today, DHL is the world’s leading logistics company. They have 380,000 employees in over 220 countries and territories that work to deliver over 1.5 million parcels per day.

In 2011, NASA resigned their famous Space Shuttle Program, making the way for new associations like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Amazon organizer Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. These aspiring endeavors started winning worthwhile NASA agreements to supply outsider coordinations to the space station, utilizing unmanned self-ruling vehicles to convey everything from fresh food to scientific instruments.

In 2018 DHL began a venture called MoonBox shipping service in collaboration with Astrobotic Technology, Inc. a company that tries to make space available to the world. The organization’s lunar lander, Peregrine, conveys payloads to the Moon for organizations, governments, colleges, non-benefits, and people. They are presently tolerating little tokens for incorporation on its first shipment to the Moon. These mementos will be put away on the Moon for a considerable length of time to come.

La imagen tiene un atributo ALT vacío; su nombre de archivo es screen-shot-2020-03-31-at-20.18.51.png

This is a unique opportunity to commemorate special occasions such as your graduation, holiday, wedding, child’s birth, or loved one’s memory with a lasting symbol that will carry on their lunar lander. Life’s most important moments can be forever linked with the Moon.

You can learn more about MoonBox here. By the way, the website is really fun to use.

COVID19 impact on Logistics processes

Coronavirus has brought enormous losses to the global economy as a whole and to almost all industries in particular. The transport and logistics sector was the one of the first fields to feel he loses. First of all, most logistics providers were affected, especially the ones who worked with export and import to / from China.

“Air cargo to China makes up 38% of our company’s total exports. In imports, this figure is 40%, – says Stefan Haltmeier, CEO of German Quick Cargo Service. – Up to 90% of our exports to China are paid in this country. Due to the unplanned long holidays, many banks are closed, and payments from China are delayed. We must continue to make advance payments, as the CASS IATA (cargo agents settlement system) billing system charges us for the previous transportation costs. It also negatively affected the cash flow of our company. ”

“The biggest problem for us today is that due to the late resumption of the factories in China, many batches of products must be delivered to the consumer as soon as possible. This forces us to change the vector of work, reducing the number of multimodal transportations in favor of increasing aviation, ” says Ken Hui, CEO of Chinese FANS TRANS.

Due to the fact that many airlines have suspended or reduced the number of flights to China and other countries (both passenger and cargo), the total carrying capacity of air transport in this direction has decreased, and there has been a disbalance between the supply and the demand, which “drives the Chinese market crazy.” Airlines increase tariffs every two to three days, and the waiting time for consignments can reach up to 7 days officially, and up to unlimited period as a reality.

ZARA LOGISTICS

I have been watching Inditex for a long time and after coming to Spain, I was wondering how the strategy of this company was arranged.

On the logistics side, I decided to look at one of the brands that I have been watching in Russia, Zara.  It’s quite an interesting fact that in Spain this brand is considered a mass market, and in Russia it is often equated to middle class due to its retail prices and European origin.

The Spanish sewing empire Inditex has been improving its marketing strategy “Fast Fashion” for many years, often violating the generally accepted rules of retail.

The data I managed to find so far is that the company’s capitalization is huge and Inditex founder and owner Amancio Ortega, with his fortune of $62.7 billion, is the sixth richest man in the world after Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and other celebrities.

By introducing elements of Lean Manufacturing and Theory of Constraints, Ortega with Inditex has incredibly accelerated the process of manufacturing, distributing and selling clothing for the mass market and made it more fashionable and affordable.

Let’s look at their approach to logistics.

In logistics, Zara uses Toyota’s “just-in-time” (JIT) principles. The products are also distributed centrally: stores around the world receive their products from central warehouses in Spain. But it is “his” models, sizes and colors that are sent to each store. They are ordered in advance by the sales managers. The delivery system is worked out so clearly that new products arrive at European stores within 24-48 hours, and in the U.S. and Asia – within 48 hours. This speed could not have been achieved without cargo aviation. It is expensive. However, small, fast-selling lots of goods give buyers a sense of exclusivity.

This is probably one of the reasons why in Russia, for example, Zara is considered a mid-sized segment.

That is why the company encourages quick purchases: do not put off for later, the next visit of a favorite thing in the store will not be anymore.

As a rule, Inditex competitors sew their products in China, using cheap labor. But about two-thirds of Inditex products are made in Spain, Portugal and Morocco, especially if they are expensive or complicated in style. Own factories in Europe allow you to win on time and not overpay for delivery of goods from Asia. Given the frequency of updating the range, the savings on transportation costs are huge.

Previously, Inditex was financed by commodity credits from its suppliers. The company bought raw materials with a delay of payment for 12-16 weeks, manufactured products in 1 week and sold them within 2-4 weeks. Thus, by the time of payment with suppliers the company had time to work out 3-4 full production cycles and earn not only on the raw materials, but also to postpone the development.

The principles of Lean Production and Theory of Constraints are also used in the organization of retail trade. Zara stores had no storage space and had to sell their entire collection in a month. And the company managed to reduce the production and distribution cycle of the new collection to 10-15 days.

Nowadays, the transportation and distribution of their products is undertaken entirely by external contractors – but they still play an active role in trying to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions involved.

As written on the company’s web page, they have developed a tool to measure emissions based on different means of transportation in line with international standards laid down in the GHG Protocol, so that they can track progress, and offer improvement plans for their distributors to make reductions.

https://www.inditex.com/es/home

Parcel delivery: last mile future

Last mile delivery is getting a lot of attention! How so?

The cost of global parcel delivery, excluding pickup, line-haul, and sorting, amounts to ~ EUR 70 billion, with China, Germany, and the United States accounting for more than 40 percent of the market. Moreover, growth in this market is almost 300 percent in developing markets such as India.

The last mile delivery has a high percentage of total parcel delivery cost – often reaching or even exceeding 50 percent – makes it a challenge for those seeking to gain a competitive advantage.

The last mile logistics is seeing disruption from new business models that address customer demand for ever faster delivery, as well as new technologies that are likely to reach market readiness over the next ten years, including drones and autonomous ground vehicles (AGVs).

A growing group of consumers desires faster home delivery, yet most are highly price sensitive

Studies done in China, Germany, and the US with a total of 4,700 respondents show the following: Almost 25 percent of consumers are willing to pay significant premiums for the privilege of same-day or instant delivery. This share is likely to increase, given that younger consumers are more inclined (just over 30 percent) to choose same-day and instant delivery over regular delivery. However, the remaining ~ 70 percent of consumers still prefer the cheapest option of home delivery.

Get ready for a world where autonomous vehicles deliver 80 percent of parcels.

Autonomous vehicles including drones will deliver close to 100 percent of X2C and 80 percent of all items. Only ~ 2 percent will be delivered by bike couriers in the relatively small instant delivery segment.

Traditional delivery will account for the remaining ~ 20 percent of all items: big B2B customers with high drop factors (i.e., the number of parcels dropped per stop/recipient) and often special delivery requirements (e.g., hanging goods) will favor mostly human delivery as we know it today. The same is true for e-grocery delivery, as people will still want crates to be carried up to their apart­ments and returns to be handled directly.

This vision will become reality within the next ten years

The speed at which the outlined last-mile delivery scenarios can be reached will vary, depending on public sentiment, regulation, and labor costs.

Early adoption of these new autonomous delivery models will concentrate in developed countries, where labor costs are high enough to make the return on investment significant. In the developing world, however, labor costs will likely remain low enough to prevent any major technology change impacting the last mile over the next five to ten years.

In any event, regulation will need to change significantly (e.g., liability for damages caused by autonomous vehicles), but such regulatory challenges will be overcome in the next ten years, driven by the influence of the large automobile companies.

At the same time, public opinion concerning autonomous vehicles including drones has already started to shift – with 60 percent of consumers indicating that they are in favor of or at least indifferent to drone delivery.

Therefore, there is very little to suggest that the transformation will not kick in over the next ten years, at least in the developed world.

So what does that mean for any player in the market?

If a company operates in a high-labor-cost country, it better starts thinking about the future of the last mile now, as key foundations in HR, IT, and the investment strategy need to be laid down. Companies that fail to act soon will forfeit their chance to be among the contenders for the last mile in the long term. However, before we jump to conclusions, let us look at our findings in detail.

Digital TWIn for warehouse and distribution centers

Today I want to present to you the topic of digital twin for warehouse and distribution centers.

The goal is to get an insight, how it could be implemented and in which way that technology operates. I found a german startup company that present that topic really lively and shows in a graphical way how it could improve the daily business.

If you want to learn more about the company “Logivations – Consulting & Technology” click here.

Logivations uses a combination of a 3D model and feeds it with current live data. This data includes tracking, throughput or inventory of individual products or materials. Furthermore, they simulate the material flow, staff deployment and the use of forklift trucks.

According to the implemented data, the company is now able to identify unproductive processes and eliminate them. Below you will see a picture how a digital warehouse could look like:

Packing Process

Not only the pick-up time and the placement of the products can be optimized, also the packing process itself can be revolutionized. Choosing the correct transport container can significantly increase or decrease your transport costs. A twin tool can help you to identify the correct transport method and how to transport them in the safest and most cost-effective way.

A 3D-package builder is able to choose the correct transport container considering all relevant figures such as product dimensions, outer packaging, material flow and joint packaging restrictions. The results can you see below and can be directly depicted to the workstation over tablet or monitor. Therefore, the employees will get a guideline in order to help them to increase their efficiency.

However, the digital twin technology is not only useful for current products that need to be packaged, it can also be helpful for new products. Once you put in the data of a new customer order, you can calculate precisely how much it will cost and what storage or transport facilities are needed to fulfil that order. You will be able to determine whether it is beneficial for your company to accept that order or if the customer wish is simply not profitable for you.  

In conclusion, the digital twin technology can support the whole business organisation – starting from manufacturing until the customer received the order. The importance of that technology will tremendously increase in the next few years and enable the fact to simulate even unpredictable scenarios, like we currently see in the worldwide corona crisis.

If you want to learn more about that topic, “Logivations” offers a free webinar about optimized picking tours. It is held in English and on 6th of April.

Hypermarket’s “self-revolution”

Carrefour in China

The days of the hypermarket are getting worse.

Consumers, especially young consumers, prefer to purchase the required products in convenience stores and online shopping channels. At the same time, offline shoppers pay more attention to a pleasant shopping experience and promotions. Compared to physical stores, the relatively low prices of online shopping channels, convenient price comparison methods, and the ability to provide home delivery services are the main motivations that drive consumers to choose online shopping.

Public information shows that Carrefour China is also shrinking its stores and has closed some stores in cities such as Kunshan, Hefei, Shaoxing, and Hangzhou. According to relevant statistics, there were more than 15 Carrefour stores in Huaguan in 2015, and the first half of this year Carrefour closed three more stores in China.

Under heavy pressure, Carrefour’s transformation seems imperative.

In Carrefour ’s vision, its O2O business will integrate rich offline product lines and store resources, relying on offline stores to provide consumers with store delivery, mobile payment, app applications, and store return services.

But the reality is:


No matter how beautiful and developed the online platform is, the functions are perfect. Without traffic, it is equivalent to opening a physical store in the old forest in the mountains. Many companies tend to divert from physical stores to self-built platforms, and registered users grow rapidly, but the actual operation cannot be achieved, and the problem is that they do not control the traffic entrance. The e-commerce giants have tightly controlled this and will not give newcomers a chance. You pay a lot of money for users to install your app, which is often easily deleted by the user, or even if the user does not delete it, it is left behind. “

On the other hand, logistics, as one of the most critical elements of O2O business, also determines the stickiness and repurchase rate of users to a certain extent. According to reports, in Beijing, Carrefour chose a professional third-party cold chain logistics company-Vientiane Logistics. At this stage, users in the Beijing area can deliver the next day as soon as possible after ordering, and room temperature products that are ordered after 5pm can only be delivered the next day. This delivery time does not have an advantage in various home-to-home businesses that are fully blooming, such as speed and one hour.

Although they did a lot methods to improve their business, but eventually failed in logistics integration, leading to 19 years of withdrawal from China.

the importance of the rivers in the transportation

When we talk about the transportation through water in the logistics of the world we immediately think about the maritime carriage. However, before the development of this industry there was another way of moving merchandise which was developed even in the ancient Egypt when the Nile river was a crucial part of the economics of the empire and its later development around it.

Mapa del Antiguo Egipto. Río Nilo | Egipto, Egipto antiguo ...
Nile River

But the Egyptians were not the only civilization which used the rivers for logistic purposes. The romans used the Tiber to carry merchandise from Aventine or Umbria to Rome, although nowadays the river is no longer navigable, and it is mainly used for touristic purposes.

The Spanish empire also used the rivers across its territory in south America as well as in the Iberic peninsula. The conquerors used rivers like the Magdalena, located in the former viceroyalty of Nueva Granada (Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela), to take out gold and other goods towards Caribbean see to then be transported to Europe; once in the peninsula, the Spanish used the Guadalquivir river to transport the goods inside the territory.

Guadalquivir river in XVIII century

The nowadays’ importance of the river transportation relies on the fact that it combines the advantages of the maritime transportation compared to other means of transport. If the river is navigable, it can transport huge amounts of merchandise with a lower cost than trucks. For example, the port of Rotterdam’s inland navigation connections can transport merchandise to Germany, France, Poland and even the Black see, by using waterways such as the Danubio river.   

Another example of inland navigation in Europe are the waterways developed by Germany, they use their principal rivers such as the Rhin or Elbe to transport merchandise in ships within the country, they have even developed infrastructure to improve the perform of the logistic in inner waterways. Germany has created a network of water channels that even have special bridges for the ships to better navigate (Kanalbrücken). The video posted below show the most important water bridge in Magdeburg.  

In the Americas rivers are also an important part of the logistic. Rivers such as the  Mississippi and Missouri in the United states, The Amazonas in Brazil, Colombia and Peru, The Plata in Argentina and Uruguay and the Magdalena in Colombia are important and growing transportation means for logistic operations in the continent.

Merchandise in Magdalena River (Colombia) and Mississippi river (USA)

Because of the epidemic , we are more united

Correos Express

Madrid, March 26,2020. – Correos Express – Group Correos urgent parcel subsidiary, They will collect all the healthcare material donated by the company free of charge and distribute it to reference hospitals throughout Spain.

The objective is to supply urgently, quickly and efficiently to hospital centers due to large influx of those infected with Covid-19, in a week that is highly critical.

“We want to provide all healthcare professionals with all the material so that they can work in complete safety,” defends David Barrero, Operations Director of Correos Express.

Whether a company is worthy of the people to trust it, buy their services, and delivery our truth to them, as to buy their stock, can be seen when the country’s difficult times, what this company did to their “mother”, and what was returned to the country.

Judging by a company’s value and corporate beliefs, whether this company can grow long-term, whether it can become stronger and stronger, and whether it can be worth the investment.

Under the severe situation of the epidemic, what adjustments have the express companies made to the logistics and distribution business and the express staff?

  1. Due to the impact of the epidemic, nearly half of the company’s operations were suspended, resulting in reduced logistics requirement, and the corresponding number of logistics company staff on duty decreased to meet the requirements of normal operations.
  2. Since there are different areas with different situation of epidemic, the company has been cancelled some routine of transportation to some areas, in order to avoid their staff to be infected.
  3. All the courier wear masks, gloves, and keep a distance of 1 meter from the client to implement non-contact pickup and collection service.

Although the service process may not be as efficient as usual, the safety factor is very high, which reassures customers. This is also the value of a logistics company.

All of this cannot be said to be perfect, but it is necessary. I hope everything passes as soon as possible.

Ánimo España

Innovations – online logistics

In this Post I would like to tell you that when reading various information and documents I was able to find this that I found super interesting for the innovation of online logistics.

As we well know, logistics is one of the key elements behind the success of any eCommerce, and it is essential to be up-to-date as well as to know the projects that will revolutionize logistics in a country and in the world. Today for any company it is of utmost importance to improve its services and products, this requires more technology and dramatic changes every day to keep up with globalization and thus be able to quickly and efficiently meet the needs of customers who each day they are more demanding.

Electronic commerce or e-commerce basically consists of the development of market actions, sales, customer service, portfolio management, logistics management and, in general, all commercial events and information exchange carried out through the internet. It can also be defined as the financial exchange that is carried out, through the network, between subjects that may be at a great physical distance, and that generally takes place through electronic means of payment.

The advantages that are managed in virtual businesses are the globalized market expansion that is achieved, and the speed with which businesses are managed. Although customer relationships are interpersonal and can cause business complications, the use of new technologies and their innovation have created changes that have improved communication with the customer and the company.

Go ChainGo

ChainGo aims to revolutionize logistics through blockchain technology, especially focused on the sea transport of goods. Currently inefficient industry systems, based primarily on the use of paper documentation, involve bureaucratic processes that result in delays and penalties.

Through the digitization and real-time monitoring of document processes using the great security of the blockchain ecosystem, ChainGo customers will be able to digitally transmit, certify and sign documents, as well as carry out a complete monitoring of cargo, in addition to that the creation of your API your solution is ready to be integrated into the current systems of the companies, with an easy and efficient adoption.

Manzaning

Manzaning is a Marketplace that allows users to make weekly purchases of food and fresh produce in local stores and municipal markets with home delivery. It is positioned as a platform that allows the digitization of small businesses and municipal markets, reconnecting them with a young and digital user, which will allow them to regain competitiveness against large online players.

 Unmanned life

The latest innovation in online logistics in Spain comes from the Artificial Intelligence-based Unmanned Life software platform that offers mission-based automation in a precise, controlled and flawless manner. Its software allows to direct, coordinate and manage fleets of different types of robots simultaneously to achieve industrial applications.

Nubalia

Jamboard – A digital whiteboard designed to spark team creativity in real time, anywhere. With your creative drawing tools or your drag system from Google Drive or your own mobile, you can make work easier, achieve greater collaboration and save time and work.

App Engine, Compute Engine and Chat from Hangouts: with these three Google Cloud Platform solutions, applications can be developed to quickly provide assistance to a user with a damaged or defective product, or simply to keep track of products sold, thus How to create a way to contact the customer through a Google form.

Geomarketing, geolocation and secure tracking with Maps: By using the intelligence of google Maps in Geomarketing you can plan the geographical expansion of your company, by analyzing the number of early establishments or their product, as well as carrying out an analysis of consumption data and real-time sales, which can be automatically stored in G Suite spreadsheets.