The Friday Report: October 11, 2019

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

Bipartisan Effort by Senators to Share Info on Supply Chain Threats

Out of concern for risks to national security, a bipartisan group of senators want all branches of government to share information on technology supply chain threats.  Leading members of the Senate Homeland Security Committee want the Federal Acquisition Security Council (FASC) to come up with a plan of action, including sharing threat information from the intelligence community to other branches of government and civilian agencies through FASC. 

Established under the Trump administration late last year, FASC is chaired by the Office of Management and Budget.  Members include professionals from the departments of Commerce, Defense, Justice, Homeland Security and the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Senators are especially concerned about the sharing of information needed to secure executive agency computer systems in Congress and the judiciary as these functional areas lack the resources and expertise, making them especially vulnerable to national security threats.  October 23rd is the deadline for the response as to how the FASC will execute a new plan for sharing threats.

For more information, please continue reading here.

Staples Forges New Role as 3PL Logistics Contender in the U.K.

From office supply retailer to 3PL?  It’s happening.  The six Staples warehouses across the UK and Ireland are being consolidated into one cutting-edge distribution center.  Although originally much larger than needed, the size of the state-of-the-art facility pushed the organization to find new ways to use the space.  Staples was successful in recruiting some large brands that had closed their own warehouses and the companies are now using the huge distribution center as a shared-use facility.

Today, approximately 60% of the activity on the DC site revolves around 3PL.  Staples has leveraged its expertise in consolidating deliveries and invoices and is able to mix their core product with nearly any other product.  Approximately 70% of the DC operations are automated with pick-to-belt and pick-to-light solutions.  An order, storage and retrieval (OSR) system is also being used.  Use of these technologies facilitates a more ergonomically advantageous workplace so that workers can pick from a height that is comfortable for each person.

Staples has transitioned its business away from brick and mortar stores towards e-commerce over the past few years and has made significant capital investments in automation.  This enables Staples to offer competitive rate contracts with shared use of their technology assets.

For more information, please continue reading here.

More Tariffs for Chinese Goods:  Wooden Cabinets and Vanities

With trade negotiations between the United States and China poised to resume shortly, the U.S. Commerce Department initiated more tariffs on wooden cabinets and vanities from China.  In addition, the Commerce Department is asking U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect cash deposits from importers of these products using a preliminary duty rate of as much as 262% for anti-dumping.  This new rate was issued in response to a petition by the American Kitchen Cabinet Alliance alleging a minimum of $2 billion in harm from Chinese shipments.

The new tariffs were imposed to help address the unfair trade practices of the Chinese industry.  The U.S. Commerce Department has scheduled a final determination for February.  In addition, the U.S. International Trade Commission will make a final ruling March 30 as to the approval of the anti-dumping duties.

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