February 6 – February 13, 2014

FastFreight is a weekly review summarizing the ten major events or stories of the past week in logistics and the supply chain. We know you’re busy so each post is under 400 words. Enjoy! Want to get this to your inbox? Be sure to sign up from the right sidebar!

1. Sorry, Bezos. UAE got there first.

Liked Amazon’s idea for drone delivery? The UAE is planning on rolling out drone delivery service for government papers and medicine in as little as a year. The little electronic mailmen will rely on fingerprint and eye scanning technology to avoid mistakes.

UAE drone delivery system

2. Flatlining Air Fuel

Airplane fuel consumption has been falling or flat for ten years running, after an annual growth rate of 3.6% between 1980-2000. Who you gonna blame? The recession, fuel efficiency, and more efficient operations.

3. Reliability is(n’t) the name of the game

Think your post office is bad? Reliability for shipping lanes has fallen every quarter for the past two years, with an on-time rate of 64%. The best carrier? Maersk at an underwhelming 80%.

4. EU will probably OK P3 and G6. 

Legal experts weigh in on high chances that the EU will okay operational plans for the P3 group, while nixing any commercial involvement. Although not everyone is confident that the group will help customers.

5. Strong Intermodal Showing in the US

Intermodal transportation in the US climbed by 4.6%, hitting over 15.5 million containers. The real rise came in domestic shipping, which surfed the wave of higher eCommerce activity. Truckers are happy, as 2014 will see more trucks and up to a 2.7% increase in loads.

6. Right on? More like write off.

Israel-based ZIM has written off $72 million after cancelling orders for at five ships with capacity for over 40K TEU. Write-offs like this are to be expected when 3.2% of the global container fleet are inactive.

7. Bad flight? Better than bad landings.

An AP database search found that since the early 90s’, US commercial airplanes have landed at the wrong aiport over 150 times, including one case involving the Commander of the US Central Command. General screwup?

8. Brainpower!

DHL recently shipped an 100-ton MRI scanner from Oxford to Minnesota. The journey included two years of research and required reinforcing factory floors. We only wished that it had also required the use of the Airbus Beluga, the coolest looking airplane in the world.

The Airbus Beluga: built for volume, not weight. Photo via CNN.

The Airbus Beluga Photo via CNN.

9. Weathering the Storm

Over 4,500 flights have been cancelled in the US and shipping containers full of cement are being used in the UK to build sea walls, as the global logistics community waits for the weather to realize it’s almost spring.

10. Any Courier in a Storm

A little late for Thanksgiving…but check out how this poor UPS guy takes shelter from a wild turkey behind a FedEx truck. Who knew that wild turkey’s were so…wild?

Tune in next week for FastFreight (or read last week’s edition here). You can also get this weekly update directly to your email by signing up in the right sidebar!