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FTA Calls For Smoother Freight Processing At Europe’s Borders

The logistics industry is seeing its value now more than ever, with companies Titan Transline seeing business in spite of, and, in some cases, because of the pandemic. However, there are some issues with the borders, according to the FTA, who called for better flow in the EU’s internal borders.

According to the organization, logistics operators like Titan Transline are having to deal with delays at the EU’s internal borders, which is problematic, especially now, as it delays the region’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Head of European and Global Policy at the FTA Pauline Bastidon stated that EU member states should follow the EU’s guidelines on green lanes for goods at the border in order to speed things along, as their purpose is to ensure that freight flows freely between the countries in the region.

They state that the current issue of logistics operators facing delays of around 14 hours at the EU’s internal borders shouldn’t be happening, as specified by the EU’s guidelines, and that’s why they, and the FTA at large, are asking the member states to help ensure that the movement of vehicles stays smooth in order to maintain supply chains and the delivery of essential goods.

Bastidon says that, while everyone is dealing with an extraordinary trading environment, procedures at the EU’s green lane border crossings should be optimizes in order to avoid delays. To that end, the FTA is urging the EU’s states to make sure that the proper processing can be accomplished without the need for drivers to exit their vehicles, and produce only the documentation required in the EU guidelines, while also allowing for electronic submission and display.

Bastidon notes that, with the supply chain under duress, there isn’t a reason to quarantine drivers that aren’t displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

They say that the logistics industry is dealing with a worker shortage, particularly with drivers, which is bad since the logistics industry is so important in keeping the economy running, especially with current events putting more pressure on them. That’s why, Bastidon says, the FTA is urging for support from the European governments.

Google Switching Entirely To Mobile-First Indexing

In the modern age, a business can live or die by its online presence, and that’s why things like King Kong SEO are given such importance. Changes happen regularly which, in turn, facilitates regular updates, and companies have to keep track of that.

Google’s recent announcement is a notable change for the company, and a call to action for the internet, as the tech giant known primarily for its search engine has announced that it’ll be switching to mobile-first indexing before the end of 2020.

On a blog post on the Official Google Webmaster Central Blog, Google announced that it will be completing the switch to mobile-first indexing by September 2020. The statement is the culmination of the company’s work to adapt to the increasing popularity of mobile devices for use in browsing the internet, with the switch having started in 2016.

The blog post by the company, released by Google Zurich Developer Advocated John Mueller, explained that when a domain is switched to mobile-first indexing, it’ll see an increase in the crawls done by Googlebot as Google works to update their index to the mobile version. Naturally, this might take a bit depending on the domain itself. The traditional desktop Googlebot will still do crawls, but most of Google’s crawling past September 2020 will be handled by the mobile smartphone user-agent, which, naturally, will lead to changes with King Kong SEO and the like.

Google reports that, according to their analysis, the majority of sites that show up in their search results are ready for mobile-first indexing, with 70% having already made the changes. Those that haven’t taken the necessary steps for mobile-first indexing have received a notice from Google informing them of any indexing issues that they detect on the sites.

The announcement effectively puts a deadline on sites looking to get ready for mobile-first indexing, as they need to get the issues ironed out before September 2020 or end up suffering a huge hit to their SEO. Google, for their part, offered some advice for sites, including avoiding separate mobile URLs (m-dots) due to the issues and confusion that can, and has popped up from this.

Ohio Governor Passes Bill To Recompense Employers For Upskilling Employees

In Columbus, Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine recently signed a bill that lays out how the state of Ohio will be reimburse companies and businesses that work to improve their employees’ tech skills, or ‘upskilling’, which has become more and more popular as the demand for increasingly skilled workers, like web developers and software development experts, grows.

House Bill 2 is the formalization of the rules already in place for Ohio’s Tech Cred Program, which was already being funded by the state budget that was enacted in July.

Mr. DeWine officially signed the bill after his tour of the Bluffton plant of the tech commercial and industrial part supplier, GROB Systems, Inc. With him at the tour and the signing was Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina), Lt. Gov. Jon Husted, as well as GROB CEO Michael Hutecker.

Officially, the law will come into effect around April 2020, but with the funding already in place, the second round of grant applications for the program is already ongoing, with GROB being an early participant in the program.

The bill received bipartisan support, with Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan (D-Youngstown) and Rep. Jon Cross (R-Kenton) backing it. The latter issued a statement on the matter, saying that House Bill 2 is a good way to fund the development of the workforce in Ohio, thanks to its focus on individual workers and technical jobs, like in software development, that are left unfilled.

A few key points of House Bill 2 include:

  • $12.3m for 2020 and 2021, to be used to assist employers fund training via the TechCred Program, with businesses able to get up to $2,000 for every employee.
  • $2.5m annual funding for the new Individual Microdential Assistance Program, aimed at paying training institutions like colleges and universities up to $3,000 for every employee that manages to complete an industry-recognized certification program in one year or less time. Any provider can receive a maximum of $250,000 annually.
  • $200,000 annually for marketing the programs.
  • $2.5m in order to help foster partnerships that’ll assist in provide the needed training.

Currently, the program has 379 options available for Ohioans.

The state website, TechCred.Ohio.Gov, is accepting applications for the second round of the program until the end of January, with the program to go underway in October.

Effect Of Elections On CAD Forecast

As Canadians are voting to choose their next prime minister, the value of Canadian dollar is creeping up.  It is touted to see more gains in the coming days irrespective of the election results.

With neck-to-neck competition between the main political parties, the election outcome is largely considered as a coin toss. Generally elections weaken the rate of currency due to uncertainty about the economic policies. However, the CAD forecast remains positive irrespective of who wins the election. The reason for this is mostly because of the striking similarities between the economic policies of both the leading political parties of the country.

Investment bankers of the country believe that the election result is not going to have a major impact on the CAD forecast. They expect a hung parliament or a minority government headed by the incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. And hence expect little or no change in the economic policies.

Rather than the election results, this week’s CAD forecast is driven by positive business outlook and retail sales. The supportive tone of risk sentiment is also aiding to strengthen the Loonie.

One of the factors for a strong CAD is the increased resilience of the Canadian bond yield due to Bank of Canada retaining the interest rates at 1.75% even when their counterparts in other countries have largely cut down the interest rates. This move made Canadian bonds attractive to foreign investors and contributed to the positive forecast.

The strengthening of job markets and increase in wage rates is another factor that has positive influence on the CAD rate. With both the parties promising significant tax cuts, the retail market is expected to be resilient.

However, the interest rate policy of bank of Canada will have a significant impact of the CAD forecast. If the BoC announces any rate cuts before later part of 2020, then it would signal difficulties for the CAD as the markets are not ready for an early rate cut.

A positive economic outlook and increased employment rate are pushing the CAD higher. The elections this time did not have any impact on the CAD forecast as both the political parties have announced similar economic polices and tax cuts.

 

 

‘No-Deal’ Brexit Won’t Affect Motor Parts Supply

Brexit is being closely watched by British businesses across the country, just like the average Brit. Fears over a ‘no-deal’ Brexit are affecting market outlook, with many industries hoping to make sure they’ve got their lifeboats if the worst should come to pass.

The fleet industry, in particular, has been close to a panic over the prospects of the industry in case of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, with many fearing that auto parts, and other key supplies, will be unavailable in the aftermath.

In September 2019, the European motor industry issued warnings about the consequences that a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would bring to the market. They report that, should the World Trade Organisation’s current tariffs are applied to the UK, it would affect the market drastically. Prices on new vehicles could go up by 10%, while commercial vehicles and auto parts can go up by 22%, and 4.5%, respectively. Should that come to pass, it would result in the industry collapsing, as its “just-in-time” business model would be crippled by delays.

Fleet Assist, however, has been telling the industry at large not to panic, as their data says that auto parts suppliers in the EU have supplies set aside for the worst. In spite of the fact that about 80% of the replacement parts fitted to British vehicles are imported, Fleet Assist reports that suppliers in the EU still have stockpiles ready at warehouses across the region, allowing for continued normal operations.

According to Fleet Assist, manufacturers in the EU reported that they had an increased supply volume, capable of holding out for several weeks. On top of that, suppliers also reported that they have been stockpiling products to “six months” capacity, until the industry’s status post-Brexit is clear.

On top of that, other companies in the motoring industry, like parts suppliers and independent chains have gone on record to say that they’ve got additional stock invested at a local level.

Fleet Assist says that, in the medium and long-term, the entities they surveyed will do whatever they deem necessary in order to protect their business customers, as well as their partners, and to ensure minimal disruption in the industry at large.

That being said, they report that there are still some factors that they can’t account for, which they can’t control, making it impossible to account for every possible situation.

 

The Price Of Carbon That The Shipping Industry Needs To Pay

According to a group of experts gathered during the WISTA or short for Women in Shipping and Trade Association, the price of carbon is deemed to be very cheap. This is why the shipping companies are able to get away despite the level of carbon emissions they are releasing to the environment. There are those that follow the guidelines like FTL dedicated truckload freight so as not to damage the reputation of their company.

The conference was held as a part of the LISW or London International Shipping Week. During the assembly, the group discussed about the coming years with regards to the shipping sector and the requirements that must be put in place in order to make some significant changes with the current structure of the maritime industry. These are all necessary if they wanted to meet the targets they have set with regards to curbing climate change.

The principal consultant working for the maritime industry, Isabelle Rojon, spoke to the audience during the discussion and opened up about the hesitance of many to discuss the topic of carbon pricing which is considered to be a sensitive one. She added that whenever carbon pricing is talked about within the shipping sector, it feels as if they are talking about Voldemort which is the most popular villain in the Harry Potter series.

Every panelist is in agreement that they should come to terms with carbon pricing because it will have a bigger impact if they wanted to meet the climate target they have set. Based on the International Maritime Organization, the goal is to decrease emissions by 50 per cent of the figure in 2008 before the end of 2050. Aside from this, there was nothing much that has been discussed.

Zero Carbon Finance Limited’s Paul Stuart-Smith, said that carbon pricing is inevitable but the cost should be the same for international standard and it should not be contained within the shipping industry alone but every industry. His suggestion for the carbon pricing is that it should be $140 for every ton. The members of the sector such as FTL dedicated truckload freight are yet to comment with their stand on the matter.