Monthly News Round-Up: October 2021

New surcharges at LA ports are intended to clear up cargo bottlenecks, while a COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong could add to already compounding problems with delays. Meanwhile, SAP completes its acquisition of Signavio while welcoming a new chief product officer.


What’s New with SAP?

Signavio GmbH Announces Merger with SAP SE

SAP SE is set to finally take over Signavio GmbH’s assets as the acquisition finally reaches its final stages.

New Chief Product Officer Ritu Bhargava Replaces Retiring Bob Stutz at SAP

Ritu Bhargava will lead the next generation of customer experience (cx) innovation at SAP after pioneer Bob Stutz’s retirement, the person Executive Board of SAP SE Thomas Saueressig said: “shaped CRM and CX in such a unique way over the past 25 years.”

“His visibility in the tech industry and his passion for making every customer experience a great experience is unmatched. We are delighted to have had him on board over the past few years, and I’m incredibly grateful for everything he has done for our customers and the entire ecosystem.”

Of the addition of Ritu Bhargava to the SAP team, Saueressig noted that “Ritu brings extensive experience in the enterprise applications and CX space, a strong market focus from both a business and an engineering perspective, and an employee-focused and a customer-first mindset. I couldn’t think of a better match to strengthen our stellar CX team.”


What’s New in Transportation & Freight?

Amazon and Ikea Commit to Zero-Carbon Shipping Future 

Amazon, Ikea, and other major retailers are committing to zero-carbon shipping fuels by 2040 to keep pace with the promise of the Paris Accord climate agreement. The companies released a joint statement underneath the banner of Cargo Owners for Zero Emissions Vessels (COZEV), outlining their specific goals. Joining Amazon and Ikea are other giants such as Unilever, Michelin, Brooks, Patagonia, Tchibo, and fast-fashion titan Inditex, among others.

DHL’s New Facility at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport At Least 10 Times Bigger Than Previous Site

Over $200 million invested by DHL into their package facility at the French capital’s major airport, Charles de Gaulle, is already looking like a wise move as the popularity of eCommerce across Europe explodes.

New Fees at Los Angeles Ports Intended to Move Cargo and Clear Ongoing Bottleneck 

LA Ports are levying surcharges on carriers with containers sitting in marine terminals to clear out its queue.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said of the surcharge, “We must expedite the movement of cargo through the ports to work down the number of ships at anchor. Approximately 40% of the containers on our terminals today fall into the two categories. If we can clear this idling cargo, we’ll have much more space on our terminals to accept empties, handle exports, and improve fluidity for the wide range of cargo owners who utilize our ports.”


What’s New in Global Trade & Logistics?

New Zealand and the United Kingdom Announce Landmark Free Trade Agreement

The UK and New Zealand will soon operate under a free trade agreement thanks to a recently concluded compact between the two nations that outlines a deepening of relations in terms of trade. Though only 0.2% of total UK trade, or £2.3 billion annually, the agreement is nonetheless a symbolic victory for the Boris Johnson government as it seeks to embark upon a range of new trade agreements in the wake of Brexit.

COVID-19 Outbreak at Hong Kong Air Terminal Contributes to Delays

A new case of COVID-19 in Hong Kong is delaying the air terminal traffic by some two to three days due to quarantine rules. This, on top of a general workforce reduction of 25% through October, is expected to lead to significant delays in the movement of some goods into the coming months. 


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