Freight volumes and pricing are continuing to weaken in air, rail and truck markets, according to the Cass Freight Index Report for September. The additional signs of contraction suggest that an economic downturn might be in the offing.
Challenge: A fragrance and flavor company wanted to create a foreign trade zone (FTZ) in which it could perform both manufacturing and distribution functions. Due to its many product formulations — and ingredients coming from the U.S. and around the world — tracking inventory was complex. Some incoming ingredients also skipped manufacturing and were sold raw.
Cheeses from France, Italy and the Netherlands, wines, Scotch whisky and Greek canned peaches are just some of the European exports whose prices are set to rise in the U.S. after the Trump administration announced new tariffs on billions of dollars of EU products starting Oct. 18.
Challenge: Since February 2018, the cost of duties for U.S.-China operations has substantially grown. There are now $550 billion in tariffs applied exclusively to Chinese imports, while China has imposed $185 billion on U.S. goods.
Europe’s relationship with the U.S. has been stretched to the limit by President Donald Trump’s “America First’’ foreign policy. But disputes about aircraft subsidies and auto tariffs coming to a head over the next two months could put the allies in a trade war.
Political turmoil in the United Kingdom over the terms of the country’s withdrawal from the European Union — Brexit — has injected great uncertainty into the plans of companies doing business there. U.S. retailers distributing throughout the EU from the U.K. are especially affected.