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MEMPHIS: August 10, 2017. FedEx has awarded the Grand Prize in its 2017 small business grant competition to Sword & Plough founders Emily Núñez Cavness and Betsy Núñez.

FedEx is providing US$100,000 in funding and US$20,500 in grant and business services to its first, second and third place winners of its latest annual competition.

Growing up at West Point, where her father Joseph Núñez taught political science, not only inspired Cavness to become an officer in the U.S. Army, but to create a company with her sister to give back to military veterans.

Sword  PloughIn 2012 they founded upcycling company Sword & Plough to transform military tents, sleeping bag covers, bullet casings and other military surplus into fashion clothing and accessories.

"From the beginning, Sword & Plough has been about more than just creating bags. We've always been excited to create high quality products, but our hope was that these products could be used as a platform to promote change," said Cavness.

In less than four years the company, with its quadruple bottom line goal of people, planet, profit and purpose, has supported 65 veteran jobs, repurposed more than 35,000 pounds of military surplus and worked to bridge the civilian-military divide by donating $35,000 in-kind and 10 percent of its profits to veteran organizations.

"Sword & Plough's 'repurpose with a purpose' model positively impacts our military veterans, our environment, and promotes greater understanding between the military and civilian world," commented Bonnie Voldeng, director of Go-to-Market and Content Strategy at FedEx. "This company, and the visionary entrepreneurs behind it, represent just how important small businesses are, not only to the U.S. economy, but to society as a whole."

(Pictured left to right: Emily Núñez Cavness and Betsy Núñez. Their company offers free FedEx shipping on orders over US$100.00: shop)

Other FedEx small business winners include: second place Flexfrost Protein Ice Cream - more protein than Greek yogurt but less sugar; third place Yellow Scope – makers of science kits for girls; Terra Klay – handcrafted teaware by female artists from India; Nurdle in the Rough jewelry - crafted in Hawaii from ocean plastic debris and recycled precious metals; Brian Bogge Chairmakers – handmade furniture from Asheville, NC; Scratch & Peck Feeds - soy-free, organic and non-GMO animal feed; Funky Fresh Spring Rolls – handcrafted, grilled and made from local ingredients; G.Joannou Cycle – quality bicycles for every age group; and The Konery – makers of hand-rolled waffle cones, bowls and fortune cookies in a variety of flavors.

ATLANTA: August 02, 2017. UPS is helping New Jersey-based Terracycle turn hard-to-recycle items into trashcans and park benches while diverting 40 million pounds of waste from landfills in the past five years.

Founded in 2001, TerraCycle offers free recycling programs funded by brands, manufacturers and retailers to replace the linear 'take, make and dispose' economic model with a circular 'restore, regenerate and reuse' approach.

Tom Szaky TerracyclePartners include L'Oreal, Colgate-Palmolive, Honest Tea, Henkel, Procter & Gamble, BIC, Tom's of Maine, PepsiCo, The North Face, Entenmann's, 3M and Bausch + Lomb.

To date over 64 million people in 21 countries have collected and recycled 3.8 billion units of waste while raising US$15.6 million dollars for charities.

Patrick Browne, UPS director of Global Sustainability, says his company's global network, Customs support and small package technology is helping TerraCycle reach several hundred thousand more consumer and business customers around the world.

"To meet our goal to reuse, upcycle and recycle waste we knew we had to make the process convenient and efficient for our customers," said TerraCycle founder and chief executive officer Tom Szaky (right). "UPS helps us solve a variety of logistics challenges including navigating complex global shipping and Customs regulations, which has allowed us to grow more quickly and ultimately move to a circular economy that benefits us all."

In 2014 TerraCycle launched its Zero Waste Box program, which allows anyone to recycle virtually anything in their home or business. This year the company is working with Procter & Gamble to produce the world's first recyclable shampoo bottle made from beach plastic. The Ocean Conservancy says plastic debris makes up around 85 percent of all the trash collected from beaches, waterways and oceans.

In a related development the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said fertilizer runoff into the Mississippi from agribusiness has created a marine life "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico larger than New Jersey.

Last year the United States Geological Survey reported that 1,150,000 tonnes of nitrogen pollution from America's heartland ended up in the Gulf of Mexico. By comparison, the one-off BP oil spill in 2010 was 670,800 tonnes.

According to the Environmental Working Group, agriculture is a leading source of pollution in the U.S. that is largely exempt from federal laws designed to protect drinking water.

BONN: July 26, 2017. A report sponsored by DHL Supply Chain into a shortage of industry talent says as much as a third of the current workforce is at or beyond the retirement age.

Calling on corporate leaders to recognize a growing crisis, DHL says studies suggest the demand for supply chain professionals exceeding supply could be as high as 9:1.

DHL supply chain personnel"Leading companies understand that their supply chains – and the people who run them – are essential to their ability to grow profitably," observed report author Lisa Harrington. "However the task of finding people with the right skillsets required to run these highly complex operations is increasingly difficult – especially at the middle and upper management levels."

In addition to an ageing workforce, her study says other reasons for the personnel shortage includes changing skill requirements, lack of personnel development, and negative perceptions of the sector.

To attract the right talent, DHL says the industry needs to start emphasizing that a future workforce will need to have skills in robotic management, AI and AV control – job aspects that would be attractive to a younger demographic.

"We recommend that companies start with prioritizing the development of their current talent pool to adapt to the changing job requirements through training programs, and then retaining staff through clear career paths," noted Louise Gennis, DHL Supply Chain vice president for Talent Management/Acquisition, Learning & Development.

"We strive to combat misconceptions surrounding working in the supply chain through highlighting the technological developments which are digitalizing the industry and that are attractive to younger demographics," she continued.

Harrington added: "New technologies and fundamental areas of the supply chain have changed, meaning [companies] now require that a person has a different and much larger skillset than required when most of the current workforce began their careers."

CRANFIELD, UK: July 14, 2017. Cranfield University is launching the world's first MSc course on the circular economy in October. The part-time postgraduate course - Technology, Innovation and Management for a Circular Economy - will fuse expertise in engineering, logistics and environmental sciences with programs in business and finance.

A circular economy aims to increasingly decouple production from the consumption of finite resources, and emphasizes keeping products and materials at their highest value and utility, at all times.

The course will focus on how business can be restorative and regenerative – rather than the 'take, make, dispose' model traditionally followed. One new example is leading carpet tile manufacturer Interface that has developed a prototype carbon-capturing tile.

Cranfield"All you really need to do is stop the cycle when the carbon is captured; then use those materials over and over again," explained Interface Chief Science & Technology officer John Bradford. ""This is not alchemy; this is not a pipe dream," he continued. "This can really be done."

Last month Interface launched its 'Proof-Positive' tile "to inspire our customers, our industry, and the world to think more broadly about taking on the climate challenge in a new way – to find innovative solutions that will not only reduce, but ultimately reverse global warming," according to Chad Scales, company Chief Innovation, Marketing and Design officer.

Cranfield's new MSc course draws on the expertise of the circular economy thought-leader the Ellen MacArthur Foundation: "The circular economy is emerging as the new paradigm for a system that can work in the long term. In order to achieve its full potential, it needs solid skills-building programs and the involvement of leading international universities," said founder MacArthur.

Fiona Charnley, course Convenor added: "The world of business has shifted dramatically. The circular economy is widely regarded as the most dominant trend for environmentally responsible and innovative businesses."

According to Mike Wilson, global head of Logistics for Panalpina, the traditional method of manufacturing products in Asia and shipping them across the globe is no longer sustainable – neither from a competitive nor an environmental perspective.

In the new world of manufacturing, he noted, the take-make-dispose supply chains of the past are morphing into the distributed, circular and sustainable supply chains of the future. The drivers behind this development are product modularization, the growing makerspace movement, and rapid advancements in 3D printing.

Last year Panalpina and Cardiff Business School at Cardiff University launched a Logistics Manufacturing Research Centre to study distributed manufacturing, 3D printing, the circular economy and the impact of digital manufacturing on global supply chains.

LONDON: March 15, 2016. Members of the United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce, made up 40 major logistics organizations, NGOs, U.N. and government agencies, are to collaborate in a fight against the illegal trade in wildlife valued at up to US$20 billion a year - the fourth most lucrative global crime after drugs, humans and arms.

After 12 months of meetings in London, Geneva, and Dubai and thousands of hours of work by legal, conservation, transport, and Customs experts, the group has signed the 'Buckingham Palace Declaration' to shut down the international routes exploited by wildlife traffickers.

The members have committed to receive and exchange credible information about high-risk routes and methods of transportation; to develop a secure system for passing information about suspected illegal wildlife trade from the transport sector to relevant Customs and law enforcement; and to notify relevant authorities of cargoes suspected of containing illegal wildlife and their products and, where able, refuse to accept or ship such cargoes.

United for WildlifeSpeaking at the event, IATA CEO and director general Tony Tyler said he could think of few other causes that galvanize interest and support than the challenge of wildlife trafficking.

Acknowledging "the special commitment and support of the CEOs of Emirates and Kenya Airways" Tyler said IATA airlines now have a formalized relationship with the US Agency for International Development on a Partnership for Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES); the World Customs Organization; and CITES, the U.N. body responsible for regulating the international trade in protected species, which last year signed an agreement with IATA.

Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World group chairman added: "DP World is proud to be an original member of the United for Wildlife Taskforce and I am delighted that other leading international businesses have joined us today in signing these commitments. This is a landmark moment in the fight to save some of the world's most endangered species. As a global ports operator we have an important role to play as a sustainable business in partnership with Customs authorities in eradicating this morally reprehensible activity."

In addition to more information from the taskforce members below, click on the link for a Freightweek report on the fight against the illegal trade in wildlife: www.freightweek.org/mag/issue11-15/files/4.html

• African Airlines Association
• Air China Cargo Co. Ltd.
• Airports Council International
• Baltic and International Maritime Council
• China COSCO Shipping Co. Ltd.
• China Post Group Corporation
• Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association
• Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

• Cruise Lines International Association
• Danish Shipowners Association
• DHL Express UK & Ireland
• DLA Piper
• Dubai Customs World
• DP World
• Emirates Airline
• Etihad Airways
• Hamburg Sud
• International Airlines Group
• International Air Transport Association
• International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners
• International Chamber of Shipping
• International Maritime Organization
• James Fisher Everard
• Japanese Shipowners’ Council Ltd.

• Kenya Airways
• Liberian Shipowners’ Council Ltd. • Maersk Group
• Qantas
• Qatar Airways
• South African Airways • Stena Line UK • Stolt-Nielsen Ltd.
• Sustainable Shipping Initiative
• UK Chamber of Shipping
• UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
• United Nations Development Programme – Global Environment Facility • Wildlife Conservation Society
• World Customs Organisation
• World Wildlife Fund – UK

GENEVA: June 21, 2017 – Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, U.S. and UK are the world's most innovative countries according to a new report by produced by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Now in its 10 edition, the Global Innovation Index surveys 130 economies using dozens of metrics - from patent filings to education spending - for a high-level look at the innovative activity that increasingly drives economic and social growth.

Rhenus innovationKey findings for 2017 show the rise of India as an emerging innovation center, high innovation performance in Sub-Saharan Africa relative to development, and an opportunity to improve innovation capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The report also reveals that Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Viet Nam are working to improve their level of innovation and rank high in a number of important indicators related to education, R&D, productivity growth and high-tech exports.

Switzerland leads the rankings for the seventh consecutive year as high-income economies take 24 of the top 25 spots. In 2016 China became the first-ever middle income economy in the top 25 and currently is placed No.22.

"Innovation is the engine of economic growth in an increasingly knowledge-based global economy, but more investment is needed to help boost human creativity and economic output," said WIPO director general Francis Gurry. "Innovation can help transform the current economic upswing into longer-term growth."

In a related announcement, more than 260 Rhenus Logistics employees from 28 different countries have been participating in a corporate initiative to find innovative ways to improve company processes and products.

Next month 16 teams who survived several preliminary rounds will compete to implement their innovative solutions involving augmented reality, space optimization, online chats with broadcasts as well as new products and logistics concepts.

"It was easy to arouse the innovative spirit in our employees. They're highly motivated when it comes to shaping our business and solving our customers' problems. They themselves want to be forces for change," commented Tobias Bartz, Rhenus Board and jury member.

Rhenus has business sites at over 580 locations worldwide and employs more than 28,000 people. Pictured (right) are some of the finalists in Bangkok from the company's 'Rhevo' innovation project.

Global Innovation Index 2017:GII

NEW YORK: March 07, 2016. BDP International and United Parcel Service (UPS) are the lone logistics companies on the Ethisphere Institute's (EI) 2016 list of what it considers to be the world's most ethical companies.

The annual list features companies that EI says excel in promoting ethical business standards and practices internally, enabling managers and employees to make good choices, and shaping future industry standards by introducing tomorrow's best practices today.

EthisphereMohammad Azam, UPS chief compliance officer commented: "At UPS, operating as an ethical company means doing what we say we will do in business conduct, in our impact on the environment, and in how we touch the lives of people in the communities where we live and work."

According to the Institute, for the past 10 years its honorees - 131 this year - have demonstrated the connection between good ethical practices and results by financially out-performed other corporations.

"A common theme among the world's most ethical companies is a drive to improve corporate integrity in a way that impacts the world," explained Ethisphere's CEO Timothy Erblich. "UPS's 'Committed to More' motto is demonstrated not only through their CSR efforts, but by the recognition of their role in the global business community and the value this creates for their investors, customers and employees."

EI determines the ethics quotient of companies based on scores in five categories: an ethics and compliance program (35 percent), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20 percent), a culture of ethics (20 percent), governance (15 percent) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10 percent).

Richard Bolte, chairman and CEO of privately-held BDP International added: "Ethical practice is among the values that have guided BDP for nearly 50 years since our founding in 1966. In an increasingly connected global business community with emerging and frontier markets, leading by example and adhering to the high discipline of good governance across our enterprise are more than a matter of doing things right; they are the right thing to do."

Click on the link below to download the full list:


MUNICH: April 27, 2017. A survey of German logistics executives says 70 percent of respondents are investigating the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

This follows the launch last Autumn of a 'Partnership on AI' by Apple, Amazon, DeepMind/Google, Facebook, IBM, and Microsoft. The non-profit group says the technology "holds tremendous potential" to improve many aspects of life, ranging from healthcare, education, and manufacturing to home automation and transportation.

The partnership wants to advance public understanding of AI technologies and formulate best practices on the challenges and opportunities in the field.

Geodis AILast month's study by transport logistic organizers Messe Munchen discovered that 64 percent of industry specialists and executives consider AI would benefit self-driving vehicles for last mile delivery and control systems for route planning.

However AI is expected to encounter resistance from both customers and employees with 82 percent of those surveyed saying robots should not replace people, just assist them.

"In fact, the vast majority (70 percent) of industry experts have noticed that employees are reluctant to accept artificial intelligence," said Messe München, with 85 percent wanting to focus first on determining the skills that are needed to collaborate with machines.

According to Messe München exhibition group director Robert Schönberger, experts from the commercial, scientific and public sectors will discuss the future of AI applications at transport logistic in Munich next month.

Meanwhile the Partnership for AI has established a board of trustees with six new members: OpenAI, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence & ASU, UC Berkeley, American Civil Liberties Union, MacArthur Foundation, and Peterson Institute of International Economics.

"This extraordinary non-profit partnership underscores the tremendous potential of utilizing AI for the common good. We are looking forward to joining it," said Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for AI.

Pictured: supply chain management company Geodis is testing the 'Com’hand system', which provides intuitive control capabilities for lifting and handling machinery. Worn on the wrist, the technology is produced by Siatech, a French start-up founded by three engineering graduates.

NINGBO, China: February 18, 2016. The government of Ningbo, China is partnering with the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) to create a global center for supply chain education and research.

Ningbo portThe new facility will open in the fall of 2016 with its first students graduating a year later with a Masters degree modeled after the MIT Supply Chain Management Program. It will join the global MIT Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence (SCALE) Network which includes centers in Colombia, Spain, Luxembourg, and Malaysia.

“China is an essential component of nearly every global supply chain and nearly one billion tons of goods flow through Ningbo each year. Positioning a research institute at that crossroads of global commerce provides our faculty and students with a unique perspective,” said Yossi Sheffi, director of MIT CTL and the SCALE Network.

Launched in 2008, SCALE is an alliance of leading research and education centers spanning Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia with over 10 graduate and executive education programs, 80 supply chain and logistics faculty and research partners, 100 corporate and organization partners, and more than 1,000 alumni working worldwide.

Mayor of Ningbo Lu Ziyue commented: “Ningbo is already a global leader in cargo logistics and the new institute will be at a global vanguard of supply chain innovation and education. The continual flow of supply chain ideas and leaders will enable companies to further expand and diversify the economic growth of our region.”

MIT president Rafael Reif added: “The ability to manage these processes effectively has immense importance for society, from accelerating innovation to reducing carbon emissions. Given the scale and impact of Ningbo’s shipping operations, it will immediately become a central player in the MIT SCALE Network.”

MARRAKECH, Morocco: November 16, 2016. Over 360 business leaders attending the 'COP 22' U.N. Convention on Climate Change have called on U.S. president-elect Donald Trump to support the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the need to transition to a low-carbon economy.

The U.S., China, India, Brazil, European Union and more than 100 other nations representing more than 75 percent of global emissions have formally ratified or joined the agreement - the first-ever global, legally binding framework to tackle climate change.

Marrakech COP22During his presidential bid Trump described climate change as a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese to harm U.S. competitiveness. Since winning the election, he has proposed the appointment of notorious climate change denier Myron Ebell to head changes he wants to make at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Ebell has no scientific qualifications and his job directing environmental and energy policy at the Washington, DC-based Competitive Enterprise Institute is reportedly supported by Marathon Petroleum, Koch Industries, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and Murray Energy Corporation, America's largest underground coal mining company.

Trump says he plans to end all funding for scientific research on climate change including developing emission-cutting technology. Instead he wants to produce more coal, more oil, and more natural gas. He also wants to "abolish" the EPA saying: "Environmental Protection, what they do is a disgrace. Every week they come out with new regulations."

Among the large and small U.S. businesses calling on Trump to acknowledge climate change are DuPont, Gap Inc., General Mills, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Hilton, HP Inc., Kellogg Company, Levi Strauss & Co., L'Oreal USA, NIKE, Mars Incorporated, Schneider Electric, Starbucks, VF Corporation, and Unilever.

Also adding her voice is Zaurie Zimmermann, CEO of a 60 year-old family manufacturing business in Louisville, Kentucky called The Lion Company: "Kentucky needs to grow its clean economy more than many other states," she said. "I am hopeful that president-elect Trump is pragmatic enough to see the job-growing potential of the clean energy transition. Affirming the US commitment to the Paris Agreement is a crucial strategy in keeping the U.S., and eventually Kentucky, truly competitive in the global economy."

Coal Keeps the Lights OnAccording to the Kentucky Coal Association, the state remains America's third largest producer of coal and supplied 77.4 million tons in 2014 to support power stations across the U.S., primarily in the southeast.

"The enormous momentum generated by the business and investment community to address climate change cannot be reversed and cannot be ignored by the Trump administration. That train has left the station and to stand in its way is folly," said Matt Patsky, CEO of Trillium Asset Management. "Nevertheless, we know that now is the time to remind the incoming administration that virtually every company in the Fortune 500 and over US$100 trillion in investor assets has acknowledged the reality of climate change and the need to address it head on."

The business group at COP22 said it wants Trump to continue the Obama administration's low-carbon policies in order to allow the U.S. to meet or exceed its promised national commitments; invest in the low-carbon economy in order to give financial decision-makers clarity and boost investor confidence; and continue U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Agreement in order to provide the long-term direction needed to limit global warming.

Speaking at the end of the meeting in Marrakech, U.S. secretary of State John Kerry urged: "Above all consult with the scientists who have dedicated their lives to understanding this challenge. At some point, even the strongest skeptic has to acknowledge that something disturbing is happening."

ISTANBUL: January 04, 2016. Pegasus Cargo has announced the program line-up for its first two-day logistics conference to be held in conjunction with Istanbul University's Transportation and Logistics Faculty on March 23-24.

Pegasus IzmirThe fifth in an on-going series of conferences bringing together educationalists, students and international experts in support of Turkey's growing logistics industry, the keynote speaker is Pegasus Airlines' CCO Guliz Ozturk.

Other speakers include Diane Arcas, EVP of Arkas Holding; Rainer Muller, vice president Commercial, Saudi Airlines Cargo; Mustafa Tonguc, vice president DHL Express; Asim Barlin, chairman of Solmas Customs Brokerage; and Turgut Erkeskin, president of Turkey’s Association of International Forwarding and Logistics Service Providers (UTIKAD).

Pegasus Cargo also hosted 150 forwarder customers in Izmir at the end of 2015 to thank them for their support in making the year such a successful one for the carrier, according to vice president Cargo Aydin Alpa (seated right of Pegasus picture).

Izmir is Turkey’s second largest commercial center after Istanbul and generates nearly 10 percent of the country’s industrial output and 48 percent of the Aegean region’s GDP. In 2014, over 4,500 exporters generated 6.1 percent of Turkey’s exports valued at US$9.3 billion covering cars, chemicals, industrial machinery & equipment, food and beverage production, renewable energy, tourism, automotive OEM, information and communication technologies.

In 2014, Germany was Izmir’s No.1 export destination followed by the U.S., UK, Italy and Spain. Reflecting Turkey’s historical trade connection, Russia was the top import nation followed by Germany, China, Italy and the U.S.

Izmir’s Adnan Menderes Airport, which opened a new terminal in 2014, is connected to 20 cities in Turkey and 74 international points in 27 countries.

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