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Today's Logistics Report: Beirut's Shock Waves; Vaccine's Painful Priorities; Amazon's Delivery Rebound

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08/07/2020 | 10:31am EDT

By Paul Page

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Lebanese authorities placed port officials under house arrest as the humanitarian and economic fallout from the deadly Beirut port explosion became clearer. The first of likely many flights bearing relief supplies began to arrive at the city's international airport, the WSJ's Isabel Coles and Nazih Osseiran report, while workers sought to clear the wreckage from the blast Tuesday that killed 137 people and devastated Lebanon's main trading gateway. Shipping line CMA CGM said one of its staffers was among the dead, and many of the missing were workers at the port where a depot containing 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded. Investigators are looking at the origins of the highly combustible material, which arrived in Beirut after a ship carrying it docked there in 2013. It was subsequently abandoned by its owners. The vessel was owned by Cyprus-based Teto Shipping Ltd., which is controlled by a Russian businessman.


Initial distribution of any successful coronavirus vaccine is likely to be painfully slow. Supplies are now expected to fall short of what is needed even for high-priority groups like health-care workers, the WSJ's Peter Loftus reports, forcing drugmakers and U.S. officials to grapple with who should be first in line. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there may be 10 million to 20 million doses available at first, short of the estimated 100 million Americans that public-health officials believe should be vaccinated quickly because they face high risks. The assessment highlights the challenges before drugmakers as they try to ramp up vaccine supply chains. The outlook suggests the biggest problem will be in accelerating manufacturing rather than limits in distribution. Companies conducting clinical trials say they expect to eventually produce hundreds of millions of doses, but that bigger supply is unlikely to kick in until next year.



Amazon.com Inc. is recovering from its delivery stumbles at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The e-commerce giant spent billions of dollars since March stabilizing its supply chain, and the WSJ's Sebastian Herrera and Merrill Sherman report the investment is paying off as Amazon's share of online sales rebounds following an unprecedented decline and it counts the best quarterly profit in its history. The company's early challenges and its recovery have been part of the upheaval in the broader retail market triggered by the coronavirus-driven lockdowns that closed thousands of brick-and-mortar stores. Many of Amazon's shortcomings during the pandemic came about because the company wasn't prepared to handle the sudden boost in demand. That led the firm to take steps that included hiring thousands more workers and adjusting a lean inventory strategy that depended on Amazon's sophisticated forecasting technology to keep stocks and costs at a minimum.

Amazon Delivery Times and Reviews Slip


New filings in the U.S. for jobless benefits fell to the lowest level since March. (WSJ)

The Turkish lira fell to a record low against the dollar. (WSJ)

The Trump administration will reimpose tariffs on Canadian aluminum. (WSJ)

President Trump signed an order designed to help increase production in the U.S. of essential medicines and medical gear. (WSJ)

Second-quarter revenue at Uber Technologies' Freight unit rose 27% to $212 million and the $49 million loss was down 6% from a year ago. (WSJ)

Atlas Air CEO John Dietrich expects a traditional fall peak season for air cargo following robust demand in the first half of the year. (WSJ)

Virgin Atlantic Airways filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. to put into effect a $1.5 billion rescue package. (WSJ)

Toyota Motor forecasts a nearly $7 billion profit this year as car sales rebound faster than expected. (WSJ)

Online marketplace Etsy's second-quarter sales soared 137% to $428.7 million. (WSJ)

Commodities giant Glencore swung to a $2.6 billion loss in the first half of the year. (WSJ)

Adidas expects revenue to recover in the third quarter after the Germany sports-gear maker lost $350 million in the June quarter. (WSJ)

U.S. apparel imports fell 30.4% in the first half of 2020. (Sourcing Journal)

A measure of logistics activity in the U.S. rose in July to its highest level since January 2019. (Supply Chain Quarterly)

Amazon opened its first fulfillment center in the Tampa, Fla., area. (Tampa Bay Times)

A developer is turning a former Navistar truck factory in Indianapolis into a manufacturing and logistics center. (Inside Indiana Business)

An environmental research group says carbon emissions from shipping could rise by 50% by 2050 if left unchecked. (Port Technology)

Philippines-based port operator International Container Terminal Services says second-quarter container volume fell 11%. (Lloyd's List)

Scorpio Tankers swung to a $143.9 million net profit in the second quarter but said demand subsided in June. (ShippingWatch)

American Commercial Barge Line named Mike Ellis chief executive following the company's restructuring under bankruptcy. (MarineLink)

A ship pilot fell and died while trying to board a tanker at the Port of New York and New Jersey. (Maritime Executive)

Korean Air bucked global trends with a $125.2 million second-quarter profit as cargo revenue nearly doubled. (Korea Herald)

First-half revenue at the Deutsche Lufthansa logistics division including Lufthansa Cargo rose 7% to $1.5 billion. (Air Cargo News)

U.S. authorities seized more than $16 million in methamphetamine found entering the country from Mexico in a truck carrying broccoli. (KGBT)

Pool sales are skyrocketing under pandemic lockdowns. (Reuters)


Paul Page is editor of WSJ Logistics Report. Follow the WSJ Logistics Report team: @PaulPage , @jensmithWSJ and @CostasParis. Follow the WSJ Logistics Report on Twitter at @WSJLogistics.

Write to Paul Page at paul.page@wsj.com


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ADIDAS AG 2.09% 249.4 Delayed Quote.-13.94%
AMAZON.COM, INC. -1.78% 3167.46 Delayed Quote.71.41%
ATLAS CORP. 3.57% 7.55 Delayed Quote.-46.87%
BROCCOLI CO., LTD. -0.07% 1459 End-of-day quote.-5.51%
DEUTSCHE LUFTHANSA AG -1.51% 7.976 Delayed Quote.-51.40%
GLENCORE PLC -3.21% 174.56 Delayed Quote.-25.83%
INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER TERMINAL SERVICES, INC. 6.56% 103.9 End-of-day quote.-19.21%
SCORPIO TANKERS INC. -3.53% 12.58 Delayed Quote.-68.02%
TOYOTA INDUSTRIES CORPORATION 0.54% 5610 End-of-day quote.-11.37%
TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION 1.15% 6878 End-of-day quote.-10.84%
US DOLLAR / TURKISH LIRA (USD/TRY) 0.00% 7.2911 Delayed Quote.21.63%
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