By Erica E. Phillips
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Brexit is turning warehouse space into a hot commodity in the U.K. Companies including drug maker Pfizer Inc., airplane manufacturer Airbus SE and tobacco giant Imperial Brands PLC are stockpiling inventory, the WSJ's Daphne Zhang reports, in case the planned March separation from the European Union brings disruptions at the border. Logistics operators say the rush of contingency planning by some many companies has created shortages of warehouse space in some areas. Airbus is turning to its suppliers to hang on to some parts. Heineken NV and Burger King have sought additional warehousing capacity for beer and frozen burgers. The problem is particularly acute for food and beverage companies, as well as pharmaceuticals, since those products have to be kept cold and refrigerated warehouse space is harder to come by.
Drug-store chains think express delivery is the prescription for their competition woes. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and FedEx Corp. are launching nationwide next-day delivery, the WSJ's Aisha Al-Muslim reports, as the drugstore chain works to stave off competition from Amazon.com Inc. and other pharmacy chains. Amazon's acquisition of PillPack Inc. this year is driving the change in drug distribution by giving the e-commerce giant the ability to ship prescriptions overnight nationwide. Chains have gone from looking for the best locations to building stronger logistics networks. Top players are outsourcing the capability. CVS Health Corp. enlisted the U.S. Postal Service for home-delivery service. The new Walgreens Express service will deliver prescriptions via FedEx as early as the next day nationwide, and on the same day in some cities.
A new car factory is opening in Detroit, defying seemingly intractable manufacturing trends. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans the first new U.S. assembly plant for a major domestic car maker in at least a decade, the WSJ's Christina Rogers and Adrienne Roberts report, with plans to build sport-utility vehicles. The announcement comes as competitor General Motors Co. is closing factories in Ohio and Michigan that produce smaller passenger cars, which have lost their appeal among U.S. consumers. International trade disputes are driving auto manufacturers and their suppliers to make products that appeal more to local markets, shortening supply chains. The move from sedan manufacturing to SUVs in the U.S. reflects a shift in local tastes and could foreshadow broader changes in the automobile business as manufacturers make their supply chains less global and more regional.
GOVERNMENT & REGULATION
The U.S. security crackdown on Chinese telecom-equipment giantHuawei Technologies Co. may trigger upheaval in major electronics supply chains. American manufacturers and chip makers like Qualcomm Inc. and Broadcomm could lose access to a large-scale customer, the WSJ's Jacky Wong writes. Optical component maker Neophotonics generates almost half its revenue from the Chinese company, while U.S.-listed Lumentum, Oclaro, Qorvo and Finisar have around 10% of their revenue tied to Huawei. The company has already taken a hit from a decision by Britain's largest wireless carrier BT Group PLC, which this week said it would remove Huawei equipment from the core of its network. What happened to China's ZTE could offer a taste of what comes next: the Trump administration banned American companies from selling to ZTE in April, and though the ban was later lifted ZTE's Hong Kong-listed stock has yet to recover.
IN OTHER NEWS
The U.S. trade deficit reached the highest level in 10 years in October. (WSJ)
New orders for U.S. manufactured goods fell in October at the steepest rate in more than a year. (WSJ)
The U.S. private sector added 179,000 jobs in November. (WSJ)
Application filings for new unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell by 4,000 last week. (WSJ)
The U.S. service sector expanded at a faster pace in November. (WSJ)
Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. are pressing the Federal Reserve to enable real-time payments. (WSJ)
Kroger Co.'s profits declined as the grocer ramps up investments beyond traditional grocery stores. (WSJ)
Fiat Chrysler named former Amazon vice president of operations Mark Stewart to oversee its North America business. (WSJ)
Hedge fund ESL Investments Inc. offered to buy Sears Holdings Corp. stores and other assets out of bankruptcy court. (WSJ)
Lyft Inc. filed paperwork for a planned initial public offering. (WSJ) https://www.wsj.com/articles/lyft-proceeds-with-ipo-plans-1544099168
Miner Barrick Gold Corp. is selling a research-and-development company and cutting technology staff. (WSJ)
Lenders to bankrupt Mission Coal Co. want to buy the company's operations in Alabama and West Virginia. (WSJ)
A report says "fast fashion" strategies are flooding British thrift stores with low-quality, cheaply-made apparel. (Sourcing Journal)
United Parcel Service Inc. is raising rates in North America by 4.9% later this month. (Supply & Demand Chain Executive)
Logistics Property Co. bought a 252-acre industrial park near Dallas and signed one lease with Amazon. (Dallas Morning News)
Business-to-business e-commerce platform NuOrder raised a $15 million in a new funding round. (Business Journals)
Canadian National Railway Co. offered to buy the largest port container terminal in eastern Canada. (Financial Post)
Less-than-truckload carrier YRC Worldwide launched freight brokerage. (Logistics Management)
Lufthansa Cargo is taking a stake in airfreight booking startup Cargo.one. (Lloyd's Loading List)
AIT Worldwide Logistics is buying U.K. freight forwarder ConneXion World Cargo. (The Loadstar)
Port of Hamburg terminal operator HHLA is forming a joint venture with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies. (MarineLink)
Three large liquefied natural gas carriers struck a joint venture to manage LNG tankers. (Lloyd's List)
Japanese container line Ocean Network Express will add a bunker surcharge in January for costs from impending low-sulfur emissions rules. (Port Technology)
Boeing Co. plans to recycle carbon fiber for use by other manufacturing industries. (Flight Global)
Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com opened an indoor vegetable farm in Beijing. (Nikkei Asian Review)
Paul Page is deputy editor of WSJ Logistics Report. Follow him at @PaulPage, and follow the entire WSJ Logistics Report team: @CostasParis , @jensmithWSJ and @EEPhillips_WSJ. Follow the WSJ Logistics Report on Twitter at @WSJLogistics.
Write to Erica E. Phillips at email@example.com