CBRE CEO Bob Sulentic and Industrious CEO Jamie Hodari (Getty, Industrious/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)CBRE Group has acquired a 35 percent stake in Industrious ahead of the flex-office provider’s possible 2021 IPO.“We are big believers in the flexible workspace arena and see a tremendous opportunity,” CBRE CEO Bob Sulentic said in an interview with Bloomberg News.The investment makes CBRE the largest shareholder in Industrious, and it’s not done yet: The real estate giant plans to buy another 5 percent stake in the company in the next few weeks, Sulentic said.Dallas-based CBRE paid about $200 million in cash for primary and secondary shares, and is transferring its own flexible workspace brand Hana, which operates 10 locations in the U.S. and U.K., to Industrious as part of the transaction, the companies said.Read moreAs flex-office space contracts, Industrious grows NYC footprintIndustrious partners with landlords to offer tenants satellite workplacesCBRE latest real estate firm to hop on SPAC bandwagon Message* The deal values Industrious at more than $600 million, a person with knowledge of the matter told the publication. Sulentic and Emma Giamartino, CBRE’s global chief investment officer, are joining Industrious’ board.Industrious co-founder and CEO Jamie Hodari said the firm’s focus on customer service and its business model based on management agreements with landlords, rather than traditional leases, have been validated.“It’s partly why we’ve been able to spend the last year planting while others were pruning,” Hodari said.Industrious has told The Real Deal that the company plans to go public later this year or early 2021.The move comes at a time when Industrious’ rivals in the flex-office space have been in retreat. Regus and Knotel recently filed for bankruptcy, with the latter set to be acquired by Newmark Group. WeWork is “rightsizing” its footprint as it looks to achieve profitability and contemplates an IPO sometime this year. [Bloomberg News] — Akiko MatsudaContact Akiko Matsuda Email Address* Full Name* Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Tags CBRE GroupCo-workingCommercial Real EstateIndustrious
More than half of university students say they would choose a vegan product even if they were not vegan, according to a study by bakery supplier Dawn Foods.A hundred students attended a vegan bakery pop-up in the café of the main University College Birmingham (UCB) building, with 36 students and lecturers taking part in a survey about different bakery trends.A quarter said they would follow a diet due to health concerns and 25% because of animal welfare. More than half (56%) would choose a vegan product even if they were not vegan, while only 19% said they would not buy a vegan product. Most students said vegan items were too expensive.A bakery product had to be indulgent or luxurious for 33% of people, followed by vegetarian and reduced sugar and fat.Students chose a slice of cake as their top sweet treat, with cookies and muffins in second place. Sixty-one per cent of people said appearance was key for purchase, and older respondents said the homemade look of the product tempted them.“Dawn Foods has a strong link with UCB through our student ambassador programme. The bakery pop-up event, which is now in its second year with the university college, is a simple but effective way to gauge consumer response to our products and see why people make certain decisions,” said Jacqui Passmore, marketing manager UK and Ireland for Dawn Foods.“This year’s event looked at vegan as the category will be a focus for Dawn in 2020 with new products and innovations to be launched.”Students also sampled a range of Dawn products, including muffins and traybakes, alongside non-vegan premium doughnuts and cakes.The vegan traybake, created with Dawn’s new vegan crème cake mix, was often selected above other products by vegan and non-vegan students, according to the supplier.UCB student tasting a product from Dawn Foods
It comes as no surprise that Umphrey’s McGee would lead off it’s not us with “The Silent Type”, a song that has grown out of several of the band’s patented “Jimmy Stewart” improvisation segments. The band actually released a timeline to show just how “The Silent Type” has evolved out of (what was known by fans as) the “Cig Stew” starting back in 2011, which hardcore fans can check out below. The deliberate choice to open this record with a song that reflects years of hard work shines a light on the band’s overall theme of evolution on it’s not us.Evolution of Umphrey’s McGee’s “The Silent Type”[Video: Umphrey’s McGee]Umphrey’s McGee’s sound has certainly shifted towards a heavier, more hard-rock feel in the past few years, and the relentlessly work-shopped “The Silent Type” is a perfect encapsulation of the hard work and effort that the band has put into this active shift in their sound. The song itself—a pulsating rocker with a synth bass lead and aggressive vocals from Bayliss—continues the 1980s-era sound that the band has trended towards over the past few records. Brendan Bayliss’ strong vocals match Kris Myers’ driving drumbeat, while guitar wizard Jake Cinninger leaves his mark all over the track, filling in the blanks tastefully throughout with epic runs up and down the neck of his guitar.The evolutionary feel that flows throughout it’s not us continues on track two, “Looks”. This track marks a huge shift toward industrial rock, a sound that is cemented by tribal-sounding drums and the use of a Nine Inch Nails-esque filter over Cinninger’s vocals. This track has Cinninger’s fingerprints all over it, specifically the trademark guitar squeals and scratches he implements to add to the track’s overall dissonant feel. His off-center solo towards the end of the track cements this as one of his best contribution to the Umphrey’s McGee catalog. “Looks” works in a big way, and one can only imagine that it will soon become a live favorite.The band swings from industrial to blues with the album’s third track, “Whistle Kids”, which quickly settles into a dream-state groove. The song’s looped whistling harkens back to the band’s “Off The Hip” improvisational set with Joshua Redman back in January of 2016. Umphrey’s McGee has always shown a knack for nailing complicated harmonies on their records, and “Whistle Kids” is another moment where the band’s hard work has paid off in that department. “Whistle Kids” shows the band taking a restrained approach, and it serves as a nice breather before the real progressive meat of the album kicks in.The groove-centric power-ballad “Half Delayed” qualifies as the go-to example of the mature songwriting featured on it’s not us. The song is concise and has an ethereal, groove-centric vibe that shifts up a few gears during a soaring bridge and syncopated chorus. Bayliss’ restrained vocals and Cinninger’s short-but-fiery solo bookends the three-minute-and-thirty-six-second stand-out track. While “Half Delayed” may be short, it packs a serious punch, with Kris Myers delivering the goods in a starring role on the drumkit, helping to create the song’s interesting and ever-shifting vibe.While “Half Delayed” is short and to the point, the album’s fifth track, “Maybe Someday”, wastes no time stretching things out and getting down and dirty. “Maybe Someday” is this album’s progressive-rock classic, with a shapeshifting time signature and multiple unique sections flowing into each other, combining wailing guitar, catchy hooks, and a perfectly-utilized, frenetic string section. Like many other songs on this album, “Maybe Someday” contains elements that have been road-tested at live shows from year’s past, with the lyrics over the song’s wild bridge appearing at the band’s “Making Lemonade” show in St. Augustine, FL on 4/11/2015. “Maybe Someday” is an expansive journey that will surely provide many nooks and crannies for the band to stretch out and improvise in the live setting. This song simply sounds like the total Umphrey’s McGee experience, especially the intense closing stanza, complete with an absolutely raging guitar solo from Cinninger. This is likely to be the fan-favorite off it’s not us.When fans saw that “Remind Me”—a song that’s been in the band’s live rotation for several years at this point—had made the cut for it’s not us, they rejoiced, as the bi-polar funk/metal rager has become a live staple since its debut in 2015. The song opens on a funky rock guitar, which locks in with a bouncy groove and some great underlying tones from keyboardist Joel Cummins. The song has a very poppy sound with accessible vocals, guitar, and drums, but that quickly dissolves away into extreme dissonance, with Cinninger once again utilizing scratching and screeching guitar sounds to transform the song into what is easily Umphrey’s McGee’s most intense metal that they have ever put on to record. The double-bass-pedal-laden drums drive the section forward, while Cinninger and Bayliss go absolutely crazy on their guitars, locking in for an unprecedented and prolonged take on speed metal. The relentless attack goes on for several minutes before the band mercilessly drops down to half-time and locks in for a slick (but still heavy) ending harmonized guitar part.After such an intense moment, Umphrey’s McGee shifts gears once again with a long-forgotten Brendan Bayliss solo acoustic song, “You And You Alone”. This song shows Bayliss at his most vulnerable, as he sings about his respect for and relationship with his wife and family. The touching number is given the “treatment,” and is very Beatles-esque with its use of a gorgeous string section that brings out the emotion of the track.“Forks” is an older, Cinninger-penned song that fans first heard on a four-track demo released as part of the album Mantis’ extensive bonus content. The song has been performed a number of times since 2011, however, the version on it’s not us shows that “Forks” has clearly gone through its own evolutionary process. On it’s not us, The track is marked by synth bleeps and guitar runs over a charging drum beat and harmonized vocals. The song’s “search for a light” refrain builds into a euphoric guitar explosion that is sure to delight listeners.“Speak Up” heavily features iconic modern jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman. Redman has maintained a healthy relationship with Umphrey’s McGee over the years, performing with the band several times per year for consistently can’t-miss shows. His contribution to “Speak Up” is prominent—harmonizing and soloing over the song’s intro and trading solos with Cinninger throughout. This track is a throwback to old-school Umphrey’s McGee, with Cummins anchoring the rhythmic melody while Cinninger and Redman do their deed. The song also features one of the Umphrey’s McGee’s most interesting vocal parts, with a full band harmony leading into a syncopated anthemic chorus from Bayliss.“Piranhas”, another road-tested Umphrey’s McGee song that will be familiar to fans, is dark and punchy from the get-go. The song’s ominous synth-bass and echoed piano lays a foundation for a great rock song—one of the most straightforward on the record. Riff lovers will adore the song’s chunky guitar part, and Bayliss’ catchy hook bleeds into an atypically restrained solo from Cinninger. This is simply a great rock song.If “Remind Me” has the heaviest metal sound of any Umphrey’s McGee’s song on the record, “Dark Brush” comes in at a very close second. Heavy and distorted right out of the gates, the intensity of this track centers on sinister guitar, anthemic harmonies, and another filtered Cinninger vocal. It’s an intense track with lots of guitar wizardry from Cinninger, who puts his exclamation mark with “Dark Brush”.In total, Umphrey’s McGee delivers another chapter in their long-and-winding musical career on it’s not us. The result is one of their best records yet; certainly one of their most ambitious. While the band has cemented itself as one of the biggest bands in the so-called “jam band scene”, this record is anything but a “jam band” record. it’s not us showcases Umphrey’s McGee at the height of their powers, seamlessly mixing familiar genres and sounds into their own unique and complicated musical stew—one that is now reaching perfection after twenty years of dedication to their craft.To honor their 20th anniversary and the release of it’s not us, Umphrey’s McGee will hit New York City for a three-night run at the Beacon Theatre from January 19th through 21st, 2018. In addition to these highly anticipated shows, Live For Live Music is presenting two official after-shows featuring members of Umphrey’s as well as longtime collaborators of the band. Following the run opening performance on January 19th, Umphrey’s own Ryan Stasik and Joel Cummins will team up with Matt Jalbert and Isaac Teel of TAUK for a very special “Tauking McGee” show at the Highline Ballroom.Ryan Stasik & Joel Cummins To Replace Brownie & Magner For Show With TAUK MembersThe second after-party on January 20th will showcase a one-off super jam formed by DJ and longtime Umphrey’s McGee pal Wyllys. Dubbed “The Will To Live,” the band will find Rob Compa from Dopapod leading the charge on guitar, while Mike “Maz” Maher from Snarky Puppy lays down his impressive trumpet skills. Those familiar with Wyllys’ NY Hustler Ensemble will recognize three alumni: former Trey Anastasio Band & New York Hieroglyphics man Peter Apfelbaum will be on percussion for the evening, while guitarist Chris Cartelli from Newton Crosby and keyboardist Zac Lasher from U-Melt will round out the all-star cast.Wyllys Taps TAB, Dopapod, & Snarky Puppy Members For Umphrey’s McGee Afterparty[Cover Photo: Shervin Lainez] eAs a band, Umphrey’s McGee has always attempted to push the proverbial envelope. Emerging as a powerhouse jam band from the Midwest in the late 1990s, the band has worked hard to circumvent the trappings of their genre. Their now-famous live shows whip the audience from one genre to another, from alternative rock to jazz, to metal and funk, and then back again. They fuse their wide-ranging influences to form one of the most unique sounds in modern improvisational music.Through the years, this growth has shown in the band’s recorded output, with each new record a reflection of their ever-evolving sound. With their new record, it’s not us, released Friday, January 12th, Umphrey’s McGee—who are celebrating their 20th anniversary as a band in 2018—delivers another musical statement. The album successfully captures their contemporary live sound and the world-class musicianship that defines the group while also showcasing a new level of maturity in their songwriting, weaving back and forth between genres while remaining centered on the progressive sound that they’ve honed over their twenty-year career. it’s not us offers up some of the best and most versatile songwriting that the band has ever laid down on tape. UM’s ability to mix dynamic sounds and vibes with ultra-tight instrumentation, intricate harmonies, and, of course, soaring guitar solos is ultimately quite similar to their live show.You can take a listen to Umphrey’s McGee’s new album that dropped today, it’s not us, below. Read on after the break for a full review and full thoughts on the album.
The trailer video also contains a brief clip of music, in which Black sings “…Apocalypto, this is our time to shine.” That little snippet is in line with the “hypothetical” info Black recently divulged about their upcoming album. In an interview with Kerrang!, Black referenced the plans for a new Tenacious D project, saying, “We’ve been working on it for years. It’s a post-apocalyptic musical comedy that’s an animated series that no one wanted in Hollywood but we’re making it anyway. And it’s very cheap, and it looks cheap, but that’s what makes it funnier.”He goes on to liken the animation style (drawn by Jack himself) to those of Beavis & Butthead, “So that’s the plan, we’re making this album called Post-Apocalypto, and it’s all a story, like a rock opera like Tommy or The Wall….just like those.” Watch the Tenacious D tour trailer video below:Tenacious D 2018 Tour Trailer Video[Video: Tenacious D]You can see a full list of Tenacious D’s upcoming tour dates below. For more information, head to the band’s website.Tenacious D Upcoming 2018 Tour DatesJune 14 -16 – Montebello Rockfest – Montebello, CanadaOctober 06 – Cal Jam – San Bernardino, CANovember 03 – Kings Theater – Brooklyn, NYNovember 05 -House of Blues – Boston, MANovember 07 – The Anthem – Washington, DCNovember 08 – The Fillmore – Philadelphia, PANovember 09 – Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PANovember 10 – Express Live – Columbus, OHNovember 12 – The Fillmore – Detroit, MINovember 13 – Riviera Theater – Chicago, ILView All Tour Dates Tenacious D is back in full force! After announcing an upcoming sequel to their cult favorite 2006 film, Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny, during their rare headlining set at Shaky Knees Music Festival, the comedic rock duo has announced their first full-length tour in five years. The tour will support an upcoming new album, reportedly a rock opera set in post-apocalyptic times.The announcement came along with an animated tour trailer video, which sees crudely drawn versions of band members Jack Black and Kyle Gass freaking out about being able to pay the rent–”Dude, we are FUCKED,” laments the cartoon Black, worrying that it would take “like five years” to write another album. “Or are we…?” counters Gass, before text pops up across the screen:
Back-to-school looks different this year at the Patil house, and for many families around the world. My son and daughter are starting off the school year fully virtual. Over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed an interesting shift. Despite learning at home, my kids say, “I’m going to school.” Until recently, to most of us school meant a physical place. This year has taught us that school is really a set of experiences – reading, listening, teachers, classmates, assignments, and so forth. I’m hyper aware of this mind shift, because a similar phenomenon is happening in cloud computing. Increasingly, “cloud” is viewed as an operating model – a set of experiences – rather than a destination.Dell Technologies is uniquely positioned to bring the cloud operating model to wherever our customers’ workloads are – in their datacenters, in public clouds and at the edge. The core experiences of the cloud operating model (elastic infrastructure resources, modern commerce, resource delivery as-a-service, simplification of IT, democratic access to software development tools) can, and should, be delivered everywhere customers run workloads.This ability to deliver the cloud operations organizations need consistently and seamlessly between and across any cloud – private, public or edge – has driven us to make a steady stream of Dell Technologies Cloud announcements this year. On September 29, we announced several cloud innovations for VMware environments, designed to help customers better protect, manage and support traditional and modern applications across edge locations, core data centers and hybrid clouds. These tightly integrated solutions span our infrastructure portfolio with advancements to our hyperconverged, storage and data protection offerings to better meet our customers’ modernization needs.As a long-time proponent and early adopter of cloud computing, there are two things that excite me most about the announcements Dell Technologies and VMware made:The release of the VMware’s Tanzu Portfolio is a game-changer for developers and IT admin alike. With the ability to develop and run cloud-native, containerized, applications alongside traditional applications, huge operational efficiencies are realized. Teams can use existing technology, tools and skillsets on their journey to Kubernetes adoption.With continued focus on intrinsic security advancements that are resilient, self-defending and built-in, more industries than ever can enjoy the benefits of cloud operations. The list will only continue to grow as more industries and more organizations realize the value in running each workload in the location and on the infrastructure that best meets its needs.We’re committed to delivering simple, seamless and consistent experiences between and across clouds for our customers, regardless of vendor. Our focus on hybrid cloud and our partner ecosystem is what will continue to solidify our best of all clouds promise.Join us on October 21 at Dell Technologies World to learn more.
Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder and former CEO of Seventh Generation, brought his ideas about socially responsible business practices to the Mendoza College of Business Friday. Hollender’s lecture, “The Future of American Business,” was part of Ten Years Hence Speaker Series, which explores ideas likely to affect society and business for the next decade. Hollender, a career entrepreneur, started two businesses prior to co-founding Seventh Generation, a company that produces organic cleaning products. He started Seventh Generation with the vision of creating a new kind of company — one focused on being both ethical and sustainable. According to Hollender, these ethical and sustainable practices included employee ownership, radical transparency, organic inputs and products and pay equality. Hollender believes in the merits of employee ownership. He said there are many studies and statistics supporting the concept that employees are more productive and engaged when they have some level of ownership in the company they work for. Radical transparency is another concept Hollender enacted at Seventh Generation. According to Hollender, radical transparency is a business sharing both its successes and its mistakes with investors and the public. “[Radical transparency] is difficult to maintain,” he said. “Most companies only talk about what they are doing well … We in the business world usually don’t like to dwell on our mistakes.” Organic inputs and products was the center of Seventh Generation’s sustainability commitment. They produce toilet paper made from recycled materials, non-chlorine bleach, phosphate free cleaning products and more. Hollender’s concept of pay equality is that CEO’s and other business executives are being paid too much. As CEO of Seventh Generation he limited his pay to 17 times the pay of the lowest wage employee in the company. “Let me tell you, you pay a lot more attention to the lowest paid workers when their wage determines your own salary,” Hollender said. In 2008, Hollender stepped down after eight years as CEO of Seventh Generation but continued to work for the company. Then, about sixth months ago he was fired from Seventh Generation, which he attributes to disagreements about the direction of the company between himself and the board of directors. “[Being fired] is an experience I plan to learn from … At Seventh Generation I worked to make the company an exception to the rule,” he said. “Now, I want to dedicate the rest of my life to changing the rules.” Hollender now works as an author, speaker, consultant and activist. He has consulted with corporations such as Microsoft and Wal-Mart. He is a board member of Greenpeace U.S., the Environmental Health Fund and Verité, a workers’ rights organization. Hollender is also co-founder of the American Sustainable Business Council, a coalition of business leaders committed to sustainability and changing business practices. In regards to the current economic situation, Hollender brought up the high unemployment rate and the growing income gap as major concerns. “The income gap here in America is greater than in either Egypt or Tunisia,” he said. “In fact, today one in seven Americans is using food stamps.” However, the “rules” were the main focus of Hollender’s assessment of the current economic situation. “We have a system that provides incentives for businesses to do the wrong thing,” Hollender said. Hollender pointed to the example of America’s third largest producer of solar panels moving to China because the Chinese government invests very heavily in renewable energy technologies. He also said that the American government subsidies are hurting producers of organic products. He explained that Seventh Generation toilet paper costs more than non-organic brands because the government subsidizes new timber to the point where it is cheaper than recycled materials. This problem is mirrored in the retail industry, according to Hollender. Hollender said some retailers tend to mark-up organic products to a greater extent than other products. Hollender said he believes that, until there is parity in pricing, organic products will not be able to compete. However, he believes there is a trend away from this practice. “Target, for instance, has done a great job pricing green products in parity with other products,” Hollender said. Government subsidies of petroleum products are also a big problem, Hollender said. He said he thinks these subsidies should be gradually removed so that there is incentive for more environmentally friendly alternatives and for a change in consumer behavior. “I think that gas should cost six or seven dollars,” he said. “There are many benefits and the only negative is that low-income individuals are most affected; that would have to somehow be offset.” Another problem, according to Hollender, is that society pays for air and water pollution rather than the corporations causing the pollution. One concept Hollender advanced is full-cost accounting. According to Hollender, full-cost accounting is the notion that product prices should reflect all costs of production, including environmental, energy and traditional cost factors. “If we had full-cost accounting, bad products would cost more and good products would cost less,” he said. “Right now it is the other way around.” He pointed to the Mondragon Corporation in Spain, which has had great success with worker-owned cooperative businesses. According to Hollender, this successful business model is currently being used to revitalize business in Cleveland, Ohio, through the Evergreen Cooperative Development Project. According to Hollender, the cooperative businesses in the Evergreen Project are guaranteed revenue from other member businesses. For example, a hospital pledged to use a local laundry service for all of their laundry needs and to get all of their food from a local greenhouse. Hollender said the project has been successful so far because the biggest risk facing small business is the uncertainty of revenue. The guaranteed revenue within the Evergreen Project has allowed many new small businesses to start up. As many as 50 other U.S. cities are looking at the Cleveland model, according to Hollender. Most of Hollender’s current work is focused on transitioning businesses as they exist now to sustainable business models. He said he sees this as a critical part of solving America’s business problems. Hollender finished by calling upon the business students in the audience to work on addressing the types of issues he discussed. “The world needs you. It will be up to all of you to help these companies transition to the sustainable business models of the future,” he said. “How much of your life are you willing to dedicate to solving these problems.”
It takes money to go somewhere. Unless you’re about develop the power of flight, that won’t be changing anytime soon. Whether you drive or have someone drive you, you’re going to have to budget a portion of your income to help you get around. If you’d like to spend a few less dollars in that area, here are some tips that can help you save money while getting from Point A to Point B.Drive betterIt takes gas to make a vehicle run, but it takes less gas when you’re driving more responsibly. We all get in a hurry from time to time, but you can improve your gas mileage if you try to speed less. My car has an “ECO” light that turns on when I’m cruising at an economically favorable speed. If you don’t have a similar feature, you can at least try and stay at a constant speed and not brake/accelerate so much.Find the cheapest gasWhen you have a need, there’s usually an app for it. GasBuddy can help you find the cheapest gas around and it’s powered by the users, so you get to help let others in on the discounts as well. Just try to never let your tank get too low or you won’t be getting many options on where to fill up.Get a bikeIf you’re like me, you have a bike, you love riding it, and you probably don’t ride it near as often as you should. If this you, and you have a short commute, you can solve two problems at once. If the weather is nice and your commute is short, why not leave the keys at home and take your bike to work?Start a carpoolHave some coworkers that live nearby? If so, there’s no excuse for not starting a carpool. By taking turns driving each week, you’ll save a lot of gas money over the course of the year. If you like driving too much to be a rider, why not pick up that coworker every day? They can pay you a flat fee for the ride, you’ll make a few bucks, and they’ll save on the wear and tear on their vehicle. Everybody wins. 74SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Details
From the latest provision of the Polish Government on the ban on flights – Croatia has been deleted, said Agnieszka Puszczewicz, director of the CNTB office in Poland. Read more about the official decision HERE Although it was announced that Poland will ban flights from 02 countries, as well as from Croatia, from September 46, the planes between Poland and Croatia will continue to fly, without changes.
The port backups that have paralyzed food shipments around the world for weeks aren’t getting much better. In fact, in some places, they’re getting worse.In the Philippines, officials at a port that’s a key entry point for rice said earlier this week the terminal was at risk of shutting as thousands of shipping containers pile up because lockdown measures are making them harder to clear. Meanwhile, curfews in Guatemala and Honduras, known for their specialty coffees, are limiting operating hours at ports and slowing shipments. And in parts of Africa, which is heavily dependent on food imports, there aren’t enough workers showing up to help unload cargoes.The port choke-points are just the latest example of how the virus is snarling food production and distribution across the globe. Trucking bottlenecks, sick plant workers, export bans and panic buying have all contributed to why shoppers are seeing empty grocery store shelves, even amid ample supplies. Food moves from farm to table through a complicated web of interactions. So problems for even just a few ports can ripple through to create troubling slowdowns. For example, wheat grown in Europe can be shipped off to India, where it’s processed into naan bread for eventual export into the American market. Disruptions along the way are causing heavy delays.And there’s the threat that things could get much worse if port problems spread. Just a handful countries, for instance, export the bulk of the world’s rice and wheat, staple sources of calories. Soybeans from South America help keep the planet’s livestock fed, and the vast majority of cocoa supplies are shipped out of small section of West Africa.Even countries like the US, a key food exporter, depend on imports for things like wine, spices, cheese and out-of-season produce — that’s how you can make avocado toast year-round.US frozen-foods company Saffron Road relies on Indian shipments for naan and other products. A three-week lockdown on the nation’s 1.3 billion people has brought transportation of goods within its borders to a near halt, and the government sparked confusion when it told all major ports that the virus was a valid reason to halt some operations. Saffron Road may be forced to look for other suppliers if disruptions continue much longer, said chief executive officer Adnan Durrani. Durrani said that his Indian products are well stocked, though, and he won’t seek alternative suppliers for those goods.“It’s uncharted territory,” Durrani said.Still, in some parts of the world earlier port disruptions have already improved.China is past the worst of its problems. At the height of the nation’s outbreak, thousands of containers of frozen pork, chicken and beef were piling up at major ports after transport disruptions and labor shortages slowed operations. The logjam also created a dearth of containers elsewhere in the world, which was then compounded by the fact that vessels weren’t making trips out from the Asian nation with manufactured goods. Those issues have since cleared up as the country went back to work.In Brazil, the world’s top exporter of soybeans, beef, coffee and sugar, shipments are now running at a normal pace amid a joint effort between the government and companies to keep shipping flowing.A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the world’s largest handler of refrigerated containers, is bringing 1,800 empty units to the South American nation to counter a shortfall for Brazil’s meat shipments. Containers are scarce in Brazil after being used for refrigerated stockpiles amid congestion in China’s key ports during the Asian nation’s lockdown, Maersk said.Brazil also managed to export record volumes of soybeans in March after the government intervened to stop a strike threatened by port workers who were worried about their safety.“Brazil’s export volumes are so big that any minor issue must be solved very quickly. Otherwise, it may lead to logistic bottlenecks in all the world,” said Sergio Mendes, head of the nation’s grain export group known as Anec.But with the disease spreading, container issues are popping up in other regions. The sturdy boxes, often made of steel and usually measuring somewhere between 20 feet (about 6 meters) to 50 feet in length, are constantly sent back and forth across the planet with goods. That flow has been heavily disrupted as the virus slows manufacturing and cripples demand for some products. The Port of Los Angeles, for example, saw a 31% drop in volume in March compared with a year ago as retailers scale back orders.Food exporters are being forced to wait longer for incoming shipments to be able to empty and refill vessels with their goods. That’s the case in Europe, where operations are running more or less normally, but the container squeeze is causing delays, according to Philippe Binard, general delegate of Freshfel Europe, a produce association.It’s also a problem in Canada after some shipping routes were canceled by carriers because of lower demand for manufactured goods.“The outbound capacity is really starting to diminish,” said Mark Hemmes, president of the Edmonton, Alberta-based Quorum Corp., a company hired by the federal government to monitor Canada’s grain-transportation system.Across the globe in Nigeria, the problem is too many containers, which are piling up and clogging the ports. Workers who would normally be clearing the congestion are facing difficulties coming in as the nation’s lockdown shut public transportation. Banks near the ports are closing, making it harder to process receipts and clearing documents.With food stuck in containers floating at the docks, it’s exacerbating shortages and driving up prices.“The ports are jam-packed,” Tony Nwabunike, president of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, the union that represents workers who clear the ports. “The main reason is that there is no movement now. Even those of us that have been given orders to go to the ports as essential service providers, we are not accessing the ports because transportation remain skeletal,” and not all workers have the necessary paperwork to show they are essential employees, he said.“Police are on the road, so people are scared. There is harassment everywhere.”Even as some of these issues start to ease, there’s also concern over the possibility of port workers getting sick. Employees in close proximity will have to be quarantined if they are exposed, and there’s the threat of contagion. Hubs like Singapore and Shanghai have halted crew transfers to prevent the spread of the virus.In Australia, two workers at Port Botany, one of the country’s biggest container ports, tested positive for Covid-19, it was confirmed this week. A further 17 workers went into self isolation for 14 days.The threat of sick workers is top of mind for Paul Aucoin, executive director of the Port of South Louisiana, the largest tonnage port district in the US The virus has already forced some security personnel to self-isolate, and vessel crews are no longer allowed on shore in an effort to stem the spread, he said.“I fear we’re going to lose some workers, and when you lose workers it gets harder to keep the same pace,” Aucoin said. “We are going to see a slowdown.”Topics :
Oil markets have plunged in recent weeks as lockdowns and travel restrictions to fight the coronavirus around the world batter demand, and storage facilities are overwhelmed by excess supply.WTI for June delivery jumped 19 percent Wednesday after US President Donald Trump threatened to shoot at Iranian boats in a key waterway for crude shipments after Washington accused its arch-foe of harassing its ships in the Gulf.The Gulf is a major gateway for oil to reach international markets, and previous spikes in tensions between US and Iranian vessels have seen crude prices similarly surge higher. Trump’s threat overshadowed a weekly US inventory report that showed another big jump in crude stockpiles, including at the Cushing, Oklahoma hub where analysts say there is little remaining space. Oil extended gains Thursday after a massive rebound overnight, but prices remain under pressure as the coronavirus strangles demand and storage facilities fill up.United States benchmark West Texas Intermediate was up 3.5 percent at US$14.27 a barrel while international benchmark Brent crude was up 2.60 percent at $20.90 a barrel in early Asian trade.Markets were relatively calm compared to the rollercoaster sessions earlier in the week, which saw US crude fall into negative territory for the first time. And analysts warned that geopolitical tensions won’t have a lasting impact if crude storage facilities are full.”Any bottoming out in prices is solely dependant on either an immediate OPEC+++ coordinated action to limit the downside slide and or an unlikely swift demand recovery in May,” said Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at AxiCorp.He was referring to exporting group OPEC and its allies, who struck a deal earlier this month to cut output by 10 million barrels a day in a bid to boost virus-hit markets. But analysts say that will not be enough to make up for the loss in demand caused by the virus, and prices have continued to fall.Topics :