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Amazon Fresh grocery store in Los Angeles opens to the public

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-17 Thu 13:52

After a short period where you could only visit the store if you had an invite, Amazon's first Fresh grocery location is now open to the public. Starting today, anyone who wants to visit the Woodland Hills, Los Angeles store can do so from 7AM to 10PM PT daily.

The centerpiece of the store is Amazon's new Dash Cart. Each one features a scale and a variety of cameras and sensors, allowing it to calculate your total as you shop. Once you're done shopping, the amount you need to pay is automatically deducted from the credit card associated with your Amazon account. If you only plan to buy about two bags worth of groceries, the Amazon Dash Cart allows you to skip a visit to the cashier. Another nifty feature of the Dash Carts is that you can access any shopping lists you made with Alexa directly from the cart.   

FMC to investigate carriers’ runaway rates success

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-17 Thu 09:12

Following up on last week’s efforts by the Chinese Ministry of Transport to curb runaway spot rates, United States authorities have threatened to take carriers to court if they discover evidence of collusion in the container shipping industry’s highly profitable response to the global pandemic.

The US government’s Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) called a private meeting yesterday (16 September) to discuss what it described as “market trends in trade lanes serving the US and actions taken by both individual carriers and global alliances in response to Covid-19 and related impacts to the shipping industry”.

Spot rates between Asia and the US peaked last week at US$3,711/FEU on the west coast and US$4,496/FEU to the east coast, according to Freightos’ FBX01 Daily and FBX03 Daily Indexes.

The resulting surge in carrier profitability and a miserable peak season for shippers dealing with soaring transportation costs have surprised all leading analysts.

Transpacific bull run halted by Chinese Government

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-16 Wed 08:41

The Chinese government has put the brakes on runaway spot rates between the US and Asia preventing box rates on the Transpacific trade lane surging through the US$5,000/FEU threshold.

According to the latest figures from Freightos Baltic Index, the unprecedented bull run that has boosted the bottom line of the world’s leading carriers since the end of June, has finally been halted by China’s Ministry of Transport, The pressure exerted by the MOT, principally on Chinese carriers, COSCO and OOCL, to drop general rate increases (GRI)s planned for yesterday, but ultimately axed, was also being felt by their non-Chinese rivals.

An 11 September meeting between the MOT and shipping lines appears to have brought about, at least a temporary halt in the spot rate feeding frenzy with COSCO/OOCL’s non-Chinese counterparts falling into line, dropping their proposed increases rather than risk incurring the ire of Chinese authorities.

Dennis Zhou of Zest Shipping Media, who broke the news of MOT’s intervention at the end of last week, said in a post on LinkedIn yesterday that “Maersk had reduced its proposed rate adjustment from US$500 to US$200” with an updated USWC rate of US$3,900/FEU and US$4,700 to the US east coast, both US$300 below previous quotes.

A spokesman for Maersk told Container News, 'Our pricing continues to follow the principle of being market-relevant, transparent and fair.'

Create the perfect water balance with automated controls

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-16 Wed 08:25

During Wageningen University’s Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge team AuTomatoes applied the principles of Plant Empowerment in their winning AI strategy. Thus, the team’s strategy was focused on the plant and it’s balances, in order to create a balanced and empowered crop. So how did they do this? This article explains all about the water balance and how team AuTomatoes kept it in balance at all times.

The water balance is the balance between the input to and output of water from the plants. Output of water is mainly caused by evaporation. Only a little portion of the total water uptake is stored in the plant and the fruits. Plants need to evaporate and thus take up water from the root zone for three reasons: the uptake of nutrients, for growth, and for cooling. In order to keep the water balance in balance, the uptake of water from the root zone must equal at least the evaporation rate. Thus, to ensure sufficient water availability, irrigation needs to be aligned with the plant’s evaporation rate.

Various algorithms were developed to support the tomato crop’s water balance in order to optimize the tomato yields. For example, some of these algorithms made use of a plant temperature sensor and pyrgeo sensor to calculate the net radiation on plant level. Based on this calculation the algorithms decided on the optimal screen position for the crop to receive the right amount of radiation to keep a steady evaporation rate.

Maersk and CP ink Canada facility deal

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-15 Tue 11:14

Canadian Pacific Railway Limited and Maersk have reached an agreement to build and operate a world-class transload and distribution facility in Vancouver.

The CP transload facility will be an expansion of CP’s existing Vancouver Intermodal Facility and will benefit from turnkey rail infrastructure.

The new facility is designed to apply Maersk’s global integrator of container logistics strategy and will offer customers access to a multi-commodity transload facility that will rely on the substantial use of rail instead of truck in the Vancouver market, as CP will shuttle containers to and from the ocean terminals via rail.

Maersk’s ambition to establish a sustainable supply chain aligns with CP’s initiatives to fight climate change, according to the companies. This compelling combination will provide an effective and efficient long-term intermodal solution for customers, said the joint announcement.

“CP’s unique landholdings in Vancouver enable us to bring to market a first-of-its-kind transload facility that creates tremendous opportunity for sustainable growth,” commented CP’s president and CEO, Keith Creel.

CIG collaborate to promote safety and security in shipping

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-14 Mon 11:39

In further evidence of how the maritime sector is working in unison to find solutions to long standing problems four industry associations and insurers TT Club are collaborating to produce simplified guidance for packing containers.

The Container Owners Association (COA), Global Shippers Forum (GSF), the International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association, (ICHCA) International, insurers TT Club and the World Shipping Council representing vessel owners and operators, who together form the Cargo Integrity Group (CIG) announced on 14 September that that they have published a Quick Guide to Container Packing.

The group has been formed with a view to improving the safety, security and environmental performance of the logistics supply chain, through the promotion, awareness and wider use of the Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units – the CTU Code, developed by the International Maritime Organization, with the International Labour Organization and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

According to the CIG members the guidance on packing containers is a large and complex volume, the Quick Guide will allow shippers to identify cargo types and their packing requirements readily.

CFIA issues advisory on President's Choice gluten-free chicken strips

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-30 Sun 10:15

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a national consumer advisory on President's Choice gluten-free chicken strips for possible undeclared of gluten.

Taylor Farms brand BBQ ranch chopped salad kits recalled due to undeclared allergens: CFIA

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-29 Sat 09:31

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued a recall on a type of Taylor Farms brand salad kits that may contain undeclared gluten, sesame and wheat allergens.

Amazon opens its first-ever Fresh grocery store in Los Angeles

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-27 Thu 09:17

Amazon aims to compete with the likes of Albertsons and Kroger with the launch of its first retail Fresh grocery story in Los Angeles. The Woodland Hills location, promising “a wide assortment of national brands and high-quality produce, meat and sea...

New processing facility on Vancouver Island could help expand local food production

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-25 Tue 14:43

An old fish processing plant in Port Alberni, B.C., has been given new life as a place where food companies can make their products with the goal of increasing business and provide more food sector jobs in the community.

Fresh peaches recalled in Canada after salmonella outbreak in U.S.

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-23 Sun 09:23

Canadians are being warned to avoid some fresh peaches from a California company after a salmonella outbreak in the United States. Prima Wawona has recalled fresh peaches with various brand names due to possible salmonella contamination. 

Agriculture minister announces details of $50M program to direct surplus food to those in need

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-13 Thu 10:14

500Foods shared this story from CBC | Canada News.

Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced details today of a $50-million program that will redirect surplus perishable food products to vulnerable people during the pandemic.

B.C. fruit growers appeal to local residents to help with harvest as COVID-19 keeps foreign workers away

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-11 Tue 17:21

Fruit growers are appealing to British Columbians in need of work to help with the remaining harvest this year.

Nunavut greenhouse could teach scientists how to grow food in outer space

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-11 Tue 09:40

The Canadian Space Agency says growing food in the North is similar to growing food in space. It's training people in Gjoa Haven to help research food production in harsh environments.

Why mysterious seed packages showing up in Canadian mailboxes could be a 'brushing' scam

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-05 Wed 09:28

Packages of mysterious seeds that have been making unsolicited appearances in mailboxes across North America are drawing attention to an online review scam that has recently appeared in Canada.

California company likely source of North American salmonella outbreak linked to onions

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-01 Sat 12:19

U.S. federal health officials say an outbreak of salmonella infecting nearly 400 people in more than 30 states has been linked to red onions, and they identified a California company as the likely source.

Lack of bees, pollination limiting crop yields across U.S., B.C., study finds

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-29 Wed 09:26

A lack of wild bees and managed honeybees is limiting pollination and yields for certain crops on farms in British Columbia and across the United States, a collective of researchers has found.

New policies in B.C. Interior town hurting food truck operators

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-26 Sun 10:13

Policies barring food trucks from operating on city-owned land in downtown Nelson, B.C., and at the local farmers market introduced this year are of great concern for the owner of a food truck in the southern Interior city.

Migrant justice advocacy group denounces B.C. nursery's firing of temporary foreign workers

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-22 Wed 19:26

An advocacy group supporting temporary foreign workers in B.C.'s Okanagan is raising concerns after two Mexican workers were fired from a West Kelowna nursery for violating the company's policies. 

Migrant workers claim cramped quarters a problem at COVID-19 stricken Okanagan farm

Submitted by Andrew Simard on 2020-Jul-17 Fri 20:12

Four people at Krazy Cherry Fruit Co. in Oliver B.C., have tested positive for the virus and the operation is now under restrictions imposed by Interior Health.