Avocado Shortage Looming?

Avocado Shortage Looming?

April 8, 2019

President Trump is suggesting that the U.S.-Mexican border be closed unless Mexico assists with reducing the number of illegal immigrants reaching the border.

Beyond the humanitarian impacts, closing a border can have many impacts on supply chains. Hitting the news is the looming avocado shortage that would take place if the border is closed. Within three weeks, avocados would not be available, or in very limited supply, in the United States.

This is far from the first time an avocado shortage has made headlines. In 2014, with Chile and California facing drought, and gangs blocking production and delivery of avocados in Mexico,  news spread of a potential avocado shortage.   In 2016, a growers’ strike in Mexico led to a shortage. And in November 2018, a dispute between growers and packers threatened another shortage.

Avocados represents only one of the products that would be impacted.  Other fruits, car parts which flow in both directions, and refined gas shipped to Mexico, would also be affected.


Video Spotlight: Trump reiterates threat to close U.S.-Mexican border


This post is based on the Newsbusters.org article, Holy Guacamole! MSNBC Fears Avocado Crisis if Trump Closes Border, by Kyle Drennen, April 1 Continue reading

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What’s Your Amazon Day?

What’s Your Amazon Day?

March 24, 2019

Slower delivery, fewer packages.  Is it a step back in time or Amazon’s newest innovation for reducing packaging waste and delivery costs?

Bucking current trends for quick delivery including the success of its own Amazon Prime service, the company is now asking Prime customers in its test market to choose one day each week for consolidated deliveries.

“Amazon Day” is Amazon’s latest attempt to slow the deluge of demand for two-day deliveries and to reduce the number of boxes shipped to households.  Amazon Prime subscribers can order throughout the week up to two days before their preferred delivery day, and all the orders will be shipped out at once.


Video Spotlight: Amazon to let Prime members choose what day of the week to deliver


This post is based on the Seattle Times article, Amazon aims to save packaging, reduce emissions with designated delivery day, by Benjamin Romano, February 28, 2019; the Fortune article, “Amazon Day” Shipping Option Aims to Reduce Deliveries and CO2 Emissions, by Grace Dobush, March 1, 2019; and the YouTube video, Amazon to let Prime members choose what day of the week to deliver, by Good Morning America, March 1, 2019. Continue reading

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The Auto Industry Is Running Out of Gas

The Auto Industry Is Running Out of Gas

America’s love affair with cars is losing its steam.

As city living makes a comeback and new transportation options emerge, the appeal of buying a new car fades. After decades of growth and record years, auto sales may have reached a peak or will get there soon.

The auto industry is trying to prepare itself for an inevitable decline and is investing in mobility services and self-driving cars. This worldwide trend marks the end of an era and the beginning of a quest for the next disruptive innovation.


Video Spotlight: Peak Car?


This post is based on a Bloomberg article, Car Troubles: This is What Peak Car Looks Like, by K. Naughton and D. Welch, February 28, 2019; and the YouTube video, Peak Car?, by Financial Times, January 26, 2014. Image source: Ionut Iordache/Getty Images

Discussion Questions:

1. What factors have contributed to the decline in private car sales?

Guidance: Factors include increasing numbers of people migrating to large cities where cheaper and more convenient transportation options abound; higher car prices; scarcity and cost of parking; young people’s dwindling interest in driving; and a growing elderly population for whom driving has become risky and stressful.

2. Continue reading

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