By Paul Page
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The sprawling global automotive supply chain may be a barrier to President-elect Donald Trump's toughest trade talk. Mr. Trump has pledge to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement if Mexico doesn't agree to new terms with the U.S. But the WSJ's Dudley Althaus and Christina Rogers report that the multilayered connections between U.S. and foreign suppliers and assembly plants make ending the trade deal a complicated business. The many parts that make up any vehicle often come from multiple producers in different countries and travel across borders several times. Whether assembled in Mexico, Indiana or Germany, cars are rolling examples of the reality of modern manufacturing: Where a product is assembled increasingly has little to do with where its components are made. More than half the parts for the Ford Motor Co.'s Focus compact car, for instance, are made outside the U.S. and Canada, while 70% of the components in Honda CR-Vs assembled in Guadalajara, Mexico, come from U.S. or Canadian plants.
Hanjin Shipping Co.'s trans-Pacific assets will remain in South Korean hands -- if they survive at all. The Seoul court handling the container shipping line's tumultuous bankruptcy will choose between bids from Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. and niche operator Korea Line Corp., the WSJ's In-Soo Nam reports, in a sale process that may herald the beginning of the end for Hanjin. Hyundai Merchant, which is owned by state-owned Korea Development Bank, has long been considered the most likely operation to pick up the market pieces left by Hanjin's collapse, and the bidding on assets including Asia-U.S. route and its stake in a California terminal won't change that. Hyundai Merchant has been trying to expand its fleet to compete with bigger rivals, and picking up Hanjin's remnants would give the carrier the best chance of bringing business to the table in the new global shipping alliances. It also would help the exporters critical to Korea's economy navigate the biggest collapse ever in the container shipping world.
U.S. railroads will have to comply with new mandatory drug and alcohol testing rules next year. Federal regulators rejected an appeal by railroads, including freight carriers and transit lines, to push back the requirements by a year, the WSJ's Ted Mann reports, a delay the operators say was needed to meet the extensive demands. The rule brings maintenance-of-way workers -- the crews who maintain and repair the rails, stone ballast and machinery of freight and passenger railroads -- under the same federal drug-testing regimen that applies to other critical workers such as train engineers, conductors and dispatchers. For the Federal Railroad Administration, however, the rule is a response to a "devastating substance abuse crisis," and follows sharp growth in positive drug tests in the industry over the past year.
SUPPLY CHAIN STRATEGIES
Peak-season logistics came early for Fanatics Inc. The Chicago Cubs victory over the Cleveland Indians that ended the baseball team's 108-year championship drought gave the online sports apparel retailer an early holiday gift, the WSJ's Steve Norton reports. The fourth quarter accounts for more than half of Fanatics' annual business, and it's planning to process more than 10 million items between Black Friday and Christmas alone. Fanatics prepared long ahead for thesales potential of a Cubs win, and the final out in the last game provided a vivid example of the abrupt impact that e-commerce can have on supply chains. The company's web traffic spiked far beyond anything Fanatics had seen within minutes, testing order-processing and fulfillment capabilities under a new web platform. That means the company has already seen what its peak season looks like with weeks of sales still to come.
IN OTHER NEWS
The head of the United Auto Workers union sees "a great opportunity" to work with President-elect Donald Trump on trade issues. (WSJ)
The number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits fell by 11,000 last week to the lowest level in four weeks. (WSJ)
OPEC's oil production rose to record highs in October and is expected to remain elevated this month, the International Energy Agency says. (WSJ)
The European Union scaled back its economic growth forecast for next year, citing risks from economic uncertainty and the backlash against globalization. (WSJ)
The World Trade Organization urged its members to remove barriers to imports that are restraining world economic growth. (WSJ)
Siemens AG warned that rising populism is a threat to business and the global economy even as the German industrial giant reported a 20% increase in quarterly earnings. (WSJ)
Bombardier Inc. posted a nearly 10% drop in third-quarter revenue, partly from lower business-aircraft revenue. (WSJ)
China's new car deliveries rose 20% in October from the same month a year ago, the slowest growth pace in four months. (WSJ)
Macy's Inc. struck a deal with real-estate investor Brookfield Asset Management to redevelop about 50 Macy's locations. (WSJ)
Kohl's Corp. same-store sales fell in the third quarter but profit was better than expected on strong back-to-school demand. (WSJ)
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will boost online inventory by more than half for Black Friday as it presses efforts to expand holiday web sales. (Reuters)
United Parcel Service Inc. will build a $400 million, 1.2 million-square-foot sorting facility in Atlanta that will be the third-largest hub in the company's U.S. network. (DC Velocity)
Dollar General Inc. is close to an agreement to build a 750,000-square-foot distribution center near Albany, N.Y. (Business Journals)
Women's apparel retailer Nasty Gal Inc. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (Los Angeles Times)
U.S. industrial distributors and manufacturers expect weak growth in industrial markets to persist into 2017. (Industrial Distribution)
Malaysia started work on its $1.8 billion Malacca Gateway Port project to boost ship-handling capability at the critical maritime corridor. (Malay Mail)
British logistics group Wincanton expects to expand internationally after reporting strong profit growth in the most recent quarter. (The Loadstar)
Yusen Logistics will become the first warehouse tenant at the Prologis Park Wellingborough West development in the U.K. (SHD Logistics)
Contract drivers for U.K. delivery startup Deliveroo launched a bid to be treated as company workers under a collective bargaining agreement. (Logistics Manager)
Federal regulators say ballot initiatives approving marijuana use won't change rules barring truck drivers from using the drug. (Commercial Carrier Journal)
Paul Page is deputy editor of WSJ Logistics Report. Follow him at @PaulPage, and follow the entire WSJ Logistics Report team: @brianjbaskin, @lorettachao and @EEPhillips_WSJ, and follow the WSJ Logistics Report on Twitter at @WSJLogistics.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
November 11, 2016 06:39 ET (11:39 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.