News / Profits up for CH Robinson, but cool chain business bucks growth trend

first_img North America’s largest freight service provider, CH Robinson, delivered double-digit profit growth in the fourth quarter and for the full-year 2018, it announced yesterday.Group-wide Q4 revenue increased 4.5% to $4.1bn  and net revenue 13% to $713.8m. Full-year income was up 11.8% to $16.6bn and net revenues increased 14.2% to $2.7bn.Its largest segment remained its North America land transport division, which saw its full-year revenue grow to 15.6% to $11.2bn, while in the fourth quarter it saw a stronger pricing environment lead to post a 6% revenue growth to $2.8bn, despite seeing a 1.5% decline in full-truckload volumes and a 13% decline in intermodal volumes. LTL volumes grew 2%.Its freight forwarding operations saw double-digit revenue growth in both the fourth quarter and full year, to $677m and $2.5bn respectively. © Piotr Trojanowski By Gavin van Marle 30/01/2019center_img “[Fourth quarter] ocean net revenues increased 12.4% driven by higher volumes and pricing. Net revenues in air increased 9.3%, as the air service line benefited from a decreasing cost environment. Customs net revenues increased 12.4%, driven by higher volumes and pricing,” it explained.However, its perishables supply chain service, Robinson Fresh, bucked the growth trend with revenue down 10.6% to $532m in Q4, and by 6.1% across the year to $2.3bn.On the fourth quarter results, it said: “Sourcing net revenues decreased 8.2%. Case volumes declined 6.5%, driven by lower restaurant traffic at our foodservice customers.“Transportation net revenues increased 45.9%, primarily driven by truckload pricing increases.“Robinson Fresh operating expenses increased 7.9%, driven by increased variable compensation expense, partially offset by a 5.1% reduction in average headcount.”It also indicated that there was unlikely to be any exceptional merger and acquisition activity, as it outlined its expected 2019 capex to investors.“Capital expenditures totalled $14.3m in the quarter. We expect 2019 capital expenditures to be between $80m and $90m, with the majority dedicated to technology,” it said.Chief executive John Wiehoff said: “As we turn to 2019, we remain focused on top-line growth and operating margin expansion and believe our continued investments in technology will help enable us to achieve these objectives.“A critical part of our strategy is to make investments that add value for our customers and carriers and drive growth for our business, regardless of where we are in the freight cycle.“I remain as confident as ever that we have the right people, processes and technology to continue to win in the marketplace,” he added.last_img read more

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Fancy a flutter? Sunny weather and watching our sports team win makes us more likely to gamble on the lottery

first_imgThe Daily Mail:Planning to play the lottery this weekend? Your answer could depend on the weather, according to a new study.Researchers have found that we are more likely to buy a ticket on unusually sunny days while an unexpected win by our sports team also increases our likelihood of having a flutter.They believe good weather and experiencing feelings of excitement can lead us to make riskier bets, and the phenomenon is even more apparent when the sunshine or match win comes out of the blue.Read the whole story: The Daily Maillast_img read more

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Council support helps power development drive in Durham

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Narec: Offshore Renewable Energy Development Gets Boost (UK)

first_imgThe National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) has established a £2.8 million public-private initiative to support SMEs in the North East of England to move into the rapidly developing offshore wind and marine renewable energy supply chain. The Renewable Energy Technology Accelerator (RETA) project will launch with three new collaborations, involving companies developing innovative technologies to reduce the cost of offshore renewable energy installations.Tony Ikwue, Innovation and Corporate Development Director at Narec, said: “Narec has created this programme to build on the strengths of local engineering companies. Initial interest from industry has been extremely high and the projects selected will see new products being developed in the North East. There will also be knock on benefits by way of supply contracts and knowledge transfer opportunities for SMEs looking to enter these promising but still relatively immature industries.”Over its lifetime, the project is expected to provide more than 70 regional SMEs with technical and market advisory services to assist them with developing products and services aimed at the offshore renewables industry. The European Regional Development Fund Competitiveness Programme 2007- 2013, which is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government, is investing £1.39 million in the project. This funding is being matched by Narec along with five industry partners and all work will be undertaken in the North East to engage local companies.Cllr Neil Foster, Deputy Chair of the North East England Local Management Committee (LMC), which engages key partners in the overseeing of the strategic delivery of the ERDF Programme in the North East, said: “ERDF investment will ensure businesses receive excellent support to develop innovative new products; helping SMEs to enter the market, or enhance their position within the industry. Businesses will have access to Narec’s world class research facilities and expertise to develop their ideas and immerse themselves in the emerging supply chain. This will have a positive impact on the North East economy.”The programme will be completed by the end of March 2015. Two technology innovation projects are already underway and a third is currently in development, these are:Inter-array cable trencherIHC Engineering Business will work with Narec on the development of an inter-array cable trencher for offshore wind farms. This will be suitable for trenching both away from and towards turbine and substation foundations in seabed conditions representative of planned UK offshore wind sites.Ralph Manchester, Chief Trenching Engineer at IHC Engineering Business, explains the revolutionary design: “The High Traction (Hi-Traq) vehicle uses patented technology to improve manoeuvrability, traction and overall trenching capability. It has been specifically developed to reduce the day to day issues facing operators. They have no option at the moment but to use technology designed and build for the oil and gas sector – technology that is not appropriate for the offshore wind farm sector.”Smart cables for offshore power transmissionTecnalia will work with PDL Solutions and JDR Cable Systems on the design and development of smart cable technology. Offshore grid infrastructure reliability is a key concern for the industry and this project will focus on improving the understanding of cable performance in-situ, so that installation, operational and asset management practices can be evolved to optimise energy production.Elisa Ruiz, Project Manager at Tecnalia, said: “The smart cables project is an exciting opportunity for the consortium partners to work together to deliver innovation which has the potential to materially impact the levelised cost of offshore renewable energy.”James Young, Engineering Director at JDR, added: “We are committed to enabling the next generation of offshore power projects to deliver cost-effective renewable energy, using the latest developments in cable technology and manufacture. The collaborative approach being taken by NAREC and the support provided by the ERDF, will enable us to accelerate developments in smart cable technology that will benefit the industry and the region.”Paul Charlton, CEO, PDL Solutions, said: “This project is an excellent opportunity to showcase the specialist skills and expertise located here in North East England; it highlights the vital contribution the region is playing in the commercialisation and reliability of offshore renewable energy technologies. This is a great opportunity for PDL and the wider supply chain; we are really pleased to be part of this collaborative industrial research project.”Tidal energy converter nacelle intervention systemThis project, currently in development, will enable Atlantis Resources Corporation to work with Narec on the development of a highly innovative nacelle intervention system for their tidal energy turbine. This is intended to significantly reduce the installation and operation costs offshore.Tim Cornelius, Chief Executive Officer of Atlantis Resources, said: “The tidal energy industry is at a crucial stage in its development and this partnership could make a material difference in accelerating the speed of national turbine deployment. By reducing installation and intervention costs for offshore devices, we plan to bring commercial tidal power arrays to the UK in the near future.”[mappress]Press Release, July 10, 2013last_img read more

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Game-changing MEMS Timing Solution for 5G Infrastructure

first_imgAvailabilitySamples of the Emerald MEMS OCXO SiT5711/12 are available now for qualified customers. Production quantities will be available in Q2 2019 and stocked at catalog distributors such as Digi-Key and Mouser. Unmatched ease-of-use SiTime Corporation, a leading provider of MEMS timing, has announced the Emerald Platform™, a revolutionary precision timing solution that solves critical timing challenges for 5G infrastructure equipment. With the Emerald Platform, operators can deploy 5G equipment in harsh environments and reliably offer mission-critical services.SiTime’s Emerald Platform is the first MEMS oven controlled oscillator (OCXO) in the industry. OCXOs offer the pinnacle of performance in timing and are critical to the reliable operation of all communications networks. However, quartz-based OCXOs are extremely sensitive to environmental stressors such as vibration, temperature changes and shock, which can degrade network performance, reduce uptime, and impact mission-critical services such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). SiTime’s Emerald OCXOs solve these problems.Timing is potentially the single biggest point of failure in 5G systems and can impact performance, reliability, and revenue. 5G timing is a complex challenge for system OEMs, and requires a new approach beyond traditional, component-level methods that are in use today. To solve this, SiTime pioneered a systems approach with Emerald to help their customers achieve their highest level of performance and capability. By combining their revolutionary MEMS with programmable analog, innovative packaging and high-performance algorithms, they have created a solution that they claim is 20 times better than what is currently available.As mobile operators move into 5G and edge computing, they will require much tighter time synchronization in the radio equipment, which necessitates the use of OCXOs. Prior to 5G, this OCXO was deployed in a well-controlled environment. Now, the computing, core network, and radio will be collapsed into a system that may be deployed in an uncontrolled environment such as a tower, rooftop, or lamppost. In this environment, the OCXO will be exposed to vibration and temperature extremes. This change in deployment architecture requires new thinking and an evaluation of the benefits of MEMS and quartz timing technologies.SiTime’s unique systems approach is being used by up to 10,000 customers. Their products are always programmable, which ensures 100% availability with short lead times. Their innovative temperature compensation algorithms, in conjunction with MEMS and analog components, ensure that 5G equipment can be deployed anywhere, in any environment. In the future, they will continue to use their systems expertise to expand their leadership in the $1.5 billion networking and telecommunications timing market.Solving the Usability Challenges of Quartz OCXOsBecause of the sensitivity of legacy quartz OCXOs, customers have to take many precautions to ensure reliable operation. A key challenge is the board placement of the OCXO, which needs to be located far away from stressors such as heat and airflow-induced thermal shock. This results in increased routing complexity and potential signal integrity problems. Designers have also tried using specialized plastic OCXO covers for thermal isolation, which introduces additional manufacturing steps and production complexity. Emerald MEMS OCXOs eliminate all of these problems; they simplify design, reduce development time, accelerate revenue, while improving system performance.Flexibility Through ProgrammabilityLegacy quartz OCXOs are custom built, from the ground up. There are severe limitations on the availability of features, such as frequencies, output types, operating temperature, and in-system control. SiTime’s Emerald Platform MEMS OCXOs do not have these limitations. Using a programmable analog architecture, the Emerald OCXO offers any frequency between 1 and 220 MHz, ensuring that the customer can select the optimal frequency for their application. The device also offers two output types, LVCMOS and clipped sine-wave, for optimal board performance. In the near future, the Emerald OCXO will also offer extended temperature operation (-40 to +95C, -40 to +105C) and an I2C serial interface for in-system programmability.The Emerald Platform consists of the SiT5711 & SiT5712 OCXOs ΔF/ΔT dynamic stability: ±50 ppt/°C typical (ppt = parts per trillion) Allan deviation (ADEV): 2e-11 under airflow Size: 9 x 7 mm, 75% smaller. Adapter boards are available to match common OCXO footprints Height: 6.5 mm, 40% thinner, eliminates obstruction in a chassis-based system 20 times better vibration resistance, ideal for outdoor pole mounted equipment Resistant to microphonic and/or board bending effects, ideal for large telecom PCBs Supports -40 to +85°C temperature range today, -40 to +95°C and -40 to +105°C support available in the near future The only programmable OCXO platform, supports any frequency up to 220 MHz and LVCMOS / clipped sine-wave outputs Semiconductor-level quality and reliability, batch to batch consistency No activity dips No restrictions on PCB placement No mechanical shielding is required for thermal isolation On-chip regulators, no need for external LDOs or ferrite beads Resistant to humidity 10 times better performance in the presence of airflow and thermal shocklast_img read more

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ZTE and China Telecom Deploy Industry’s First 4G/5G Dual-Band Micro Base Station

first_imgZTE Corporation announced that they have deployed the industry’s first 4G/5G dual-band micro base station in partnership with the Hangzhou branch of China Telecom. The base station supports the 3.5 GHz frequency band in Hangzhou, China. With the downlink rates reaching 1.1 Gbps, it provides users with excellent 4G/5G network experiences.Featuring 2.1 GHz LTE anchors, the latest 4G/5G dual-band 4T4R products of ZTE’s 5G Pad RRU series can realize the fast NSA network commissioning, guaranteeing the service experience of 4G/5G coverage in a 5G SA network. Moreover, it supports 3G/4G/5G multi-mode, and 200 MHz continuous ultra-large bandwidth on 3.5 GHz frequency band.In addition, the 4G/5G dual-band micro base station is small in size, light in weight, and quick to deploy, thus effectively solving the challenge of insufficient site resources and realizing fast 5G signal coverage extension.The pad base station is usually installed on smart light poles, which consist of an integrated HD camera, provide environmental monitoring, weather sensors, a screen, and new-energy vehicle charging functions. Therefore, smart light poles can monitor real-time road conditions, such as floods, to avoid potential hazards.Moreover, the smart light poles can be used as a site location for 5G micro base stations to solve the problem of insufficient coverage, and transfer live information of smart light poles in real time.Moving forward, ZTE will maintain close cooperation with China Telecom and work with industry partners to continuously explore innovative solutions and applications of 5G micro base stations.last_img read more

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