Ships Turn Into Floating Storage Units

A new glut of oil and gas is emerging, floating at sea, as the coronavirus epidemic cuts China’s appetite for fuel and hampers work at Chinese ports. Dozens of ships are acting as floating storage vats for oil and liquefied natural gas because the owners of the fuel are unable to find buyers or places to store their cargo on land, according to The Wall Street Journal (March 4, 2020). Some 79 vessels are now storing crude oil at sea.

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H&M Retail Chain Uses Accounting Data to Stock 4,288 Stores

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The retail industry is undergoing another major shift — to e-commerce.

The world’s largest clothing brand is turning to artificial intelligence to win back shoppers, reports The Wall Street Journal (May 8, 2018), as it works to reverse one of the worst sales slumps in its history. H&M retail chain is ramping up its use of data to customize what it sells in individual stores, breaking with its longstanding practice of stocking stores around the globe with similar merchandise. A spike in online shopping has led to fewer customers visiting stores, and digital startups are putting up fierce competition. H&M has repeatedly slashed prices to clear out $4 billion of unsold inventory. Continue reading

Walmart Dances with Robots

By David Render

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Pittsburgh-based Bossa Nova Robotics Inc. is sending its shelf-scanning robots out to 50 Walmart stores in California, Pennsylvania and Arkansas. The robots are being sent in a real-world use of technology to help Walmart keep its aisles stocked and ready for customers. The robots scan, passes information to the cloud, communicates that data to Walmart’s back-end system and relays that knowledge to store associates to keep store shelves stocked. Continue reading