Afternoon Coffee: Tariff Inflation Hits Metal Buyers Hard, Trucker Shortage Tempts Government to Lower Commercial Driving Age

The Trump administration’s Section 232 tariffs are pinching purchasing in multiple categories, but metal buyers in particular are feeling the pain, according to Supply Chain Dive. Furniture company Steelcase, for example, is forecasting a $5 million rise in cost of goods sold from the increase in steel prices alone.

Trucker Shortage 

A dearth of truckers is causing shipping costs to skyrocket, according to the Washington Post, and the White House is responding by piloting a program that allows 18- to 20-year-old commercial drivers to cross state lines. While the program initially would allow only drivers that have training and experience in certain military occupational specialties to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce, several members of Congress have pitched lowering the commercial driving age as a long-term fix to the shortage.

JDA Acquires 

JDA Software announced Monday it would acquire Blue Yonder, a provider with a focus on applying artificial intelligence to retail supply chain challenges, according to a press release. The deal builds on JDA’s strategy of “developing cognitive and connected solutions to power digital transformations for companies seeking to create a competitive advantage for their supply chains,” the company said in the release.

Yuan Falls 

And finally, a forex update: China’s yuan hit its lowest level against the dollar in 11 months, CNBC reports, amid mounting fears of a full-blown U.S.-China trade war. The Chinese currency crossed the 6.7 per dollar level for the first time since August 2017 during Tuesday's Asian trading session.

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