Afternoon Coffee: Amazon Confirms Final HQ2 Locations, California Wildfires Disrupt Supply Chains

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Ending its more than yearlong process of searching for a second corporate headquarters, Amazon announced Wednesday it had officially selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the winners, the New York Times reports. Key in the decision was access to local and regional talent, as Amazon aims to drive its continued expansion primarily through technological innovation. Beyond the San Francisco Bay Area, NYC and DC are home to a significant portion of tech talent compared with other cities, according to The Brookings Institution.

Wildfires Rage

The three active wildfires in California are disrupting logistics operations in the state, Supply Chain Dive reports, closing warehouses and blocking transit routes. Smoke from the fires is causing roads to close and slowing down deliveries even when routes are navigable. Companies often have to play catchup to mitigate disruptions from wildfires, the report explains, because unlike with events like hurricanes there is no advanced warning.

US-China Trade Talks 

While the US-China trade war hasn’t cooled off in recent months, news out of Washington indicates progress on the impasse may soon be in reach. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has resumed discussions with his Chinese counterpart about a deal that would ease trade tensions. The call precedes a previously announced meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit, where the two leaders could work out the broader framework of a deal.

Combusting Mail Trucks

And finally, a logistics update. U.S. mail trucks are missing deliveries because of a problem attributable to delayed maintenance: the trucks are bursting into flames. At least six fires have occurred in September and October, with the whole fleet of aging vehicles counting 15 combustion events this year. No mail carriers have died in the incidents.

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