物流公司 陷入困境

作者:未知 来源:译生译世 2017-04-06 我要评论( )

Bussiness
商业

Logistics firms: Boxed in
物流公司:陷入困境

The return of borders poses a challenge to the soaring parcel-delivery business.
贸易壁垒的回归对迅猛发展的快递业提出了挑战

During the day, Leipzig’s airport is quiet.
白天,莱比锡机场很冷清。

It is at night that the airfield comes to life.
到了晚间停机坪上便恢复了生气。

Next to the runway a yellow warehouse serves as the global sorting hub for DHL, a delivery firm owned by Deutsche Post of Germany.
跑道旁的一个黄色仓库是德国邮政旗下快递公司DHL的全球分拣中心。

A huge extension, which opened in October, means it can sort 150,000 parcels each hour, says Ken Allen, DHL’s CEO.
这个分拣中心经过了一次大规模扩建,于去年10月投入使用。DHL的CEO肯·艾伦(Ken Allen)说,扩建后的中心每小时能够处理15万个包裹。

It was built as business soared.
扩建是在快递业务飙升时进行的。

But the express-delivery industry faces a new challenge: the return of trade barriers due to the protectionist bent of Donald Trump and because of Brexit.
但如今快递业面临着一个新的挑战:由于特朗普的保护主义倾向和英国脱欧,贸易壁垒将重新回归。

The slower-moving shipping and air-cargo business has long been in the doldrums as a result of slow overall growth in trade in recent years.
由于近年贸易总体增长缓慢,运速较慢的航运和空运业很久以来都处于低迷状态。

Yet the rise of cross-border e-commerce has still meant booming business for express-delivery firms.
然而,跨境电子商务的兴起让快递公司仍然生意兴隆。

On January 31st UPS revealed record revenues for the fourth quarter of 2016; FedEx and DHL are expected to report similarly buoyant results next month.
1月31日,UPS公布的2016年第四季度收入创下新高,预计联邦快递和DHL下月也会公布类似令人振奋的业绩。

Since 2008 half of the increase in express-delivery volumes has come from shoppers buying items online from another country.
自2008年以来,快递增长量的一半都来自于“海淘”买家。

Falling trade barriers have greatly helped them.
贸易壁垒的降低极大地促进了快递业的发展。

When DHL and FedEx were getting going, in the 1970s, there was little demand for international express deliveries.
20世纪70年代DHL和FedEx刚起步时,人们对国际快递的需求还很少。

Packages often got stuck in customs for weeks and were heavily taxed.
包裹经常被卡在海关长达数周,还要支付高额的关税。

The expansion of free-trade areas, lower tariffs and the internet brought years of growth.
自由贸易区扩张、关税下调以及互联网的发展为该行业带来了持续多年的增长。

But after Mr Trump’s threats to raise tariffs on goods from China and Mexico, together with the indication last month from Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, that the country will leave the EU’s customs union, there are widespread fears that the favourable tailwinds enjoyed by the industry for decades are gone.
然而,特朗普威胁要对中国和墨西哥的货物提高关税,英国首相特雷莎·梅上月也透露英国将退出欧盟关税同盟,这让人们普遍担心令快递业顺利发展几十年的利好条件已消失不见。

“It’s all a real nightmare,” groans David Jinks of ParcelHero, a British parcel broker which works with DHL, FedEx and UPS.
与DHL、联邦快递和UPS都有合作的英国快递代理公司ParcelHero的大卫·金克斯(David Jinks)哀叹道:“这是一个真正的噩梦。”

Start with Brexit.
先从英国脱欧说起。

More physical border checks between Britain and Europe would do little direct damage.
英国与欧洲彼此间边境检查的增多并不会造成多少直接损害。

Most packages arriving in Britain have already been checked for drugs and dangerous items.
大多数运抵英国的包裹都已经过毒品和危险品检查。

Goods from outside the EU go through customs 95% of the time without any inspection or delay.
来自欧盟以外的货物在95%的情况下不经过任何检查或延误就可通关。

Instead, post-Brexit costs will probably come from long wrangles over which of 19,000 customs codes should be applied to a consignment.
相反,脱欧后物流成本的增加可能缘于对某批货物应适用19,000条海关编码中的哪一条而争论不休。

As an example of what could happen, Halloween costumes from China often get stuck at Britain’s border while customs officials work out whether they are toys or children’s clothes, which attract different duties.
例如,可能会发生这样的情形:来自中国的万圣节服饰经常会困在英国边境,因为海关官员需要确定它们是属于玩具还是儿童服装——不同的类别对应不同的税率。

Such complexity would force delivery firms to put up their prices to customers, Mr Jinks says.
金克斯说这种复杂性将迫使快递公司向客户提高运费。

Sending an item from Britain to Switzerland (outside the EU) costs 150% more than it does to Italy (inside the EU).
从英国到瑞士(欧盟以外)的寄件成本要比英国到意大利(欧盟内部)的高出150%。

The most severe impact on business would come from higher tariffs, which would hurt demand for cross-border imports and deliveries in favour of local goods.
对快递业最为严重的影响将来自于关税的提升,这会让消费者更倾向于购买本地商品,从而抑制对境外商品和运送的需求。

This is where Mr Trump’s threats come into focus.
这就是令特朗普的威胁成为焦点的原因。

A trade war would hit the massive volume of consignments that DHL’s, FedEx’s and UPS’s planes carry every day in and out of America.
贸易战将严重影响DHL、联邦快递和UPS的飞机每天从美国运进运出的大量货物。

For the moment, a customs exemption exists for packages worth under $800.
目前,美国海关对价值低于800美元的包裹免税。

This means that higher tariffs on a Chinese watch imported in bulk into the United States, for instance, could be avoided by an American ordering direct from Alibaba, a Chinese retailer, for delivery direct to their home.
因此,假如美国消费者个人直接在中国零售平台阿里巴巴下单购买手表并直接寄送至其家中,就可避免从中国进口大批手表所需缴纳的更高关税。

But if Mr Trump is serious about cutting imports, he could get rid of this exemption.
但如果特朗普当真要削减进口,他大可取消这种免税待遇。

It was only last March that Barack Obama increased it to $800 from the previous $200.
奥巴马去年3月才刚把之前200美元的进口免税额提高到800美元。

If it were lowered or eliminated by executive order, logistics-industry people would really panic.
如果特朗普以行政命令降低或取消它,物流业人士真的会惶恐不已。

They are putting a brave face on things.
目前他们都在强作镇定。

DHL’s Mr Allen has emphasised that “globalisation is here to stay”, whatever Mr Trump does.
DHL的艾伦强调,无论特朗普做什么,“全球化的趋势都不会变”。

UPS’s boss, David Abney, hopes the president is not really against trade agreements.
UPS的老板大卫·艾伯尼(David Abney)希望总统并不是真的反对贸易协议。

Even more telling are the actions of Fred Smith, FedEx’s founder and CEO.
联邦快递的创始人及CEO弗雷德·史密斯(Fred Smith)的行动更能说明问题。

Last week, he quietly gave up running the firm day-to-day to spend more time campaigning for free trade.
上周,他静悄悄地放下公司的日常事务,花更多的时间为倡议自由贸易奔走。

译文来源考研英语时事阅读


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