September 29, 2014

It’s fun to take a look at the alternative uses a shipping container can take on from time to time.

With so many of these versatile boxes moving around the world there are plenty of ideas, but the organizers of Brooklyn’s Photoville take it to the next level.

Photoville Brooklyn entry at Pier 5

 

The event took to Brooklyn’s Pier 5/6 area for its third run this year, ending yesterday with a variety of talks and celebration of its many fine artists. Photoville is an art-photography exhibition housed entirely in repurposed containers, with a dedicated curator and theme assigned to give each one its own unique appeal.

We took a stroll around last Friday to take in the creativity and explore the spaces where industry meets art.

Our collection of photos probably doesn’t do justice to the power and emotion of the artistry on show, but it will give you an idea as to why you should give this event a look when it returns next year (and no, it’s not just because they have a hybrid container-bar… although it certainly doesn’t hurt!)

Photoville NYC double decker

 

It was great to catch the introduction booth below, just as an active container shipment thundered past above, on the way to its delivery destination.

Photoville opens up

Things for a little psychedelic at times… obviously this installation below proved a favorite backdrop for attendees and their potential social media poses.

Photoville psychedelia

Photoville rotating gallery

Inside the double-decker entry booth, the rotating gallery above was undergoing a little routine maintenance before setting back to work. Once a shipping container, always a shipping container!

Farmers exhibit at Photoville
“Farmers,” by Tyler Stableford

Container living This installation blended the creative with the claustrophobic, reminding us that some people are indeed living in the boxes that we take for granted as dedicated to moving products. Of course we appreciate the hardship that many in these circumstances face, but for some container living is literally a life-saver.

(The other – slightly snartky – thought? It being Brooklyn, this could well be how many NYC-based creators choose to live, suffering for their art.)

And what better to to finish up a bright Friday afternoon spent with culture in containers, than with a stop at the container beer garden?

container beer garden

To learn more about the artists and installations at Photoville, visit www.photovillenyc.org..

You can also check out our Instagram and Facebook pages where we’ll be sharing more of the pictures this week, and follow those of others with the hashtag #Photoville.

 

September 22, 2014

Unless you get out there onto the loading bays and into the warehouse, it’s not always easy to know what goes on behind the scenes of your supply chain. We’re here to change that!

Our YouTube channel already offers some insight into the way we work at Capacity, and from this month our Instagram feed will lift the lid on the fun and games that come with being a part of the Capacity family. Continue reading Showing Off the Supply Chain: Capacity LLC on Instagram

September 16, 2014

When it comes time to choose a supply chain services provider, you’ll find yourself with a number of questions to be answered. From service level agreements to supply chain pricing formulation, you’re likely to have a laundry list of criteria for each provider to fulfill before you can create a shortlist. Continue reading How to Evaluate a Provider’s Supply Chain Pricing

September 12, 2014

You may not have considered it much, but there’s far more to road freight than maintaining a steady speed on the Interstate and finding the most comfortable rest stops.

And at the National Truck Driving Championships the participants show just how much more there is to getting our goods from A to B and beyond.

From squeezing into tight spaces to maneuvering big rigs through tricky turns, the skilled drivers on show at the American Trucking Association-sponsored event remind us just how tough it can be out there on the road. Think about the huge trucks you see ending up navigating the packed streets of New York City and you’ll soon understand.

Our best wishes go out to all the truck drivers who spend long periods away from family and friends to keep that cargo moving. You’re a big part of what we do!

 

September 11, 2014
Free twitter bar
Next stop: Buy Me on Twitter? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a lot of focus on one-click buying in order fulfillment circles, and with good reason.

Established online retailers like Amazon and eBay have embraced the impulsive allure of quick click purchases for some time, but it’s the more recent roll outs by social networks, first Facebook and now Twitter, that offer the most promising area for expansion.

Retailers already do plenty of work within their own digital walls to up sell and cross sell existing customers. Outside of their own ecosystem the focus has been to attract new customers through advertising and optimizing their sites for search engines.

Social networks, until now, have been an sandpit in which companies can talk to their customers and perhaps raise awareness of their products, but rarely are they seen as a source of direct sales.

Integrating easy-to-use buy buttons within the walls of popular social media sites could change all that, expanding the reach of ecommerce operators exponentially.

one click buying button

One of the main challenges to both retailer and social site to date has been losing control of the customer.

For the retailer, it’s a balancing act between showcasing products on a social network without selling too heavily and driving customers away from the brand in general. For the social network, sending users to another site for another activity has to be balanced with the desire to keep them on site, enjoying the entertainment element that brought them there in the first place.

If immediate buy buttons become a common enough element of social sites both of these problems could be addressed with one solution. Customers can spot a product they like, quickly process the transaction within the walls of Facebook, and get back to catching up with friends, commenting on a cat meme, or playing the latest Facebook game fad (and unwittingly inviting the rest of us to do so). Sale for retailer, easy purchase for customer, increased stickiness for social network, a win-win-win scenario for all involved, no?

The answer to that will slowly be revealed as Facebook and Twitter test their buy buttons, but there are certainly some obstacles.

For one, social sites aren’t currently considered as the online malls that retailers and tech startups might like them to be. Although some transactions are carried out already, such as in-app purchases and buying advertising, the general act of social media shopping is in its infancy. As such, there are plenty of bumps in the road to navigate before brands convince customers to not just like or follow them there, but also buy what they’re selling. And that selling is also somewhat at odds with the general consensus that social media marketing is based on being informative and entertaining, not yet another sales space. The former could limit the latter, even when simple sales functions are put in place.

The other aspect that still worries many customers is just who they can trust with their details online. The biggest brand names online and off – Target, Apple, Home Depot and many more – have been dragged through the mud this year thanks to digital hacker attacks, making customer leary of expanding their purchase activity outside of the providers they already trust. Overcoming these security concerns will be just as important as convincing customers that social sites are a place they want to shop in the first place.

Even against these pronounced challenges, social network shopping holds so much potential that retailers will be pulling out all the stops to build a foundation for its future.

If they’re successful, those of us providing ecommerce order fulfillment services must be ready to meet the resulting rise in demand.