August 22, 2018

For all the talk of self-driving vehicles and freight automation, US trucking has a more pressing concern: the record rates being charged for road freight in North America.

According to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required), the country’s spot rates for third-party haulage have jumped 26% this year compared to 2017. This follows 17 straight months of year-over-year growth, something that hasn’t happened for more than three decades.

Naturally, this seemingly unstoppable growth is having an impact on transportation costs, which puts pressure on companies in many sectors to raise prices.

Continue reading US Trucking Costs Hit Record Highs in 2018

June 24, 2016

It seemed like the day might never arrive, but after multiple delays and several billion dollars in budget overrun, the expanded Panama Canal will finally open this weekend. 

On Sunday, a Chinese container vessel will navigate its way through the expanded locks, in what shippers around the world hope will be the first of many successful passages by today’s larger commercial ships. It’s been a long time coming for shipping lines especially, many of whom have invested heavily in the 14,000 TEU capacity vessels that the expanded waterway is designed for.

However, even this delayed arrival has come too soon for some. Most notably for ourselves – and everyone else bringing in cargo via the East Coast – the expansion has caught the Port Authority of NY/NJ on its heels. Continue reading Panama Canal Expansion Puts a Squeeze on New Jersey’s Infrastructure

December 14, 2015

For anyone in the fulfillment business, getting goods to their intended customer is the final mile of a job well done. While all of the preceding miles involve a lot of detailed planning, this Christmas it seems to be the final few meters that could be the biggest challenge.

Why, we hear you cry? Porch pirates, matey. Continue reading Beware, Online Shoppers: Here Be Porch Pirates

August 19, 2015

They say there’s no use crying over spilled milk, but if the  bill for said spillage were to run into billions of dollars, we can forgive the nation’s retailers for shedding a tear or two.

(At some points during the west coast’s congestion problem, it probably wasn’t unusual to see some operations managers in the fetal position, weeping inconsolably.)

With all of that in the distant past, however, importers can now move onwards and upwards into the next peak season, right?

Wrong. Continue reading Slower Peak Season: West Coast Hangover or Improvements from Importers?

August 4, 2015

If you’ve followed our monthly updates for any length of time, you’ll notice a slight shift in article title this month. That’s right, halfway through the year and we thought we should shake things up for summer! “Order Fulfillment in Review” is now our monthly roundup of all the news and views you need from around our industry. Continue reading Order Fulfillment in Review: July 2015