Logistics Industry Review: March 2015
Is it really April already? Yes, the seasons have changed and one-third of the year has already rushed by. If you haven't yet planned an annual review of your operations and logistics, spring is a great time to do so.
Even as we're busy preparing a must-attend webinar for all of you who want to keep customers coming back for your outstanding order fulfillment, we've still compiled the most important logistics industry stories from the past month, in case you missed them.
Seeing as time flies by so fast, we'll dive right in and get you all caught up on the latest from the world of logistics:
- The economy continues to expand, and U.S. road freight is seeing the benefit of that with a steady increase in tonnage, but driver shortages remain a considerable issue for the industry. As the recovery continues it will be important for trucking companies to address the issue, to ensure that they can compete with other modes of transport as demand increases.
- U.S. rail freight was the focus of international attention, as a Marketplace report explained how our commercial railroads are an example that many other countries look to for ideas and success. Actual volume on the rails remained flat during March, but that emphasis on the wider importance of the transport mode was pleasing to see.
- Even with the west coast port labor dispute resolved in late February, the fallout became clearer during March as trade deficit figures demonstrated just how much U.S. imports dropped. The deficit dropped to a five year low, reiterating how quickly port disruptions can impact normal supply chain operations and why a bicoastal fulfillment set up can help mitigate those risks.
- Delivery drones continued to be attractive headline fodder for the tech press, with major brands including Amazon and Google showing their lack of patience with the Federal Aviation Authority's slow progress in regulating the technology. Amazon has previously shown great interest in rolling out delivery drones to U.S. customers, while Google has taken its tests to Australia, where authorities have moved more quickly to craft laws around the new technology.
- Sticking with Amazon, the company expanded its Prime Now delivery option to more cities during March. The one-hour delivery service is now available in Dallas, Baltimore, and Miami, in addition to parts of New York City, leading industry analysts to speculate just how far the trend can expand before it becomes unprofitable. We'll take a closer look at the subject later this month, so stay tuned to these pages or sign up here to receive updates to your inbox.
That's another month wrapped up. Stay on top of what you can in the logistics industry during April, but also know that if you can't, we'll be here in early May to catch you up!