Order Fulfillment in Review: December 2016

January 11, 2017

Attention was naturally drawn to holiday plans and New Year celebrations during December, but that doesn’t mean the world of fulfillment took a breather. In fact, it’s by far the busiest month for some parts of the supply chain!

If you missed any of the major headlines while enjoying the various festivities, Capacity has you covered. Below you’ll find our usual round-up of news, views, and supply chain analysis.

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Order Fulfillment Review: December 2016

The final month of the year brought several notable moments. Here’s a selection of headlines that you might have missed:

  • The holiday surge proved to be the usual mix of encouraging order levels and stretched parcel carriers desperately trying to keep up with deliveries. Some of those festive deliveries will be going right back, as UPS confirmed record returns of 5.8 million packages in the first week of 2017.
  • Activity on the country’s railroads dropped by 8.2% in 2016, according to new AAR figures. Despite the second consecutive year of falling volumes, spokesman John T. Gray sounded an optimistic note to start 2017, noting “signs that the economy may be gradually returning to a period of growth.” 
  • Reports suggested that Amazon could be ready to shake up road freight. The e-commerce giant is believed to be developing an app that would match truckers with clients who have cargo to move, bypassing the traditional middlemen and adding another notch to Amazon’s logistics services.
  • Maneuvering continued to fill the vacuum left by Hanjin Shipping’s summer bankruptcy. Several parties are vying for the company’s assets around the world, including competitors MSC and HMM, both of which are bidding for Hanjin’s terminal at the Port of Long Beach.
  • UPS is getting back to basics, as it confirmed tests of delivery by courier bicycle. However, these eBikes are no ordinary cycle equipment, carrying up to 600 pounds of cargo around busy cities. Tests started in bike-friendly Oregon, but we can’t help wondering how they’ll fare on the less forgiving streets of NYC…!
  • We also rounded up our most popular articles of the year. Take a look if you’re eager to squeeze every last drop of supply chain analysis from 2016!

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