December 23, 2016

This was a challenging year in our industry.

From January’s disruptive winter storms to Hanjin’s summer bankruptcy and the annual struggle to meet holiday delivery deadlines, not many months went by without significant upheaval.  It’s enough to have fulfillment managers breathing a sign of relief as we head into a New Year.

Supply chain trends rarely adhere to the calendar, of course. Some of the advancements that we expected in 2016 took longer to develop, while others arrived more quickly than anticipated.

Anticipating what comes next is never easy, but that’s our job and we’re happy to give you the best insights we can as another year comes to a close. Continue reading 6 Supply Chain Trends to Watch For in 2017

June 30, 2016

We’ve spent a lot of this month looking at the importance of location in fulfillment.

From alternative ways to leverage location in a digital world to the physical reality of bringing ever-larger vessels through the Panama Canal, it’s clear that where we are and the routes we choose to move cargo through have a direct impact on product availability and customer satisfaction.

Another aspect that cannot be overlooked, but which none of us can fully control, is the ability of the port operators to get goods off ships and onto domestic transport routes. Continue reading US Ports Prioritize Efficiency and Infrastructure to Keep Pace

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

January 24, 2014
Interstate sign value
U.S. roads helped to contribute almost $800 billion to the economy in 2012

Logistics is an extraordinary business. It touches almost every element of our personal and professional lives, yet often remains in the background for  all except those of us who work in the field.

Each part of the supply chain contributes in some way to bringing products into homes and businesses around the country, with a massive contribution to employment and the wider economy.

To understand just how much this is true – and what goes into making everything run smoothly – consider these 7 surprising logistics statistics:

  1. Expenditure on U.S. logistics was $1.1 trillion in 2009, which is larger than the national GDP of every country in the world, except for the top 12. [CSCMP,2009]
  2. America’s roads generated total revenues of $791.3 billion for the country’s economy in 2012. [Marketline, 2013]
  3. The U.S. transport infrastructure includes:
    • 47,000 miles of Interstate roads,
    • 94,313 miles of Class I freight railroads,
    • 25,320 miles of navigable sailing channels.
    • [2008 US Government Bureau of Transportation Statistics, RITA]
  4. U.S. rail freight grew by 4.6% in 2013, with the value of the sector up to more than $60 billion. [Association of American Railroads, 2013]
  5. The average container vessel calling along the Pacific Coast, which is the busiest port area of the U.S.,  is 4,345 TEU. This is equivalent to a maximum potential weight of more than 100,000 tonnes, or in excess of 230 million lbs! [RITA, 2011]
  6. Transportation and warehouse employment alone represents 3.2% of the total US workforce, more than 4 million people. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010]
  7. Companies that use sophisticated supply chain methods have been found to achieve profit levels 12 times greater than those with less sophisticated solutions. [Bain & Company]

For more on where we see the profession going this year, read our summary of supply chain management trends for 2014.