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

July 10, 2015

It’s Friday and heading into the height of summer sun, so we’ll get right into it this month. Here’s your review of everything supply chain and logistics industry-related that mattered most in June.

(If we missed anything important, please let me and the readers know in the comments!)

Logistics in Review: June 2015

  • US rail freight posted impressive numbers throughout the month, with the highlight being a record-setting second week in which intermodal volumes hit 283,363 containers. The news continues the country’s wider embrace of intermodal transport solutions, which we examined in this article last fall.
  • Road freight bounced back from its April dip, with the American Trucking Association reporting last month that May’s 1.1% increase in tonnage almost erased the 1.4% drop the previous month Although volumes have not been able to sustain January’s record high, analysts remain positive on the sector’s performance for the rest of the year.
  • In other road-related news, the Department of Transport effected an important part of its long-term road safety initiative, ensuring that tomorrow’s vehicles will all be fitted with anti-rollover devices. The measure makes it mandatory for all trucks manufactured after August 1st, 2017, to be fitted with electronic stability control systems that are expected to prevent thousands of crashes every year, some of them fatal.
  • When the world’s largest shipping line lays out plans for a $1.8 billion capital investment in new vessels, you know the future of the industry is looking rosy (for them and the cargo they carry, at least). The major expenditure will bring 11 new ships into the expansive Maersk Line fleet, which currently stands at 255 vessels it owns and hundreds more that are chartered. The company has a reputation for introducing the latest and greatest ships to the high seas, such as the E-Class series which occupy two of the top five positions in terms of  container volume.
  • Speaking of shipping, the balance of Asia-centric imports to the United States has long favored West coast ports, for obvious reasons. That may all change in the second half of the decade, however, not only due to recent industrial action causing severe congestion for much of 2014, but because the expanded Suez Canal is about to reopen. As a bicoastal fulfillment provider, we’re open to either side of the country, but this is an intriguing development that could see our home base of New Jersey seeing even more action than usual in the years to come. Let the (friendly) competition commence!

 

We’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming next week, including some new industry-specific articles that we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

Be sure to sign up for those here, or by following our social streams on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin. In the meantime, have a great weekend!

June 8, 2015

If you missed May in a blur of pre-summer planning and regular old work routine, we’re here to catch you up.

Our monthly round-up from around the supply chain is your one-stop shop to provide a quick review of the logistics industry headlines you might have missed. Continue reading Logistics Industry Review: May 2015

April 7, 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, 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. Continue reading Logistics Industry Review: March 2015

March 9, 2015

As the month changed last week we still found ourselves battling the frozen wrath of winter storms. Now that we’ve sprung forward and the official seasonal change is in sight, companies and commuters will be hoping that the rising temperatures are more than just a temporary reprieve from ice and snow.

Container ship APL Poland
Container ship APL Poland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before we move on too soon, though, there’s still time for our monthly wrap up of important news and views from around the world of logistics and the supply chain sector.

If you missed a lot in February as you were digging out every morning, here’s your chance to catch up!

  • The labor dispute affecting west coast ports finally reached a tentative agreement, allowing operations to begin the catch up unloading the line of vessels that had built up throughout January. The dispute itself stretched back some nine months and although business owners will be relieved to see a resolution, for many the damage has already been done in terms of revenue lost from delays, especially during the holiday period.
  • On the subject of those extended west coast delays, here’s a great photo set showing just how bad things were at times. This is also what prompted our article last month on why we recommend a bicoastal fulfillment solution.
  • U.S. truck tonnage reached an all-time high at the start of this year, according to figures reported by the American Trucking Association in February. The year-on-year increase was 6.6% compared to January 2014, which in itself was impressive but also took the overall tonnage index to the highest level ever recorded.
  • Citing again the west coast issues, however, rail freight volumes were down for several weeks during February. After a positive period earlier this year weekly traffic was regularly down between 6-7% throughout last month, as difficult weather conditions and delayed shipments took their toll.
  • The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) set out its strategy for commercial drone use. Although the early measures are still somewhat restrictive, requiring pilots to be within site of an “unmanned vehicle” and setting a weight restriction of 55 pounds, the proposal has entered a period permitting comments and is seen as a sound first step by those hoping to see use of the technology progress in the U.S.
  • And in ad hoc delivery news, ride sharing services like Uber and Sidecar appear to be branching out to carry more than just people. Both companies have started to trial , such as Sidecar announcing plans to deliver food and groceries across all cities in which they operate. So now you can rate not only the restaurant that made your food, but the driver who delivered it as well.

 

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