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Logistics Industry Update: August 2014 in Review

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As quickly as ever, summer has run its course and we're mere weeks away from plunging (fall-ing?!) headlong into peak season for most supply chain planners.

Whether you've wiled away those balmy summer days on the beach or behind a desk planning for the upcoming rush, you can rely on our bite-sized review of what went on last month, including major announcements and significant statistics.

Truck at sunset USA
Image Credit: Paul L. Dineen


Last Month in Logistics

So, here are the reports and trends that made the media during August:

  • The value of U.S. freight across all forms increased more than 10% over the same period in 2013, according to figures released by RITA late last month. The figures from June show NAFTA freight hitting $103 billion, up $9.5 billion on the same month last year.
  • It wasn't widely heralded, but August marked the 20th anniversary of ecommerce. It was a time before even Amazon or eBay had made it to market, which shows us just how far order fulfillment has come in two decades!
  • In its continuing effort to reinvent itself as a viable delivery option, the U.S. Postal Service slashed prices on various commercial services and confirmed it would not apply dimensional weight pricing, as several major services announced they will adopt earlier this year.
  • U.S. rail freight traffic increased 2.9% in August, compared to the same period last year. Monthly intermodal volume also strengthened, posting a 4.3% gain.
  • The country's trucking and railroad industries have something of a face-off on their hands, as representatives of road freight say a rail-aligned study of truck-based fatalities contains "fundamental errors of analysis and evaluation."
  • The length of your supply chain is always important, but when it comes to perishables it's mission critical according to the latest food safety study from Stericycle.

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