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Order Fulfillment in Review: October 2015

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As the clocks fall back and the nights draw in, Halloween is over and the holiday season is about to get into full swing.

Retailers and parcel carriers are already weighing up their holiday staffing requirements, facing the crucial balancing act of maintaining high service delivery levels while not overloading on labor costs.

If you already feel overwhelmed, take a break to breathe for a second and review our summary of all the important headlines from the world of logistics and order fulfillment in review for October.

Road Haulage Volume USA
Image Credit: US Dept. of Transportation


Order Fulfillment News - October 2015

Let's dive right into the headlines that made October a notable month up and down the supply chain:

  1. Rail and road freight reported mixed fortunes, with volumes slightly down again on America's railroads for both the month and year, while the trucking industry saw an uptick in tonnage in its latest report. Numbers were also up for road haulage in employment terms, where 400 jobs were added last month.
  2. A deal for one of the biggest trade agreements in the history of ours or any other nation, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), was confirmed early in October. Although it must still pass through the machinations of Capitol Hill, and convince lawmakers in 11 other countries that the proposed agreement is viable, the potential for increased international trade and opening up new markets is now tantalizingly close.
  3. FedEx and UPS both managed to rile ecommerce retailers by increasing fuel surcharges, even as global fuel prices fall.
  4. Best Buy wasted no time positioning itself in the minds of early seasonal shoppers, announcing free shipping on all holiday orders and no minimum purchase value. Target offered the same deal last year, while its member card holders and subscribers to services like Amazon Prime have access to free shipping throughout the year, but more retailers are jumping on the . For the 2015 holiday peak, it's clear that shipping costs will play an important role in where consumers decide to spend their money.
  5. A new report on global trade from Colliers was released during October, with some fascinating . We'll have more on that next week, but consider, for starters, the stat that containerized cargo shipments have increased 290% since the turn of the century... that's a lot of boxes sailing the Seven Seas!
  6. Across the pond in Europe, the proposed $5 billion merger between FedEx and TNT is a step closer to reality. The deal to create the EU's second largest carrier (DHL takes the top spot) has been given the green light by antitrust regulators, according to sources inside both companies.

That's a wrap for another month of order fulfillment in review. If there's anything big that we missed, feel free to share with us on Facebook or Linkedin!

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