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Logistics Intelligence Brief
Thursday, September 2, 2021

Industry

Peak parcel demand to exceed capacity by 4.7M daily shipments — report

Freight Waves Mark Solomon September 1, 2021

Demand for peak-season parcel delivery services in the U.S. will exceed the total capacity of the nation’s delivery network by about 4.7 million parcels a day, according to a detailed forecast by consultancy ShipMatrix.
The data indicates that, like the unprecedented 2020 peak delivery season, shipping activity during the upcoming peak will surpass the infrastructure’s ability to handle it. However, the projected differential this year is much narrower than the 7.3 million daily gap that the noted consultancy identified in 2020.
ShipMatrix founder and CEO Satish Jindel said his company’s “exhaustive modeling exercise” was based on the expected peak capacity of the major service providers, such as FedEx Corp., (NYSE:FDX) UPS Inc., (NYSE:UPS), the U.S. Postal Service and DHL, as well as regional delivery providers and others. It is predicated on a seven-day delivery week, Jindel said in an email to FreightWaves.
On a recent analyst call, UPS CEO Carol B Tomé forecast a daily gap of about 5 million parcels. Jindel said Wednesday that he doesn’t know how Tomé came up with the number, but that it didn’t come from his company’s data.
The 2021 gap was not expected to be as wide as last year’s. In-store shopping is expected to increase as more Americans get vaccinated, which would typically mean less online ordering. Carriers have added more infrastructure since the last peak, enabling more daily parcel throughput. Shippers, retailers and carriers have had a full year, and the sobering experience of the 2020 peak, to adjust operations to prepare for this year’s spike.

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Surging Covid-19 Cases Hammer Asian Factories

The Wall Street Journal Stella Yifan Xie and Jon Emont September 1, 2021

Subscription-Based

Factory activity faltered across Asia in August, with a resurgence in Covid-19 infections adding to global supply-chain disruptions and confirming fears of a slowdown in the region’s economic recovery.
Gauges of manufacturing activity plummeted across major Asian economies, in large part because virus lockdowns, port congestion and higher input costs hampered production. There were also signs that global demand for some Asian goods has been leveling off, as consumers rein in spending in the West.
Factories in Vietnam have been forced to shut or reduce their workforces during the country’s deadliest Covid-19 wave.
In China, a closely followed private gauge of factory activity—the Caixin China purchasing managers index, which primarily measures smaller manufacturers—contracted in August for the first time since the start of the country’s economic recovery in April 2020. It dropped to 49.2 in August from 50.3 in July. Readings below 50 signal contraction.

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Shippers/3PLs

U.S. Factory Growth Improves Even as Global Supply Woes Linger

Bloomberg Olivia Rockeman September 1, 2021

U.S. manufacturing expanded at a stronger-than-expected pace in August, reflecting faster orders and production growth as well as rising backlogs consistent with global supply chain challenges.
The Institute for Supply Management’s gauge of factory activity rose to 59.9 from 59.5 in the prior month, according to data released Wednesday. Readings above 50 indicate expansion. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for the measure to fall to 58.5.
U.S. manufacturing gauge rises unexpectedly, though capacity constraints linger
While the highest ISM reading for bookings in three months and firmer production highlight sustained demand, the pickup in order backlogs underscores persistent bottlenecks rattling manufacturers across the globe.

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Workforce

Amazon Seeks to Hire 55,000 for Corporate, Tech Roles

The Wall Street Journal Dave Sebastian September 1, 2021

Subscription-Based

Amazon’s hiring underscores its continued growth plans in many different industries. The roles Amazon is seeking to fill also include positions in its Alexa smart-speaker division and in physical retail as the company plans to open department stores to sell clothing and other products, The Wall Street Journal reported in August. The hiring spree will be the first under new Chief Executive Andy Jassy, who took over the top job in July from company founder Jeff Bezos.
Amazon said attendees at its career-day event can participate in one of more than 20,000 career-coaching sessions with a company recruiter. It said it is also offering coaching sessions for Amazon employees looking to advance their careers internally or elsewhere.

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Government/Safety/Sustainability

First 24 Hours After a Crash Can Make or Break a Lawsuit’s Outcome

Transport Topics Eric Miller September 1, 2021

The actions taken by a motor carrier in the hours immediately following a truck-involved crash can be critical to the potential legal outcome of the incident, regardless of whether it is a serious accident or a simple fender bender, trucking attorneys said.
In fact, those actions can sometimes determine whether a case ends up in a settlement or goes to trial, said Janis Steck, a trucking defense litigator for Indianapolis-based Scopelitis, Garvin, Light, Hanson & Feary, P.C.
She noted, for example, that the truck driver involved is the one with boots on the ground, so it’s essential that he or she knows whom to contact to get a carrier’s response process underway. More often than not, the first phone call from the scene should go to the company dispatcher, safety officer or a pre-designated employee who will know what to do, according to Steck and other trucking defense attorneys.

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Schneider adds 50 eCascadias to intermodal fleet in Southern California

Transport Dive S.L. Fuller September 1, 2021

Schneider plans to add 50 Freightliner eCascadias to its intermodal operations in Southern California, the fleet announced Tuesday. The trucks are part of the carrier's sustainability plan, which puts a focus on intermodal.
Schneider piloted an eCascadia for six months through the Freightliner Customer Experience Fleet. "Our drivers who tested the eCascadia really enjoyed it," Schneider Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Rob Reich said in a news release.
The Joint Electric Truck Scaling Initiative provides funding for the battery-electric vehicles, Schneider said. The JETSI program is sponsored by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission.

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