HomeNewsAbout CTSWhy CTSThe ProcessFAQ'sTestimonialsCase HistoriesContact CarriersIndustry LinksContact
 
Logistics Intelligence Brief
Monday, November 29, 2021

Trucking

FedEx, UPS Turn Record Holiday Surge Into Someone Else’s Problem

Bloomberg Thomas Black November 26, 2021

Subscription-Based

Retailers have increasingly turned to regional couriers like LSO to help shuffle packages that delivery titans United Parcel Service Inc., FedEx Corp. can’t -- or won’t. This holiday season is going to depend more than ever on operators taking on business the two dominant couriers are shunning in a rapidly growing delivery market. It’s unclear if the smaller players are ready as they grapple with everything from transportation logjams to worker shortages.
UPS and FedEx have opted to raise prices aggressively and turn away lower-yielding business rather than rush to build capacity. That has been a shock to shippers that rely on those two companies which, along with the U.S. Postal Service, control about 95% of last-mile deliveries of third-party parcels.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Shippers/3PLs

Walmart Delivers Your Stuff—One Small Item at a Time

The Wall Street Journal David Marcelis And Sarah Nassauer November 28, 2021

Subscription-Based

The retailer has been moving more items directly from stores to homes when that route is faster than the normal path through a warehouse, where an order is packed and then picked up by a carrier such as FedEx. Walmart uses drivers from food-delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash, along with some of its own, to make runs straight from the store.
It means that despite all the headlines about global supply-chain snarls, some Walmart orders are arriving faster than ever, sometimes in hours. It also means people getting surprise visits from drivers bearing a single bag of crackers or a partial order of paprika.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Amazon’s $4 Billion Holiday Fix: Half-Empty Trucks, $3,000 Bonuses

Bloomberg Matt Day And Spencer Soper November 24, 2021

Subscription-Based

In addition to chartering ships like the Olive Bay, Amazon hired 150,000 U.S. seasonal workers to help pick, pack and ship items, boosting pay and offering signing bonuses of up to $3,000. It’s dispatching half-full trucks to get packages to customers on time. The logistical effort’s projected $4 billion cost threatens to wipe out the company’s profit during its most important three months of the year. But for Amazon, which burnished its reputation serving as a lifeline during the Covid-19 outbreak, the holiday season is an opportunity to extend its advantage over rivals.
If the company succeeds in meeting its promises to customers this year, that will be thanks to Amazon-chartered ships taking products from factories in Asia, Amazon Air cargo jets crisscrossing the U.S., Amazon-branded vans departing from hundreds of local delivery depots and the hundreds of thousands of employees and contractors at each step along

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Amazon Builds Out Network to Speed Delivery, Handle Holiday Crunch

The Wall Street Journal Sebastian Herrera November 29, 2021

Subscription-Based

In the past two years, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -2.12% has added workers at an unprecedented clip to keep up with a pandemic-induced surge in demand. As it has done so, an even bigger expansion drew less attention: The company is close to doubling the size of its fulfillment network.
Amazon blanketed the country with more than 450 new facilities used to store, sort and ship items, according to logistics consultant MWPVL International, doubling down on a logistics empire that aims to deliver items in one day or less, and increasingly to do so without the help of third-party shippers.
Many of the new buildings are concentrated near big cities, putting more items for sale on the website closer to large population centers. The facilities also include more than two dozen smaller outposts stocked mostly with bestselling items, allowing the company to prepare for supply disruptions while also expanding fast-shipping capabilities, according to MWPVL.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Online sales over holidays on track to top $200 billion after Thanksgiving Day kickoff, Adobe says

CNBC Melissa Repko November 26, 2021

Online spending during the holiday season is on track to top $200 billion for the first time, but Thanksgiving day sales were on the low end of projections, according to data from Adobe Analytics, which tracks consumer sales on retailers’ websites.
Sales online on Thanksgiving day rang in at $5.1 billion, according to Adobe. That matches last year’s Thanksgiving day spending. It is a roughly 21% increase from that day in 2019, the company said.
However, the level of e-commerce spending was at the bottom of Adobe’s predicted range, which was between $5.1 billion and $5.4 billion. The company expects total online sales this season to hit $207 billion — a 10% year over year increase and all-time high.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Black Friday Brought Shoppers Back to Stores

The Wall Street Journal Sarah Nassauer November 28, 2021

Subscription-Based

U.S. shoppers spent more time and money at bricks-and-mortar stores over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend than the same period last year, though foot traffic remained below pre-pandemic levels.
The rebound marks a reversal from 2020 when the pandemic accelerated a yearslong shift of holiday spending occurring online at the expense of in-store shopping. It also shows retailers were able to secure spending on the key Black Friday selling day, analysts say, even though discounts weren’t as prevalent this year and they spent weeks nudging customers to shop earlier in the season.
RetailNext, a firm that tracks shopper counts in thousands of stores with cameras and sensors, said store traffic rose 61% this Black Friday compared with last year but was down 27% from 2019. Sensormatic Solutions, another firm that tracks store traffic, said Black Friday traffic rose 48% from last year, but was 28% lower than in 2019.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

North Carolina’s Furniture Hub Is Booming. What Comes Next?

The New York Times Jeanna Smialek November 27, 2021

Subscription-Based

More than a year later, the furniture companies that dot Hickory, N.C., in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, have been presented with an unforeseen opportunity: The pandemic and its ensuing supply chain disruptions have dealt a setback to the factories in China and Southeast Asia that decimated American manufacturing in the 1980s and 1990s with cheaper imports. At the same time, demand for furniture is very strong.
In theory, that means they have a shot at building back some of the business that they lost to globalization. Local furniture companies had shed jobs and reinvented themselves in the wake of offshoring, shifting to custom upholstery and handcrafted wood furniture to survive. Now, firms like Hancock & Moore have a backlog of orders. The company is scrambling to hire workers.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Workforce

Where U.S. Workers Are Quitting Jobs at Record Rates

The Wall Street Journal Andrew Mollica and Sarah Chaney Cambon November 25, 2021

Subscription-Based

Workers in the U.S. resigned from a record 4.4 million jobs in September. Many Americans are leaving roles for better working conditions and pay amid a historically fast economic recovery.
The wave of resignations hasn’t been uniform across the country, though. States in the West, including Hawaii, Montana, Utah and Oregon, saw the largest growth in quits in September, according to the Labor Department. Eighteen states broke or tied their records for quits levels in September.
Industries experiencing high turnover rates drove quits in the Western U.S. in September and led many Northeastern states to see a more rapid increase in quits since the start of this year. Quits in the education sector—which accounts for a larger share of employment in Northeastern states than many others—have risen at the fastest pace of any industry since January. Reopening timelines and vaccination rates have also helped spur employer demand for workers in the Northeast this year.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Labor Talks to Start in 2022 at Congested West Coast Ports

The Wall Street Journal Paul Berger November 28, 2021

Subscription-Based

U.S. shippers struggling with supply-chain gridlock on the West Coast face new concerns in the coming year as dockworkers and marine terminals gird for talks on a new labor contract.
The private companies that operate port facilities from Washington state to Southern California are due to begin negotiations next year on a multiyear agreement with the union representing 22,400 dockworkers to replace the contract that expires in July 2022, raising the potential for new turmoil over bargaining that has been highly contentious in previous years.
The talks with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which happen about every six years, led to severe labor disruptions and shipping delays during the last cycle in 2014 and 2015. This time, the discussions expected to begin early next year will follow some of the worst seaport congestion in memory, as a pandemic-driven imports surge has overwhelmed container terminals and triggered record backlogs of container ships off the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Recruiting and retention in trucking: A continuous engagement

Fleet Owner Cristina Commendatore November 24,, 2021

“We’re paying people more for their brains than their backs,” Boyle said. “So, for their heightened level of and attention to detail, for example, and their familiarity with technology and their commitment to quality, safety, and security. Quality, safety, and security are what we sell to our customers, and we focus on the applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to those three criteria.”
Boyle has also de-emphasized mileage as a means of productivity and compensation. About 10 to 12 years ago, the carrier shifted from a mileage-based means of compensation and now guarantees a weekly minimum of $1,870 per person per week for first-year over-the-road drivers. The company also ensures that drivers are home at least two days for every week on the road.
“You’re removing the two biggest stresses; as a result, you’re giving people the opportunity to then rise up and become a professional because they are not so stressed about how many miles they are driving this week,” Boyle said. “Forget miles, let’s do things right. You’re going to be compensated at this level if you adhere to our quality, safety, and security standards. We want people to focus on what’s important to our customers.”

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Industry

Everything You Need to Know About the Global Supply Chain Crisis

Bloomberg David Fickling et al. November 26, 2021

Subscription-Based

What’s happening in China right now is really interesting. There's a couple of factors of work, which are contributing to growth slowdown in China, but also global supply strains. The first one is China’s zero-Covid strategy. There aren’t that many Covid cases in China, but even when there’s one or two in a city, that city gets locked down. Because China is the biggest source of supply for global manufactured goods, that can send ripples around the global economy. When you have energy shortages, it’s more difficult for industry to operate, which contributes to supply strains as well.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Trailer orders slide as ongoing material, labor shortage hamper build rates

CCJ Jason Cannon November 28, 2021

Net trailer orders in October plummeted 40% – 16,700 units according to preliminary data released by ACT Research – and were off 70% from last year’s peak order month. Final October volume will be available later this month.
Frank Maly, ACT Research director of commercial vehicle transportation analysis and research, noted ongoing market uncertainties have prevented OEMs from kicking off their normal order season and fleets have responded accordingly. Also, he noted, a tough October 2020 comparison as it was the second-highest net order month in industry history "when fleet investment plans rebounded from the spring COVID doldrums.
"Challenges of supply-chain bottlenecks, labor shortages and material and component prices are forcing OEMs to proceed very cautiously,” he said. “Initial reports indicate that October build rates were similar to September. So OEMs, while able to maintain production levels and manage backlog horizons, continue to be unable to ramp efforts to meet the extremely strong and growing fleet demand for additional trailers.”

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Government/Safety/Sustainability

Border: New customs requirements for Mexico shipments begin Wednesday

Freight Waves Noi Mahoney November 28, 2021

Hoping to quell a rising tide of smuggled goods and lost tax revenue, Mexico’s controversial new waybill regulations — known as the Carta Porte supplement — is scheduled to go into effect Wednesday.
The regulations from the Mexican Tax Authority (SAT) aim to reduce cargo theft and the movement of contraband throughout the country. The SAT also estimates that Mexican authorities are losing as much as $7 billion a year on uncollected taxes from smuggled goods.
Trade officials in Mexico said they support the new regulations but that cross-border operators should be given more time to prepare for the changes.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

Years of Delays, Billions in Overruns: The Dismal History of Big Infrastructure

The New York Times Ralph Vartabedian November 28, 2021

Subscription-Based

As the nation sets out on a national spending spree fueled by the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill signed by President Biden this month, the job ahead carries enormous risks that the projects will face the same kind of cost, schedule and technical problems that have hobbled ambitious efforts from New York to Seattle, delaying benefits to the public and driving up the price tag that taxpayers ultimately will bear.
American cities and states were long renowned for some of the greatest bridges, water systems and freeways in the world, but challenges have grown more potent. Agencies have less internal technical talent. Legal challenges have grown stronger under state and federal environmental laws. And spending on infrastructure as a fraction of the economy has shrunk, giving local agencies less experience in modern practices.
And even with the new infusion of money, analysts say it will be tough to ramp up infrastructure progress as swiftly as envisioned in the current timetable.

Share This: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

News Archive



© 2009-2022 Capital Transportation Services  |  7 Wall Street Suite 200  |  Windham, NH 03087

P: 888.276.6699