8 Things to Know in Shipping, Freight, Logistics & Supply Chain this Week

As a three-day weekend nears for many, various things vie for attention in a person's mind, including many topics directly or indirectly related to the supply chain. Such as:

  • "Will there be potato salad at that barbeque?"
  • "Will our final-mile network be enough to handle all the weekend shipments, or will I need to spend more time at the office?"
  • "Are they still out of the flowers I want to bring to the memorial site?"

A lot is going on in supply chain. Keep track of industry happenings during this business week with the following updates.

"Normal" Is Nowhere to Be Seen

Despite the rapid flux of Americans beginning to leave their masks and hand sanitizer at home, the pandemic's effects on the supply chain will continue for years to come. Because the supply chain's design only operates smoothly under ideal circumstances, FreightWaves reported that the post-COVID world, "will remain under constant threat of disruption for the next decade, especially amidst the "conflict between environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals and supply chains optimized for cost and speed." Decision-makers on every side are looking to tech designers for solutions to this problem and will likely pay well for it.

Diesel Supply Improves for East Coast

Finally, the Eastern Region of the U.S. is seeing some relief in diesel prices a few weeks after, as FreightWaves put it, "the East Coast diesel market ran away from the rest of the country." With the ever-widening gap between the national and regional average seemingly capping at a $0.33 difference for two weeks in a row, experts believe the tight fuel availability squeeze may be becoming less severe. This is excellent news for everyone in freight accounting as companies struggle to increase profit margins that have narrowed amidst increasing fuel surcharges.

Consumer Trends Reveal Same-Day Delivery Is a Necessity

In a webinar shared by Roadie and Supply Chain Dive, McKinsey and Company partner Manik Aryapadi spoke with Roadie Head of Marketing Mary Frances Jones about 2022 trends in last-mile fulfillment. How do shippers and retailers face the new challenges of same-day fulfillment to serve the modern consumer? In the webinar, Aryapadi and Jones share their insight backed by freight analytics to address how some businesses have met consumer demands to expand delivery options by utilizing out-of-the-box methods such as crowdsourcing carriers.

Operation Fly Formula Is a Success

Countless parents breathed a sigh of relief at the news of 70,000 pounds of baby formula arriving in the U.S. on May 22, 2022. The FedEx Express team met the cargo plane at the gate to immediately move the coveted commodity toward the consumers. FedEx issued a news release stating its commitment to "remain engaged with the U.S. administration and agencies to provide logistics and transportation support as needed, because when it matters most, FedEx delivers." This international shipment comes as a glimmer of hope to those enduring months of a nationwide baby formula shortage.

Avoiding The Next Global Food Crisis May Start with Diversifying Staple Items

When the Russia-Ukraine war began, few understood the repercussions might bring flashbacks to the 2007–2008 global food crisis. Export bans on Russia and halted harvest by Ukraine and others have caused wheat, corn, soybeans, and rice prices to rocket past previous highs. This week, Supply Chain Dive circulated a report produced by the Belgium-based IPES-Food group that discusses the globe's unstable reliance on wheat, rice, and corn, just three out of the 7,000 different plants consumed by people.

Supply Chain Must Upgrade Old Methods to Appeal to Younger Employees

As different companies develop creative ways to address the talent shortage in the supply chain, some companies are turning to technology to optimize their workflow and appeal to a younger generation. As Gen Z hits the workforce, supply chain employers discover how outdated specific active methods are, such as manual route optimization. FreightWaves reported that trucking companies are mainly concerned with finding and retaining quality employees as the baby boomer generation continues to retire out of the field.

Can AI and VR Technologies Improve Healthcare Field?

The healthcare field is one of the largest parties most concerned about data security, with technology's further introduction into patient care. Omnia Health shared that virtual reality (VR) has been proven to calm patients, reduce fear ahead of major surgery, and be an appealing training method for young professionals. Dylon O'Leary, the Director of UK-based MyHealthcare, also discussed the idea of a metaverse as a publicly available virtual space in the case of a future pandemic. Time will tell how the healthcare industry will implement these technologies into standard medical procedures and processes.

USPS Works to Consolidate and Optimize Active Facilities

This week, Government Executive reported Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's plans to, "significantly reduce the number of processing plants and delivery units in major metropolitan areas" while repurposing dormant and existing locations. According to the article, the USPS's commitment to do more with less is not just aimed at enabling cost control but to "standardize the USPS network and allow for more precise and efficient mail sorting and delivery." With the USPS being the backbone of personal and parcel shipping, all eyes are on DeJoy to see if these changes will meet his expectations.

Monitor the Success of Your Optimization Moves With Intelligent Audit

As mega-companies and government entities move forward with COVID-19 business recovery plans and resiliency-based optimization strategies, supply chain organizations must follow their lead. But, how can one know if moving past the traditional freight bill payment practices is actually working for their company? Intelligent Audit is a business intelligence software and partner that can keep your business on the cutting edge of technology and optimization success. Get started today by contacting Intelligent Audit now.

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