Due to the fast-paced nature of the logistics industry, it is a common experience for supply chain professionals to get so bombarded by work that they barely get a chance to enjoy their lunch break. Fortunately, this weekly recap will get you caught on some of the major events that happened in the logistics world. Let's take five minutes to look at seven of the top stories identified by Intelligent Audit experts as areas of focus from the last week.
FedEx has been busy over the last few months between C-suite executive changes and earning calls with details on new strategies. "Network 2.0" is the most significant change which mobilizes collaboration between FedEx Freight and FedEx Ground. Supply Chain Dive reported that after FedEx Dataworks findings "revealed more opportunities for Freight's tractors to pick up available Ground trailers and reduce empty miles driven," executive members saw that "FedEx could cut roughly 8 million' bobtail miles' with better cross-company collaboration on intermodal containers."
Hundreds of thousands of patents are submitted annually to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but new applications from retail supply chain parties and parcel giants could change the game in supply chain. Supply Chain Dive reported that UPS is even considering ditching the cardboard box in favor of "items being sandwiched between two rectangular enclosures, connected via a joint component, with 'stretch members' like elastic straps holding the payload in place." Time will tell if this environmentally friendly packing solution proves worthy of implementation.
Retail e-commerce strategy is coming to the milk aisle. According to Supply Chain Dive, as consumers continue to utilize curbside services and home delivery, grocers are seeking out e-commerce fulfillment ideas to "boost efficiency and quality through enhanced training, technology and store layouts." Whether bagging and tagging to consolidate for streamlined fulfillment or leveraging a software solution that allows employee shoppers to pick multiple orders simultaneously, grocery stores are working hard to balance in-store and delivery expectations.
A July article by the Modern Shipper reported that Amazon's "stake in Grubhub could rise to 13% if it can deliver a certain amount of new customers to the business, though the announcement did not specify an exact number. As part of the deal, Amazon will offer Prime customers a free one-year membership to Grubhub Plus, the platform's premium subscription option." Amazon also announced warehouse building delays to support their logistics cost-savings efforts.
As trucking cost inflation continues to impact every leg of the supply chain, carriers are releasing creative ways to achieve mutually beneficial services. According to Freight Waves, Old Dominion Freight Line Inc. has opted to try a "one all-in rate to LTL shippers before their freight is picked up, a step the carrier said represents a major advancement in the backwater processes of costing, pricing and paying for LTL transportation." After years of developing behind the scenes, the carrier company is partnering with 3PL provider Todd Polen to explore this all-inclusive front rate strategy in action.
US Energy Information Administration announced they are changing how they track regional and national diesel averages. Yet, a significant hardware failure soon revealed that the change would be anything but smooth. Thankfully on July 7, 2022, after three weeks of silence, the EIA released the last few weeks' data and has since posted the most recent national diesel average at $5.568. Transportation Topics discussed the effects that this delay has caused and the national relief at down trending prices.
The healthcare industry has undoubtedly taken some enormous tolls from the pandemic. Elective care took drastic hits with shuttered companies and extended furloughs. In contrast, essential care barely got a chance to breathe amidst COVID waves and the healthcare complications arising from delayed routine healthcare. However, Healthcare Dive reported in a June burst of 57,000 new jobs, "Ambulatory services saw the largest job gains, followed by hospitals, nursing, and residential care facilities."
As diesel prices lower and logistic creativity rises with the companies above making changes to standard processes, shippers and other transportation professionals must take advantage of the moment. Meanwhile, artificial intelligence in business is becoming more mainstream, and innovations are constantly surrounding and bettering the supply chain. What great ideas does your company have, and what's holding you back? Intelligent Audit has provided excellent business intelligence service to over 2,800 customers, including 20% of the Fortune 500, and they are ready and willing to work with you. Don't get distracted by the grind; start a conversation with Intelligent Audit today and see how your business can truly thrive.
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