As a new illness provokes a new national emergency, there are many different perspectives on the severity of the disease. However, regardless of health and political stances, shippers are wary of the potential for added disruptions to their barely recovered supply chains. The following eight industry stories can guide shippers to fight for resiliency within their localized chain in the event of another pandemic.
The first wave of the pandemic wreaked havoc on the supply chain, causing FedEx to initiate its first set of peak surcharges and fees in April 2020. Despite optimistic changes in air travel in 2022, air cargo availability remains slim amidst continued disruptions, revealing the need for continued surcharges and fees that complicate freight billing. On August 5, 2022, FedEx released its updated surcharge and fee chart that displays small fees initiated from September 5 to October 2, 2022, and larger fees extending from October 3, 2022, to January 15, 2023.
As AB5 shakes up the reliability of California ports, some FedEx contractors have been loud about their willingness to shake up FedEx to get higher pay per stop during the Black Friday rush. Supply Chain Dive reported that, "Contractors will soon have what Patton has called "a unified voice" to push for higher per-stop pay, despite Smith's warning that a group effort to negotiate financial terms is a breach of contract." The nominations for The Trade Association for Logistics Professionals began last week and will run through September 9, 2022.
Although many things have been unpredictable over the last couple of years, the most predictable thing has been the steady increase in costs for transportation services. However, UPS reported that, "Effective August 14, 2022, Asia to Canada WWE FREIGHT rates will decrease. All other previously announced Peak/Demand Surcharges will continue to apply [...] and the amounts of those Peak/Demand Surcharges remain unchanged." Time will tell if UPS sees more peak season returns due to its continued price rates compared to their other parcel giant competitors.
UPS has been making headlines for more than one reason, including business purchase proposals. According to a Reuters article, "The U.S. delivery firm is focusing on high-margin businesses to offset declining volumes as the pandemic-fuelled e-commerce boom softens, having expanded its temperature-controlled supply-chain logistics to support the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines globally." By proposing to purchase Italy's Bomi Group, UPS could bolster its healthcare logistics offerings within Europe, its largest market outside the United States.
As retail supply chains have continued to leverage e-commerce techniques, UPS has been incentivizing volume density with solutions such as UPS Access Point locations. As time has proven that these past solutions neglected to show significant impact, CEO Carol Tomé shared that the company is piloting a new program to improve delivery density. "The pilot involves an unnamed, third-party technology company 'holding' an order on an order management system until it can match another shipment to the same address," according to Supply Chain Dive's recap of UPS' company earnings call.
As some shippers bring on explainable machine learning for more accurate data insight, others are taking technology to a whole other level - literally. Supply Chain Dive reports that Xwing, "A UPS-contracted air cargo carrier has expanded its U.S. operations, aiming to strengthen the case for its autonomous flight technology to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration." As Xwing transports across their 34 current flight routes, they will intentionally track large amounts of data to improve "Superpilot," their autonomous aviation software.
High diesel prices exacerbated summer freight risks, and consumers across industries experienced pump anxiety at every fillup. While the national averages dipped across June and July, some experts believe this lowering was simply a temporary price adjustment due to a lack of demand. In a recent article, FreightWaves Editor-at-Large John Kingston discussed with writer Rachel Premack that the current price drop would likely not last through harvest season when diesel usage is at an all-time high.
As operating costs remain at an all-time high, shippers are looking carefully at their OSD reports for ways to minimize damaged or lost products. Supply Chain Dive and Tive teamed up to share that "U.S. grocers estimate $18 million worth of food arrives at their stores spoiled and unusable — globally, the number is much higher, with $1 trillion of wasted food going to landfills." Download to discover their take on why live monitoring systems are the solution to perishable shipment loss.
Regardless of the longevity and gravity of MonkeyPox, or any other newly discovered disease, supply chain professionals must prioritize the resiliency of their company. While innovative measures can float companies through storms, thorough data analysis can provide critical insight to promote resiliency, starting with current operations. Intelligent Audit is a full-force business intelligence partner that can provide auditing services backed by expert advisors and the most comprehensive machine learning-enabled technology. Don't lose your opportunity to pursue resiliency by starting a conversation with Intelligent Audit today.
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