Food Supply Chains look to Buck Out-Of-Stocks, Black Friday Prep Begins, Fuel Costs Wane

As the dog days of summer continue, U.S. shippers and carriers have had to stay diligent to ensure safe work conditions during the hottest days of the year. Meanwhile, subtle shifts have affected the transportation and logistics industry that will change the direction of the future supply chain. Grab a cold drink and take five to get caught up on eight of the latest supply chain shifts.

Black Friday Preparation Begins

With Prime Day barely in the rearview mirror, Black Friday is probably not on the minds of most consumers. Yet, retail supply chain professionals know that now is the time to finish their peak season preparation. With eyes on the upcoming consumer holiday, "thousands of FedEx Ground contractors are forming an alliance to press for higher per-stop pay to hedge against inflationary pressures," according to a July 21 article by Supply Chain Dive.

AB5 Protests Crush Oakland Port Operations

Trucker protests continue nearly a month after the CA AB5 labor law went live. While the first few protest movements focused on maintaining the operational function, recent developments have included employee parking lots and truck gates blocked by picket lines. In an interview with a trucker of 23 years who has played a pivotal role in discussions with port authorities, Supply Chain Dive reported that protestors plan to continue until there is proof that the governor is considering amending this labor law.

Postage Resell Program Scheduled to End in October

According to a new article by Linn's Stamp News, manual freight accounting may become a few cents more expensive as of this fall. Thirty years ago, the Postal Service devised a postage reselling program to offer small companies the opportunities for discounted rates that were otherwise limited to large-scale companies. However, five years after the first discussion of the program's legitimacy, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced his decision on July 5, 2022, to close the program effective October 1.

Global Delivery Is Becoming That Much Easier

As artificial intelligence in business continues to become mainstream, many companies have sprung up to make logistics easier for the average shipper. With just nine years as a business, Flexe has proven its reputation as a logistics network through its work with the Fortune 500. Focused on "Integrating technology, open logistics networks, and elastic economic models," Flexe leverages deep logistics to provide its customers with the best delivery experience anywhere in the world.

Lowered Fuel Demands Have Encouraged Decreasing Fuel Rates

Americans have been learning to minimize fuel usage after fuel rates rocketed at the beginning of the year. Transport Topics reported that, "historically high prices keep more drivers off the road than COVID-19 did in the summer of 2020." Fewer road trippers on the road are just another solution to the previously high summer freight risks that stemmed from ballooning diesel prices.

UPS Union Agreement Expiring Next Year

As large employers continue to try to find logistics cost savings in any way possible, unions are becoming a treasured option. When Sean O'Brien became the International Brotherhood of Teamsters president in March 2022, CNN wrote that the union "represents 327,000 employees at UPS, by far the nation's largest trucking and supply management company." If UPS does not comply with the new agreement terms in July 2023, O'Brien has hinted at leading the Teamsters in what could be the largest strike in history.

Out-of-Stock Grocery Items Continue to Plague US

While some people have plenty of options within their original pandemic stockpile, others have difficulty finding items they need for tonight's dinner at the store. Taste of Home shared ten of the top most backordered items as chickpeas, wheat, sugar, avocados, paper goods, canned goods, eggs and meat, pet food, baby formula, and liquor. While machine learning can't resolve the diminishing inventory of these items, some shippers are turning to more technology to gain better inventory control in these times.

Health Care Supply Chain Gets the Recognition It Deserves

While business logistics is complicated for many, the healthcare supply chain has been the unsung hero in keeping hospitals and clinics open for the past two years. This fall, AHRMM hopes all professionals will get involved in "Leveraging Collaboration [and] Driving Innovation" as they sponsor National Health Care Supply Chain Week from October 2-8, 2022. While there will be significant acts of kindness this week, it's also the perfect opportunity to simply thank fellow shippers and logistic providers.

Get Your Business Out of the Hot Seat with Intelligent Audit

Even though outside temperatures are skyrocketing, it doesn't have to feel like that inside the office. Shippers and logistics providers can reduce the heat by partnering with a proven company such as Intelligent Audit. Their expert advisory services combine with thorough, machine-learning-enabled auditing services to offer an unbiased perspective on your business and workflow. Learn how your company can reduce costs, get on the same page, and maximize efficiency by starting a conversation with Intelligent Audit today!

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