Archive for Logistics Trends

Mid-Year Logistics Industry Review

US GDP grew at about a 2 percent annual growth rate in the first half of the year. The logistics and warehousing industry grew at a tepid rate in the first quarter. But this is positive when compared with the Q1 performance of recent years when the industry actually contracted, likely due to atypical seasonality. According to US Census data, US exports in the first half of 2017 totaled $763.6 billion, representing a 7.3 percent increase over the total for the first half of 2016. According to US Census data, US exports in the first half of 2017 totaled $763.6 billion, representing a 7.3 percent increase over the total for the first half of 2016.

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A New and Better Way to Manage Freight Trucking Risk?

I was recently informed of the new start-up company named TransVix that is developing a US trucking futures exchange market. Admittedly, my logistics research is focused more on warehousing than on transportation. However, I do have a solid understanding of both logistics and financial markets, and of financial derivatives such as forward contracts and futures. So I thought I would take this opportunity to discuss the concept of trucking futures and provide my perspective, and […]

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Key Takeaways from NRF 2017

Last week, I attended the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) Big Show at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, NY. This was my ninth straight year attending the show since becoming an analyst, and my fourth year of attending as a member of ARC Advisory Group. This show has historically been a very large and busy show, and this year was no exception, with nearly 35,000 retailers and industry partners in attendance. Every year a […]

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3PL Market’s Organic Growth Shrinks Three Quarters in a Row in 2016

The third-party logistics (3PL) market − encompassing non-asset-based transportation, warehousing, and integrated supply chain services − experienced a year-over-year growth of 1.8 percent in revenues in the third quarter of 2016. The growth was mainly driven by acquisitions. Organic growth (without the effect of acquisitions) declined in all three quarters of FY2016 – by 8.9 percent in Q1, 6.9 percent in Q2, and 3.4 percent in Q3. This decline is mainly due to uncertain global […]

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Amazon’s Latest Take on Drone Deliveries: Fantasy or Reality

As I mentioned in last Friday’s news round-up, Amazon has won a patent for a flying warehouse or fulfillment center that will deploy drones to deliver parcels. Basically, the plan for Amazon is to have a blimp or airship of some sort hovering at an altitude of around 45,000 feet, stocked with lots of products. When an order is placed, a drone will fly down from the floating fulfillment center and deliver the item within […]

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Key Supply Chain Trends to Follow in 2017

The problem with trends is that they are like a freight train gaining speed; everyone can see the train, but at what point do you say the train is really moving at speed? With that in mind, here are the trends I’m following and the predictions I am making.

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Let the Holiday Rush Begin (or Continue)!

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the rear view mirror, the holiday shopping season, and the rush to deliver packages, is in full swing. The last few years of holiday shopping, and the shipping crunch associated with e-commerce orders, has produced its share of ups and downs. Late packages will never be eliminated fully, but retailers and shippers alike have taken steps to ensure that a holiday meltdown similar to 2013, where an estimated […]

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Will Logistics Provide a Good Career Path for Young Grads?

In this Presidential election, trade as a destroyer of jobs has been one of the few issues actually discussed. But automation kills many more jobs than trade. For young grads, based on automation trends, will logistics remain a solid career?

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Quantifying the Changing Warehouse Order Profile

My colleagues and I have written a number of articles about the widespread growth of e-commerce and its effect on distribution operations. Many companies are opening new facilities for e-commerce fulfillment and others are using traditional replenishment facilities to fulfill e-commerce orders as well. It’s well-known that e-commerce growth is affecting the requirements placed on many organizations. But to what degree is the movement of goods through the supply chain shifting? And to what degree […]

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Why Pool Distribution Now?

Pool distribution as a store replenishment strategy is more relevant than ever because of decreasing margins and the need to move goods quickly to stores in reaction to changing consumer demand. Pool distribution is a great example of the power of the “network effect”, as it leverages numerous retailers and pool operators to substantially lower distribution costs and increase delivery frequency. While pool started with specialty retailers, it is applicable across much of the retail […]

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