Ecommerce fulfillment software firm Flowspace is using generative AI and machine learning technology to streamline transportation and freight management processes, automate workflows and increase the visibility into the status of inbound and outbound shipments. FlowspaceAI for Freight uses GenAI and machine learning to read and interpret emails and determine the status of each shipment.
There are fewer mega warehouses of 1 million square-feet-plus going up, tracking with reduced demand in retail and ecommerce and the challenged economy, according to CBRE, while smaller facilities in strategic locations near population centers are in short supply. Ecommerce companies accounted for seven of the top 100 deals from January through June, down 50% from 14 in 2022.
A recent trend in ecommerce network design supports a strategy of “getting product closer to the customer,” a more efficient model that delivers on service-level promises. Then came COVID-19, upending everything and accelerating the pace of change in inventory and supply chain strategy, in turn affecting network design. Retailers and analysts discuss the current state and where it’s headed.
MyFBAPrep, one of several companies brokering warehouse space and fulfillment services between shippers and 3PLs, has expanded its network from 15 million to 85 million square feet in the past four years to meet demand, increasing coverage in the UK, Germany, Canada and Mexico as well as the U.S. Expansion to Australia is on the company’s roadmap as well.
Preparing for peak season volumes in DTC fulfillment requires not only cooperation among partners but scheduling stress tests, ensuring sufficient server capacity and nailing down carrier commitments well in advance, attendees were told during a panel discussion at Home Delivery World in Philadelphia.
More than 80 delivery drivers and dispatchers for an Amazon contractor who just joined the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in April have initiated the first strike against Amazon at a hub in Palmdale, CA, saying the company needs to address wages and working conditions. Amazon begs to differ, saying it terminated the contract with the DSP, and that the Teamsters are making up facts.
DHL eCommerce Solutions, addressing growing demand for its USPS consolidator business, has transferred operations from St. Louis to Kansas City, MO, as part of a national expansion plan. By the time the $330 million project is completed in mid-2024, DHL eCommerce will have a 19-node, 2.3 million-square-foot U.S. network.
Many will argue whether the pandemic was a White Swan or Black Swan event. In either case, the supply chain impacts did not create new trends or problem categories. Instead, they amplified underlying instabilities and dramatically accelerated the pace of change. Supply chain organizations and the companies that support them need to prepare for a world that is less predictable, less stable and faster moving.
Despite all the advances in warehouse automation for ecommerce fulfillment, enabling greater efficiency and addressing the common difficulty of finding enough workers to perform the highly repetitive, physical tasks, most organizations are not looking to jump in with both feet. The COO of 3PL Boxzooka explains why the company is taking a more measured approach.
Pitney Bowes reported a 10% drop in Q1 revenue and a net loss of $8 million vs. income of $21 million in 2022, and announced unspecified staff cuts in its global ecommerce and domestic parcel units, as it looks at a contentious shareholder meeting with major investors eager for wholesale changes. The opposition group has put forward turnaround specialist Lance Rosenzweig as an interim CEO candidate.