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Cyber Week, Here We Come

| Mike O'Brien

Sales expectations are somewhat muted based on a welter of surveys and experts, as well as most retail earnings, but Cyber Week is still kind of a big deal, extended season and early deals notwithstanding. There are, of course, no lack of consumer jitters due to nagging inflation, with study after study indicating some degree of hesitancy.

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One FedEx Ground Contractor Group Disbands, Another Forms

| Mike O'Brien

After making a lot of noise this year with a list of grievances including poor management practices and bad peak season forecasting leading to the brink of insolvency for many, an association of FedEx Ground contractors has disbanded, taking a shot at the founder on the way out the door.

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Mitigating Supply Chain Disruption for SMBs

| Shalabh Singhal

A lot has changed since the onset of the pandemic but supply chain disruptions continue to evolve. While the degree and nature of disruptions differed for every company, almost all discovered many hidden supply chain imbalances. Here are a few ways SMBs can make the best of these turbulent times and keep things humming.

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Carbon Offset Program Offered by ShippingEasy Through Holidays

| Mike O'Brien

Realizing the demand from both its merchant clients and their end customers to address the heavy carbon emissions associated with ecommerce deliveries, especially around peak holiday season, platform provider ShippingEasy is offering a carbon offset program through Jan. 12, 2023.

USPS old mailboxes

USPS Sees Revenue Gain, Net Loss, Parcel Drop

| Mike O'Brien

The U.S. Postal Service reported a revenue gain for the year but an income loss, while parcel volume continued to drop relative to the 2021 pandemic surge, as the USPS like other shippers has experienced a slowdown in ecommerce-related business due to challenging economic conditions.

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Holiday Spending Forecasts Lower in Transition Year

| Mike O'Brien

With lowered holiday shopping expectations amid inflation concerns, consumers hunt for deals as early promotions lured them in but not in the hoped-for droves, and inventory remains a challenge. Retailers continue to discount and promote to clear out stock, increasingly using resale platforms like Poshmark, ThredUp and Etsy.

ocean shipping reform act port of Oakland feature

Ocean Shipping Reform Act: Rework Container Fee Assessment

| Mike O'Brien

The Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2022 is intended to promote U.S. exports and make ocean transport more competitive, efficient and economical. But a requirement that invoices list the date of container accessibility is proving to be a fly in the ointment. Bryn Heimbeck of Trade Tech Inc. explains efforts to address the inequity.

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One Broker’s View: Let’s Lift OT Exemption for Truckers

| Mike O'Brien

Companion bills in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate aim to amend the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, removing the overtime exemption for truckers. Predictably, it’s opposed by shippers and rail carriers, and supported by unions, trucking associations and safety groups. A spokesman for a major auto carrier explains why he supports it.

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UPS Beats on Q3 Bottom Line, Posts Slight Revenue Miss

| Mike O'Brien

UPS posted strong Q3 financial results, falling a bit short on revenue vs. the analyst consensus but beating on earnings, as the company was lauded for successfully making network adjustments to falling volumes, unlike rival FedEx’s report about a month ago. The brown carrier also expects peak season volume to be lighter than 2021.

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UPS Matches FedEx With 6.9% GRI for 2023

| Mike O'Brien

Days before its third quarter earnings report, UPS matched rival FedEx by announcing a general rate increase of 6.9% for 2023, an unprecedented figure for both major carriers set as a benchmark for pricing shipper contract rates. FedEx took heat last month in announcing its rate increase last month, as it reported a painful quarter.