ESG and DEI+J are hot topics in retail, and supply chain is a particular area of focus. Their importance will continue to grow, and their relevance increase as younger generations enter the workforce. Here are some important ways to boost sustainability in your supply chain as you work to integrate it into your overarching ESG/DEI+J strategy.
At its Accelerate seller conference in Seattle, Amazon announced a raft of interconnected services Tuesday, branded as Supply Chain by Amazon. It handles everything from logistics and forwarding from point of origin all the way to the customer’s door. For the first time, Amazon offers bulk storage, distribution and replenishment across channels from the same inventory pool, including retail stores.
The possibility of a major disruptive event, such as the Yellow Freight bankruptcy and a potential UPS strike, brought to light the vulnerability of the nation’s supply chain. From COVID-19 to ongoing issues with transportation and labor shortages, the supply chain had been on thin ice. Such scenarios emphasizes the importance of moving beyond a risky, overexposed single carrier approach.
Flexport is undergoing another reshuffle at the top, with former Amazon logistics executive Dave Clark departing, replaced at least for now by once-again CEO and founder Ryan Peterson in a shakeup pointing to a reset to the company’s core freight focus and a pullback from its aggressive growth plans. But experts wonder how Flexport will fare as freight volumes and rates fall in tandem globally.
UPS reported a 10.9% dip in second quarter revenue, but still hit its goal of $2.9 billion in operating profit thanks to $889 million in cost reduction compared with 2022. The company also said 1 million parcels a day were diverted to competitors due to concerns about labor negotiations. UPS also lowered full-year guidance mostly due to costs associated with the new contract, the company said.
With all the focus on winning in the last mile, companies need to pay more attention to critical first mile success, addressing the various headwinds that beset it. Brands need to strike a balance in optimizing the first mile that address efficiency, affordability and overall performance. Here are two critical areas to address in order to help you mitigate risks and assure a seamless flow of goods.
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.
OriginBX, a nonprofit organization looking to standardize how detailed product data is shared for tax and trade compliance in cross-border commerce, including ways to ensure ethical sourcing by avoiding goods produced by forced labor, will soon publish version one of its standards. OriginBX’s initial standard will deal with digital sharing of product details in technology and electronics.
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.
Mexico and Canada are seeing an increase in manufacturing and shipping to the U.S. as nearshoring takes hold in the face of uncertainty over trade with China and more businesses adopt a “plus one” strategy regarding the country’s largest trading partner, maintaining their base while diversifying their sourcing strategy. Inbound freight from Mexico outstripped China by 15%, while Canada was 5% higher.