The Friday Report: August 31st, 2018

Quick wrap up of a few hot topic newsworthy stories in the supply chain logistics industry

UPS Launches Ware2Go

UPS recently launched a new collaborative technology platform called Ware2Go to connect small and medium-sized businesses with warehouses.  With the huge shift towards e-commerce, merchants are looking for companies to provide order fulfillment capabilities.  Matching the merchants up with warehouses that have space available solves both sides of the equation.

Ware2Go, recruits and certifies warehouses for merchants.  The tremendous growth of e-commerce often leads to rapid expansion.  By using Ware2Go, merchants are relieved of the task of finding and vetting warehouses to handle inventory storage and order fulfillment needs.  Merchants are then able to scale their businesses more rapidly.

Customers create an account and register on the Ware2G website either as a warehouse, merchant or both and answer a few simple questions regarding their needs. 

After merchants provide details about factors such as inventory, space requirements, orders and other issues, the Ware2Go platform can be used to manage their inventory and orders on its cloud-based network.  Because services vary, there are no set fees.

Target Retail Stores at Center of its Fulfillment Strategy

Significant investments in the physical infrastructure of Target retail stores and a new e-commerce strategy are paying off for the retail giant.  Target has made changes to satisfy consumers’ need to participate in a traditional store trip, pick up a drive-up order, in-store order as well as facilitate a trip by a ship shopper and e-commerce orders.  These changes were designed to increase labor efficiency, reduce store workload associated with unloading and restocking while reducing out-of-stock items.

Target has also been testing a new distribution strategy and designed “flow centers” to send smaller shipments more frequently tailored to the individual demands of the respective store and surrounding area.  Using this concept, the same inventory is used to replenish stores and fulfill online orders.

2018 Shaping Up to Be Tough Peak Season

With the U.S. economy moving full speed ahead, the peak retail season is anticipated to be strong yet filled with potential struggles.

Low unemployment and high consumer confidence bode well for strong holiday sales in 2018.

Already shippers and freight industry experts have noticed surging imports, carrier service reductions due to industry consolidation, and a forecast for more cost due to general rate increases and bunker surcharges. Speculation persists that imports have increased to beat tariffs and that shippers started their peak shipping early this year.

The freight industry has noted an increase in transloading this year and intermodal has proven helpful in meeting the evolving supply chain needs.

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