The Friday Report Blog: August 12th, 2022

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

FedEx to Increase Automated Parcel Sortation in New Robotics Deal

Last week, FedEx announced a partnership with robotics company Berkshire Gray that will allow it to manage small parcel shipments more efficiently. Under the new collaboration, FedEx is set to utilize Berkshire Grey’s Robotic Product Sortation and Identification (RPSi) system.

In addition, FedEx will reap the benefits of the purchasing agreement by having the option to invest in the robotics company. The shipping giant is now one of Berkshire Grey’s largest customers, which includes Walmart and Target. Per the agreement, FedEx can acquire up to 25 million shares in Berkshire Grey, amounting to roughly 10% of the outstanding shares.

Berkshire Grey has already installed RPSi systems at eight FedEx Ground sortation facilities in New York, Nevada, and Ohio. They expect to launch additional systems within one year. RPSi systems are useful because they can sort thousands of small packages each daily into bulk containers. These bulk containers are usually sent to other sortation facilities within the FedEx network.

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Uber Facilitates Same Day Delivery for More Popular Brands

Recently popular retailer The Body Shop enhanced its partnership with Uber to enable more consumers to order products via Uber Eats.  In 2020, Uber Eats and grocery delivery service provider Cornershop piloted the service in six locations.  Now Uber is expanding their service offering by delivering to consumers in new cities in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Illinois, Nevada, Alaska, and Hawaii through Uber Eats.

Over 2,000 of The Body Shop’s popular products can now be delivered to consumers from 75 brick-and-mortar retail store locations.  To sweeten the deal, Uber One members who order a minimum of $15 in merchandise will not be charged a delivery fee.

Part of Uber’s strategy is to offer a rapid delivery option as well as to integrate more retailers and grocery stores onto its platform.  By expanding into offering “beauty, on demand”, Uber hopes to reach more consumers across the United States.  Bed Bath and Beyond, Hims and Hers, and Buy Buy Baby have all joined the Uber platform.

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Consumers Switch to Less Expensive Food Choices Amid Inflation

Inflation has shocked food supply chains all over the world, especially those in the US. Due to the meteoric rise in prices, consumers are no longer purchasing expensive cuts of meat such as beef. Instead, they have resorted to purchasing less expensive meats such as chicken and certain fish. To meet consumer demand while the market changes, Tyson Foods has begun to reorganize their purchases and production.

The changes happened quickly.  Consumers are spending less, while essential items such as food and gas are becoming more expensive. Companies such as Tyson Foods have begun to follow shifting demands which can let them know when profits are declining. Since the demand for chicken has increased, there have been limited supplies which has driven prices to more than double.

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