The Friday Report Blog: November 24th, 2023

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

DHL’s Expansion with High-Tech Automated Warehouses 

DHL Supply Chain is set to open four new automated warehouses, enhancing its global warehousing operations through digital innovation. This expansion adds to its existing nine automated facilities worldwide, including four in the U.S. These cutting-edge warehouses utilize AutoStore’s automated storage and retrieval systems, with over 1,000 AutoStore robots already in action across DHL’s fulfillment network. 

The new facilities are part of DHL’s ongoing strategy to improve efficiency and throughput via automation. AutoStore’s system, known for its compact design, is particularly effective in handling small products, making it an ideal solution for e-commerce operations in fashion and tech sectors. 

The use of such advanced automation technology allows for more densely packed inventory, optimizing space in warehouse environments. DHL’s goal is to streamline warehouse system implementation, with the potential to halve the setup time. 

Markus Voss, COO and CIO at DHL Supply Chain, emphasizes that AutoStore’s standardized and modular technology is key to achieving greater operational efficiency and adaptability, critical aspects for a third-party logistics provider. This move towards automation mirrors industry trends, as seen with companies like Kraft Heinz and Walmart implementing similar technologies in their distribution centers. 

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How Retailers are Adapting for a Smooth BFCM

Black Friday and Cyber Monday present a unique opportunity for retailers and consumer brands to showcase their adaptability and resilience in the face of supply chain challenges. Amidst global disruptions and changing consumer behaviors, these shopping events are not just about overcoming obstacles, but also seizing opportunities for growth and innovation.  

Many brands are rethinking their strategies, with 83% reconsidering their ordering approaches, and 65% aiming to have their inventory ready 2-4 weeks in advance. While only 33% are starting preparations in September, those who begin early demonstrate crucial adaptability and foresight, safeguarding their reputation and customer trust.  

The key to success lies in accurate inventory planning, driven by diversified data sources and advanced technologies like AI forecasting. This proactive approach not only helps brands thrive during the holiday season but sets new industry standards for future success. As retailers gear up for these major sales events, embracing innovation and strategic planning will be essential for navigating the dynamic commerce landscape. 

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White House Elevates Supply Chain Strategy with New Cabinet-Level Council

President Joe Biden is launching a cabinet-level Council on Supply Chain Resilience, marking a significant commitment by the U.S. government to address vital supply chain issues. The council, comprising top federal officials and co-chaired by the National Security Advisor and National Economic Advisor, aims to ensure robust supply chains and a strong economy. 

This initiative highlights the administration’s proactive steps towards enhancing supply chain resilience, crucial for reducing costs and benefiting American families, workers, farmers, and entrepreneurs. The council’s formation is part of a series of about 30 actions showcasing Biden’s dedication to this crucial area. 

Additionally, the White House is introducing several other significant measures. These include a new Department of Transportation office for multimodal policy, expanding the Department of Health and Human Services’ authority for domestic manufacturing of essential medicines, and a $275 million investment by the Department of Energy in clean energy sectors. 

These strategic efforts, including the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force established in 2021, have significantly contributed to smoothing supply chains, normalizing goods flow, and curbing inflation. Biden’s latest move further amplifies these efforts, bringing together key industry policymakers to fortify the nation’s supply chain infrastructure and lower costs for American families. 

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