The Friday Report: July 13th, 2018

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

Chinese Imports Increased Amid Threats of Tariffs

The unforeseen increase in Chinese imports to U.S. ports may indicate that some retailers moved up orders in order to insulate themselves from rising tensions and threats of additional U.S. tariffs on China.  Industry experts explained that the U.S. container port peak season is typically driven by orders for goods such as electronics, clothing and toys in advance of the back-to-school season which extends from June to September as well as through the winter holiday season.

Up 6.3 percent in June, the volume of loaded shipping containers from China to all U.S. ports had fallen 6.9 percent in May and 3.9 percent in April according to data from HIS Markit’s PIERS. The data was analyzed by Port of Los Angeles staff.  China reported that exports unexpectedly increased in June, seemingly confirming that Chinese exporters were front-loading shipments to the U.S. in order to be reach America before tariffs took effect.

Recent industry data revealed that forward buying may have been employed as a tactic in other geographic areas as well. Ports of Baltimore Maryland, Jacksonville Florida and Brunswick Georgia, the top three leading U.S. ports for importing automobiles unloaded 23,000 more cars as compared to the same time period in 2017.

XPO Logistics Introduces Augmented Reality for Last Mile Delivery of Heavy Goods

Global 3PL heavyweight XPO Logistics recently announced plans to add an augmented reality technology solution to its consumer self-service platform Ship XPO. Prior to delivery of heavy goods, consumers will be able to use the visualization technology to determine where to place items such as furniture and appliances inside the home.

The augmented reality solution creates a virtual image of an item in the room in question.  XPO Logistics believes this will reduce the incidence of returned goods.  As the customer experience is of primary importance, XPO Logistics plans to use virtualization to provide consumers with more control over the shopping experience.  Use of the augmented reality solution is anticipated to enhance the efficiency of the last mile logistics experience, leading to reduced delivery time and risk of damaged goods.

DHL Breaks Ground on New Americas Innovation Center

Hoping to bolster the development of new supply chain logistics technology solutions, DHL recently broke ground in Rosemont Illinois on a new innovation center.

The Americas Innovation Center will showcase logistics technologies and innovations that DHL is already implementing across the geographic region.

DHL intends to leverage the new innovation center to create a platform for research and collaboration between academia, industry partners, technology innovation experts and DHL customers in the Americas region.  Eager to promote DHL’s standing as a logistics innovator, the Americas Innovation Center will help to build on a strong foundation to establish new, successful partnerships and nurture start up ventures in the region.

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