The Friday Report: January 29th, 2021

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

GM Launches BrightDrop, Electric First-to-Last Mile Products, Software and Services

An innovative concept for “electrifying” the delivery side of e-commerce D2C deliveries recently was announced by General Motors.  GM has debuted the announcement of its new subsidiary, BrightDrop, “an ecosystem” that combines products and services designed to expedite the shipping and delivery process. Launching later in 2021, BrightDrop will include an offering of all-electric delivery vans, a droid-like cargo pallet which can move around under its own power.

Industry leader Federal Express has already placed a large order after testing the technology.  The tests involving GM all-electric trucks have demonstrated a 25 percent increase in productivity.  In addition, BrightDrop has already received numerous letters of intent from other companies in the shipping and delivery space.

For more information, please continue reading here.

Supply Chain Worker Shortage May Mean Higher Salaries

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increased focus on the supply chain.  Shortages of toilet paper, paper towels, meat and other goods fueled considerable public interest in supply chain related issues.  Now, many months into the pandemic, e-commerce is booming.  The demand for warehouse workers, logistics and warehouse managers and other positions has escalated and along with it, wages and benefits.  Randstad U.S. has cautioned that certain sectors are experiencing a serious shortage of workers, for example, warehouse managers, who may see wages increase to up to $43.31 an hour.

The need for warehouse workers increased over 20% on Glassdoor in the two month period between March 2nd and May 11th.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, warehouse employment reached its highest level ever recorded in September, at 1.25 million workers.  This is one of the groups Randstad identified as likely to see wage increases.  Some companies needing to hire have focused on expanding benefits to attract new workers, including temporary hires.

For more information, please continue reading here.

2021 Projected Retail Trends

Dogged by the global COVID-19 pandemic health crisis and economic meltdown, retailers have certainly suffered but have worked to rebound by leveraging e-commerce and technology.

  • COVID-19 has separated the weak from the stronger retailers, forcing the highest level yet of retail bankruptcies in 2020.
  • Big box one-stop generalist retailers showed solid, even expansive growth in 2020.  This includes companies such as Target, Walmart, Amazon and Costco.  This sector has been steadily re-investing in their respective omnichannel capabilities and product offerings.
  • The pandemic accelerated the e-commerce trend, pushing retailers to minimize brick-and-mortar locations such as mall stores.
  • Retailers will continue to struggle with e-commerce challenges, requiring continual adaption and adoption of technology.
  • The apparel industry is still on the path to decline.

For more information, please continue reading here.

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