The Friday Report: May 4th, 2018

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

First Death Traced Back to Romaine Lettuce-E-Coli Outbreak

The first death related to the romaine lettuce e-coli outbreak was reported May 2, 2018.  As of that date, 121 people had become ill in 25 states according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Over half of those who were sickened had to be hospitalized.

Fourteen of those affected have kidney damage resulting from Shiga toxin which causes organ damage and a severe form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.  The toxin is produced by the particular strain of E-coli involved in this outbreak.

The affected romaine lettuce originated from Yuma, Arizona.  A public warning is currently in effect against serving, selling or eating romaine lettuce from this region.

This includes romaine lettuce in salad mixes and packaged romaine. For more information on the Romaine Lettuce-E-Coli Outbreak check out our blogRomaine Lettuce, E-Coli and the Path to Blockchain

Two 2018 Transportation and Freight Trends


Tight Capacity Leads to Increase in Rail Freight

The shortage of truck drivers, new regulations mandating Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) and rest hours and increase in individual package shipments due to the popularity of online shopping is coming to a head and is tightening up capacity.  One major issue is the “aging out” of the truck driver population.   Because there are there are fewer younger truck drivers taking the place of the larger number of retiring drivers, trucks are parked, unable to meet the transportation demand.

Add to this the complexity of the December 18th launch of the mandate for electronic logging devices, and the situation goes from bad to worse.  Truck drivers are now legally only able to drive for 11 hours with a mandatory 10-hour period of continuous rest each day.  The increased demand and reduction in supply of available trucks has resulted in higher rates for hauling freight.

In 2017, spot rates rose consistently, and this trend has held steady into 2018.  As rates rise and capacity remains tight, it seems likely that there will be a shift to rail freight at some point this year.

In 2017, spot rates rose consistently, and this trend has held steady into 2018.  As rates rise and capacity remains tight, it seems likely that there will be a shift to rail freight at some point this year.

Market-Disrupting Technologies Alter the Transportation Logistics Industry

From ride-sharing to on-demand freight, apps are altering the competitive landscape of the transportation logistics industry.  On-demand freight apps are having an impact, notably on a transactional basis.

The Internet of Things is also disrupting the transportation industry.  IoT connected sensors are now used in roadways, vehicles and in a myriad of other ways to provide a seamless flow of real time data that can be harnessed for many useful purposes.

Other potential technology disruptors to the transportation industry include electric semi-trucks and autonomous vehicles.  Tesla’s electric semi-truck is a marvel of aerodynamics and impressive technology with a range of 500 miles on a single charge.

Big Data Accelerates Supply Chain Changes

Big Data is growing bigger.  Did you know that the amount of data that is being collected globally is increasing at a rate of approximately 59% every year according to Inside Big Data.  Because of the extensive nature of the data that is generated by the supply chain logistics industry, data can now be analyzed, and insight produced quickly to enable better decision making.  This is also creating opportunities for greater connectivity across supply chain networks and more rapid changes.

Use of big data can be used to provide contextual intelligence.  Understanding context can improve the financial outcomes of strategies and tactics used in supply chain operations.  Another way big data is often used in supply chain is to provide clarity of demand and supply, buying trends and delivery.  Companies are now finding ways to embed big data analytics into supply chain operations in order to improve order-to-cycle delivery times and better align transportation and logistics.

Having access to big data is not enough.  Companies need to be able to analyze the data and derive a cogent understanding of how the information provided impacts their business as well as the supply chain.

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