Supply chain complications and the ever-evolving pandemic have meant strange times for the container shipping industry, including port congestion and wild price fluctuations. There’s also a massive shipping container shortage playing out. If anyone was hoping that things would eventually return to normal, that’s not looking to be the case.
Securing $59 billion in profits for the first quarter of 2022 certainly was a promising achievement, as it set new records and was driven almost entirely by competitive pricing. However, it doesn’t change the arduous state that the logistics and shipping industry is currently facing.
Those shipping and container prices will continue, and all-time highs may also occur, but it’s still important to consider the primary factors for these trends. What else is causing a high markup in shipping container prices? Is it port congestion, demand, and freight increases, or is it something else entirely? When is the shortage going to end?
Every eCommerce fulfillment stage is equally vital and should be treated as such if you want your packages to reach your customers. However, last-mile delivery often receives the most attention due to its importance, complex implementation, and hard-to-solve logistical issues.
Cold storage is a crucial part of many supply chains for keeping food, medicine, and other perishable goods safe. Cold storage equipment is becoming even more critical amid rising global vaccine production and a broader emphasis on supply chain resiliency.
Lift trucks aren’t exclusive to cold storage, but they do carry unique requirements in colder environments. Warehouse managers who don’t account for these needs may run into operational issues and high repair costs. Here are a few of the best lift truck options for cold storage to enable smoother, more reliable operation.
The price of practically everything is on the rise.1 That hardly does our situation justice. It’s more honest to say that commodity costs are already through the roof, and both businesses and consumers are beginning to face this harsh reality. Don’t expect prices to come down anytime soon. Instead, plan ahead to manage skyrocketing commodity costs by making these five seemingly simple yet innovative changes to your business.
How do you manage inventory? It seems like such a simple
question, but there’s actually a lot of complexity in its answer. We are going
to walk through what inventory is and the steps that are necessary to take in
order to properly manage it.
of the most frustrating things for business owners is having a customer ready
to buy, but not having any of the product in stock. Your warehouse and
inventory management policies should be designed to minimize this, but no
system is perfect. You should continually analyze and benchmark your inventory
policies to see if any new or existing problems are putting a strain on your
Here are some of the top reasons why companies run out of important products and how to avoid these major supply chain hang-ups.
The location of your warehouse can play a significant role in your store’s profitability. Consider the example of an e-commerce store selling licensed NBA jerseys. In this case, an L.A. Lakers jersey is more likely to be sold in and around Los Angeles than anywhere else. Stocking this inventory at a warehouse close to Los Angeles is common sense.
On the other hand, let us consider a store that sells licensed Disney merchandise online. In this case, the buyers come from all across North America, and even the world. Would you identify your major markets and stock your inventory close to these locations? Or would you stock your inventory close to your manufacturer’s location and ship them to the customer on demand?
There are no easy answers here, especially considering that rival stores like Amazon ship their products overnight. Housing your inventory close to the manufacturing location could dramatically increase shipping time, and this puts your store at a disadvantage. At the same time, if your products are made in a country like China, your holding costs here are significantly lower than what it would cost to stock inventory in the U.S.
Here are a few factors to take into account when determining the location of your warehouse. (more…)
Whether you’re starting a new business entirely or launching a new product for an existing organization, you’ll eventually come to the point where you must secure a supplier for materials or items. This is perhaps one of the most difficult elements of launching a product or kickstarting the development process. Both the quality of the goods you source and the reliability of the partner you choose factor into the overall success of the finished product. Therefore, it is crucial that you find a suitable supplier — one that will also guarantee regular shipments and consistent material quality.
Here are some quick tips that will aid you in this important decision, enabling you to choose not just a reliable manufacturing supplier but one that aligns with your company and goals.
You’ve probably worked with inventory long enough to recognize that predicting what will sell and what won’t can be very hard. It becomes necessary every time your shelves stack up with unsold products and you find yourself in debt for them. It’s a great thing but also problematic when you sell out of a product and there’s an unmanageable demand for more. So how do you best prepare for those situations?
However, one small aspect that can help is simply using the knowledge you have and whatever tools are at your disposal to predict buying and selling trends. Thankfully, the Internet and technology have left us with plenty of instruments to help with that.
It’s important to realize that the Internet is not the only place to get relevant information about buying trends. For instance, it may also be wise to speak with any supply chain managers you know from, say, ASU about buying trends they’ve seen over the years. Others’ experiences can teach you some things about consumers that computers cannot.
That said, you do have a lot at your fingertips with the Internet. So without further ado, here are some tips on how to use them and predict consumer trends so you don’t end up with more than you can chew. (more…)