How Port Congestion Is Causing a Markup in Shipping Container Prices

How port congestion is causing a markup in shipping container prices, Fishbowl Blog

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?

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What Are the Best Lift Truck Options for Cold Storage?

What are the best lift truck options for cold storage? Fishbowl Blog

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.

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5 Innovative Ways to Cope with Skyrocketing Commodity Costs

Commodity costs are rising extremely high, Fishbowl Blog
Commodity costs are rising extremely high, Fishbowl Blog

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.

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Top 4 Inventory Management Trends to Start Using Now

inventory trends
Big inventory management trends will affect businesses, Fishbowl Blog

If 2020 was the year that exposed businesses’ weaknesses, 2021 is the year when they are fortifying themselves and transforming those weaknesses into strengths. Improved inventory management is at the core of how many are accomplishing this feat. These are the top four inventory management trends that may prove vital to the success of your business in the coming year and beyond.

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How Fishbowl Compares to NetSuite

Fishbowl compares well to an ERP like NetSuite, Fishbowl Blog
Fishbowl compares well to an ERP like NetSuite, Fishbowl Blog

While NetSuite is a full ERP and Fishbowl is an inventory management solution, Fishbowl nonetheless stacks up surprisingly well compared to NetSuite. You can see that comparison on the Fishbowl vs. NetSuite page. The chart briefly matches up the two solutions based on the following criteria:

  • Order Management
  • Procurement
  • Manufacturing
  • Bill of Materials
  • Warehouse Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Product Management
  • Reporting and Business Intelligence
  • Accounting Integration
  • Flexibility
  • Ease of Use
  • Price

Fishbowl and NetSuite are equally capable of accomplishing the first eight criteria, but Fishbowl outshines NetSuite in the final four. Keep in mind that some things are referred to by different names in each solution. For example, Fishbowl calls the assembly of new products manufacturing and NetSuite calls it production. Let’s go more in depth on each of these bullet points to specifically show their similarities and differences.

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How to Manage Inventory

Inventory tracking software helps you know exactly where to find your products, Fishbowl Blog

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.

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Supply Chain Hang-ups? 4 Reasons You Run Out of Stock

Supply Chain Hang-ups
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One 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 supply chain.

Here are some of the top reasons why companies run out of important products and how to avoid these major supply chain hang-ups.

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Should Your Warehouse Be Closer to the Factory or the Customer?

This map shows states in the U.S. that have taxable and non-taxable shipping laws, Fishbowl Blog
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…)

Quick Tips for Choosing a Manufacturing Supplier

Quick tips for choosing a manufacturing supplier, Fishbowl Blog
Quick tips for choosing a manufacturing supplier, Fishbowl BlogWhether 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. (more…)

The Art of Knowing What Will Sell

Inventory management is crucial for boosting sales.
Inventory management is crucial for boosting sales, Fishbowl BlogYou’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…)