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Walmart Matches Amazon Announcing Free One-Day Shipping on Many Items

Posted by Land Link on May 22, 2019 10:00:00 AM

In a bid to keep pace with their number one competitor, Walmart announced yesterday that they will offer free one day shipping on many items. Starting May 14, Walmart customers in Phoenix and Las Vegas who buy more than $35 worth of goods enjoyed free one-day shipping. The offer, which Walmart had hinted was in the works and will be applied to as many as 220,000 items, will extend to Southern California in the coming days and will reach about three-quarters of the United States by the end of the year. The $35 minimum was set with the expectation that the average Walmart at that price point would include several items thereby reducing individual unit shipping cost by sending the entire order in one box. Walmart's e-commerce business has not been profitable. In fact, management expects to lose more this year than they did in 2019. Amazon expects to spend $800 million this quarter to cut their shipping costs. Walmart's same day shipping is available to all customers without any membership fees. Amazon's service, on the other hand, is available only to Prime members at an annual cost of $119.

Walmart's Strategy

One thing is clear. The big package companies don't have enough capacity to handle the expected volume of same day deliveries from the big retailers. They may not even want the business. You can expect Target to be adding to the volume as well as other retailers.  Same day delivery from UPS or Fedex would be cost prohibitive. You'll find a range of about $27 to $55 at FedEx and about $30 to $63 at UPS which is clearly not a viable option. So what is Walmart's strategy for this same day service? Walmart is using a surprising strategy on free, next-day shipping that doesn't involve any of its 4,700 US stores. Instead, orders will be filled and shipped from 6 fulfillment centers across the U.S. Walmart plans to further drive down the costs of next-day shipping by making "aggressive investments" in automation and boxing technology. Fulfillment centers are better equipped for those kind of investments according to Walmart CEO, Marc Lore. Walmart will be utilizing its stores for same day order pickup. 

Who Is Gonna Make All These Same Day Deliveries   

The big retailers will have to utilize additional resources to UPS and FedEx. Dozens of start up companies are already in business offering same day delivery. The boom in        e-commerce sales has lead to a surge in package volume and shippers don't have the capacity or network to quickly deliver parcels. This has created a new market and presented a significant opportunity for last mile delivery startups to emerge.

Capital investment and labor are the deterrent to most companies entering the parcel market. For that reason, Deliv.com, Rodie and many others have opened up across the country with limited capital investment. They depend on private van and car owners to make the deliveries as contract workers which is very much like the Uber platform. With the driver unrest Uber has been recently experiencing, these start ups may find some new, willing drivers. The companies won't last if the drivers are not making an adequate wage and one also can't help but wonder when everyone became in such a hurry? To keep informed on this and other industry news, subscribe to our blog.

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Topics: Transportation News, Shipping News, Logistics News, Industry Trends

Leveraging Digital Applications To Open New Markets

Posted by Land Link on May 15, 2019 11:12:14 AM

Digitize Your Communication

In this era of rapid digital transformation, new technologies have opened up opportunities and created challenges, fundamentally transforming customer experiences, operating models and the work environment. Today's transportation providers need to explore their value added viability features to attract new customers and instill confidence in shippers. It has never been more important to provide real time tracking and tracing options for domestic and international shipments.  Shippers basically expect it in this market. Doing it at digital speed is the key. Digitalization is about leveraging technology to create, enable or transform a business process. The basic advantage of digital applications is data compression to improve the speed of transactions. Speed is king in today's logistics world in all facets of execution. Data automation also provides enhanced communication between shipper, consignee and any other interested party. All technologies aside, there is still a strong personal aspect to our business in terms of negotiating contracts, customer service and the commitment of everyone in the organization to be mistake free.

Cloud Technology

Cloud computing is really the internet as we know it today on a commercial scale. Cloud technologies help mitigate the need for physical IT infrastructure, and on-premise support personnel to manage computing capabilities, by running operations across server farms or data centers. Using cloud-based services providers, businesses can leverage IT assets as programmable resources, which are global and scalable on demand. This allows a business to access or lease computing resources and storage power far greater than what it may have been able to access on local infrastructure, while still being able to scale up or down in a cost-efficient manner. Simplicity, affordability and ease of expansion are all enhanced with cloud computing. Enterprise IT is among the fastest growing segment of computing easily set to replace on site systems.

Be Sure Of Your Needs

Everyone wants to utilize the latest technology to remain competitive. The race is on to define the industry’s future. With an estimated US$4.6 trillion of revenues at stake, companies can’t afford to sit back and watch; they need to adapt to changing markets proactively. Before rushing in, consult an industry export to provide the direction and pace of technology applications to stay on point and within budget. Like most other industries, transportation and logistics is currently confronting immense change; and like all change, this brings both risk and opportunity. New technology, new market entrants, new customer expectations, and new business models. There are many ways the sector could develop to meet these challenges, some evolutionary, others more revolutionary. These are indeed interesting times. And its in these times that the council of an expert is vital. For a consultation regarding your current supply chain protocols, please contact us today. To keep informed on these emerging topics and more subscribe to our weekly blog on our site.

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Topics: Logistics Business, Logistics News, Industry Trends, Technology

U.S. / China Tariff And Trade War Rhetoric Continues

Posted by Land Link on May 8, 2019 1:17:20 PM

President Trump took to Twitter this week to voice his concerns over the Chinese tariff debate. Trade protection is something Trump has believed in for years and was a significant issue during his presidential bid. He seems to have some support from Democrats on Capitol Hill including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. But talk of tariffs tends to rattle financial markets, both because the actual tariffs themselves are costly to the United States and because they inevitably raise the prospects of further rounds of tit-for-tat retaliation. Wall Street does not react positively to such declarations regarding international trade. The Dow Jones Industrial Averages plunged 450 points Monday morning in reaction to the twitter feed. In case you’re not on twitter below is a summation of Mr. Trumps Posts.

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Tips to Maximize Your 3PL Relationship

Posted by Land Link on May 1, 2019 3:15:36 PM

 

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Kroger Introduces Automated Grocery Delivery In Houston

Posted by Land Link on Apr 24, 2019 4:25:05 PM

The grocery home delivery market is ultra competitive. The big grocery players like Giant, Shop Rite and Wegmans all offer home delivery via manned delivery vehicles. Kroger appears to be first in the autonomous grocery delivery service race. After successful testing last year in Scottsdale Arizona, Kroger, the nation’s largest grocer, has launched a self-driving grocery delivery service in Houston, the latest salvo in a massive grocery market that has supermarket chains investing heavily in new technology to win over online shoppers. Company officials this week showcased the first of dozens of autonomous delivery vehicles planned for Houston: Toyota Priuses outfitted with cameras, sensors and self-driving computer software. In today's competitive grocery market, companies are turning to autonomous vehicles, automation, robotics and artificial intelligence to stand out. Kroger is competing with Amazon, Walmart and other businesses to capture consumers who want fast deliveries without hassles. 

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Topics: Transportation News, Logistics News, Technology

Automated Vehicle Update; Some Hurdles Remain

Posted by Land Link on Apr 16, 2019 9:55:22 AM

Though field testing for automated vehicles has been relatively successful some hurdles to full implementation remain. Namely, consumer acceptance and comfort in riding in these vehicles. Also, alarming is the idea of an 80,000 lb commercial tractor-trailer rolling down the interstate on autopilot. Additional concerns include who will be servicing these vehicles and the threat of domestic terrorism by system hacking. 

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Topics: Transportation News, Technology

2019 Freight Outlook; Slowing Growth. Improving Availability.

Posted by Land Link on Apr 10, 2019 9:37:14 AM

While a number of struggles remain, some conditions have softened in Q4 2018, giving logistics buyers more room to breathe. After a 2018 that saw record setting levels of freight hauling demand and driver pay as tonnage levels reached a 20 year high, the trucking industry is expected to remain strong in 2019 but undergo a bit of a cool down, economists say. Revenue growth remains healthy for all major U.S. transportation sectors, though recent events could level off the rate of growth for some segments in the coming months according to Fitch Ratings in its U.S. Transportation Trends spring report. 

For the economy and the trucking industry, 2018 was spectacular. The U.S. Gross Domestic Product expanded at a 3.5% rate in the third quarter, and the December jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the economy added a robust 312,000 positions.

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Topics: Transportation News, Shipping News

NASSTRAC and CSCMP introduce the ‘Strategic Shipping Program’

Posted by Land Link on Apr 3, 2019 10:11:44 AM

 

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Topics: Transportation News, Shipping News

Transportation Management Trends For 2019

Posted by Land Link on Mar 28, 2019 11:20:28 AM

From expedited transportation services to shipping technology integration, 2019 is shaping up to be a year in which shippers evolve to meet the growing demands of both B2B and B2C sales. To help transportation managers cope with the changing appetites of a growing demographic we'll take a look at some developing supply chain trends in 2019.

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Topics: Transportation News, Logistics News, Industry Trends

Warehouses Are Experiencing a Metamorphosis In Operational Procedures

Posted by Land Link on Mar 20, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Warehouses and distribution centers around the world are coping with massive change and investment to stay competitive. Challenged by the demands of e-commerce and omni-channel fulfillment, smaller orders, ever-shrinking delivery timeframes, and a persistent labor shortage, operations are in perpetual need of tools that can help them tackle these and other ongoing productivity issues. Technology is the driving force in the warehouse and DC transformation. With automation, robotics, artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies making their way into the world’s distribution facilities, the warehouse management system has become a vital component to manage the increased amount of information. And because it collects valuable information along the way, WMS also provides actionable data analytics that companies can use for good decision-making.

Let's take a look at some industry trends for 2019.

Software and Equipment Vendors Offer Creative Financing

In an effort to convince warehouse and DC managers to take the next leap in automation implementation, equipment suppliers are coming up with creative finance plans to make it easier to upgrade. One approach that more companies are adopting is that assets can be rented versus purchased or leased. In other instances, the WMS vendors which sell the systems that run the automated equipment are now working more closely with their end users to help make it more affordable for a wider swath of customers.

A Focus On a more User Friendly WMS Interface

Perhaps the biggest turn off to any computer program is a complicated user interface.  Logistics managers don’t have the time to sift through reams of data to find what they’re looking for. Pertinent data needs to be a mouse click away. WMS vendors are focusing on their user interfaces and coming up with ways to present data in a more logical format to users. The focus is on making systems more engaging and easier to use, and particularly in a same-day-shipping environment, where a field service technician or retail clerk can use the system with little or no training.

More Improved Inventory Return System

In the online ordering world returns are a major line item in the profit and loss statement. Managing those returns more accurately will mitigate the return allowance figure in the financial statements. Returns management systems have made a sizable impact on the distribution environment, and are pushing technology vendors to add better precision management capabilities into their systems. Companies have to be able to manage precision, while more economically managing individual items. While WMS systems certainly help companies pick, pack, and stage, they are also inventory systems. As items get returned, shippers need to be able to return those goods to either inventory, vendor, wholesale or scrap to accurately determine their value.

These are just a few trends to watch for in 2019. Form more information on how technology can benefit your organization contact us today.

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Topics: Logistics Business, Logistics News, Industry Trends