Logistics in the News – Week 8

newspapers150This Saturday it’s Valentine’s Day again. The best day in the year if you are a florist, I guess. As my wife tends to read the things I write here (I do appreciate your comments and compliments. Opst!) I’m not going into if I got / will get her something for Valentine’s Day, and if so, what. Don’t want to ruin the surprise (if any)… What I will do is start off this week’s Logistics in the News overview with a nice piece on the Logistics involved in this day.

The Logistics of Love

Valentine’s Day is all about flowers, and UPS have written a nice post on this topic. It talks about the origin of Valentine’s Day and, more interesting, about the Logistics involved. They will ship more than 110 million flowers, mainly from Colombia and Ecuador, to the US. That’s about 10 million pounds of flowers!

Supply Chain Predictions 2015: Gartner on Global Logistics

Interesting article with Supply Chain predictions from a group of Gartner analysts. The four main predictions:

  1. Through 2018, no more than 5% of companies will leverage multi-enterprise grid functionality, a set of unique capabilities of end-to-end supply chain visibility solutions.
  2. By 2018, 20% of companies will seek technology to optimize inbound freight collaboration between buyers, suppliers and third-party logistics (3PL) providers.
  3. By 2018, 25% of leading consumer products manufacturers will participate in shared distribution networks to reduce costs and use fewer resources.
  4. By 2018, 20% of companies will run their logistics organization as profit centers, servicing both internal and external customers.

Numbers 3 and 4 jump out for me.

#3: I believe there are large opportunities when it comes to cost saving in distribution networks for consumer product manufacturers. Why wouldn’t you share distribution capacity? Most of the time the war for the customer is not won in a warehouse, or on a truck, but in marketing campaigns, or superior product features.

#4: This one surprised me a bit to be honest, and I’m not sure things will move this way. It is one thing to produce a product or a service (that requires a logistics operation), it is something completely different to run the logistics related to that. Why try to be great at both, if you can focus on one, and leave the logistics to a specialist.

Diesel Prices See First Weekly Gain Since November

The oil price is going up again. In last weeks overview I highlighted the fact that large parcel companies are increasing fuel surcharges, while the oil price is at a five year low. As of this week it’s going up again. Unusual. It reminded me of two other interesting articles I read on the subject which I have included below, for those interested in the subject. The first is on global economic growth being revised down, despite cheaper oil, and the other is a piece explaining the reasons behind and the implications of the plunge in the oil price.

The coolest logistics news stories of this week were by no doubt about SideCar’s new Crowdsourced Logistics Concept, Self Driving Trucks on the Dutch Highways, and of course the Hyperloop for Cargo, which is why I wrote these blogposts about them.

 

The Logistics Video of the Week is one of the Port of Rotterdam. And yes, I live in Rotterdam and love the City and the Harbor. It’s great footage of one of the greatest ports in the world. It’s a compilation of the best images Havenbedrijf Rotterdam displays on Europe’s largest screen, located in Rotterdam Central Station.

Have a great weekend!!

Please find Logistics in the News – Week 7 here.

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