If speculation about Amazon's move into global shipping and logistics is correct, it would complete with UPS, FedEx and Alibaba. "Global Supply Chain by Amazon" could launch this year, according to a report from Accenture and AliResearch. It is designed to let merchants book cargo space online with one-click international trade and shipping.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he will not consider raising the state's gas tax to fund transportation infrastructure unless other taxes are reduced first, and he denies that the New Jersey Transportation Trust Fund is broke. "I've spent money on roads, and we have the second lowest gas tax in America," he said.
The growing number of available warehouse systems makes it difficult for companies to know which is best for their business, Ian Hobkirk writes. He offers recommendations based on the situation, such as needing both warehouse-management system and material-handling equipment, needing only a WMS and needing to upgrade software without getting a new system.
Ingram Micro says it has acquired Connector Systems, which distributes to 15 vendors in Australia and 30 in New Zealand. "Connector Systems has been recognized by the channel for its focus on adding value for its customers and helping resellers grow their businesses," said Ingram Micro's Matt Sanderson.
A consortium that includes Kansas, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin has plans to install a network of sensors and digital highway signs that would help long-distance truck drivers find a safe spot to park and rest. A $25 million US Department of Transportation grant will fund the project.
The logistics and transportation industry lost 20,300 positions in January, including 14,400 courier and messenger positions. Trucking companies added 1,500 jobs and warehousing companies, which boosted jobs by 3,200 in December, dropped 400 positions in January.
A survey of US supply chain and sustainability leaders found 51% list sustainable supply chains as a current priority and 36% plan to address the issue at some point. About 56% say they have intensified their efforts in the past three years and 60% say they've taken action on a green design program.
Distributors face the dual challenge of having to match the efficiency and quickness of Amazon without making their business-to-business customers feel like they need to do extra work to make an order, Brent Halverson writes. He recommends sales-order automation tools to improve accuracy, order-taking and efficiency.
Applied Industrial Technologies CEO Neil Schrimsher says the company's fiscal second-quarter sales decline was not a surprise, particularly as customers in oil and gas struggle. Schrimsher noted growth from acquisitions during the quarter.
AmerisourceBergen's revenue increased 9.3% in its latest fiscal quarter, as sales of nonpharmaceuticals more than doubled. The company tallied a profit in the fiscal quarter ended Dec. 31. AmerisourceBergen also finalized a distribution deal with Publix Super Markets this week.
- Page 1