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In Case You Missed It: Best Industry Articles and Insights for May

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Need help keeping up with the latest supply chain, logistics, manufacturing and e-commerce industry news? Below, you’ll find the top articles and trends from May covering various sections of these quickly evolving industries.

  • It’s been nearly a year since British citizens voted to leave the European Union and concern for what the Brexit could mean has not slowed down. Cross-border trade and customs regulations have been a major concern for manufacturers as Britain heads into Brexit negotiations this year. There are already signs that EU companies are hesitant to use British firms in their supply chains due to uncertainty around tariffs, regulations and potential costly delays at the border. Many employers are pushing for a customs union with the EU to limit the impact of Brexit by avoiding tariffs on trade goods and minimizing the risk of border delays. Reuters has more as Brexit edges UK companies out of the EU supply chain.
  • With the rise of e-commerce, brick-and-mortar retailers are having a tougher time staying relevant and convenient. Target is testing a new approach to supply chain management that would replenish inventory at a much faster rate and allow stores to reduce the amount of storage space needed for merchandise. Target is currently using a warehouse in New Jersey to send smaller, more frequent shipments of merchandise to its New York City stores to minimize the time between order and delivery. The new approach allows Target to speed up delivery of online orders by filling them with merchandise from the customer’s local store, thus reducing shipping time and costs. Forbes takes a deeper dive into ways Target is experimenting with a faster supply chain.
  • Amazon has revolutionized the shipping and returns game and some shoppers have taken advantage. Last month, the e-commerce giant announced that it would be banning certain shoppers from the site for infractions including making too many returns. While Amazon aims to only target users who have taken advantage of the service over an extended period of time, automated algorithms are not perfect and detected suspicious accounts are then evaluated by a human. According to former Amazon managers, accounts are shut down for creating “a lot of headaches for Amazon,” including: too many refunds, sending back the wrong items or violating other terms and conditions. The Wall Street Journal shares more details on the shoppers banned from Amazon.
  • Despite the influx of “America first” rhetoric, the U.S. manufacturing sector has been relatively stagnant for the past few years. Some may blame automation, but overall production remains below what it was a decade ago. The U.S. lost about a fifth of its global share of manufacturing output, thanks to China, which has grown into the world’s dominant manufacturing power. While the rise in automation means that manufacturing will not be able to provide the same amount of middle-class jobs it did in the mid-20th century, a healthy manufacturing sector is important to create other kinds of jobs. Chinese manufacturing costs have increased, creating opportunity for the U.S. to reclaim its glory as a global manufacturing hub using robots and skilled labor. Bloomberg shares how the U.S. can still catch up to China in manufacturing.

With the industry always advancing, be sure to check back in next month to see the top news from June.

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