Welcome to this week’s Friday Five! In this week's top logistics news, U.S. demand increases and Maersk continues its acquisition spree as even more pressure is heaped on the already strained supply chain. And carriers are getting blamed in another letter to the EC. Let’s begin.
Despite projections of diminished consumer confidence due to inflation and a Coronavirus resurgence, the U.S. Census Bureau reported a 0.7 percent month-on-month rise in retail sales for August. Current supply chain issues were noted as having a possible influence on spending patterns in addition to rising incomes and employment. While this may be considered positive news in the face of the Delta variant, it is worrying news for the supply chain sector which expects this to further worsen the dire status quo with congestion, container shortages and freight rates running amok.
With consumer demand high, many warehouses have been facing labor shortages and new vaccine mandates won’t be making things easier. The federal vaccine mandate coming from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration would require employers with more than 100 employees to ensure workforces are vaccinated against COVID-19 or ensure unvaccinated workers are tested weekly before entering the workplace. The regulation is expected to be implemented in the coming weeks.
Maersk is set to take over Portuguese startup HUUB, a company providing logistics management for the fashion industry, and has plans to integrate its technology into their operations. “We are acquiring world class capabilities and talent that will allow us to greatly accelerate the development of our omni-channel offering,” the Copenhagen-based company’s logistics chief Vincent Clerc said. The price was not disclosed.
The news comes on the back of previous acquisitions by the world’s largest carrier following a surge in earnings. 3PLs and other logistics service providers are currently considered hot property among private equity firms as rates for transportation rise alongside demand for supply chain solutions.
The record queues outside the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles keep growing as 61 boxships currently lie in transit on the West Coast. Containers are waiting a peak of six days for truck pickup. Containers on chassis wait on average between eight and nine days for warehouse space or to be returned empty, writes Sam Chambers for Splash247.
Shippers and freight organizations wrote a letter to the European Commission highlighting their concerns over the current shipping market. The focus is on carriers, who are accused of pressuring freight forwarders and shippers to reveal sensitive commercial information and clinging on to freight offers until it is revealed. According to the letter, there is an absence of controls regarding the disclosure of such information. Similar criticism has been raised against what is deemed to be opportunistic behavior by carriers as contentious demurrage and detention charges are billed to shippers, spurring calls for standardization and crackdowns.
That wraps up this week’s Friday Five. Until next week!
In case you missed it, be sure to check out last week's logistics news roundup which featured Slync's new carrier booking solution for LSPs, Booking & Allocation Management. If you want to learn more about how Logistics Orchestration® by Slync.io can help you navigate the complexities of global logistics, just schedule a consultation!