Much of the U.S. furniture industry has, over the past quarter-century, picked up stakes and moved operations to China. However, the Trump administration’s tariffs on Chinese goods is now causing logistics problems for furniture products, which are already challenging to ship. Production sources like Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and India are picking up the slack, but increased demand in those countries is stretching factory, road and port infrastructures, which pale in comparison to China’s, according to Bill Smith, vice president of sales and business development at logistics services provider CV International, speaking in Furniture Today. Furniture-makers, which are huge users of import boxes, will eventually adjust to the new reality, Smith told the publication. “But these changes take time, and the shipping industry, much like those giant ships, cannot turn on a dime,” he said.
Did you know?
The global logistics robotics market is expected to reach $18.6 billion by 2026, a 21.3 percent compounded annual growth rate, according to a report from Reports and Data.
“I don’t think the new competitors have that kind of leg up.”
– UPS Inc. (NYSE:UPS) Chief Operating Officer Jim Barber, seen by many as the successor to Chairman and CEO David Abney, commenting on how the new-age brokers can’t match UPS brokerage unit Coyote’s ability to create peak-season synergies for the parent and to facilitate the cross-selling of its portfolio.
In other news:
Autonomous freight train to roll in Colorado
Next month, a train controlled entirely by technology will run on 48 miles of track at the rail industry’s advanced testing ground in Pueblo, Colorado. (Fortune)
TFI remains undervalued, investment firm says
The Canadian carrier is still a buy after strong second-quarter results, says Echelon Wealth Partners, which has a $57 price tag on its shares. (Cantech Letter)
Success in beauty logistics means focusing on the start and finish
In the world of beauty logistics, it’s the start and finish that counts. Get the bookends right, and customers will forget about any bad stuff that happened in between, writes Rachel Whittaker, founder of IndieBeautyDelivers.com. (Cosmeticsdesign-Europe)
DOT awards nearly $100 million to two Florida projects
The United States Department of Transportation awarded more than $98 million to two projects in Florida, benefiting efforts to revamp a bridge for the Kennedy Space Center and to increase capacity at PortMiami’s Seaboard Marine Terminal. (Transportation Today)
North Carolina seeks public input on drone usage
The North Carolina Department of Transportation has launched an online survey to gather comments on drone technology use. The state has been at the forefront of examining the potential of commercial drone operations. (Watauga Democrat)
Now that Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is merging its supply chain and finance teams to work with its e-commerce site and brick and mortar, will it take the next step and combine general merchandise inventory availability? It doesn’t plan to do that for dry goods ordered for one-day delivery, opting to fulfill them from dedicated centers outside its huge store network. If a memo from Walmart Chairman and CEO Doug McMillon is any indication, fulfilling one-day deliveries from the store level isn’t happening anytime soon. “There are a few areas where we are choosing to maintain some structural separation to enable focus and speed,” McMillon said. In comments on RetailWire, Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, spoke for many customers when he said they “treat retail as a seamless whole; they don’t think in terms of channels. Retailers should reflect this in their own operations.”
Hammer down everyone!