Transportation TIP List: Week of August 17th, 2015
It’s mid-August and while summer might be winding down, as far as the transportation and logistics industry is concerned, things are continuing to heat up. Trucking, oil prices and the Panama Canal are all hot topics, and this week’s TIP List has the latest and greatest insight to keep you in the know. Read on for all the details!
- Panama Canal to Place Limits on Shipping Due to El Niño Drought: A drought caused by the El Niño weather system has forced the Panama Canal to limit how deeply ships are immersed as they pass through the waterway. The Panama Canal Authority announced in a shipping advisory that the canal’s lower water levels mean a ship’s maximum draft will drop from 39.5 feet to 39 feet on September 8.
- Freight Volumes Fell in July as Slow Exports, Consumer Spending Weighed: Freight spending and shipments fell in July, reflecting lower export volumes and slower growth in consumer spending, analysts said. Spending on freight shipments in July was down 6.4% from last year, while shipment volumes were also off 1.1%.
- Tightening Capacity Raises U.S. Distribution Center Rents: Surging demand for U.S. industrial real estate is outstripping demand, pushing rents to near pre-recession levels and attracting speculative investment in new facilities. Because construction of distribution centers and warehouses isn’t keeping pace with demand, companies that need space can expect an almost across-the-board increase in rent.
- Manufacturing Productivity Rebounded Modestly in the Second Quarter: Labor productivity increased 2.5 percent and output rose 1.5 percent in the second quarter, with hours worked decreasing by 1.0 percent. This resulted in unit labor costs falling by 2.3 percent, helping to make the sector more competitive globally and improving upon the weaker-than-desired performance seen at the beginning of the year.
- Oil Tumbles to Six-Year Low on OPEC Output, Yuan Move: Crude closed at the lowest level in more than six years in New York as OPEC production climbed while China’s devaluation of the yuan bolstered concern that the world’s second-biggest economy will slow. Additionally, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries raised output by 100,700 barrels a day to 31.5 million last month, the most since June 2012.
- To Share or Not to Share? It’s Not Even a Question!: At the heart of everything omni-channel is inventory. The customer needs to be able to get the merchandise they want, when they want it and through their channel of choice. In order to achieve this, there has to be inventory visibility across channels so that stores, warehouses, and distribution centers can see real-time inventory levels as part of the order fulfillment process.
- At Least 50 Dead Following Massive Warehouse Explosions at Chinese Port: A warehouse in the Chinese port city of Tianjin erupted in a series of thunderous explosions, killing at least 50 people, spewing massive fireballs and forcing officials to face uncomfortable questions about industrial safety standards and possible toxic fallout.
How are current trends like oil prices and omni-channel impacting your operations?
Let us know in the comments below. And, don’t forget to check back next week for the latest TIP list!