The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in Southern California handled 898,287 loaded container imports in March, a record for the month and a 97.1% increase from March 2020, and they have also reduced a ship logjam by roughly 50% from a peak of approximately 40 vessels waiting to dock in February, according to port officials. However, load times onto trains leaving Los Angeles remain an issue, lasting 11 days compared to the normal average of two days.
Wurth Industry North America has formed Wurth Additive Group, a US-based company that provides additive manufacturing services. "Additive manufacturing fits into our industrial customers because it helps create products that historically are either too expensive, too difficult to make, or too difficult to source," says Wurth Additive Group CEO AJ Strandquist.
Integrated warehouse management system and warehouse execution software platforms can provide flexibility and crucial information, according to industry experts and vendors. "A key benefit of this approach is that by bundling these solutions together, users can achieve the operational efficiencies they need more quickly, rather than needing to stitch together solutions," said Elisaveta Dimova of Honeywell Intelligrated.
Distributors can revamp sales compensation plans in response to the changing nature of salespeople's jobs by setting long-term definitions of success and using relative performance programs, writes Mike Emerson of Indian River Consulting Group. He discusses how to determine variable incentive pay and pick appropriate performance measures to evaluate.
FedEx, UPS, the US Postal Service and regional carriers delivered 82% of North American parcels on time in March compared to 85% in the same month last year, the first time the shippers have neared pre-COVID levels since the onset of the pandemic, according to a Convey analysis. Meanwhile, on-time delivery for FedEx's SmartPost/Economy packages fell from 86% to 66% year-over-year for March.
To handle increased freight demand, trucking companies are purchasing more vehicles, hosting employment events and offering higher wages, with Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings increasing pay for recently certified drivers by at least 40%. Driver supply may not match freight needs until early 2022, according to ACT Research President and Senior Analyst Kenny Vieth.
Footwear brand Crocs handled skyrocketing e-commerce demand spurred by the pandemic by implementing, within 90 days, an automated manual picking process that included an autonomous robotic platform, said Rob Fauerback, director of distribution and logistics, during the PromatDX conference. The move helped Crocs accelerate processes at its Dayton, Ohio, distribution center and simplify temporary staff onboarding during its peak season.
Fastenal reported $210.6 million in first-quarter profit on revenue of $1.42 billion, with both figures up from a year earlier. Demand for fasteners accelerated in March.
Smaller electrical distributors can stay viable by providing contractor customers with product expertise and by leveraging partnerships to offer technology services, writes Tri Tran, chief technology officer at Applico.
Companies need to take extra steps to safeguard systems when IT administrators and related employees with wide-ranging access are terminated, Fred Mendelsohn writes. He recommends consulting with lawyers and cybersecurity consultants, changing logins before dismissing the employee and backing up critical information, among other steps.
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