Vehicle-to-vehicle technology is in development to improve safety via communication. Ford's driver-assistance system can alert motorists to nearby bicycles using Bluetooth 5, and Trek is developing flashing bike taillights that are triggered by sensors.
Over 85% of all industrial real estate leasing activity in 2020 was in the logistics sector, and total leases for the year set a record of 659 million square feet, according to Cushman & Wakefield. The real estate services company said tight space availability led to rising rents, with an average rent increase of 5.6% for warehouse and distribution properties.
The trucking industry should benefit this year from increased demand and the delivery of the coronavirus vaccine, say Donnie Williams of the University of Arkansas and Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association. Ongoing challenges include high insurance costs and a lack of drivers and trucks.
Distributors should consider short-term changes to price floors and add an extra review of per-customer pricing revisions to ensure margins don't suffer, writes George Dunham, CEO of epaCUBE. The best approach, he argues, is for leaders to spend more time with sales teams on pricing review, which is an infrequent activity at best for many companies.
The Federal Reserve reported a 1.6% rise in industrial production for December, while manufacturing increased for the eight consecutive month with a gain of 0.9%. Industry operating capacity in December remained below pre-pandemic levels.
Robotic blacksmithing could portend a future in which machines squeeze and bend metal in automated processes that benefit industries such as automotive and aircraft, as well as when companies need speedy production of large parts, says Glenn Daehn, professor of metallurgical engineering at Ohio State University. ""We envision a future that moves from closed die forging to robotically controlled open die forging that uses simple tools incrementally," Daehn says.
Supply chain executives should stay close to customers while focusing on innovation, agility and new business models to gain a competitive edge, according to a new Gartner report. "Established organizations are now planning to operate much like a [startup] when it comes to innovation," said Gartner's Pierfrancesco Manenti.
Buy online, pick up in store options have surged in popularity, but 62% of consumers haven't been impressed with the process, according to a new GreyOrange survey. While the over 2,000 global shoppers surveyed reported using online shopping for most of their purchases during the pandemic, more than half say they'll go back to their pre-pandemic shopping habits when it's safe to do so.
December was the fourth straight month with over 40,000 preliminary orders for trailers as manufacturing and demand for consumer goods continued to grow, contributing to higher freight rates, according to ACT Research and FTR Transportation Intelligence. The fourth quarter had a record number of trailer orders, while October and November had record orders for dry vans.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon discussed at CES 2021 what the retailer wants to achieve in terms of supply chain innovation, equity and sustainability and how it is using certain new technologies. Of interest to McMillon "is not how any single technology is changing the world but how they all come together," he said.
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