Image of 11152019 Hub tis the season blog header

Blog postsNovember 15, 2019

FLEXE Hub: ‘Tis (almost) the season

A roundup of the latest news on logistics, retail, and industry trends

Keeping up with the latest store closures, emerging tech, and what Amazon is doing could easily be a full-time job. Luckily for you, it’s ours.

This week we’re looking at trending news around the ways retailers and brands are changing and revolutionizing the industry, including:

  • Tariffs… they’re still happening… or are they?
  • Holiday hires
  • eCommerce on the rise while Nike and Amazon break up

Front and center: What a haul!

BIG congratulations to our friends at Convoy for their amazing funding news this week! Convoy announced $400 million in funding to continue building out their digital freight platform and services.

Let’s talk logistics.

Tariffs (still)

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach took a hit from the U.S.-China trade war, handling 120,077 fewer inbound containers in October (14.1% drop). The latest round of tariffs is the first to significantly affect consumer goods. In preparation, many U.S. importers forward-purchased goods ahead of the tariffs going into effect, but that has resulted in slower inbounds as businesses sell through the inventory they stockpiled.

The road ahead is uncertain. Recent news suggests that the U.S. and China are willing to renegotiate the impending December round of tariffs, which could also roll back some of the tariffs that went into effect in September. All in all, clear as mud.

Via WSJ, West Coast Imports Plunge as Tariffs Hit Consumer Goods

Peak is upon us

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and with it comes the biggest shopping season for a lot of businesses. For retailers, every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas counts, and this year, the timeframe is a couple days shorter than normal. With Thanksgiving falling on November 28th, there are only 25 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve (for context, in 2020 Thanksgiving is on the 26th of November, giving consumers two extra days to buy gifts).

Leading up to the holidays, businesses must find seasonal help to manage the demand. UPS announced it hopes to hire 100,000 seasonal employees to manage the demand between November and January 2020.

“We expect another record Peak season this year, with daily package deliveries nearly doubling compared to our average of 20 million per day,” said Jim Barber, chief operating officer. “In order to make that happen, once again we’re recruiting about 100,000 people for some of the country’s best seasonal jobs.”

UPS also says that about 35% of seasonal workers are later hired for a permanent position. Hopefully this maintains and helps with labor shortages across retail and supply chain.

Via UPS, UPS To Hire About 100,000 For Holiday Season

Retail, reinvented.

14.3% YoY jump in eCommerce sales

Retail sales grew 3.7% YoY since October 2018 (auto and gas categories removed), but the real winner is eCommerce … still. eCommerce sales increased 14.3% since last year.

eCommerce will continue to climb, but that growth won’t stem for a Nike and Amazon partnership. This week, Nike said it would stop directly selling through Amazon. Unfortunately, Nike products from third-party sellers will still be available: “Amazon, thank you very much, will still take its cut of any Nike sales on its site. And the consumer, by the way, won’t even notice the difference—or care.”

Via Forbes, Nike Deals Amazon A Prominent Blow, But Not Even That Can Knock Out The E-Commerce Giant

Other notable stories:

FLEXE news & events

2019 eCommerce and Fulfillment Report is live!

The FLEXE eCommerce Fulfillment and Logistics survey, combined with industry data, uncovered several key insights highlighting both the challenges and opportunities in the market.

https://www.flexe.com/whitepaper/2019-ecommerce-fulfillment-logistics-report

What's next?

Read what industry experts think about the future of retail and logistics, in our Future of Commerce and Future of Supply Chain collections!

On-demand warehousing 101

Take a course in on-demand warehousing. Our 101 series covers everything from what on-demand warehousing is to the supply chain challenges it solves. Get started here.