Weather Stopped Beer Delivery With Super Bowl Looming

Weather Stopped Beer Delivery With Super Bowl Looming

February 11, 2019

Several beer distributors in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area stopped delivery of their products on Wednesday, January 30, 2019.  With extremely cold weather in the area, many organizations shut-down for the day, including several beer distributors.  Many of the beer distributors decided that it was unsafe for their delivery drivers to be out in the extreme cold.  Additionally, their products don’t handle cold weather well.

Bad timing, with the Super Bowl only 4 days away, but winter weather shows no mercy for kickoffs.

This post is based on the Journal Sentinel article, No beer deliveries in Milwaukee today. Thanks a lot, Mother Nature, by Kathy Flanigan, January 30, 2019. Image source: Getty Images/iStockphoto.

Discussion Questions:

1. What operational problems does a shutdown present?

Guidance: Unexpected disruptions in the supply chain are difficult.  With the Super bowl approaching, beer distributors want to have the store shelves full of their product.  However, cancellations occurred in a relatively short time period.  If they had substantial warnings of the impending cold, distributors could have made extra or larger deliveries before the temperatures forced a shut-down.  Weather forecasts can be unpredictable, making it difficult to anticipate such Continue reading

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US XPress Nixes US-Mexican Border Business

US XPress Nixes US-Mexican Border Business

February 9, 2019

U.S. Xpress is reducing its U.S.-Mexico cross-border investment. The move will improve consolidated operating margins.  According to the company, relationships with its former partners in Mexico will continue to enable cross-border service for customers “as a variable cost alternative”.

U.S. Xpress started the exit from its fixed cost investment in the cross-border business by selling off its Mexican entity to existing managers.

In the coming months of 2019, U.S. Xpress will close its trucking terminal in Laredo, Texas, and dispose of 700 dry van trailers. It will use network optimization to reposition 300 domestic tractors, which currently carry loads to and from the border, into more profitable routes.

This post is based on the SupplyChain247 article, U.S. Xpress announces exit move out of U.S.-Mexico cross-border business, by Jeff Berman, January 25, 2019. Image source: Dave Moyer.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the driving forces behind the U.S. Xpress decision to exit its U.S.-Mexico cross-border business?

Guidance: The company has stated that the decision is to improve its consolidated operating margin by divesting low-return U.S.-Mexico operations. That will improve the company’s core U.S. operations, and provide higher cash flows and profits.

2. How does U.S. Xpress plan Continue reading

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Uber Freight Provides Capacity in Tight Market

Uber Freight Provides Capacity in Tight Market

December 17, 2018

Land O’Lakes has partnered with Uber Freight, a service from Uber, to gain transportation capacity at potentially better prices.

The spot market for additional transportation has been increasingly tightened due to multiple factors such as driver shortages and increased economic demand for goods.  The result has been an upward pressure on transportation carrier prices over the last 18 months when using traditional transportation brokers.

By using technology via Uber Freight, the company has been able to secure spot transportation capacity at reduced prices.

This post is based on the Logistics Management article, Land O’Lakes lock in Texas-based capacity, by Jeff Berman, November 6, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Chesky.

Discussion Questions:

1. Will success with Uber Freight displace the traditional broker model? Why or why not?

Guidance: Include capacity planning in the discussion. There’s a need for long-term capacity sourced at a reduced price and the addition of short-term capacity to handle immediate demand through Uber Freight.  The instructor could introduce the concept of read/react as a sourcing strategy as applied to transportation capacity.

2. Could Uber Freight be applied to last mile shipping?

Guidance: Students may recognize that last mile shipping could be performed Continue reading

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