Trucker shortages affecting supply chains

Trucker shortages affecting supply chains

July 19, 2018

OM in the News has previously posted about the national trucker shortage. The saga continues, and looks to worsen: there are 63,000 positions unfilled this year, and the number is expected to more than double in the future.

This is a challenging problem, especially since almost every item that is sold in the U.S. is transported by truck at some point.  Trucking companies are raising wages to the $60,000 – $70,000 range, with full benefits and signing bonuses, even for new trucking school graduates.  Those ready to work are snapped up quickly.

The dangerous and demanding nature of trucking makes it difficult to attract qualified workers despite the promise of generous compensation.  Rising wages are being passed along to consumers as transportation costs increase distribution costs and force companies to raise prices.

Delivery delays have become common, affecting inventory management and product availability.

This post is based on the Washington Post article, America’s severe trucker shortage could undermine the prosperous economy, by Heather Long, June 28, 2018. Image source: Rouzes/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does the trucking shortage impact manufacturers or other businesses?

Guidance: Trucker shortages mean businesses are finding it difficult to find Continue reading

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UPS Gearing Up for Incredible Bulk?

UPS Gearing Up for Incredible Bulk?

May 14, 2018

UPS is the world’s largest package deliverer, and it is on the brink of entering into home delivery of large, heavy packages.

In a significant strategic shift,  talks are in the works with potential delivery partner Werner Enterprises to help UPS compete in this area, possibly by year end.

Delivery of these purchases is now one of the fastest growing segments of online retail, and UPS wants a piece of the action. Younger consumers in particular want to buy their furniture online.  UPS currently has a maximum weight of 150 pounds for home delivery, but partnering with Werner would enable UPS to deliver for online retailers like Amazon, Wayfair, Ikea, and Target that are trying to compete with companies like Crate and Barrel and big-box stores.

This post is based on the CNBC article, UPS weighs strategy to deliver bulky goods to boost growth, by Andrew Harrar, May 2, 2018. Image source: © McGraw-Hill Education/Andrew Resek.

Discussion Questions:

1. How and why is UPS’s operation’s strategy changing?

Guidance: In the past, investing in speeding up its package-sorting operations has been a key strategy for UPS as it focuses on keeping its costs down.  UPS Continue reading

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