Macro forces are reshaping supply chains and global logistics patterns. Rapidly fluctuating energy costs increasing environmental awareness, changes in public policy, landmark infrastructure investments and shifting markets are factors in a changing marketplace. We help our clients position their asset for success.

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Autotech Testing Facility Investment Critical to Future Mobility Sector

It's interesting to watch in various settings around the world how unfolding automotive technologies are undergoing testing and market roll-out. In the two articles below, two electric road tests are explained, one in Europe and one in North America. These tests involve support for advanced propulsion technology, specifically electric drive technologies. In the Sweden example, government has created a test environment for a short-span electric roadway near Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport. The test links the Airport to a nearby logistics site. In the other example, Siemans and a major California electric utility company have joined to develop an electric roadway to test a heavy truck route at the largest seaport in North America, the Port of Los Angeles.

Caterpillar Still Paying for Sins From the Past

Bob Tita writes in the WSJ that Caterpillar is announcing another round of plant closings and consolidations. These actions follow on the heels of similar announcements that have affected Caterpillar plants globally over the past several years. In an effort to get ahead of the market the company made several strategic mistakes in spending billions on resizing their supply chain to meet a market demand that did not take into account the multiple sector disruptive influences that could derail their well laid plans. The good news is that the company is making progress in righting itself and will be prepared to move forward.

Click’s and Brick’s as a Supply Chain Disruptor

In the March 16 edition of the WSJ, Ester Fung writes about the “click’s and brick’s” retail trend and its impact on the disruption in retail that has been plaguing retail–space owners for years. As e-commerce continues to carve up sales at the traditional brick and mortar sites, online sellers are looking to open physical stores to complement their on-line presence. This is a new gamble for landlords but it is giving them hope and a new customer base.

Can the Toy Industry Survive Disruption?

For months we have been following the story of the Toys R Us bankruptcy and wondering if the department store chain could survive the perfect storm that it finds itself in. We learned last Friday from several reports that the retailer could close all of its stores as early as this week. Regardless of whether Toys R Us pulls through its challenging winter period, one thing is for certain: toy retailers, even when it comes to multinational giants, must be savvy about the way they are conducting their business or they may risk losing out to web rivals and discounters.

Revolution in Overland Logistics Technology Is Beginning to Change Everything

There is obviously a lot written these days about the future of transportation and the technology that will reshape human mobility. Much of the coverage in the popular press relates to two areas: 1) how the interaction between cars and people will change, with the use of technology requiring less and less human input, and 2) the corporate bets that are being made by companies that are creating shared mobility services - where a confluence of factors suggest that in the future, people may not actually own a vehicle, but rather access a vehicle through a shared service arrangement. The other key transportation and technology dynamic that is unfolding in front of our eyes is actually quite fundamental to the national and global economy. Increased automation of cargo logistics is creating new efficiencies at the seaport, rail yard, airport and over the road. It is a fascinating time right now in global logistics, there is a convergence of important occurring now technological advancements that are going to restructure the movement of goods from original point, to distribution/logistics hub, to end customer.

Disruptive Supply Chain Intelligence Update

This week’s business news was dominated by President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports starting next week, imposing a 10 percent tariff for aluminum and a 25 percent tariff for steel. The announcement was met by a tumble in the stock market and a chorus of voices calling the move a big mistake and very disruptive to global supply chains.