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IAMC News Briefs—Week of October 23, 2023

By John Salustri

FedEx Seeks to Decrease Fleet Downtime

SUPPLY CHAIN DIVE—A new inventory tracking program is set to decrease aircraft downtime for FedEx, according to an interview that appeared in Supply Chain Dive. FedEx airline tech VP Bob Minford reports that the software program, provided by Mojix, will allow the carrier to keep tabs on airplane parts in its US-based warehouses, allowing for quicker location and delivery of needed components. “There are often times that we have 15 minutes to pull that part and get it to the mechanic on the ramp,” Minford told the website. “We need all the efficiencies and reliability to deliver the right part to the right mechanic at the right time.”


Cushman: Port Volumes Are Slowing

IAMC CORNERSTONE—US ports are experiencing a 22.2% slowdown since 2022, says Cushman & Wakefield, due to “global and regional headwinds.” What’s more Canadian ports have slipped 14.6% in that timeframe. The firm cites the disruption that occurred during the union upheavals of the past year as part of the cause. In that time, “shippers diverted some cargo to East and Gulf Coast ports, as uncertainty persisted around western ports due to slowdowns and stoppages.” Ditto Canada, where a British Columbia port strike, while lasting only 13 days, disrupted some “$500 million worth of trade each day.” Nevertheless markets closer to US ports “remain some of the strongest markets across the country,” with asking rates 51.6% above the US average.


Amazon Adapts New Packaging Strategy

SUPPLY CHAIN DIVE—Pressure is on for Amazon to reduce plastic packaging, and the giant e-tailer is responding. “In some ways, you could say [this is] job obsolescence in the sense that [my job] is to eliminate packaging altogether,” says Justine Mahler, director of packaging innovation. She leads the firm’s Ships in Product Packaging program (SIPPS). The goal is not to reduce extra Amazon packaging totally (some products don’t lend themselves to shipments in their original packaging). But the goal, says Mahler, is to push the percentage beyond the 13% the firm achieved in a recent holiday kick-off.  



Are We Optimizing Chaos?

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS—"The mistake that we often make is we try to optimize something that’s not stable.” So said Carrie Shapiro, VP of Sourcing Execution for Georgia-Pacific, in an NAM interview. She was referring to providers’ efforts to normalize supply chains post-COVID. “If you’ve got chaos in your supply chain, you have no business trying to optimize it. You have to stabilize first.” Tech is a great tool to achieve that optimization. But “you still have to know your process, understand your current state and know your capabilities across the supply chain to make effective decisions. Tools don’t absolve you from doing the real work of continuous improvement.”


Smart Warehousing Signs Logistics Firm to 190,440 SF

REBUSINESS ONLINE—Smart Warehousing has just scored its second renewal deal at 909 Whitaker Road in the Indianapolis suburb of Plainfield. This time the deal sealed up 190,440 square feet for an unnamed Kansas City-based logistics and fulfillment firm. Nuveen Industrial is the owner of the asset, located in close proximity to Indianapolis International Airport.


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