Each week we look for the five best blog posts, articles, and commentary on supply chain orchestration, logistics innovation, and industry news to share. This week was a bit of a challenge. As I learned from a Dutch colleague, what we call a slow news day or season is known as Komkommertijd, or cucumber time, in the Netherlands. After searching high and low, though, I was able to find 5 stories well worth the read.
This week we're reading about the incredible logistics of the Tour de France, the far-reaching effects of B2B e-commerce adoption, analysis of the oversaturated US auto parts market, retail imports in the US in the face of Trump tariffs, advice from Accenture to kick your organization's supply chain into high gear.
E-commerce in a Connected World - By Chris G. Christopher, Jr. and David Deull, CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly - A must-read on e-commerce's effects on US employment, product availability, inventory management, pricing and more. Plus a surprising stat on B2B e-commerce versus B2C - "Although online shopping gets more popular attention, e-commerce retail sales are dwarfed by electronic sales in both the manufacturing and wholesale sectors. Manufacturing e-commerce makes up 56 percent of total e-commerce in the US, while wholesale make up 38 percent. The vast majority of both constitute B2B trade. Meanwhile, retail accounts for a mere 6 percent."
US Retailers Rush to Fill Shelves Before Trade War Tariffs Start to Bite - By Sam Whelan, The LoadStar - The latest data from the NRF shows US retail imports set a new record in June in what has been called "pre-emptive buying in anticipation of the tariffs.” Finding new sources and getting them integrated takes time, so a drop in the numbers might not happen for a few months.
Is a Strategic Disconnect With the C-suite Keeping Your Supply Chain in Sleep Mode? - By Mo Hajibashi, Supply Chain Management Review - Editorial from Accenture global supply chain lead and managing director outlines three areas to concentrate on to drive supply chain value for their organizations. It includes collaborating with finance and operations leadership to find areas of IT that can be improved, investing in continuous learning for employees and modernizing legacy software systems.
AutoZone, O'Reilly Fend Off Amazon and Walmart in Battle Over Auto Parts Market ... For Now - By Robert Ferris, CNBC - Both Amazon and Walmart are trying to penetrate the auto parts market which is comprised of consumers seeking to fix their own vehicles and commercial entities who do so for others. They have made some inroads, with estimates in 2018 of 23% combined market share. But demand for consumer parts is at an all-time low, leaving too many players competing for the more lucrative commercial side.
The Logistical Miracle that is the Tour de France, Run by XPO Logistics - By Dean Croke, Freight Waves - An inside look at the logistical feat carried out every year for one of the most challenging bike races in the world, the Tour de France. XPO starts preparing for it a whole six months in advance and no wonder, with 350 tons of race equipment needing to be transported over 167,000 miles. Some other eye-popping figures to consider: 176 riders, 44 team cars, 22 mobile bike workshops and team motor coaches, 7 ambulances, 6 aircraft, 2 helicopters and 1 radiology truck, the 46-truck XPO fleet is accompanied by an additional 100 trucks that haul the production village adjacent to the finish line each day.