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Supply Chain Snapshots - News of the Week (August 7, 2023)

Monday, August 7, 2023

This is Flexport's mark (alternative). It's the Flexport mark with white.

Why Warehouse Rents Keep Going Up While Demand Is Dropping

(Read more on The Wall Street Journal)

Despite appearances, the overall market for warehouse space in the U.S. remains tight, with available space remaining well below pre-pandemic levels—despite the nearly 139.5 million square feet of new industrial space that was completed in Q2’23 alone. One upside to the current situation is that even with rising rents, those looking for space have more options available, including new construction that’s being built with future advances in automation in mind.

Panama Canal’s Limits Force New “Largest” Boxship To Offload Before Transit

(Read more on The Maritime Executive)

The Evergreen Ever Max just became the largest capacity containership to transit the Panama Canal—but it didn’t set the record for actual TEUs transited due to the restrictions on vessel draught in place during the region's current drought. After offloading 1,400 TEUs for rail transhipment across the isthmus, the ship navigated the canal with 13,345 TEUs on board, falling short of the current record of 16,285 TEU set in 2019 by the CMA CGM Zephyr.

In the Freight Business, It Feels Like a Recession [AUDIO]

(Listen on Marketplace)

With falling rates and rising costs, the U.S. trucking industry is feeling some pains after three years of increasing demand, decreasing driver pools, and other pandemic-induced effects. “When you had that surge in prices, people responded to it and thought, ‘How can we supply more?'” said Flexport Chief Economist Phil Levy. “And that wrong-footed a lot of people in the business, because they had prepared for a continuing boom,” Levy said.

Drought Threatens Major European River Trade Route With Ripples Across the Continent

(Read more on CNBC)

Water levels on the Rhine, a key connection between the port city of Rotterdam and inland Europe, have dropped to their lowest level of the year. Besides being a major mode of transport for imported goods making their way inland, the Rhine is a major transport route for grain, fuel oil, and other commodities going between regions. As a comparison, to tranship the cargo volume of an average river barge would take more than 100 large trucks, making finding alternative solutions complicated and leading many companies to look toward predictive analytics software to help them build resilience and agility in the face of future uncertainties.

What’s Working For — and Against — Retailers Heading Into the Holidays?

(Read more on Retail Dive)

In an industry that relies heavily on historical data trends to forecast upcoming cycles, this year’s upcoming holiday season presents a new set of conflicting scenarios. Working in its favor are the facts that inflation is down, consumer sentiment is up, a UPS strike was averted, and consumers are itching to get back to ‘normal.’ On the flip side we see that those same consumers are hungry for bargains, the end of student loan deferrals is looming, and political/social unrest still threatens some decisions retailers make on where to focus their efforts.

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