This summer, dockworkers, truckers and railroads geared up for a surge of retail goods passing through U.S. ports that hasn't occurred. Imports are flat at major seaports on both coasts heading into peak shipping season, the stretch in late summer and early fall when retailers usually load up on imported toys, clothing and other merchandise to sell to holiday shoppers. If the trend holds, it will be the second year in a row without a traditional peak.
China's recent move to add the U.S. to a list of Zika-infected countries is worrying U.S. exporters, who fear they will be required to fumigate all containers destined for Chinese ports. The cost to fumigate a container ranges from between $100 and $200.
Manufacturers are recruiting to attract skilled labor to a growing number of positions and to replenish a workforce from which baby boomers are retiring at a rapid pace. By 2025, there will be two million unfilled manufacturing jobs, according to a study by the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte Consulting.
Johnson Controls Inc. had a logistics mystery on its hands: thousands of reusable shipping boxes and storage racks were disappearing every year. The auto-parts maker, which was spending a small fortune to replace the equipment, found that some were squirreled away at factories by Johnson Controls' own plant managers, others were kept by customers. One box was discovered at a Michigan gun range; another had wound up storing bait on a fishing boat in Seattle.