Free Trade Agreements, such as the ambitious Trans-Pacific Partnership recently signed in Auckland, N.Z., represent an attractive opportunity for U.S. importers. The same is true for the corresponding Foreign Trade Zones that have greatly proliferated in the last forty years - rising from eight in the U.S. in 1970 to more than 500 today.
Analyst Insight: The growth of IoT (the Internet of Things) will impact supply chains dramatically in the long run. Increasingly instrumented and connected manufacturing plants, warehouses, vehicles, and the products themselves will provide very precise, real-time 'X-ray vision' into what is happening in the plant, on the road, and in the field. - Bill McBeath, Chief Research Officer, ChainLink Research
Only 18 percent of CEOs say they have eliminated operational silos and are delivering seamless omnichannel shopping experiences for their customers. This means that the majority of retailers surveyed are still operating in silos, which is taking a toll on retailers' profitability and ability to create a seamless shopping experience for customers.
California-based drone manufacturer, Matternet, plus DHL's "parcelcopter" prototype unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), both plan to begin testing their airworthiness with actual payloads in the next two months.
As an asset class, railways have a worrying history. Railway mania in Britain in the 1840s left plenty of unwary investors nursing hefty losses; that episode sits in most lists of history's biggest speculative bubbles. But the prices of shares and bonds are dauntingly high, which has stoked interest in all manner of outlandish "alternative" assets in recent years. That, along with legal changes making it easier to repossess collateral that goes clickety-clack, may soon have investors funnelling cash into locomotives, carriages and goods wagons again.
Spot market freight volume declined 9.7 percent in October, in a common seasonal pattern, according to the DAT North American Freight Index. Although volume fell below same-month levels of the past five years, total volume for the year to-date has exceeded the same period for every year prior to an atypical 2014.
Home delivery is shaping up to be the sticky widget in retailers' toolboxes this holiday season - and one that could affect customer loyalty for a long time to come - as half of all consumers won't give merchants a second chance following a disappointing online experience.