Morai-Logistics-Blog-truck-platooning

Experts on transportation supply chain and logistics say that truck platooning may help drive efficiency in today’s demanding market.

In a special feature this month, Forbes revealed 4 Forces Transforming Logistics, Supply Chain And Transportation Today. Aside from political and economic shifts, and the recently discussed peak in consumer demand, ‘frontline technology’ also made this list. The industry is looking for ways to address efficiency, in a time where driver shortages continue to fall. Possible solutions include a shift toward autonomous vehicles, however, there is still a long way to go before complete transformation. In their article, truck platooning is referred to as the ‘next big step’. It has gained considerable attention in the industry as a solution to efficiency.

Autonomous Trucking

Although autonomous vehicle technology is far from fruition, statistics on market growth reflect the industries investment in full integration. Figures show that by 2025, ‘partially autonomous vehicles’ will value USD 36 billion, and ‘fully autonomous vehicles’ is expected to reach USD 6 billion. While consumers are favouring the integration of innovative ways to travel, the self-driving truck market is also progressing. According to Market Watch:

Global Autonomous Trucks Market is growing at 15.6% compound annual growth rate during forecast period of four years from 2018 to 2023.

On-road transportation is the most common mode for moving goods worldwide. Therefore, it makes sense that the industry is investing in ways to improve efficiency. When technology integration and transportation supply chains fused together, researchers created truck platooning.

The Rise of Truck Platooning

According to the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA), truck platooning uses ‘connectivity technology’ and ‘automated driving support systems’. The concept involves linking two or more trucks together as they travel in a convoy style manner from point A to B. The innovative technology still reflects reality based system where there is a leader that can direct and guide those following behind. Despite this significant advancement, these trucks still have drivers along for the ride. The industry is not at a stage to release fully-automated systems just yet. However, news coverage has reported that the use of semi self-driving vehicles are underway.

Semi-autonomous trucks are being tested in various parts of North America. CBC comments that Peleton Technologies is already testing synchronization of speed and braking being tested on two or more trucks. Their motivation to push-out this initiative is to improve ‘fuel efficiency by decreasing wind resistance’. This leads us to question the benefits of connective technologies, such as truck platooning.

Benefits of Self-Driving Convoys

In recent months, Morai Logistics has discussed the importance of transparency, efficiency and speed. Now more than ever, organizations in the supply chain and logistics industry must work harder to stay ahead of the competition. This means investing in research and development, and looking at options to optimize their shipment lifecycles.

There are a variety of benefits from the integration of autonomous vehicles in the transportation industry. In addition, the emergence of any technology provides opportunity for both the labour force and other sectors. The top benefits include:

  • Efficiency – autonomous trucks helps meet efficiency and on-time delivery needs, while giving drivers the opportunity to complete administrative function.
  • Improve Safety – drivers who drive for long periods of time are able to rely on advanced safety features such as immediate braking.
  • Sustainability – research states that self-driving vehicles can significantly ‘lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Overall, truck platooning is an example of how technology is being used to address current barriers within the transportation and supply chain industry. The need to improve the shipment life cycle continues to fuel how we innovate our transportation methods.

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The future of retail is growing increasingly reliant on digital technologies, which will place significant demand on transportation supply chains.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2017 retail sales hit a record breaking $5.7 trillion USD. By 2020, global retail sales is expected to rise to $27.73 trillion USD. Statistics also reveal that last year, ‘an estimated 1.66 billion people worldwide purchased goods online’. This translated into $2.3 trillion USD in e-sales, a figure that’s expected to rise to $4.48 trillion USD by 2021. These figures represent a positive progression of economic prosperity and in addition also identity a significant transformation in the retail industry.

Research on the cause and effect of these figures suggest that technology is playing a significant role in where retail is headed. Recent trends indicate that both technology and consumer behaviour are two notable factors influencing these numbers. Therefore, it’s no surprise that this will have an impact on supply chains, the question is how much?

Morai Logistic has identified the benefits emerging technologies provide supply chains to meet the increase in consumer demands. This week, we look at how digitization is impacting the retail industry and how this translates into a need for greater immediacy and efficiency.

Current Trends in Retail

The retail industries transition from brick-and-mortar to online, is one of the most prominent ongoing movement today. By 2020, e-commerce sales will account for ‘16% of retail sales’, making its mark as the ‘largest channel’ in North America. This doesn’t suggest that ecommerce shopping carts will completely replace traditional physical stores. However, it does require an urgency for retail companies to adjust their strategies in order to accommodate consumer demands.

There are many factors that impact consumer behaviour. For one, the internet gave people the ability to access information in real-time, helping them make informed buying decisions. From reviews to recommendations, consumers heavily rely on digital information to guide their in-store purchases. According to the Balance, as a result of changes in consumer spending,

Retailers found they had to offer value in the form of higher service and convenience in addition to lower prices.

In order for companies to respond with convenience, low prices and gain competitive advantage, they must provide both online and in-store opportunity. Statistics on consumer spending this year, signifies that there is ‘a definite move toward online shopping’. The retail industries response to this rise in consumer demands also means a shift from a product-centric model to one that is customer-centric.

The Customer Wants More

Across a variety of industries, including both retail and supply chain, we see that the customer experience is becoming a focal business model. Customization is key to propel the buyer’s journey. According to Salesforce,

84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.

With easy accessibility to products online, there is also an increase in demand for ‘instant gratification’. This translates into speed, which in supply chain is referred to as immediacy. The Financial Brand states that the ability for a company to deliver a product fast is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ but a ‘need-to-have’. Therefore, companies must structure their supply chains accordingly.

A Retail Supply Chain

As in-store and online retail sales and consumer demands continue to rise, companies must optimize the way products are delivered. A strategic approach is necessary in order to meet growing consumer expectations, which can be summarized as follows:

  • Next-day or same-day delivery
  • Free shipping
  • Free returns

However, experts say that supply chains have not been able to keep up with this rise in retail prosperity. Worldwide management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, states there in order to keep us there is a “need for a supply chain revolution.” What does this look like?

Retailers must improve their visibility across the entire shipment lifecycle; offer cost-effective solutions, while being able to deliver expedited shipping; restructure to achieve a ‘greater flexibility in inventory management’; and also optimize their distribution methods by incorporating optimal distribution centers (DC).

As the retail industry continues to grow and expand, supply chains will notice a progressive amount of pressure. The impact of increased consumer demand across a large scale of industries is a result of how technology is changing consumer behaviour.

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Industry experts believe that supply chains must continue to utilize Big data to improve efficiency, transparency and immediacy. 

In 2012, the New York Times published an article entitled “The Age of Big Data”. This term has been around for over a decade, yet as the digital revolution evolves, we must ask: How important is Big Data and what does it do for supply chains?

Experts in the field of supply chain and logistics, consider data to be an asset in optimizing operations. Our industry is seeing a growing need for Big Data, with an even greater emphasis on understanding how to use it. The lack of comprehensive knowledge and traditional change, are some of the reasons that complete integration across industries has been slow. However, statistics show that in less than two years,

One-third of all data will be stored and analyzed using cloud computing.

This progressive adoption shows promise that companies are becoming more interested in how data can solve problems. This blog post by Morai Logistics further details the concept of Big Data and outlines the benefits it can provide supply chain and logistics.

What’s the Big Deal?

Historically, the collection and transfer of large data sets has been around for years. However, there is a growing need for innovative and sophisticated processes that can qualify and quantify what the data means. Although endless amounts of data is a plus, not being able to make sense of what it means disables companies from leveraging its benefits.

The concept of Big Data was developed in 2005, by Roger Magoulas. Today, it influences a variety of industries including finance, business, life sciences, engineering, astronomy and logistics. In 2012, Gartner expands on the original definition and produces the following below:

A high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision making, and process automation.

The three primary characteristics of Big Data are outlined as volume, velocity, and variety. Volume refers to how large the data-set of a company is; Velocity describes the incredible speed of extraction; and variety is classifying between structured and unstructured data. Over the years, two additional dimensions have been added to consider consistent change . Variability speaks to the unpredictability of data flow, which SAS states is ‘difficult to manage’. The term ‘complexity’ describes the countless sources that feed Big Data. It also highlights the importance of patterns and relationships in understanding how to use the information.

Big Data is a Utility Tool

Statistically, about 85% of companies have begun implementing ‘data-driven cultures’, however, only ‘37% report success’. Large sets of data are complex, with the potential to provide important information to help companies answer a diversity of business problems. However, the transformation of this data into a utility tool is dependent on how companies utilize this data.

Oracle outlines the following verticals, through which Big Data is helping global markets:

  • ‘Product Development’
  • ‘Customer Experience’
  • ‘Operational Efficiency’
  • ‘Fraud and Compliance’

In addition to the above areas, emerging platforms such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning are possible because of Big Data. The integration of these technologies produces more and more data sets for companies to process and understand. According to Oracle, cloud computing has a major role to play in expanding ‘big data possibilities’. While this is all true, industry experts may ask, what does this have to do with supply chains?

Supply Chain Advancement

As consumer demands continue to increase and the unpredictability of markets remain, our industry must stay ahead. Big Data also has a direct relationship to the advancement of supply chains. From large data sets, organizations are able to offer efficient solutions that produce scalable results in an immediate time frame. Furthermore, supply chain management processes are improved as companies acquire and translate data using real-time analytics. This optimizes the communication of information and also improves operation visibility.

There is no denying that Big Data is a critical component to the success of many industries. However, as technology continues to produce more and more data, global markets must develop ways to translate numbers into actionable solutions.

Morai-Logistics-Blog-prescriptive-supply-chain

Prescriptive analytics is a decision making model that can help supply chains meet the increasing demands that have resulted from the revolution of technology.

Now more than ever, the supply chain and logistics industry is under pressure to meet the unprecedented growing demands of consumers. In addition, they also must meet demands with efficiency and immediacy, while offering competitive rates and network opportunities. The impact of emerging technologies on transportation supply chains is a point of interest to a variety of industry leaders. It requires actionable initiatives that specifically analyze innovative ways for supply chains to improve their bottom line and transform to effective digital supply networks (DSNs).

Prescriptive Analytics is a critical approach toward helping supply chains achieve this transformation. Gartner Inc.defines this technology as:

A form of advanced analytics which examines data or content to answer the question “What should be done?” or “What can we do to make _______ happen?

This form of algorithmic decision making, enables companies to visualize actions that improve operations and capitalize profits. This blog post dives deeper into understanding the function and benefits of prescriptive analytics in supply chain management.

Prescriptive Versus Predictive Analytics

Advanced analytics can be described as being either descriptive, predictive or prescriptive. Their meaning can be broken down into fundamental questions that help businesses achieve an objective.

Descriptive        —————    “What has happened?”

Predictive         —————    “What could happen?”

Prescriptive       —————    “What should we do?”

In April, Morai Logistics discussed the imperative need for supply chains to improve transparency. We describe predictive analytics as a recommended technology that provides organizations with the technology to forecast and achieve real-time visibility. Joined by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, this suite of tools help many industries such as retail, healthcare and transportation. What’s does prescriptive analytics bring to the table?

According to Digital Journal, the global prescriptive analytics market serves numerous markets including healthcare, information technology & communications, manufacturing, government and defences, and of course transportation and logistics. They share the following insight into the growth of this market:

Prescriptive analytics market accounted for USD 1.20 billion growing at a CAGR of 30.95% during the forecast period of 2017 to 2024.

In comparison to forecasting with predictive analytics, prescriptive analytics identifies how ‘business processes should evolve or be modified’. It’s an algorithmic decision making model that analyses data in order to take action. Applying this level of analysis can help any business understand how to effectively use their ‘resources, costs and capabilities’.

Benefits for Supply Chains

Transportation and logistics is a market segment that should utilize prescriptive analytics. However, their integration is comparatively slower to other industries despite feeling the pressure of consumer demand the most. Although there is a growing need for new and improved processes, many industry leaders fear the unknown of integrating a new technology tool. Supply Chain Management Review states that implementing prescriptive analytics is ‘a crucial analytics approach’. They further reinforce the following outcomes below as beneficial to improving supply chain management.

  • Create ‘visibility between the supply chain and finance’.
  • Provides managers with advanced platforms that help base decisions on fact-based scenarios.
  • Integration of predictive benefits such as cost reductions, forecasting and end-to-end visibility.
  • Create a prepared, informed and confident workforce.

Advanced analytics is a critical tool that should be integrated into any organization looking to achieve profit growth. Supply chains must continue to embrace technologies in order to meet customer demands, while creating a competitive advantage in changing markets. Predictive analytics is important because it helps supply chains understand future risks, challenges and outcomes. However, prescriptive analytics leverages data to devise action that will improve efficiency, immediacy and their bottom line.

Morai-Logistics-Blog-arming-warehouses-with-robotics-automation

The Canadian supply chain and logistics industry foresees a promising future integrating robotics and automation into their processes.

In 2015, the value of Canadian robotics reached $201 million in orders, with an annual growth rate of 32% between 2010 and 2015. With consumer demands for speed and efficiency increasing, the supply chain and logistics industry is seeking accelerated processes from robotics.

In the eBook, Supply Chain & Logistics: A Transforming Workforce, robotics was identified as a top technology companies should adopt to remain competitive. Companies must focus on providing consumers with individualized experiences and personalizing their product journey to provide hyper-flexibility. Statistics showed that by 2025, USD$67 Billion will be invested into robotics and automation. A value that represents the industries confidence in the benefits of this technology.

This article looks at how the robotics industry is transforming Canadian markets and how the supply chain industry can leverage this technology.

Canadian Robotics Industry

Published by Canada’s Robotics Industry, Invest in Canada discusses the global robotics market and how the country is integrating this technology into leading industries. Their research indicates that the top three industries adopting robotics include:

  • Industrial Robotics
  • Personal and Service Robots
  • Factory Automation

The processes involved within each of the above listed industries require efficient supply chains to remain productive and effective. For instance, the manufacturing industry currently integrates robotics and automation into their warehouses. Automated handling systems contribute to reductions in operation costs and also help alleviate workers from engaging in dangerous tasks.

Canada ranks 13th globally based on “robot density”, which describes “the number of multipurpose industrial robots per 10,000 persons employed”. The value of this industry is increasing by the year, with market predictions soaring to $41 billion by 2020. However, direct investment into the industry isn’t the only way Canada is investing into the future of robotics.

Research shows that over 20 post-secondary institutions offer “advanced robotics courses and technical certifications”. The Globe and Mail has also identified the need for students to learn active listening, critical thinking and social perceptiveness. These human skills will help students excel in a future workforce of technological advancements that will surely include robotics.

Robotics and automation yield proven results that benefit many industries. However, experts believe that this technology could provide significant benefits to supply chains.

Robotics and Supply Chains in Action

The Canadian supply chain and logistics industry has been a late bloomer with the adoption of robotics and automation into their processes. The expansion of global markets is providing consumers with an instantaneous method to click and purchase. Therefore, the need for efficiency and speed is a top priority, urging the supply chain and logistics industry to get on board.

Supply Chain Digital identifies two primary benefits that robotics and automation will have on supply chains: zero-defect logistics and new levels of productivity. As stated in their article “Automation and robotics: The supply chain of the future”, it seems a target area of improvement is efficient handling. Mark Parsons states:

The new generation of collaborative robots and automated solutions with significantly improved performance and enhanced sensing capabilities, offers a genuine alternative to manual handling.

According to Supply Chain Management Review, robotics contributes significantly to order fulfillment, providing the following rewards:

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved efficiency
  • Exceptional Customer Service
  • Scale modification based on demand

The implementation of robotics, in conjunction with a cohesive working relationship with workers, moves productivity along faster and more efficiently. Although there has been speculation that robots may replace workers, the implementation of artificial intelligence and technology is working to remove that myth. The implementation of a new generation of robots, known as collaborative robots (co-bots), enable them to work side-by-side with workers. The level of intelligence and flexibility in co-bots, complement workers rather than compete with them.

If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? Interested in our 3rd party logistics services? If so, don’t hesitate to check out our services . We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

Morai-Logistics-Blog-robo-boat

Two Norwegian companies are working together to build zero-emission, completely unmanned ships

Several companies have been very public about their race to introduce fully-automated cars to the marketplace by 2020. Did you know that two Norwegian companies have teamed up to do the same but with a fully-automated boat?

A Costly Start but Promising Future

The Yara Birkeland will be a short-range, fully electric coastal container ship. It will begin its career modestly as a “feeder” cargo ship, ferrying containers of fertilizer to and from larger ships.

It’s co-developers, Kongsberg Gruppen and Yara International, plan for the Birkeland to start operations by 2018 with a human crew aboard. Over the next two years, more of the ships’ functions will move away from human operation until its running remotely by 2020.

“At first, a single container will be used as a manned bridge on board,” Kongsberg’s chief executive Geir Haoy told the Wall Street Journal. “Then the bridge will be moved to shore and become a remote-operation centre. The ship will eventually run fully on its own, under supervision from shore, in 2020.”

The technology isn’t cheap though. The price tag for the vessel sits at $25 million, almost three times the cost of standard container ships of similar size. The cost has to do with the ship’s enhanced capabilities. It’ll be able to handle things like docking and navigation on its own (something regular container ships don’t do). Given the specialized systems onboard, the cost of on-site repairs will also be pricey further driving up the cost.

Despite the high initial investment, both companies claim that the benefits are worth it. The vessel will:

  • Eliminate 40,000 diesel trucks trips annually
  • Significantly reduce harmful carbon emissions
  • Improve the safety of local roads
  • Save up to 90% of its cost by what it reduces in crew member and fuel spending

Autonomous Vessels are the Future

The push towards autonomous sea faring vehicles isn’t being driven by Norwegian companies alone. An article in Arstechnica referencing the Wall Street Journal interview points out that Rolls-Royce Holding PLC has similar plans. Rolls Royce plans to launch robot ships by 2020, but its fleet may include tugboats, cargo ships and ferries.

SpaceX piloted a program to use uncrewed drone ships. However, their interest was in having the ship do the dangerous task of rocket landing and retrieval.

Kongsberg itself has been active with its investments in autonomous technology with its partnership with Automated Ships Ltd (ASL). They worked together in the past to develop a prototype unmanned utility ship and are now working with Bourbon Offshore to construct a robot oil rig support ship.

Autonomous vehicles are the future. Whether it be through land, air or sea, both people and cargo will soon be transported safely and efficiently to their destinations. While there are still concerns over the legal, moral and economic consequences of such technology, its benefits for supply chains and especially for the environment are too important to halt.

If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

.Morai-Logistics-Blog-logistics-ecommerce-convenience

E-commerce giants are turning to brick-and-mortar stores to supplement their continued growth trajectories. Could this mean the e-commerce market is too saturated?

To say that online shopping and e-commerce has boomed in the last decade would be a gross understatement. In 2014, retail e-commerce sales worldwide were 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars. That number rose by 954 billion as of this year and is estimated to hit nearly 4 trillion by 2020. However, despite the impressive numbers, there seems to be a shift in strategy amongst the titans of the booming online retailer industry.

A few weeks ago, Reuters reported that Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba had announced plans to move into the physical realm of brick-and-mortar stores. The move is a strange one for the company given that until now, its made $392 billion through digital sales alone.

Alibaba’s American counterpart, Amazon, has made similar announcements. Its recent purchase of Whole Foods and unveiling of an automated physical store late last year indicates the company is already on a similar trajectory.

The question to ask is why is this trend happening. Reporter Robyn Mak, who broke the Alibaba story, suggests that its because the retail e-commerce market is reaching its limits for the industry titans.

Alibaba’s New Strategy—Invest in Old Models

According to the Reuter’s article, Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma, has outlined the following plan for the company:

  • The company will upgrade existing physical shops in partnership with established retailers.
  • The company will also build its own stores from the ground up.
  • Continued support for “Hema”, Alibaba’s own supermarket chain where can customers buy and have groceries delivered. Some stores even allow customers to choose fresh produce and have cooked in-store.
  • Explore a similar Hema strategies for clothing.

Hema has been especially successful for Alibaba so it makes sense for the company to increase investment. As Robyn Mak stated:

The attraction for existing retailers is a chance to boost their notoriously low margins by tapping into Alibaba’s technology and platforms to manage inventory, supply chain, and logistics. Stores can also benefit from using the tech giant’s algorithms to analyse shopping habits and by moving to cashless checkouts, powered by Alibaba’s payments affiliate […] The e-commerce group boasts that sales per unit area at Hema are up to five times higher than a traditional supermarket

e-Commerce Around the World

The potential windfall profits that could be made through e-commerce has led to many new online businesses. In fact, there was an estimated 12 to 25 million online stores worldwide according to a 2014 study.

Most of that money trades hands in North America, followed by Europe and then China.

The world of ecommerce is dynamic and has opportunities for innovative new start-ups. At this point, Amazon and Alibaba might be too big to grow further.

Currently, 85% of China’s retail spending happens in brick-and-mortar stores. So while Alibaba is starting to stagnate in its online sales, it can continue its expansion into physical markets.
As mentioned earlier, Amazon has already started on this path. They invested $13.7 billion to acquire and rebrand the Whole Foods Market chain.

Balancing the Pace of Technology and Consumer Demand

As more people go online to do their shopping, the e-commerce market will continue to grow. Alibaba and Amazon are in the process of developing developing new strategies. But because of the demand in ecommerce, new avenues need to be explored for the industry titans. This won’t mean either company will give up any ground online. Instead, each has its own plan to expand past the digital store.

If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

Morai-Logistics-Blog-Nintendo-Switch

Beloved entertainment giant Nintendo has a long history of trouble getting their products to the right hands.

Almost two months ago, video game giant Nintendo released its latest console—the Switch. Although it received a lot of positive coverage, a familiar problem has been marring the consumer goodwill; extreme product scarcity.

The company’s sales forecasts were off. They were so off that additional Switch consoles had to be flown to their North American and European distributors. Although Nintendo took a drastic action and its been two months since the launch, the consoles are still hard to find. Some are even claiming that it’s a case of artificial scarcity.

Before we can begin to answer the question of Nintendo’s possible motives, there’s a few basics that need to be gone over.

Make it Rare, Make it Wanted

The scarcity of a commodity or a service is an important element of the business model. If there’s a lack of supply, the price will likely go up. If there’s overproduction, the price will start going down. While scarcity is a natural and fundamental part of a free market, artificial scarcity is not.

Artificial scarcity happens when an individual, company or organization creates a scarcity either through technology, production or law, where there would otherwise be the capacity for an abundance.

A classic example would be the Beanie Babies during the 90s. Ty Warner, the person behind the craze, “would retire specific animals at whim, creating scarcity in the market and inspiring collectors to pay up to $5,000 for a plush toy that originally retailed for $5” writes New York Post contributor, Larry Getlen:

Ty’s website further fueled the phenomenon, as the company used it to make retirement announcements and to speculate on possible retirements, dropping hints that drove collectors to buy or sell different lines. Some sellers even began changing prices throughout the day based on website updates

In the end, the Beanie Baby empire came crashing down. Collectors became overwhelmed by all the new product lines and regular customers got tired of fighting with scalpers. The rise and fall of Beanie Babies is a lesson in how even the hottest products can tank if consumers aren’t respected.

Nintendo Has a History of Underestimating Demand

While misjudging demand is something many businesses go through, Nintendo is a special case. Pretty much every piece of hardware released by the company has met with supply problems.
Just to list a few, here are some examples:

  • NES Classic Mini. Retailed for $60 USD, now on Ebay for $250+ and climbing.
  • Amiibos, RFID-enabled collectable gaming peripherals originally sold for $12.99. Some of harder to find ones ended up selling on the grey market for over $100 USD.
  • New 3DS XLs were impossible to get a hold in NYC when they released earlier this year according to an article from The Verge.

Just from these examples (there are many more), it’s safe to say that the company has a history of seriously understating the demand for it’s products. Many potential customers are turned-off from buying Nintendo products for this very reason.

Is it a problem with Nintendo’s supply chain or management? What if the problem is intentional, the supply intentionally restricted as many consumers suspect? The answer to these questions require nuance which is why we’ll leave off answering them until the next blog post. Check back again soon for the second part of this two-part topic.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

Earlier this month, Research and Markets added to their “Third Party Logistics (3PL) Market Analysis By Service, By Transport (Roadways, Railways, Waterways, Airways), By End-Use (Manufacturing, Retail, Healthcare, Automotive), By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2014 – 2025” report.

Experts are estimating the 3PL market to reach USD $1.24 trillion within the next decade. That’s a massive increase considering that the current market is estimated to sit at USD 721 billion according to Armstrong & Associates, Inc. There are eight reasons why this is the case. That’s why this month we thought we’d focus our infographic on the top market growth predictions for 2025 when it comes to the third-party logistics industry.

Third-Partly Logistics Market Growth Predition for 2025

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As business around the globe continue to expand their operations, the 3PL market will continue to parallel its growth. The Research and Markets updates highlight how this will affect revenue and coverage. Overall, it looks like the next few years will be a good time for the 3PL market.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.

Morai-Logistics-Blog-wind-power-shipping

On Tuesday, Denmark’s Maersk Tankers announced that it will begin testing the use of special sails, developed by Norsepower, on one of it’s oil tankers. If the technology proves promising, the company could go onto to add them to a further four dozen ships, bringing back wind power to shipping.

It isn’t just any old sails that the company will be testing. These sails are special “rotor-sails”, which measure nearly 100 feet tall and look like giant rotating cylinders.

This is the latest attempt by the shipping industry to reduce its reliance on fuel and create a sustainable alternative. What makes Maersk’s test different is that the 245—meter tanker will be the biggest object to-date moved with wind power.

Future Cost of Fuel Driving Innovation and Revisiting Wind Power

For the last few years, shipping companies have been trying to find ways to cut marine fuel use. This is because as of 2020, new pollution laws will take effect which will require the use of more expensive, lower sulfate fuel for shippers.

Cargill Inc. for example, is exploring the possibility of using a giant kite made of special fibers to tow a vessel with wind power. Solar powered sails are another avenue of renewable energy being looked into by several different companies to combine both wind and solar energy.

Technology Details

The basis for Maersk’s innovative technology isn’t new. The sails are an updated version of the rotor created by German engineer Anton Flettner, almost a hundred years ago. At the time, they were too heavy to be effective. Thankfully, these new sails are made from lightweight carbon-composite materials making them much more cost-effective.

This article by the Financial Times, quotes Norsepower’s CEO Tumoas Riski about how the sails work:

They harness the wind by using the Magnus effect, the physical force that makes a tennis ball swerve when hit with topspin. A motor sets the cylinders spinning and when wind blows, the airflow speeds up on one side of the sail and slows down on the opposite to create a pressure difference that generates lift, propelling the vessel through the water.

The sails have already been tested and installed on a Dutch shipping ferry in 2014. Bore, the company operating the ferry, reported that the results exceeded expectations with up to 6% fuel saved when there’s good wind.

What to Expect in the Future

The final decision as to whether Maesk Tankers will roll out the wind powered tankers won’t be made until 2019.

However, the company’s is very optimistic about how technology will cut fuel costs. About $2.1 billion U.S is spent annually on marine fuel. Maesk expects that price could be cut by 10% with the new sails.

Maesk is also hedging it’s bet on the sails by investing in other sustainable alternatives. This includes special paints that go on the hull of a vessel that reduces drag by resisting microorganism and ale colonization. And, specialized delivery drones to replace barges to deliver ship supplies.

It’s both strange and heartening to see wind powered propulsion make a return to shipping after its over 100-year absence. Modern innovations technological advancements have made Maesk’s sails, and similar projects possible sustainable solutions to an industry that needs them.

That’s it for us this week! If you liked this blog post, why not subscribe to our blog? If you’re interested in what we do as a 3rd party logistics provider, don’t hesitate to check out our services (as expressed above, we are very pro finding you the lowest total cost!). We’re also in the twittersphere, so give us a follow to get the latest logistics and supply chain news.