Fixing What Ails The E-Commerce Supply Chain ‘Like Turning An Aircraft Carrier’

The logistics industry is attempting to alleviate some of the systemic problems facing it in various ways. Major retailers and companies like Walmart, FedEx, UPS, The Home Depot and Samsung have pledgedto use more overnight labor at two major California ports to help unload 3,500 more containers a week in an effort to combat the bottlenecks, Reuters reported.

Walmart, Target, Costco and Dollar Tree also are chartering their own ships to get goods to U.S. ports.

Warehouse operators are tweaking aspects of their system to try and alleviate some of the anticipated headaches. 

Gooten, an on-demand printing firm that produces wall art, furniture and printed clothing for a variety of retailers, plans to shift orders to one of 70 global production facilities as needed, Gooten Chief Marketing Officer Mark Kapczynski said. If they hit delays in one, those orders will be shipped to another facility to fulfill them.

“The whole nature is we can’t be dependent anymore on the single warehouse model,” Kapcyznski said.

Some fulfillment operators also are adding surcharges for shipping to e-commerce clients, said Gary Porter, the chief analytics and development officer for GoFor Delivers, a last-mile logistics and delivery service.

“Surcharges are reduced for those customers shipping year-round volumes, whereas new entrants seeking holiday capacity without a track record will end up paying a premium,” Porter said.

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