Articles

The Messy Business Of Selling Meal Kits

Meal kits may make cooking easier, but getting a box of preportioned ingredients and instructions to a customer's door is one of the most complicated logistics riddles in the food business.
 Companies have poured millions of dollars into solving such questions as how to stack fish and fennel in boxes. They're also investing in systems to reroute shipments during snowstorms and algorithms to predict what customers want to eat during the summer months.

Freight Rates Force Change

Retailers and manufacturers are taking stock of their transportation costs and exploring alternatives as a capacity crunch in freight is driving up prices and causing shipping delays.
 A variety of companies, including food producer Hormel Foods Corp. and retailer Dollar General Corp., have reconfigured their supply chains, including building out their own truck fleets, reducing the frequency of pickups and deliveries, and shopping around for better rates.
 Freight rates have been climbing in recent months, making it harder and more costly for shippers

UPS is Running Late

MESQUITE, Texas — In the sticky Southern heat, hundreds of workers streamed in for the 11 a.m. shift last month at United Parcel Service Inc.'s local package- sorting facility, one of dozens nationwide that help it move millions of parcels daily.
 In a windowless room, a 30- year-old analog control panel about the size of a chest freezer monitors operations, with rows of green and red lights indicating when something goes awry in the building's web of conveyor belts.

Alibaba Battles for Delivery Edge With New Investment

SHANGHAI—Facing tougher competition in online retailing, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and its logistics arm are leading a $1.4 billion effort to boost their delivery capabilities.
 Under a deal announced Tuesday, investors led by Alibaba and its majority-owned logistics unit, Cainiao Network, will spend almost $1.4 billion to buy a 10% stake in express-delivery company ZTO Express Inc. of Shanghai, which delivered more than 6 million parcels last year.

Yellow-Cab Drivers Push for Limits on Uber

Angry taxi drivers gathered outside City Hall on Tuesday to call for tighter regulation of ride-hailing services like Uber following the suicide of five cabdrivers in as many months.
 Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, said the influx of ride-hailing cars during the past few years has driven down wages, forcing many drivers to the brink of despair.

Union voices fears over staff safety at Amazon warehouses

Ambulances were called to Amazon's UK warehouses 600 times in the past three years, according to an investigation by the GMB union into working practices at the ecommerce giant's fulfilment centres.
 Amazon's 14UKwarehouses have been the subject of long-running concerns about working conditions. Freedom of information requests made by the GMB to ambulance services near the centres showed hundreds of calls for medical help in recent years.

America has a massive truck driver shortage. Here’s why few want an $80,000 job

America has a massive shortage of truck drivers. Joyce Brenny, head of Brenny Transportation in Minnesota, increased driver pay 15 percent this year to try to attract more drivers. Many of her drivers now earn $80,000, she says, yet she still can't find enough people for the job.