The Silq Scoop — from Mobile Hubs to E-commerce Hubbubs

April 22, 2024
Ram Radhakrishnan
Founder & CEO


Welcome to The Silq Scoop — an industry newsletter keeping you in the loop with the latest and greatest in the world of supply chain.

Welcome to The Silq Scoop — an industry newsletter keeping you in the loop with the latest and greatest in the world of supply chain. Trends are on the menu today as we digest the transformative movement toward mobile distribution centers, the heated competition in Asia's e-commerce space, and more. We'll also shed light on how technology, strategic partnerships, and sustainability are reimagining the logistics market.

A Mobile Distribution Center? 

Yeah, you read that right. Shipper strategies are going to start leaning hard on transloading, which will fundamentally change over-the-road and in-land freight hauling. While transloading is nothing new, the increased interest in it is. 

By and large, it has to do with the increased focus on logistics, coupled with heavy investments in the logistics tech sector. With upgrades to technology, shippers can now track, reroute, and reallocate partial shipments mid-transit, making transloading, a veritable mobile distribution center. 

“Technology is one of the biggest things we see changing transloading,” said Chris Sikora, director of port services for C.H. Robinson Worldwide. 

We can expect to see a huge uptick in transloaded shipments in the near future, especially with the LTL fleets getting involved. 

Read all about it here.  

The Gemini Cooperation Says “No Room for a Third” 

The Gemini Cooperation, a newly forged partnership between mega shipping lines Hapag-Lloyd and A.P. Moller Maersk believes their partnership model will be perfectly fine with just the two of them, and no other party need apply. 

The question was posed during TPM24 by S&P Global in Long Beach, California, to which the CEO responded “We didn’t choose [the name] for nothing.” 

This partnership, based of a hub and spoke model, will be structured differently than most partnerships. Something Hapag Lloyd’s CEO Rolf Habben Jansen believes will work to their advantage. 

Jansen believes that the hub and spoke model will lead the alliance to improve schedule reliability. 

So we have to ask, of the Gemini Twins, which one is Pollux? 

Check it out. 

Asia’s E-commerce Market is Heating Up

Amazon may be the e-commerce king in the West, but it is far from the only competition. In just over a year Temu, China’s e-commerce platform that offers just about everything under the sun for rock-bottom prices, became the most downloaded app in the United States. 

However, Temu isn’t the only game in town. Hot on Temu’s heels is Coupang, a South Korean e-commerce platform. Admittedly Coupang has had a rough ride, posting a $1 billion loss in 2019 but has been on the rebound, posting a $473 million in profit for 2023. 

Coupang does have a lot going for it presently, with Amazon-like perks such as next-day delivery, and heavy logistics investments, it could be in the running to be a contender with some of the heavy hitters in the industry. 

Take a look.

A Positive Outlook for Trucking

…at least, according to Doug Waggoner, the CEO of Echo Global Logistics. Waggoner believes the freight market has finally bottomed out, and believes that we could finally start seeing a rebound for the freight industry. 

“The number of trucks is declining, so not only the number of carriers, but the number of trucks in the market,” Waggoner said during the keynote address at the FreightWaves 3PL Conference. “I think those are all good indicators for us to see that the excess supply of capacity is coming back in line with demand.”

With the possible exception of natural disasters or new global conflicts, Waggoner believes the recovery could begin as soon as Q4 of this year. 

Learn more here. 

The Great Sustainability Disconnect

Sustainability has become the name of the game, especially in light of tightening regulations (and even tighter consumer expectations). So why is it that the C-Suite is having such a hard time making meaningful progress toward making their business sustainable? 

It turns out, there is a decided lack of supply chain data access which could be jamming up the works. 

According to a recent IBM survey, nearly 82% of the survey respondents believe that data and transparency are necessary to improving sustainability. Yet less than half of those respondents say they can automatically source sustainability data from any of their core systems. 

Read more here. 

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