3PL study notes hurdles in the electronics supply chain
Spotlight: Challenges facing 3PLS in the Electronics sector
Multiple layers, supply constraints and the specific challenges the various channels present, coupled with short product lifecycles, mean the electronics industry demands a fast and nimble supply chain. Because electronics products are often high value, they pose specific challenges including assuring security, preventing counterfeit and packaging sufficiently to handle long distance transportation.
Pressure to reduce operating costs was cited as the top logistics challenge for shippers in the electronics industry (59 percent), but just 28 percent believe 3PLs can help them with this challenge. The report’s findings suggest that within the electronics industry, 3PLs need to perform better in selling to electronics customers and shippers need to be more open to collaborating with 3PLs to address their top challenges.
“Logistics operations within the electronics industry are faced with a number of unique challenges,” Dr. C. John Langley, Clinical Professor of Supply Chain Management and Director of Development for the Center for Supply Chain Research at Penn State University said.
“Close communication and collaboration between shippers and 3PLs is vital as supply chains become more complex. As the demand for high value electronic goods increases, it is more important than ever that shippers are able to draw on 3PLs’ knowledge to achieve a solid supply chain.”
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Spotlight: Importance of Talent Management for 3PLs
Despite the positive reports of the supply chain's role as a significant contributor to attaining business goals, the logistics industry is experiencing a shortage of capable supply chain managers prepared to work in vital management positions.
As supply chains grow more complex, they require leaders who are more diverse and multi-faceted. The report revealed shippers and 3PLs most highly value operational execution (51 percent and 60 percent respectively) followed by people management and development skills (54 percent and 43 percent respectively) in their leaders.
To date, the majority of both shippers and 3PLs recruit from inside their own industries, but many are increasingly looking to recruit talent from other industries. Company success and performance, attractive salary and benefits and personal development opportunities within the company are considered the top qualities needed to attract talent.
“As logistics become evermore intrinsic to a company’s ability to attain its business goals, shippers and 3PLs must be able to put trust in supply chain leaders to be prepared for future business challenges.” Neil Collins, Managing Partner, Transportation & Logistics - Americas, Heidrick & Struggles, said.
“The logistics market must look to develop programs for talent management to create a clear, well-defined business strategy for the recruitment, retention and development of talent.”
Edited by Kevin Scarpati
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany