E-commerce is transforming trucking
NASHVILLE, TN - Seventeen years ago, Tom Hanks stood in a shipping yard and lamented that 87 hours was an eternity. Castaway was on the big screen, and the Hollywood superstar was playing a time-obsessed operations manager for a world-wide shipping company. Shouting that "the cosmos [were] created in less time. Wars have been fought and nations toppled at 87 hours. Fortunes made and squandered," Hanks was forecasting the future of supply chain. From 87 hours to just 24 or less, time is running out for goods that take more than a day to get to consumers, and trucking is undergoing massive changes, all thanks to a store that sells just about everything: Amazon. As e-commerce grows exponentially, taking larger and larger shares of markets -- like household goods, cosmetics and personal care items, groceries, and furniture -- it's re-shaping how goods are packaged, shipped, and stored, forcing fleets to adapt quickly. Retail markets were up in July all over the United States, but online sales saw an increase of 1.3%, compared to just 0.1% for traditional brick-and-mortar stores.