Retailers are reviving an old playbook to manage their inventory levels after four years of struggling to find the sweet spot of holding enough merchandise but not too much. Merchants have worked through the excess inventory that piled up on store shelves and in warehouses over the past 18 months and are now focusing on replenishing items rather than stocking up on goods to have on hand in case of supply-chain disruptions. The shift marks a return to the “just-in-time” inventory management strategy many companies had employed before pandemic-driven product shortages and volatile shifts in consumer demand prompted a switch to a “just-in-case” stockpiling approach. Retailers have been working to get inventories back in line with sales after bringing in too much merchandise that was no longer in demand in 2022 as consumers shifted spending from items such as home decor to office apparel and then toward travel.
Cargo theft incidents were up more than 57 percent in 2023 compared with the year prior, according to CargoNet, a Verisk company. Nearly $130 million worth of goods was stolen in 2023, but since reporting cargo theft is not mandatory, the amount is likely higher than this, according to CargoNet. CargoNet’s analysis of fourth-quarter 2023 data showed a 68% year-over-year increase compared with 2022. CargoNet ranks California, Texas and Florida as the top three hot spots in 2023, but the risk isn’t limited to the coasts. More incidents are being reported at inland logistics hubs.
The U.S. Post Office is set to make changes to its mail delivery trucks. This week, USPS unveiled its first set of electric vehicle charging stations at its South Atlanta Sorting and Delivery Center. It’s the first of hundreds of new stations that will be installed at delivery centers across the country this year as USPS said it plans to create the nation’s largest fleet of electric vehicles. USPS plans to have more than 66,000 EVs on the road once the conversion is complete. Deployment of the electric delivery trucks will start in Georgia and then expand to other parts of the country. The first battery-powered vehicles were made by Ford Motor Company in the U.S. and include air conditioning and advanced safety technology.
That’s all for this week. Enjoy the weekend and the song of the week, I Can’t Drive 55 by Sammy Hagar.