Weak peak season for shipping on the horizon, warns Seko Logistics
According to freight transportation providers, this year’s peak shipping season may be lackluster and delayed compared to usual. Despite clearing out excess inventory, merchants are hesitant to place new import orders, leading to a subdued outlook.
Seko Logistics executives highlighted that customers in various sectors, such as fashion, technology, defense, and medical devices, are displaying caution in placing purchase orders due to heightened uncertainty surrounding the economy and consumer confidence. Consequently, the anticipated surge of ocean and air shipments typically observed in mid-summer to stock store shelves for the holiday season is more likely to be a mere ripple.
Additionally, major economies are witnessing a contraction in manufacturing.
Maersk Innovation Center opened in New Jersey
In a press release on May 16, Maersk revealed the establishment of a new center dedicated to emerging technologies, aimed at expediting supply chain innovation and resilience. Located in Jersey City, New Jersey, the Maersk Innovation Center intends to implement a systematic approach in developing a pipeline of innovative ideas and devising means to accelerate their implementation.
According to a spokesperson’s email response to Supply Chain Dive, the center will focus on testing and expanding the usage of tools that enhance operational processes for customers.
Although the facility was officially inaugurated on May 15, it has already been utilized for piloting warehouse automation and equipment from notable companies such as BionicHIVE, Boston Dynamics, and Verity.
Truck emissions rule voted to be overturned
On May 23, the United States House of Representatives voted 221 to 203 in favor of reversing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations intended to reduce emissions of soot and smog from heavy-duty trucks.
The EPA finalized these regulations in December 2022, representing the first significant update to nitrogen oxide (NO2) emission standards for heavy-duty trucks in more than two decades. The new standards were reported to be at least 80% more stringent than the previous ones, as stated by the EPA. Additionally, the EPA estimated that implementing the new rules could prevent approximately 2,900 premature deaths and 6,700 hospital admissions between 2027 and 2045.
Opponents of the regulations, primarily Republicans, contended that they would be challenging to implement, resulting in increased costs along the supply chain and added pressure on small business owners operating heavy-duty trucks. Some Republicans also asserted that these rules were part of the Biden administration’s broader agenda to enforce clean energy initiatives.