Deep Dive

Industry insights from our journalists


  • The Marco Polo, the largest cargo ship to call at an East Coast port, arrives under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge and into New York Harbor on May 20, 2021
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    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    Amid strike fears, cargo diversion a key fixture in 2022’s supply chain playbook

    The shadow of negotiations clouds U.S. railroads and West Coast ports. Shippers have leaned on less-risky alternatives, despite some drawbacks.

    Max Garland • Nov. 16, 2022
  • A warehouse with rows of packages
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    Courtesy of Medline

    Holiday hangovers: Retailers seek to clear out inventory piles as the season ramps up

    After declarations about “decisive” actions to clear excess goods earlier this year, levels are still high and markdowns rampant.

    Ben Unglesbee • Nov. 8, 2022
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    Thomas Cain via Getty Images

    ESG backlash unlikely to derail SEC proposal requiring climate risk disclosures

    One expert said the agency has "vastly underestimated" the amount of money needed for businesses to comply.

    Jim Tyson • Nov. 3, 2022
  • Lithium Mine Processing Plant, Western Australia. Mechanical processing is used to refine lithium spodumene concentrate.
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    jasonbennee via Getty Images

    How the US plans to transform its lithium supply chain

    With just 3.6% of global reserves, access to the critical mineral is vital to the country’s sustainable energy plans.

    Deborah Abrams Kaplan • Oct. 27, 2022
  • Lana Provost, a UPS package handler, loads packages into a truck at the UPS Centennial Ground Hub on December 6, 2021 in Louisville, Kentucky.
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    Jon Cherry/Getty Images via Getty Images

    UPS and FedEx rate increases are coming. Here’s how shippers can prepare.

    Experts note that shipping rates are negotiable, but how amenable the delivery giants will be to concessions is up for debate.

    Max Garland • Oct. 26, 2022
  • Operation BBQ Relief driver Joe Myerly uses a lift jack to hand off a shipment of canned green beans to forklift operator Forrest Parks.
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Operation BBQ Relief

    How the trucking industry is helping feed a million Floridians after Hurricane Ian

    Operation BBQ Relief drew volunteer drivers from across the country to deliver much-needed food supplies in the storm’s aftermath.

    Colin Campbell • Oct. 12, 2022
  • U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy attends the signing ceremony for the Postal Service Reform Act in the State Dining Room at the White House on April 06, 2022 in Washington, DC.
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    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images via Getty Images

    Louis DeJoy is transforming the Postal Service. Can the agency compete with FedEx and UPS?

    The U.S. Postmaster General isn’t afraid of making big changes. But keeping pace with private parcel carriers is a tall order for the beleaguered agency, experts say.

    Max Garland • Sept. 28, 2022
  • dot's, pretzels, Hershey
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    Retrieved from Dot's Homestyle Pretzels.

    How CPGs are using M&A to boost manufacturing amid supply disruptions

    While dealmaking often focuses on food or beverage brands, more companies are buying plants to ramp up production, widen an offering’s reach and lessen dependence on outside manufacturers.

    Christopher Doering • Sept. 20, 2022
  • Dozens of packages are lined up along a Manhattan street as a FedEx truck makes deliveries on December 6, 2021 in New York City.
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    Spencer Platt/Getty Images via Getty Images

    How tensions between FedEx Ground and its contractors reached a boiling point

    The logistics giant's model for independent delivery providers is broken, an analyst said. One contractor is leading a push for change.

    Max Garland • Aug. 25, 2022
  • Aerial view of a container ship passing beneath a suspension bridge while a semi-truck with a cargo container crosses above.
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    Photo Illustration: Getty Images; Industry Dive

    ‘We have to do something’: Can retail close the gap on supply chain emissions?

    The industry is woefully behind on scope 3 targets for greenhouse gases. Data poses steep challenges, but experts say retailers still can — and must — do more.

    Ben Unglesbee • Aug. 11, 2022
  • candy
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    Christopher Doering/Supply Chain Dive

    Small candy makers rethink operations as supply chain issues bite

    Sweets manufacturers are doing away with long-time traditions to weather labor shortages, high costs and unreliable ingredient deliveries.

    Christopher Doering • Aug. 4, 2022
  • A Covid testing site in New York
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    Spencer Platt via Getty Images

    Makers of COVID-19 tests shift focus as testing wanes

    Startups that grew quickly from large contracts are looking nervously to a new future, as demand plummets for mass testing and shifts to homes.

    Elise Reuter • July 27, 2022
  • Stock image of "Lady Day: Body & Soul," which missed its release date because of supply chain issues.
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    Courtesy of Rocket 88 Books

    Waiting for 'Lady Day': A Billie Holiday book's supply chain saga

    On the planned release date, pre-ordered copies sat inside a container aboard the Evergreen ship stuck in the Chesapeake Bay. Their voyage offers a glimpse into today’s ocean freight challenges.

    Colin Campbell • July 7, 2022
  • Two people with hard hats walking past bales of plastic scrap.
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    Natalie Behring via Getty Images

    Sustainable packaging goals challenged by supply chain realities

    As CPGs set targets to cut virgin plastic use, chaotic forces like the pandemic, poor weather and war complicate the timeline.

    Samantha Oller • June 9, 2022
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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images via Getty Images

    Carriers, shippers grapple with how to cut emissions in airfreight

    The airfreight industry is rolling out environmentally-minded initiatives. Will it be enough for shippers to stick with the emissions-heavy mode?

    Max Garland • May 18, 2022
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images

    Furniture retailers forge new supply chain practices as backlogs, delays prevail

    Improved inventory management is just one practice — executives are also looking at new sourcing destinations to mitigate risk.

    Ben Unglesbee • April 25, 2022
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    Oli Scarff via Getty Images

    Amazon is slowing down its fulfillment center spend. What's next?

    Heightened demand put Amazon's distribution buildout into overdrive. To speed up delivery and limit costs, it will have to invest more.

    Max Garland • March 16, 2022
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images

    Retail supply chains were made to be broken. Will brands adapt — or revert?

    The past two years have laid bare vulnerabilities that have long existed in the system, including a lack of capacity and geographic concentration in manufacturing.

    Ben Unglesbee • Feb. 11, 2022
  • Image attribution tooltip
    Courtesy of Johnsonville

    Food suppliers wade into logistics as trucking rates soar

    Businesses can't evade the trucking market, but there are strategies they can adopt to lessen the impact of market forces.

    Shefali Kapadia • Feb. 9, 2022
  • Darrin Masters poses alongside Jenny Ramos, head trainer at Advance Auto Parts' Kutztown distribution center.
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    Advance Auto Parts has a program to hire people with disabilities at 16 of its 44 distribution centers. Darrin Masters (right), who was hired via the program, poses alongside Jenny Ramos (left), head trainer at Advance Auto Parts' Kutztown distribution center. Advance Auto Parts granted permission to use this image.

    Disability inclusion programs help warehouses hire overlooked talent

    Retail and logistics companies are accelerating their commitments to workers with disabilities as a labor crunch hampers operations. Experts say the programs have sizeable benefits.

    Colin Campbell • Feb. 8, 2022
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    Mario Tama via Getty Images

    How grocers are managing the twin pressures of supply chain disruption and inflation

    Companies need to be particularly "agile" in 2022, one expert said, as high demand and shortages can make inflation appear quickly.

    Jeff Wells • Jan. 31, 2022
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    LeoPatrizi via Getty Images

    Delivery firms deepen restaurant relationships as growth slows

    Major aggregators are rolling out white labels, subscription programs and data tools to retain partners as more diners order from operators directly. 

    Julie Littman • Jan. 31, 2022
  • A woman is checking her receipt thoroughly, after she'd stored her catch in the trunk. She bought everything she needs, time to go home.
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    LukaTDB via Getty Images

    Grocers are experimenting with delivery fees. Here are 8 key factors to consider.

    Experts said they expect — and encourage — grocers to continue testing strategies for dealing with delivery costs.

    Catherine Douglas Moran • Jan. 18, 2022
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    George Frey via Getty Images

    'Insult to injury': Record rail demurrage adds to shipper costs

    Storage fees skyrocketed in 2021 after an import surge snarled transportation networks. The ballooning revenues have shippers and railroads at odds over who's at fault for congestion.

    Sarah Zimmerman and Edwin Lopez • Jan. 12, 2022
  • Hain Celestial, tea
    Image attribution tooltip
    Permission granted by Hain Celestial

    CPGs grapple with a murky 2022 outlook as inflation, supply chain weigh on operations

    Uncertainty is making it hard for CEOs to determine whether they should raise prices or take other actions.

    Christopher Doering • Jan. 11, 2022