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Giants With Feet of Clay

By Art van Bodegraven | 06/11/2017 | 3:27 PM

A couple of titans in the parcel shipping space dominate their universe, but are vulnerable to mice nibbling at their foundations.  To make the threat(s) more real, the mice are numerous, take several forms, are voracious, and could become titans in their own right.

FedEx and UPS have constructed vast networks of hubs, complex networks, armies of human resources, ground-based fleets and sizabe airlines - investments that would be almost impossible to replicate.

But, a last-mile partner, the USPS could, if it doesn't shoot itself in the foot, become a threat as well as a collaborator.

Local efforts by regional parcel carriers could take the ege off last-mile aches and pains, even if not on the scale of the USPS, and handling niche products could simplify the FedEx/UPS annoyance of eccentric materiels.

Don't forget Uber and self-driving cars and trucks.

The 400-pound gorilla with a huge appetite and a penchant for challenging processes and markets is Amazon, with an array of products and unconventional delivery mechanisms.  Now, there's a force to be reckoned with, in logistics and in the marketplace.

And, they won't quit innovating and tipping over the applecart, with the blessings of Jeff Bezos.

Bundle up; the winds are a-blowin' and unpredictable.



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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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