Supply chains are a common subject for scrutiny, as their role in the modern economy exceeds any precedents. Fast and reliable transportation of tons of goods was a shock to many firms. Companies that anticipated the importance of delivery services, such as Amazon, have achieved significant results in the market and gained an overwhelming competitive advantage. Analyzing this topic can give researchers valuable data on future trends in the logistics industry through a greater understanding of its past and present development. This paper will provide a summary of five articles related to the subject and determine their connection.
The article “Inside America’s broken supply chain” discusses the detrimental impact of the current crisis on the United States market. There is a hindrance in product delivery to businesses stemming from the COVID-19 lockdown, which caused numerous ships to be stuck in U.S. ports (“Inside America’s broken supply chain,” 2022). The quality of services has dropped as customers continue to wait for their orders for weeks. Due to busy ports, less optimal options are now used, such as freighter trucks that visit distant depots (“Inside America’s broken supply chain,” 2022). This disruption reveals a major vulnerability in supply chains.
The paper “Amazon’s great labor awakening” by Hayasaki discusses the benefits and disadvantages of working for this firm. Amazon’s fulfillment centers were pushing employees to work during the pandemic to satisfy the company’s increased number of orders, which led to frustration and unionizing of workers (Hayasaki, 2021). However, there is a benefit to having a major retail company nearby. While the company’s employees experience issues at the workplace, Amazon admits to the diminishing need for low-skilled workers and provides training in logistics and delivery (Hayasaki, 2021). Such an opportunity indicates the anticipated expansion of this industry.
The news article “People now spend more at Amazon than at Walmart” by Weise and Corkery explores the dynamics between the two top U.S. retail stores. Since many people switched to online shopping due to the lockdowns, Amazon had an advantage in this environment due to its flexible supply chains and numerous warehouses across the country, causing Walmart to lag behind (Weise & Corkery, 2021). This shift in customer behavior has revealed the significance of adapting supply chains to modern trends.
The chapter “The World the box made” in Levinson’s “The Box” explores the impact of shipping containers on the global economy. The apparent benefit of greater accessibility of goods and cheaper transportation created a seamless system for delivery, connecting countries across the globe (Levinson, 2006). Thousands of miles are no longer an obstacle, even for cheap products. However, low-skilled employees experienced the downside of this invention, as their expertise was no longer required (Levinson, 2006). This new approach eradicated the past culture of dock workers yet created a new, more skilled workforce that operates complex devices and navigates through thousands of shipping containers daily.
Another chapter, “Just in Time,” from the same book, explains a different aspect of the new approach to supply chains. With the reduction of freight costs, companies began to explore new opportunities to increase their profits by offshoring (Levinson, 2006). In the past, long production chains were impossible due to the need to store goods for a significant duration before they could be turned into a profit. However, shipping containers led to plummeting prices for delivery and allowed companies to order goods just before they were required in a firm’s inventory (Levinson, 2006). Globalization has created a commerce strategy that forced many businesses to either adapt to the new reality or go bankrupt due to low competitive potential.
All these articles reveal the significance of logistics in the modern economy. The United States and the global market increasingly depend on timely delivery services. Moreover, customer behavior changes in accordance with this trend, causing optimization strategies to continue evolving past the initial mass transportation of goods. However, another common topic is the fact that the current framework has apparent downsides, such as a labor shortage and a vulnerability to long-term disruptions due to geopolitical events. These issues cause orders to be delivered past deadlines, leading to frustrating experiences for costumes and businesses alike. The lag will continue to loom over many industries since the reliance on imports is at the highest level.
In conclusion, these articles provide valuable pieces of information regarding logistics services, their origin, current trends, and vulnerabilities. The modern approach to supply chains has benefited customers across the globe and opened a unique window of opportunity for companies that have the resources to reach international markets. Nowadays, businesses can easily expand their reach due to the availability of transportation services, yet they also face greater competition. This trend will continue to evolve, and companies are urged to face this new environment to remain sustainable. The globalization era brought a massive variety of products to regional markets, significantly improving people’s lives. However, it remains necessary for firms to find a way to eliminate vulnerabilities in their supply chains.
Hayasaki, E. (2021). Amazon’s great labor awakening. The New York Times. Web.
Inside America’s broken supply chain. (2022). Mindovermetal. Web.
Levinson, M. (2006). The box: How the shipping container made the world smaller and the world economy bigger. Princeton University Press.
Weise, K., & Corkery, M. (2021). People now spend more at Amazon than at Walmart. The New York Times. Web.