January 10, 2024

After enduring years of rising prices, consumers finally began to see some relief at the register as inflation cooled down toward the end of 2023. The recent global increase in prices was due in no small part to supply chain problems that stemmed from the pandemic, causing shipping costs to spike as transport times slowed to a crawl. It also didn’t help when an enormous container ship got stuck in the Suez Canal in 2021, which blocked trade on the Continue reading

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November 17, 2023

With nearly 2,000 stores across the U.S., more than 75 percent of Americans live within ten miles of a Target. These brick and mortar locations have become surprisingly valuable assets for the company’s e-commerce business, with more than 95 percent of online orders originating from Target stores. This video goes into detail about the retailer’s logistical operations, including the local sortation centers Target is investing in to keep up with increasing demand. 

Questions:

  1. How does Target utilize nearly 2,000 Continue reading
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October 25, 2023

Last week, we looked at how rising sugar costs will contribute to higher candy prices this Halloween. Of course, sweets aren’t the only product affected by global supply issues. Due to poor weather conditions in Europe, olive oil prices have more than doubled over the past year. The situation is worst in Spain, the world’s largest producer of olive oil and victim of a drought that has devastated recent harvests. Bad weather across the continent has also led to Continue reading

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October 18, 2023

Last year, we looked at how rising candy prices and increased enthusiasm for spooky season led Americans to spend big on Halloween. And by all accounts, it looks like 2023 will be no different: not only are consumers expected to buy lots of costumes and candy, but they will also pay more for the privilege. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) data, candy and chewing gum prices jumped by 7.7 percent from Continue reading

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July 26, 2023

Making a $7.95 bottle of soap for Bath & Body Works (BBW) once took three months to accomplish. Parts traveled more than 13,000 miles across multiple countries to end up at the company’s Ohio distribution center, a difficult journey that the beauty brand sought to change in 2008. Years of working with local officials and skeptical suppliers resulted in BBW’s “beauty park” located outside of Columbus, an industrial campus that handles nearly every aspect of production. Featuring 10 manufacturers with Continue reading

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March 10, 2023

Prices on everyday products like groceries and diapers have increased dramatically in the last couple of years, with inflation often being identified as the culprit. This video takes a close look at the potential causes of the post-pandemic trend of rising inflation, examining why supply chain issues and plain old markups could be responsible for ever-increasing prices. 

Questions:

  1. What are the potential causes of inflation outlined in this video? Which factor do you think is the most likely cause Continue reading
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November 2, 2022

The Mississippi River serves as one of the nation’s most vital supply routes, with slow-moving barges carrying everything from agricultural products to oil and building materials. Due to a drastically dry spring and summer, however, the river is running too low at some points to allow vessels to pass through. This video looks at how plummeting water levels on the Mississippi are disrupting the plans of farmers and manufacturers who rely on the river to get their goods to market. Continue reading

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October 28, 2022

After years of unease, this year Americans are approaching holidays like Halloween with a level of enthusiasm not seen since pre-pandemic times. According to a survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), 69 percent of consumers plan to celebrate Halloween this year, an amount that is on par with the stats from 2019. “As consumers continue to return to pre-pandemic behaviors, retailers are prepared to meet that demand and help make this holiday a fun and memorable one,” said NRF Continue reading

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October 21, 2022

Earlier this week, we posted a video about a seemingly unremarkable highway corridor in Arizona that turned into a haven for enormous warehouses. Logistics hubs like these are becoming increasingly common around the U.S., from Southern California’s warehouse epicenter in the Inland Empire to multi-million square-foot facilities in Ohio and New York. Satellite images collected over the last 20 years show how warehouses have transformed acres of wide-open space into concentrated networks of huge buildings swarming with workers. In fact, Continue reading

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October 19, 2022

On a stretch of highway near Phoenix, property developers have constructed dozens of industrial warehouses with millions of square feet in storage. These enormous Arizona facilities are attracting big companies like Amazon, UPS, Walmart, and many more tenants that are looking to avoid California supply chain bottlenecks. This video looks at the reasons why some businesses are starting to center their logistical operations in the American Southwest.

Questions:

  1. What are the benefits and drawbacks for companies that use storage facilities Continue reading
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