ACWI Advance | Volume 3, Issue 18 | September 30, 2015
UPS announced expansion of its Access Point Network, a web of local businesses where consumers can drop off and pick up packages, to 100 cities, bringing the total to 8,000 locations in the U.S. and 22,000 worldwide by December.
The company started the network in the U.S. last year consisting of local businesses, primarily neighborhood convenience and grocery stores, dry cleaners and delicatessens, that have extended evening and weekend hours (AA, 10-31-14, P. 2). All 4,400 domestic UPS Stores are also part of the network.
Receiving packages can be difficult for residential customers if they are not home to accept the delivery and UPS can’t leave the package in a secure location, the company noted. The substantial additional costs associated with redeliveries to homes spurred creation of APN, a company executive told us at a recent industry meeting.
NLRB Joint Liability Draws Opposition
Employers groups and Republican members of Congress have registered strong opposition to the National Labor Relations Board’s expansion of joint liability for staffing firm and franchise employees to the companies that contract for their services.
The board’s decision also is seen bolstering similar moves by other federal agencies like OSHA and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to establish employer joint liability in other areas (AA, 9-15-15, P. 1).
The decision has significant negative implications for almost all business-to-business relationships and will undermine job creation and small business growth, asserted NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French.
“These harmful and unnecessary changes are out of sync with reality and are certain to create immense instability in business relationships,” he added.
Bumpy Economic Ride Seen for 2016
Expect a bumpy economic ride next year, growing demands for better rail service, and more mergers and acquisitions among logistics providers.
Those were some of the conclusions of two panels of expert economic observers who spoke at the 2015 Intermodal Expo, presented in Ft. Lauderdale on Sept. 20-22 by the Intermodal Association of North America along with its educational program partner, the Transportation Intermediaries Association.
Both panels were moderated by Chicago Federal Reserve Senior Economist William Strauss, who commented on the Fed’s decision not to raise interest rates a week earlier.
Partly due to economic uncertainty overseas, especially in China, he also said it stemmed from what he termed the U.S. “tortoise economy,” with GDP growth hovering the normal rate of 2.25%.
However, Strauss noted, while that growth rate would be fine in other circumstances, it depicts an economy stuck in a holding pattern instead of being able to climb steadily upward out of the worst recession since World War II.
Rail Service Must Improve
In comments echoed by many other speakers at this year’s Expo – including rail executives – about the necessity of drastically improving rail service, Gross said,“Intermodal growth is not going to come simply from the truck market being so tight. We’re going to have to earn it.”