The state of the shipping and logistics field can be difficult to discern among the many complex factors that affect the market. One way to determine the current climate is to observe how shipping firms, almost completely concerned with supply chain management, have fared. UPS, the leader in the U.S. market, reported a mixed second quarter of 2012.
UPS results acted as a barometer for shipping efforts all over the world. The company found certain segments of industry, such as U.S. e-commerce shipments, were still very active and profitable through mid-2012. Others, such as imports of products from Asia, bowed to the pressure of the global market.
One part of the data reported by UPS demonstrated the importance of strategy in supply chain management. The company engaged in strict cost control in its freight division, leading to high profit margins despite global economic weakness.
Shipping and logistics can receive boosts from unexpected sources. One of UPS' supply chain management priorities, according to the Wall Street Journal, is reconfiguring to create a medical supply specialty. This could pay dividends following the Supreme Court's support for the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of health coverage.