FINANCE

Report: U.S. retailers have $300 million credit with ocean freight carriers

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – U.S. retailers reportedly have $300 million in refunds with ocean freight vendors, yet they are unaware of this because of invoice errors by their ocean freight transportation providers. According to a report from ocean freight auditing service Ocean Audit, problems with infrastructure of ocean freight carriers are also part of the issue.

Ocean Audit data indicates that manually-driven processes, which include invoicing, have an adverse effect on the accuracy of pricing for more than 40 million containers that are shipped annually to the U.S. More than 12% of all ocean freight invoices are reportedly defective.

“U.S. retail companies have been paying overcharges to ocean freight vendors for decades,” said Steve Fereirra, president of Ocean Audit. “This is due to them not having robust controls in place to audit and identify these errors. Without preventive measures in place, these overcharges will continue to cost U.S. retailers millions of dollars in lost profits each year. To make matters worse, consumers end up bearing the brunt of these overages when they make purchases because retailers have no choice but to increase the in-store or e-shop retail price to ensure each imported product is profitable.”

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SUPPLY CHAIN

PetSmart opens new DC in Pennsylvania

BY Dan Berthiaume

Phoenix — PetSmart on Friday celebrated the opening of a new distribution center in Berks County, Pa.

The new facility will bring an estimated 500 jobs to Berks County by the end of 2016. The 870,000-sq.-ft. DC will serve 25% of PetSmart’s stores in eleven states, handling and delivering consumables, hard goods and fish to 170 PetSmart stores in 2014 and more than 260 stores by 2015.

The $50 million facility is the result of PetSmart’s growth and increased demands on its supply chain. Within proximity of more high volume stores, the new build-to-suit DC will provide transportation savings and enable a significant percentage of PetSmart’s over 1,240 stores to be serviced from this location.

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News

MobStac extends omni-channel commerce features

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bangalore, India – Mobile cloud platform company MobStac has added a new set of mobile commerce features that are capable of providing consumers with a universal shopping experience across all devices. The MobStac platform now provides an extension for all major commerce backend systems such as Magento and OpenCart.

The platform is now fully mobile-commerce ready with a catalog engine, search and recommendation engines designed and built for commerce and synchronization engines that offer universal wish-lists and checkout carts across devices. MobStac also integrates with the most commonly-used payment processors. MobStac’s platform capabilities enable discovery-led social shopping, personalized catalogs, mobile-enhanced in-store experiences, customer loyalty programs, and post-sales care.

The company offers fully managed, professional services from concept design and development to deployment, testing and go-live for e-commerce enterprises. MobStac also offers robust APIs and SDKs for in-house development teams of e-commerce enterprises and agencies, enabling them to build mobile commerce apps and sites.

"Mobile has the potential to disrupt the way people find and shop products and we find that increasingly, mobile commerce is seeing rapid uptake amongst consumers,” said Sharat Potharaju, CEO and co-founder of MobStac. “Our platform offers e-commerce businesses a hassle-free solution to expand their online businesses to mobile and create a positive impact on their mobile revenue.”

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