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NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Amazon believes it may have the ability to anticipate consumer demand on a granular level – so much so, that it could actually begin shipping an order before you even buy it. The online retailer is working to refine predictive logistics in an effort to further shorten shipping times to customers. “Anticipatory package shipping” – a process patented by Amazon late last month – may become a part of that process.
By analyzing consumer data, such as prior orders, product searches, wish lists, shopping cart contents – and even cursor activity — Amazon could predict a consumer’s future purchase and move merchandise to a nearby fulfillment center in anticipation of a subsequent order.
By forecasting customer behavior, Amazon seeks to speed transit times to customers while utilizing lower-cost ground shipping rather than expedited methods “that may rival the price paid for the merchandise.
Downtown Pittsburgh skyscrapers are filling up fast. Occupancy rate in many buildings is in the 90 percent range. This is a drastic change from a few years ago when many buildings had high vacancy rates. Owners were making deals with tenants to keep them.
Now landlords are naming their price and tenants are willing to pay the asking rates. Several large buildings have come off the market after investors decided they could not reinvest anywhere else and get a better return than in downtown Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, New York and San Francisco had the largest increases in average office rents in the fourth quarter of 2010.
The Gateway Center Complex (four buildings) was recently taken off the market as well as the 32-story EQT Tower. The owners decided retaining ownership was in their best interest given Pittsburgh’s bullish market.
Eleven Stanwix Street has gone from a 50 percent to a 94 percent occupancy rate. The building is now up for sale but the owner is still receiving calls to lease space. The Oliver Building and the Regional Enterprise Tower are also for sale. The USX Tower (Pittsburgh’s tallest building at 64-stories) is in the process of being sold and has reached a tentative agreement with the new group of investors. The purchase price is around $250 million according to the Wall Street Journal.
As occupancy rates climb and office space becomes scare, tenants are willing to pay higher rates to be in a full building (which is characterized as being in the upper 80 to lower 90 percentage leased category).
Our beleaguered capital city shot up 25 places on WSJ‘s MarketWatch‘s Best Cities For Business annual ranking. Harrisburg ranked 34th in 2009 and 9th for 2010.
Criteria changed this year which helped Harrisburg achieve a much improved place on the list. Tourism, military GDP and personal income helped propel Harrisburg to a Top 10 spot. Harrisburg also has a high ranking of Russell 2000 companies, Forbes Private Companies and of course, Hershey Foods in its suburbs.
More changes are expected next year that could make it difficult for Harrisburg to maintain a Top 10 spot as economic stability will weigh in more heavily next year. We all know the City of Harrisburg has some problems in that area!
Washington, D.C took top honors this year. Pittsburgh ranked 18th, Philadelphia ranked 29th, Allentown and Lancaster tied at 63rd place and Scranton came in at 100. The survey included 102 cities with metro areas over 500,000.
I would say that is a decent showing from Pennsylvania!