Freight forwarders provide value-added services beyond just transportation and logistics. Here's advice for choosing the right one for your business.
The United States Postal Services has revised domestic mail regulations for shipping lithium batteries. Here’s what shippers need to know.
Online and mobile commerce has shifted consumer behavior, as well as how products flow through the supply chain to the end user.
Global Trade Management Systems (GTM) can help automate and optimize international supply chains. Here’s some advice for successful implementation.
Shippers, carriers, 3PLs and brokers who are not fully utilizing their transportation management systems to secure capacity and manage global trade may be leaving money on the table.
Kevin Hickey, Vice President, North American Customer Service for Maersk Line outlines the benefits of performance metrics, and the impact they have on carrier relationships and ongoing improvements.
The trucking industry faces capacity constraints, but there are solutions available to help shippers minimize the impact.
James R. Hertwig
Creative use of intermodal and multimodal options enables cost-effective transportation, boosts capacity, and reduces highway congestion delays.
Establish training and mentoring programs to ensure employees have the knowledge they need.
Motor carrier safety standards dictated by state courts create confusion. National safety standards are more effective.
Software-as-a-Service transportation management systems offer many advantages over enterprise software.
Expanding beverage product lines are generating new stockkeeping units (SKUs) - and supply chain management challenges.
Midmarket companies can benefit from using automation to create a strategic export compliance program.
Regulations and tight capacity lead shippers to employ brokers or 3PLs with the resources to protect their interests.
SaaS TMS solutions allow shippers, carriers, suppliers, and consignees to conduct business on a single platform.
3PL websites should offer tools that offer shippers information they need, and make working with carriers easier.
An integrated warehouse management system improves data flow, efficiency, and accuracy, reducing operational costs.
To better manage freight spend, track key performance indicators and build strong provider partnerships.
Managing loss and damage claims can be challenging for shippers. Claims processing providers can facilitate and educate.
A transportation management system with fleet management tools facilitates transportation planning for private fleets.
Logistics managers support inbound supply chains by informing company leaders about the effect of vendor non-compliance.
Auto aftermarket shippers use supplier ship direct programs and high-velocity DCs to meet demand.
Mobile technologies are helping secure and more effectively manage the supply chain.
An automated transportation management system can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and create competitive advantage.
Freight payment services allow shippers to pay all their freight transactions and get full visibility into the process.
George Kontoravdis, PhD
Supply chain partners must work together to maximize the benefit to their customers – and boost their own bottom line.
Using a TMS for carrier selection allows shippers to load standard business rules to achieve predicted outcomes.
Companies interested in automating their transportation management processes should examine their current capabilities.
Companies avoid common obstacles to successful TMS implementation by partnering with an experienced solutions provider.
Companies that effectively integrate trade agreements will gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Supply chain partner collaboration improves supply chain performance, create capabilities, and increase efficiencies.
Technology tools help hazardous materials shippers manage hazmat compliance and maintain efficient shipping operations.
Partnering with third-party logistics providers offers shippers numerous advantages for stronger supply chains.
Jeffrey R. Brashares
Flexible tanks turn dry vans into bulk liquid transportation, creating capacity and increasing backhaul opportunities.
Darin J. Cooprider
Positioning product packaging downstream in the supply chain offers food manufacturers varied selling opportunities.
Freight management technology strengthens partnerships between third-party logistics (3PL) providers and carriers.
Integrated transportation solutions allow shippers to optimize modes, and meet capacity and service requirements.
Technology such as onboard recording devices help trucking companies gain insight and cut costs.
Companies can use the visibility big data provides to improve supply chain processes and meet organizational goals.
Leveraging transportation management system (TMS) capabilities help shippers make better real-time carrier decisions.
Collaborating with a global logistics provider helps small and medium-sized businesses ensure regulatory compliance.
Global trade management solutions give shippers control of compliance, supply chain finance, and global logistics.
Third-party logistics (3PL) providers can consolidate freight from multiple companies shipping to the same destination.
Trading partners share sales and inventory data to support mutual benefits such as optimized inventory and productivity.
Jeffrey R. Brashares
Intermodal shipping offers benefits such as reduced transportation costs, reduced carbon emissions, and safety.
Michael P. Dolan
Shippers’ needs dictate if a third party logistics provider or transportation management system is the best choice.
Natural gas fuel can help the trucking industry reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but only if gas leaks are minimized.
Richard G. Piontek
Mid-market shippers who use Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) transportation management systems (TMS) can improve visibility, access report data, and enable EDI carrier integrations while automating the transportation cycle, says Richard G. Piontek of 3PLogic.
Shifting manufacturing operations in Asia back to North America provides companies more control of their supply chains, says Steve Sensing of Ryder Supply Chain Solutions.
Managing freight spend and payments challenges many shippers because rules and regulations vary by geography. Supply chain professionals benefit most from a global solution built for freight spend, says Rick Erickson of Syncada.
Maximizing truck utilization, managing Hours of Service regulations, and finding enough drivers pose major challenges for trucking companies, says Scott Vanselous of TMW Systems.
Transportation management systems (TMS) provide the ability to accurately predict shipping costs and manage shipment execution. A comprehensive TMS solution can also manage inbound shipments, serve as an RFP analysis tool, or facilitate real-time spot market quoting for appropriate modes, says Kerry Loudenback of TransportGistics Inc.
Best practices for transportation management dictate that shippers contact all their carriers and ask for accurate rates per mile for multiple lanes before performing an optimization, says Nick Carretta of Ultra Logistics
Transportation management systems (TMS) have evolved to serve shipper needs, but few options exist for mid-size shippers. New offerings for this market balance ease of use, rapid implementation, and big return on investment, says Mitch Weseley of 3Gtms.
Gathering transport spend data during the freight payment process, then marrying it with transportation management system data, arms shippers with valuable information for monitoring transportation key performance indicators (KPIs), says Shannon Vaillancourt of RateLinx.
Global customs agencies and trade regulations require shippers to obtain and communicate more shipment data. Technology tools help shippers manage and exchange shipment information, says Tracey Leonard of Choice Logistics.
Import compliance programs facilitate restricted parties screening, recordkeeping, monitoring, review, and audit processes. A quality import compliance solution by a reputable logistics technology provider can help, says Jim Preuninger of Amber Road.
To avoid overpaying for transportation, shippers should audit freight bills to ensure the correct National Motor Freight Classification (NMFC) is applied to their less-than-truckload (LTL) shipments, says Chuck Fattore of RR Donnelley Logistics.
The cloud-based Real Time Value Network enables trading partners to plan, execute, monitor, and synchronize in real time all of the business processes and events that take place throughout their extended supply chains, says Greg Brady of One Network Enterprises.
The Panama Canal expansion, to be completed in 2015, will impact global commerce and affect trade patterns to the U.S. East Coast. Ports such as PortMiami are preparing themselves to accept the new class of mega cargo ships, says Bill Johnson of PortMiami.
Supply chain partners are taking cues from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and making concerted efforts to share and apply security best practices throughout their organizations and supply chain operations, says Howard Finkel of COSCO Container Lines Americas.
Transload facilities find great benefits from Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions that deploy quickly, and easily integrate with existing systems to provide seamless inventory and operations management, and network transport coordination, says Erv Bluemner of RMI.
Supply chain managers must determine the best technology for their supply chain based on their specific organizational needs, says Krishna Rallabhandi of Four Soft.
Carriers can stand out in the market by providing superior shipment tracking that gives shippers and supply chain partners insight into order status, says Gregory Bellows of Trans-i Technologies.
To move ahead of competitors, it is critical that organizations collaborate using electronic, real-time information sharing, merged from multiple partners in a single actionable environment, says John Reichert of TECSYS Inc.
Having a financing partner that specializes in the transportation industry is important for trucking companies because it will understand their capital needs, collateral values, and financing alternatives, says Nick Weaver, Regions Bank.
Once cost-prohibitive to all but the largest enterprises, warehouse management systems (WMS) are now available to small and mid-sized companies, offering benefits such as improved inventory accuracy and labor savings, says Ralph Hess, N’Ware Technologies.
Terrence M. Gilbert
When capacity becomes tight, maintaining relationships with asset-based carriers gives shippers the peace of mind of knowing their supply chain and service will remain seamless and fluid, says Terrence M. Gilbert, CEO, New Century Transportation.
Choosing the right warehouse management system (WMS) for your business requires a firm understanding of its needs and processes, says Kevin Reader of Invata Intralogistics.
Matthew "Bo" Bates
Unless the trucking sector adds drivers and equipment, shortages will continue, says Bo Bates, The Evans Network of Companies.
Co-locating reverse and forward logistics functions for consumer electronics instead of using a centralized returns model reduces transportation miles, touches, and facility overhead while increasing turn times.
A rich and robust transportation management system (TMS) plays an important role in a company’s inbound transportation strategy.
The collaborative environment of a Software-as-a-Servivce (SaaS) transportation management system (TMS) enables connectivity and supports seamless collaboration with global supply chain partners, says Jon Kuerschner of LeanLogistics.
Third-party logistics (3PL) providers can inspire shipper confidence by using technology tools to control loads and properly insuring their loads.
Information technology tools provide actionable data for supply chain improvements, cost efficiencies, on-time performance, and customer satisfaction, says Gary Neeves, Regal Logistics.
For both third-party logistics providers (3PLs) and retailers, investing in a technology partner that supports customization and flexibility at a moderate cost is a strategy for long-term adaptability and growth, says Chandra Allred of PSCTrac.
Companies are increasingly realizing that supply chain must become a core competency. Adding a supply chain control tower and taking on the fourth-party logistics (4PL) role offers them the ability to accelerate collaboration and achieve higher performance levels.
Maintaining a nationwide network of reverse logistics facilities and skilled team of supply chain field analysts allows shippers to reduce transportation and handling costs and support sustainability efforts, writes Jeff Pepperworth, Inmar.
Global freight audit and payment providers can help shippers gain valuable insight into their global supply chains while overcoming challenges such as harmonizing multiple currencies, capturing data in foreign languages, data cleansing, and meeting archival requirements.
Tablets offer several advantages over notebook computers and handheld devices, says Chris Wright, DRS Technologies.
Warehouse managers are using a mix of consumer-grade smartphone technology and rugged mobile devices to optimize their workflow, says Laura Kelleher of Honeywell.
Applying lean principles to materials handling equipment purchases and configurations helps companies cut costs, writes Robert Arndt, Ryder Supply Chain Solutions.
New logistics technology makes supply chain data accessible around the clock, says Tom Heine, Aljex Software.
Adopting global trade management (GTM) technology helps standardize business processes and facilitate communication, says Nathan Pieri of Amber Road.
Supply chain executives must think differently about their logistics processes, and implement multi-party technology that gives them and their logistics partners greater control of the supply chain, says Chris Jones of Descartes.
Reviewing your current transportation spend management processes and identifying opportunities is an excellent way to start logistics cloud computing, as these initiatives pay for themselves very quickly, says Martin Hubert, Freightgate.
Global logistics technology enables companies to successfully manage all modes of transportation under a common umbrella while providing complete visibility, says Chris Johnson, LeanLogistics.
Having better supply chain visibility improves a business’s ability to sense and react to change faster and more efficiently, says Scott Fenwick of Manhattan Associates.
Using actionable data provided by key performance indicators (KPIs), businesses can automate shipping decisions and identify areas for improvement, writes Steven Shoemaker of Ratelinx.
Using lean components as a foundation for labor management is a powerful way to increase productivity and reduce costs in a warehouse or distribution center, according to Ryder Supply Chain Solutions’ Jeff Boudreau.
A well-implemented enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution can help manufactures remain agile in the ever-changing, volatile economy, with its decreased spending, increased competition, and changing regulations, says Erik Kaas of Sage.
Transportation network modeling isn’t necessary for operations, but it’s an invaluable tool for strategic supply chain decision-making and risk mitigation, writes TMW Systems' Mike Kositzky.
Collaborative trade communities enable supply chains to react more quickly to strategy changes that are needed to keep the corporation competitive as it reacts market shifts, says Bryn Heimbeck, Trade Tech Inc.
Strategic and practical use of the right supply chain technologies enables sharp pricing competitiveness, creates better customer experiences, reduces expenses, and raises productivity, says Les Hamashima, Transite Technology.
Tom Heine, CEO, Aljex Software Inc., explains how application programming interfaces (APIs) enrich software users’ experience by connecting them to Web tools.
Specialized carriers can help shippers cut transportation and fuel costs when moving heavy equipment, writes David Lowry, Bennett Motor Express.
Leading wholesalers understand the limitation of planning transportation in a silo, writes Manhattan Associates’ Mike Mulqueen.
Access to transportation network data allows companies to benchmark with better business intelligence, enabling smarter decisions for continuous improvements, says Matt Ahearn, LeanLogistics.
With the improved visibility supplied by transportation management systems, shippers can leverage shipment data internally to generate top-line revenue, says Geoff Comrie, Transite Technology.
Cloud computing provides companies productivity gains and improved supply chain visibility, says TradeTech's Bryn Heimbeck.
Transportation procurement provides the greatest opportunity to create efficiency in the the Logistics Management Lifecycle, says Martin Hubert, Freightgate.
A comprehensive supply chain labor management solution that automates processes such as hiring, time, and attendance, and scheduling can help control costs, minimize compliance risk, and improve productivity, says Malysa O'Connor, Kronos.
Peter Hartman of Retrotech offers strategies for optimizing product flow through warehouse automation to achieve better order fulfillment performance.
Mobile-robotic systems are easy to design and install, with overall lower installation and operational costs than traditional warehouse automation systems, says Mick Mountz of Kiva Systems.
Phil Van Wormer
Warehouse operations visibility means knowing the real-time location of your materials handling vehicles, drivers, and inventory so operations can be optimized for maximum productivity, says Phil Van Wormer of Sky-Trax.
RFID technologies allow computers, objects, and individuals to interact in new ways, supplying logistics providers and materials handlers with predictable and actionable data to enhance their service offerings and operations, explains Ravi Pappu of ThingMagic.
EDI can reduce labor costs, cut data-entry error, and ties you to your customers and vendors, cementing your place in the supply chain.
J. Kenneth Hazen
The complexities of global trade management, sustainability and business intelligence technology call for the help of a third-party logistics provider.
George Kontoravdis, PhD
Today’s new cloud-based transportation management systems empower companies to connect in real-time with their global supply chain partners, helping supply chain managers streamline their processes and save significant time, costs, and resources.
Move out of your comfort zone and into a multi-functional, cost-saving, online transportation management system.
To be operationally flexible, freight forwarders need one “go-to" resource for information about what is in the shipment pipeline as well as quick access to customer and shipment data.
Software-as-a-Service (Saas) transportation management systems encourage collaboration so that all supply chain partners view the same permission-based data to identify mutually beneficial solutions and improvements.
Jesus David Rodriguez
As volumes increase and deadlines get shorter, it’s imperative that logistics software systems have out-of-the-box communication with other companies using the same system, and easy setup of communications with companies using other systems.
With the advent of cloud computing, companies can collaborate with trading partners around the globe with minimal startup costs and headaches, using a pay-as-you-go model.
Integrating voice-enabled logistics with hosted ERP solutions and warehouse management systems can improve productivity and accuracy.
The complexities of global trade management call for the help of a third-party logistics provider.
Measuring against industry benchmark data allows you to identify areas for improving transportation spend.
Small and mid-sized manufacturers lack the scale to ship in full truckloads, creating thousands of separate, inefficient lines of supply—all moving to the same mass retailers. Collaborative distribution reduces the number of trucks on the road and cuts distribution costs.
Weather the driver shortage by keeping detention low and utilization high, practicing good communication, staying flexible in scheduling, and taking advantage of dedicated drivers and equipment.
Shippers shouldn't assume all on-time performance is created equal. Make sure every dollar you spend counts by choosing carriers who provide honest, accurate metrics, and foster innovation to improve your business.
Robert F. Byrne
Transportation forecasts enable planners to shift from reacting to orders to proactively managing capacity. By synchronizing transport forecasts with manufacturing and distribution plans, your entire company can respond to the same demand signals.
Supply chain strategies built around software-as-a-service (SaaS) or Cloud computing eliminate many headaches that often come with supply chain investments. They eliminate the need for presence overseas, cut the time spent integrating systems across internal departments, and greatly reduce the time spent integrating with hundreds of partners and suppliers.
It is interesting to witness the changes that have occurred in transportation purchasing. For one, the annual bid mentality is gone. With access and visibility to posting boards, SaaS transportation networks, and optimization technologies, transportation procurement has evolved to the point where it is truly a continuous management function.
Manual data inputs. Multiple data sources. Data latency. Point-to-point interfaces. These are just a few key obstacles to achieving supply chain visibility. But, there are solutions available that deliver visibility and intelligence as a service with process, security, and environmental monitoring.
Third-party logistics providers that use advanced planning tools to model complex routing operations and streamline the bid process have a significant advantage in both demonstrating results and helping clients cut costs. When they cut modeling time to a fraction of what it was, and utilize new tools, 3PLs can uncover opportunities and quickly implement changes that provide benefit for their clients.
Globally sourced, private label products allow merchants to maximize margins while maintaining price points, ensuring a good return on investment. But sourcing product globally is complex. By focusing on visibility, intelligence and collaboration, retailers, brand owners and wholesalers who globally source private label products can ensure a successful return on investment.
Sometimes it's easier than you think to find hidden profits in your warehouse or transportation operations. Many successful companies are doing more with less by simply optimizing their slotting practices, pick paths, truckloads and delivery routes.
LeanLogistics' Chris Timmer explains how collaborating with trading partners, aided by an on-demand transportation management system, helps increase supply chain efficiencies.
Technology-enabled global trade management offers significant benefits for improving supply chain efficiency and increasing profitability, writes Don Mabry of ClearTrack Information Network.
Jim Caudill of Xterprise recommends strategies for matching retail demand to supply, enhancing enterprise scalability, and increasing supply chain efficiencies through sustainability initiatives.
J. Kenneth Hazen
Sharing key information with all parties can lead to decreased waste, increased orders, and new business, writes J. Kenneth Hazen, CTSI-Global.
Rich Wilson of CombineNet Inc. explains the value of strong shipper-carrier relationships.
Ongoing cooperation with value chain partners is possible with integrated transportation management software for optimal resource utilization, business efficiencies, and cost control, writes Scott Vanselous, TMW Systems Inc.
Fleet optimization software helps you maximize driver, vehicle, and fleet productivity while delivering superior customer service, writes Steve Brown, Intergis LLC.
Tim Higham of Interstate Transport Inc. predicts that within a few years, many service providers will be offering free TMS technology to help their shipper customers move more freight.
As different countries implement both security and trade-led initiatives around the world, it is critical to improve global regulatory knowledge and visibility, writes Tom Barnes of Integration Point Inc.
A global trade management system can help support foreign trade zone operations, whether distributing from or manufacturing within the zone, writes Wayne Slossberg of QuestaWeb Inc.
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