August 2017 | Commentary | Good Question

What's the most interesting or unusual supply chain problem you've solved?

Tags: 3PL, Expedited Shipping, Specialized Logistics

How to ship toy motorcycles made out of magnets and tubes to retail stores around the country without them falling apart. They were used as a display for a toy kit. Our solution was to put them in a small cooler, fill the cooler with water, freeze the entire contents of the cooler, and ship out. Upon arrival at the retail store, they were thawed, dried, and displayed. It worked beautifully.

Scott McDevitt
President and CEO
Translogistics


Working with experts and global 3PLs to trim excess days to ensure delivery of red blood cells from New Jersey and Wales, UK, to some of the most remote parts of the world—all with only 10-15 days of shelf life to work with.

Jeff Hoban
SVP, Operations
Transplace


Helping to deliver a science project robot to NASA that was designed and built by engineering students from an Indian engineering university as part of a worldwide competition.

Tom Ciepichal
Vice President,
Global Supply Chain
Dover Fueling Solutions


Moving several overly dimensional HVAC units, via drop-deck trailers, to a major urban construction project and then transporting those units via helicopter to the top of the multi-floored building site. We were successful.

Bill Carter
Vice President, Logistics
CFI


Trying to get wine that wasn't in a reefer into Mumbai off a hot dock. Persistence and many phone calls and emails eventually got the wine in before it turned to sherry.

Catherine Else
Operations Manager
Lionstone International


Starting a UK supply of butternut squash that is supplied by the pallet rather than the container, to reduce waste and give the customer better control over their orders.

Samantha Rogers
Logistics Administrator
GoGlobal, LLC


A bobblehead manufacturer contacted us a few months ago as they needed to change a few markings on 2,000 bobbleheads. We scraped a few of the trademarked designs off the bobbleheads and re-painted them to look like new.

Jeff Glassman
CEO
Darn It! Inc.


Developing auxiliary vendors to serve our organization through or over the night. We have also developed various channels of transportation of goods that can ensure the doorstep delivery.

Nitin Limbasiya
Materials Officer
Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Limited


Most Asian countries, including Taiwan, Thailand, India, and others, control small gas cylinder import. Therefore, a deposit is required on each cylinder and the duration of stay is restricted. Most of the time, gas cylinders are not utilized 100 percent. We had new gas drums, which were imported to Taiwan a year ago; we paid a big deposit to the government and the duration of stay was about to end. Regulation of different countries was researched and a cost comparison of each solution was evaluated. We decided to export these drums to Hong Kong and temporarily store them in a third-party warehouse. By exporting our drums to Hong Kong, we only spent 15 percent of our deposit for transportation/storage and there was 0 percent duty and VAT when imported. Our deposit was also refunded by the government a month later.

Graham McFarlane
Head of Global Electronic Special Gases
Linde Electronics


A long-term client partner, located in the northeast, relied on us to ship a full 53’ by rail to Laredo weekly, from where the freight would be sent on to a large auto manufacturing facility in Mexico. One week during a Texas rail shutdown, we had three of our client’s containers (filled with harnesses for seatbelts) caught in the back up, causing the auto manufacturer to threaten shutting down their lines at a cost of $2-4 million per hour. We were alerted to this on a Friday and jumped into action, working with local airports and airlines to secure a charter for 8 am Saturday morning. We arranged for a local courier in a pickup truck to deliver the small box to the airport at 8 am in time for the charter. We tracked the precious cargo all the way to delivery later that same afternoon in Mexico, ensuring the freight made it before the line went down, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

Erin Verranault
President
Capital Transportation Logistics, an Ascent Global Logistics Company


Helping a customer to streamline food transport to restaurants using strategic routing technology—ensuring fully stocked fridges for the busiest day of the year: Mother’s Day dinner with the family.

Kjartan Ouwerkerk
Manager of Education & Training for North America
Descartes Systems Group


Predicting the future—knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow or even eight weeks from now. Specifically, predicting “behaviors” like booking modification, cancellation, and rolls with over 90-percent accuracy—a problem that’s evaded the industry for decades.

Adam Compain
CEO
ClearMetal


The one we will solve tomorrow. Emerging technology, evolving consumer expectations, and shifting market conditions present new challenges and opportunities for us and the clients and carriers we work with. Providers must stay agile to remain relevant and successful.

Owen Schnaper
President
AFN Logistics


Companies are seeing packaging as a way to extend their brands and engage consumers. We’ve helped organizations across different verticals transform their packaging supply chain by consolidating their suppliers, reducing costs and creating consistent brand experiences through innovative packaging solutions.

Robert M. Testa
Vice President
RRD Supply Chain & Packaging Solutions


Working with shipping lines and terminal operators to digitally transform the stowage planning and execution process, which has remained unchanged for the last 30 years, using cloud technology—eliminating inefficiencies caused by siloed information systems and inconsistent data sharing.

Guy Rey-Herme
President
XVELA


Time wasted tracking container statuses and costly demurrage charges are major issues for companies shipping via ocean freight. Kuebix solved this issue with the visibility and predictive analytics available in our multi-tenant cloud transportation management system.

Dave Lemont
CEO
Kuebix


Have a great answer to a good question?

Be sure to participate next month. We want to know:

What would you put in a logistics time capsule for people to open 50 years from now? We'll publish some answers.

Tell us at editorial@inboundlogistics.com or tweet us @ILMagazine #ILgoodquestion






Visit Our Sponsors