Warehouse operations no longer allow for “business as usual” practices. New initiatives and strategic investments in capital improvements will lead to greater returns in productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction. Investing in the latest materials handling equipment, WMS technology, and physical building improvements will result in a fully integrated distribution center.
For shipping and receiving, there are three types of pallet programs: single-use or one-way, extended-use or buy/sell, and leasing or rental. Hillary Femal of IFCO Systems describes the uses and benefits of each type.
Online haberdasher Bonobos relies on its third-party fulfillment partner, Quiet Logistics, which operates warehousing facilities with Kiva's robotics materials handling solution.
Good data assists fleet managers in budgeting short- and long-term costs, determining correct fleet size, and evaluating whether to lease or buy new equipment. Use these tips to get the most out lift truck fleet data.
Sustainability and cost savings are driving shippers to reduce packaging waste.
Getting your company’s green initiatives off the ground isn’t always easy, but these five tips will help your program grow.
Work with a team of service providers to get a new retail distribution center up and running in only six months? We should all be so lucky.
Terri Anderson, production warehouse management systems analyst at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, configures, enhances, and tests the company's WMS by the book.
Companies are breaking through functional silos to initiate sweeping sustainability mandates.
These seven non-traditional forms of waste can have a direct impact on your bottom line.
Finding a common ground between cost and corporate social responsibility remains a challenging proposition – unless organizations nurture a culture of sustainability.
These supply chain, logistics, and transportation companies lead the way in supporting sustainability.
When Ocean Spray wanted to reduce its carbon footprint, they found the answers they were looking for from an MBA student.
Proper safety measures can reduce costs, injuries, and down time caused by forklift impacts.
Choosing the right pallet unlocks myriad benefits from improved process efficiency to cost savings and sustainability.
Cloud computing, omnichannel management, and big data are the questions. Can your warehouse supply the answers?
Judi Griffin, director of logistics at Burkhart Dental, is responsible for three distribution centers, purchasing and customer service teams, and inbound and outbound freight costs.
Inbound Logistics’ annual Logistics Technology Perspectives offers market research to help IT buyers and users make better sense of what’s going on in the industry. And, the Top 100 Logistics Technology Providers list celebrates best-in-class innovators that are helping shippers revolutionize their supply chains.
To increase fulfillment efficiency and order picking accuracy, eBay Enterprise gives its warehouse a voice.
It is essential to have damage prevention measures in place for racking systems to avoid employee injury and minimize loss.
New software helps warehouse operators keep up with the real-time demands of omni-channel fulfillment.
Here are 10 common packaging errors and how to overcome them.
Debunking these five myths helps retailers and manufacturers see the real value of dedicated returns management.
Eelco de Graaf, vice president, supply chain operations at Lewis-Goetz and Company, is responsible for purchasing, shipping, manufacturing, and operational excellence.
Six Sigma helps electronic products company Jabil run like a lean, green manufacturing machine.
Managers must carefully consider all factors of their operation before selecting a new bar-coding system.
Five common misconceptions about LED lighting in industrial and hazardous facilities.
Debunking these five myths helps retailers and manufacturers see the real value of dedicated returns management.
Five key questions to ask a software vendor to make sure they are the right fit for your operation.
Retailers try to head off peak season surprises by beginning their Christmas lists in the spring.
A modular warehouse control system can help smaller operations keep up with larger competitors.
State of Logistics Report predicts moderate growth for freight industry in 2014; freight brokerage M&A shakes up industry; FMCSA extends comment period for ELD rulemaking; Online consumers willing to pay more for sustainable delivery options; Shippers register growing discontent with parcel carriers and trucking companies; University of Kansas MSB program prepares active-duty military for private sector roles
CeMAT 2014 showcases the latest materials handling innovations; Alibaba buys stake in Singapore Post; Paris looks to reduce city speed limits; Canadian rail industry begins phasing out DOT-111 tankers amid crude-by-rail boom; EU and China sign Customs agreement; Chinese food imports continue to grow; Nigeria looks to resurrect defunct national steamship line; Latin America is the world’s fastest growing market for software; Maersk Line voice support for Nicaragua Canal proposal.
Partnering with an expert can help retailers ensure they comply with hazardous waste regulations.
New federal emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks may prompt fleet operators to invest in new equipment.
An integrated warehouse management system improves data flow, efficiency, and accuracy, reducing operational costs.
Bar-code reading errors slowed Champion Tire and Wheel’s operation; a new laser scanner got the company back on track.
Create your WMS RFP with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of potential suppliers.
New forklift-based technologies can positively impact safety goals in your facility.
Warehouse technology that supports communication and data analysis improves efficiency and reduces waste.
Innovation in forklift design has reduced overall warehouse and DC footprints and increased throughput.
These supply chain, logistics, and transportation companies lead the way in supporting sustainability.
Voice-directed technology can help improve worker safety and reduce employee-training time, yet some companies avoid them because of these five common misconceptions.
TOTO’s sustainability commitment covers its entire supply chain; Congestion on U.S. roadways costs the trucking industry $9.2 billion, 141 million hours of lost productivity; US tabbed “rising star,” ranks second to China for manufacturing competitiveness; Supply chain strategy and business strategy integration is key to cost reduction and customer service; Amazon explores last-mile delivery network
Companies planning new distribution centers or warehouses weigh process data to choose materials handling equipment.
Pallets are a vital piece of warehouse equipment for storing and moving products.
New lift trucks feature device mounts, rugged tablets, digital controls, hydrogen fuel cells and auto guided navigation.
Partnering with third-party logistics providers offers shippers numerous advantages for stronger supply chains.
Hunter Harrison documents the culture change that has contributed to Canadian Pacific’s rail renaissance; Global companies more concerned about climate risk than emissions reductions; Deadline for new ISO17712:2013 high-security seal standards is fast approaching; Lack of collaboration between supply chain and finance hurts the bottom line
Big data gathered by materials handling equipment helps warehouse managers improve productivity and safety.
Follow these steps to choose a warehouse management system to improve fulfillment operations and inventory visibility.
Chris Halkyard, chief supply chain officer for e-commerce site Gilt, discusses managing flash sale logistics.
Supply chains must develop strategies for reducing risk related to climate change, such as drought and extreme weather.
Retailer DSW's new replenishment materials handling solution improves inventory control and reduces in-store markdowns.
Actionable tips help you revitalize your warehousing, 3PL, trucking, and global logistics operations.
Leading food manufacturers and producers make sustainability best practices part of their supply chains.
The right pick-to-light system can help increase productivity, improve accuracy, and increase picking speeds.
Ocean shipping lines have made significant progress to optimize operations, leading to reduced costs and environmental impact.
Aviation climate emissions agreement signals major progress; Latin American economic growth expected to accelerate despite hinterland connectivity issues; IMO’s container weight verification amendment irks some shipper advocates; Rolls-Royce developing hybrid wind-powered ship; Spain and Portugal seek rail freight harmonies
SmartWay data allows shippers and 3PLs to make business decisions that support their sustainability goals.
Reducing warehouse energy and water consumption helps companies improve their bottom line and bring value to customers.
Trends could transform logistics operations, particularly in emerging markets, creating more sustainable supply chains.
Natural gas fuel can help the trucking industry reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but only if gas leaks are minimized.
Demand-driven logistics practices are a perfect focal point to integrate green strategies with Lean methodologies.
Sustainability best practices are integral to Walmart's supply chain operations.
Inbound Logistics' 75 Green Supply Chain Partners (G75) highlights sustainability leaders in the logistics and transportation sector.
Decisions about buying pallets or leasing pallets require shippers to think strategically to acquire the best option for their operation.
Changing consumer expectations and demand for greater efficiency, economy, and productivity present new twists and turns in warehouse automation.
Technology management can affect warehouse operations’ connectivity during and after a power outage. Whether the facility’s warehouse management system (WMS) is installed on-site, delivered via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) program, or hosted in the cloud can have a huge impact on maintaining productivity, writes John Sterling of Foxfire Software.
By switching to lighter-weight containers and consolidating inbound shipments, construction equipment manufacturer Caterpillar cut both carbon emissions and costs.
Directing motor carriers to more fuel-efficient decisions drives Jason Mathers, senior manager, corporate partnerships at the Environmental Defense Fund.
While it promises supply chain sustainability gains, using compressed natural gas as a transportation fuel requires multi-step capital and operating considerations, writes Casey Whelan of U.S. Energy Services.
Benetton follows apparel trend and detoxes supply chain; Apple CEO Tim Cook proves demand forecasting is best left to experts; Wisconsin public-private partnerships invest in rail; Amazon and Texas settle sales tax dispute, move forward; The Alaskan Brewing Company uses spent grain as new energy source.
Peruvian supermarket chain drives DC network realignment with a new cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) warehouse management system (WMS).
Close-out retailer Tuesday Morning implemented Interlink’s WHSe-LINK warehouse management system to receive, store, and allocate its daily inbound shipments of unique SKUs.
An average distribution center generates or handles anywhere from 100 to 1,000 tons of solid waste each year that could be reduced, reused, or recycled. Emily P. Davis of Exel/DHL Supply Chain Americas outlines five keys for helping waste management and other sustainability programs succeed.
The materials handling landscape is shifting to accommodate traditional brick-and-mortar and Internet retailers’ changing needs.
Many companies are considering ways to improve fleet fuel efficiency and establish sustainability standards they can measure, then improve upon.
By collaboratively engaging with their supplier networks, companies can mitigate their greenhouse gas emissions and improve supplier relationships while achieving greater efficiency and cost reductions, writes Gary Hanifan of Accenture.
Savvy distribution and supply chain managers should be looking at sortation and its related disciplines as a means of addressing problems and achieving savings, writes Jay Moris of Invata Intralogistics.
Protective reusable dunnage can take the place of single- or limited-use corrugated or wood filler to move pallets and products securely in an environmentally conscious manner, writes Paul Fitzgerald of Paylode Cargo Protection Systems.
Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) can be an efficient materials handling option for warehouses and distribution centers, but they are not right for every facility. Norm Saenz, senior vice president and principal, TranSystems Corporation, offers advice on deciding if AS/RS is right for your facility.
Product lifecycle assessment (LCA) can reveal opportunities to cut costs, gain efficiencies, and improve sustainability and carbon footprint, writes Sara Pax, Bluehorse Associates.
Advancements in lift truck technology give distribution center and warehouse managers flexibility in using their forklift fleets.
Pharmaceutical manufacturer Catalent upgraded its Philadelphia packaging center’s high-bay warehouse with an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) served by three aisle-changing stacker cranes developed by LTW Intralogistics.
Fueled by cost reductions and efficiency gains, supply chain sustainability initiatives retain their heat.
Walmart's green initiatives keep the retailer's supply chain lean and efficient, writes Inbound Logistics Publisher Keith Biondo.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) powered vehicles have gained visibility as leading-edge companies are transitioning to fleets that use this alternative fuel source, writes Cliff Otto, Saddle Creek.
With production already at capacity and limited room for expansion, visual technologies manufacturer Christie installed two Shuttle Vertical Lift Module (VLM) storage and retrieval systems from Kardex Remstar – recovering 70 percent floor space, doubling capacity, and cutting labor requirements in half.
Applying lean principles to materials handling equipment purchases and configurations helps companies cut costs, writes Robert Arndt, Ryder Supply Chain Solutions.
Achieving LEED certification begins with choosing energy-efficient lighting, using space to promote energy savings, and building with sustainable and recycled materials. Thomas Taylor of Vertegy offers more tips for getting your building LEED certified.
Many shippers are looking to replace fossil-fuel based packaging materials with something more sustainable. But they must do their homework to find the best – and greenest – fit.
Risk management top priority for consumer companies; North Carolina Global Logistics Center brings together four community colleges in Piedmont Triad; Nissan develops green ship to transport electric cars; Defense Logistics Agency explores use of DNA technology to combat counterfeit parts; Deutsche Post DHL looks into the future of the global supply chain
Thanks to e-commerce, many distribution centers are now fulfilling a greater number of smaller orders – rendering conventional materials handling automation systems somewhat outdated. Is flexible automation the next frontier?
While some organizations and industries may have operations that naturally lend themselves to sustainability efforts, all companies should be empowered to review their shipping and supply chain operations through the lens of sustainability.
Deploying a warehouse management system (WMS) on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) basis allowed online retailer PetFlow.com to manage its own fulfillment operations without a large capital investment.
Optimizing packaging, streamlining transportation, and maximizing space usage are among the ways businesses can boost their supply chain sustainability, writes Alan Amling of UPS.
Shipping and logistics professionals facing stricter emissions regulations and rising diesel prices will have an opportunity to take control of their fleets and realize the fuel and cost savings selective catalytic reduction brings, writes Chad Dombroski of Yara North America.
Inbound Logistics Editor Felecia Stratton questions whether the green consumer phenomenon is a fad – and what it means for supply chain and logistics sustainability initiatives.
Green reverse logistics strategies to reuse, refurbish, and recycle products and raw materials not only benefit the environment, but also save money and increase profits.
When looking for environmental sustainability solutions, which ground transport mode -- truck or rail -- is greener?
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.
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.
Peter Hartman of Retrotech offers strategies for optimizing product flow through warehouse automation to achieve better order fulfillment performance.
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.
The wind power industry blows gusts of opportunity for project sites, equipment manufacturers, and specialty transportation providers.
Here are five areas where supply chain executives can find additional return on investment opportunities from their Warehouse Management Systems (WMS).
Sustainability efforts can help companies grow more efficient supply chains.
Warehouse automation allows distribution centers to take a hands-off approach.
Optimizing materials handling equipment and processes in the warehouse impacts the entire supply chain.
Industrial property developers are cultivating greener distribution facilities and nurturing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards compliance. The bounty? A harvest of benefits for their tenants.
Businesses worldwide need to take collective and collaborative responsibility for making supply chain sustainability a reality.
Heineken implements inland barge distribution in Europe; CMA CGM, MSC, and Maersk Line partner to fight piracy; PepsiCo UK and Ireland help farm suppliers cut carbon emissions and water usage; New Dubai Logistics Corridor facilitates UAE trade; Japanese economy shows signs of rebound; Taiwan launches project to improve logistics performance.
Is there a war on trucking? CSA 2010, cap and trade, and Hours of Service changes are challenging the ability of truckers to operate profitably in America, says Inbound Logistics Publisher Keith Biondo
Using colors, shapes, numbers, and mnemonics in warehouse signage can help reduce training and picking errors, while improving service.
Mexico Taxes U.S. Imports, Audi's carbon friendly cars and carbon friendly transportation, Australia labors over transportation expansion, UPS opens health care logistics hubs in Singapore and China, U.S. football imports from China
News briefs: U.S. Ports Dig Panama Gold, Reducing the Carton Footprint, SaaS to the Rescue, BNSF Brings Shortlines On Line, Truckers Tackle Credit Crunch
Gulf ports maintain container volumes despite Deepwater Horizon oil spill; Supply chain leaders climb the corporate ladder; Toyota Material Handling engineers work with MIT scientists and the U.S. Army to develop a remote-operated fork lift
A voice-enabled picking system keeps ice cream company Dreyer's Edy's workers productive and equipment functioning in sub-zero environments.
Labor management tools can help you determine if your workforce is performing at the level necessary to deliver cost-effective service to customers.
Government, industry, and consumers are creating new standards for supply chain sustainability excellence.
Global shoe retailer ALDO implements a high-stepping, end-to-end inventory and distribution system.
Patagonia and Walmart grow green together; 3PLs make sustainability a priority
Serious challenges balance the benefits of embracing sustainability efforts, writes Inbound Logistics Publisher Keith Biondo.
Fuel-optimized forklifts? Check. Energy-efficient light bulbs? Check. Here's your cheat-sheet for warehouse sustainability efforts, courtesy of Rajiv Saxena of APL Logistics.
Green packaging strategies can reduce cargo emissions, conserve resources, cut transport costs, and enhance your brand's reputation; Bill Armstrong of Sealed Air Corporation and Arnold Barlow of UPS explain how to apply them.
For the aftermarket auto parts business, where materials handling is as important to the bottom line as execution, planning begins with implementing a Web-based warehouse and inventory management system, writes Jim Burleigh of SmartTurn.
Managers should identify and focus on the most useful warehouse metrics to gather, report, and apply, writes Eric Allais of PathGuide Technologies.
Smart companies carefully select and intelligently apply automation not only to boost productivity, but also to turn the distribution center into a competitive weapon, writes Mick Mountz of Kiva Systems Inc.
Acquiring a warehouse and implementing a warehouse management system from Cambar Solutions helped The School Box earn top grades for its distribution operation.
Companies that combine the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra with the supply chain wisdom of managing costs and stamping out inefficiencies are developing reverse supply chains that help the Earth, the customer, and the bottom line.