Cross Docking: Definition, History, and Process

Cross Docking: Definition, History, and Process

Cross docking is a shipping method that transfers goods from one transportation mode to another to get them directly from the source to their destination. Cross docking is widely used in freight transportation because it helps reduce costs and storage space, among other benefits. This article covers cross docking definitions, history, types, methods, advantages, disadvantages, […]

Combatting the Chip Shortage with Cloud Adoption

Combatting the Chip Shortage with Cloud Adoption

As the economy grapples with the new normal of post-pandemic buyer behavior and businesses move forward, many industries continue to experience a demand surge that has overwhelmed the supply chain. Shortages of critical components such as semiconductor chips are at an all-time high for manufacturing, transportation, and logistics.

TEU: Definition, History, and Vessel Sizes

TEU: Definition, History, and Vessel Sizes

TEU, or a twenty foot equivalent unit, is the standard measure of container capacity on a ship. In other words, it tells you how many 20-foot-long containers can fit on particular container ships. TEU is important because it allows for easy comparison of vessel sizes.  For example, if one container ship has a capacity of […]

Freight Forwarding: Meaning, Stages, and Pros and Cons

Freight Forwarding: Meaning, Stages, and Pros and Cons

Supply chain management is an integral part of any company’s efficiency. Transporting goods from one place to another can be time-consuming and expensive. The process can be complex and challenging, but if you approach it correctly, it will go smoothly and leave lasting effects on your overall business. Many companies employ third-party logistics services to […]

Retail Warehousing: Definition, Types, and Benefits

Retail Warehousing: Definition, Types, and Benefits

Retail warehousing is an essential part of the supply chain, especially as businesses across the United States face a significant decline in storage capacities, according to the Wall Street Journal. E-commerce ventures are also on the rise, and these online retail shops need space to store, package, and brand their inventory to get it ready […]

Export Compliance: Definition, Controls, Penalties

Export Compliance: Definition, Controls, Penalties

Export compliance regulations are the rules, guidelines, and procedures that control how goods, services, and technology move across international borders. United States export controls are primarily governed and enforced by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC), and the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control […]

Intermodal vs. Transloading: Definitions and Process

Intermodal vs. Transloading: Definitions and Process

Intermodal and transloading are two methods of shipping products. They are similar, but understanding the difference between intermodal vs. transloading can help you choose the shipping method that works best for you logistically and financially. The key differences between transloading vs. intermodal are the methods of moving products. Intermodal is self-contained, while transloading physically moves […]

Warehousing Automation: DCs Level Up

Warehousing Automation: DCs Level Up

Now that achieving efficiency is more pressing—and more challenging—than ever, distribution center operators turn to flexible automation solutions to boost productivity and optimize space utilization.

Air Cargo Capacity Comes Back

Air Cargo Capacity Comes Back

For more than two years, demand for air cargo vastly exceeded supply. But now, at the end of 2022, air freight capacity is approaching pre-pandemic norms. What happens now?

Expedited Carriers Guide 2022

Expedited Carriers Guide 2022

With enterprises running just-in-time and e-commerce accelerating customer expectations, shipment speed is more urgent than ever. From managing time-sensitive medical shipments to meeting last-minute capacity needs, shippers seek fast services, at reasonable costs.

These carriers can answer your need for speed. Offering same-day and next-day options, ground expedite and air charter solutions, to name a few, the carriers on this list can handle tight timeframes, specialized equipment needs, and mission-critical shipments.

Devanning: Definition, Process, and Benefits

Devanning: Definition, Process, and Benefits

Devanning is a process of warehouse and logistics management that uses digital technology to systematically unload loose items and shipping containers from a vehicle’s load space.  Container devanning involves loading and unloading cargo using a sealed container and heavy-duty equipment like counterbalance forklifts to manage the entire operation.  When goods devan at the destination, companies […]

Customs Clearance: Meaning and Process

Customs Clearance: Meaning and Process

International trade can be complex and time-consuming, but it is crucial for businesses that import or export goods to understand one of the most critical steps in the process: customs clearance. Customs clearance is the procedure you must follow to legally import or export goods across international borders. The process can be daunting, but this […]

Capacity Planning: Meaning, Strategies, and Process

Capacity Planning: Meaning, Strategies, and Process

Capacity planning is an excellent way to increase corporate productivity. Capacity planning helps you identify potential areas for growth, which boosts investment returns, and maintains good employee morale. Planning your resource capacity is helpful when you manage several projects because it improves your chances of accomplishing them on schedule and within budget.  Using capacity-based planning […]

Reverse Logistics: All You Need to Know About What It Is

Reverse Logistics: All You Need to Know About What It Is

If you’re a retailer or e-commerce seller, you need to know about reverse logistics, also known as reverse logistics flow. Reverse logistics is a supply chain management system used to manage the return of products that were originally sent out with an order. Here’s what reverse logistics is, why it is essential, pros and cons, […]

Pumpkin Spice Pandemonium

Pumpkin Spice Pandemonium

Pumpkin spice mania is a fall tradition in the United States. Here’s how seasonality blended with limited supplies jacks up demand.

Business as Unusual

Business as Unusual

A new IBM survey of 1,500 chief supply chain officers (CSCOs) reveals that supply chain leaders have accepted their fate: Business will continue to be anything but typical for the immediate future. The main focus for CSCOs now is to prepare for what happens next.

Nearshoring Picks Up Steam

Nearshoring Picks Up Steam

All of the global supply chain snafus that have taken place over the past two years have caused many manufacturers to reexamine their supply chain and production networks. The question they all seem to be asking is: Should we bring production closer to consumption? A new report from Accenture indicates that answer is “yes.”

Acquiring Minds Want To Know

Acquiring Minds Want To Know

A new report by Barclays Corporate Banking finds that nearly half of all UK logistics businesses are likely to make an acquisition in the next 12 months as they look to expand operations and become more competitive—the highest figure recorded in the survey’s 10-year history.

Manufacturers Feel the Disruption Burden

Manufacturers Feel the Disruption Burden

Supply chain disruptions over the past 12-18 months—including shipping delays and parts shortages due to truck driver issues and congested ports—have heavily impacted manufacturers (see chart). That’s the consensus of Deloitte’s new study, Meeting the Challenge of Supply Chain Disruption, which was conducted in partnership with Manufacturers Alliance. (see chart). That’s the consensus of Deloitte’s new study, Meeting the Challenge of Supply Chain Disruption, which was conducted in partnership with Manufacturers Alliance.

How Macy’s Avoids Inventory Glut

How Macy’s Avoids Inventory Glut

Retailers across the country are struggling with inventory pileup due to 2021’s massive supply chain delays. Unloading these previous-season goods has become a top priority for the upcoming holiday and winter season. But Macy’s is singing a different tune: the retailer managed to avoid most of this inventory glut, and reported to the Wall Street Journal that more than half of its offerings for the holiday season will be new.

Intermodal vs. Multimodal: Definition and Advantages

Intermodal vs. Multimodal: Definition and Advantages

Shippers save money and time by choosing multimodal and intermodal transportation. While both methods use many transportation modes, they differ in who is responsible for your shipment. Even though it might be easier to work with just one shipping company, it is often more cost-effective to leverage the knowledge and services of more than one. […]

Freight Brokers Definition: What They Are and What They Do

Freight Brokers Definition: What They Are and What They Do

If you are a shipper, you know how crucial it is to ensure that your precious cargo moves safely between cities and countries worldwide. There is nothing as stressful as watching your goods get stuck at customs because you don’t have the proper paperwork, or worse, never making it to their destination due to bad […]

Winning in a Contract Market

Winning in a Contract Market

Freight market volatility keeps us on our toes, and we can expect that to continue. Many carriers are shifting their focus from spot to contract freight, which creates a fantastic opportunity for shippers to optimize their supply chain by adapting their carrier strategy. Here are some proven practices for doing so.

Four Tips to Strengthen Cybersecurity

Four Tips to Strengthen Cybersecurity

Supply chain problems continue to dominate headlines across the globe. In response, companies seek ways to increase visibility to help build more resilient supply chains. However, increasing the pace of digital transformation opens up an array of vulnerabilities that cybercriminals actively take advantage of. Shoring up cyber defenses is critical for logistics providers and shippers in particular, where a breach can have significant consequences.

Supply Chain Strain: How to Navigate Disruption

Supply Chain Strain: How to Navigate Disruption

Now that we’ve been in a pandemic for more than two years, it’s funny to look back at our optimism at the beginning. We expected brief supply chain interruptions and thought that things would be back to normal in a few short months. Then we realized it could drag on for a year or more. But almost three years?

Becoming a Demand-Driven Enterprise

Becoming a Demand-Driven Enterprise

The key to becoming more agile when responding to demand signals is overcoming data and decision-making siloes that impact your ability to deliver. Here are 10 ways you can start to optimize your operations to become more predictive and proactive.

Robots: Walmart Advances, Amazon Retreats

Robots: Walmart Advances, Amazon Retreats

When faced with anticipated fall-off in consumer purchases, Walmart leans into new robotic solutions. The retailer also re-tasks existing store infrastructure by attaching market fulfillment centers (MFCs)—compact warehouses inside, or tacked onto, retail stores to help fulfill pickup or delivery orders. It gets inventory closer to the customer and amps delivery velocity to serve consumers […]

Why You Should be Spending More on Your Pallets

Why You Should be Spending More on Your Pallets

Sometimes, finding a way to operate more efficiently forces a company to examine processes that haven’t changed for decades. Take the pallet. This simple, but crucial, item ensures stable loads and are essential to moving goods throughout the supply chain. They’re typically made of wood and are inexpensive—maybe about $15 per pallet. This may not seem cost prohibitive, but with up to 2 billion pallets in use in the U.S. alone, businesses must examine ways to reduce this cost without cutting corners.

On Manufacturing Pessimism

On Manufacturing Pessimism

“Given current economic trends, it’s understandable that manufacturers’ optimism is declining. Yet, increased demand offers some promising news. To keep up, business leaders should diversify their material suppliers and challenge logistics providers to find ways to tighten delivery times. And, to address employee shortages, companies must revisit their talent strategies and implement comprehensive recruitment and […]

Rail to the Rescue?

Rail to the Rescue?

When the supply chain turns volatile and the trucking market grows tough, can these alternatives to over-the-road transportation save the day?

What’s the Most Valuable Logistics Brand?

What’s the Most Valuable Logistics Brand?

The answer is UPS, according to the 2022 Brand Finance Logistics 25 report. With a brand value of $38.5 billion, UPS has held on to the top spot as the most valuable logistics brand in the world. Since last year’s report, the company’s brand value has increased by 28%.

Get Ready for the Hype

Get Ready for the Hype

Industry buzz usually surrounds the release of a new Gartner Hype Cycle, and the 2022 Hype Cycle for Supply Chain Strategy is no different. The annual findings detail important changes in which strategies, technology, and workflows are making an impact. Along the continuum are these categories: Innovation Trigger Peak of Inflated Expectations Trough of Disillusionment […]

Uncle Sam’s Infrastructure Spending, Explained

Uncle Sam’s Infrastructure Spending, Explained

With several key federal bills that bring dollars to logistics and transportation infrastructure passing recently, it can be hard to keep track of which funds are going where—and what it all means for supply chain and manufacturing professionals. Commercial real estate firm Savills breaks it down: Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act: Signed into law by […]

Against All Odds, Trade Going Strong

Against All Odds, Trade Going Strong

“Resilient” seems to be the key word to describe global trade today. Despite myriad challenges—the aftermath of the pandemic, inflation, the war in Ukraine, a rocky stock market—global trade is persisting at strong levels, according to the latest DHL Trade Growth Atlas, published by DHL and the NYU Stern School of Business. The report maps […]

Full Kitting: Process, Benefits, and Types

Full Kitting: Process, Benefits, and Types

Kitting is a beneficial process that brings together individual components for assembly. It’s an essential step in the manufacturing process where every component is gathered for assembly, saving time and money. Kitting processes take place before the assembly line, gathering the components that are used to make the complete product. However, kitting can mean different […]

Consignment Inventory: Definition, Advantages, and Disadvantages

Consignment Inventory: Definition, Advantages, and Disadvantages

Talk to any retailer and they will tell you without a doubt that there is a certain amount of risk that results from purchasing traditional inventory. This is because when retailers stock their products, they usually hope that they will sell enough to get a profit before their stock expires. However, this will not always […]

Keeping the Supply Chain Running in Ukraine

Keeping the Supply Chain Running in Ukraine

Since 2020, the business landscape has been full of crises for 3PLs operating in Europe. First a worldwide pandemic, now a war between Russia and Ukraine. Keeping a supply chain operating efficiently is challenging in the best of times, but how can companies best respond during game changing disruptions? Yuriy Ostapyak, a Ukrainian-born U.S. citizen and COO for Logistics Plus joined the Inbound Logistics podcast to discuss his company’s response to these challenges.

What is a Certificate of Compliance? Meaning, Requirements, Examples

What is a Certificate of Compliance? Meaning, Requirements, Examples

A certificate of compliance is a document that certifies that a product or system meets the requirements of a safety regulation or standard. It is typically used in shipping and logistics to ensure that products are safe for transport and meet the destination country’s requirements.  Certificate of compliance examples in logistics include documents such as […]

VERTICAL FOCUS: Agriculture/Bulk Agriculture Commodities

VERTICAL FOCUS: Agriculture/Bulk Agriculture Commodities

AG Outlook: Mixed Both clear skies and stormy weather are in the forecast for the agricultural sector. That’s the mixed-bag conclusion from a September 2022 panel discussion at the Ag Outlook Forum in Kansas City, Missouri. The panel of experts—including Kip Tom, former ambassador to the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization, and Daniel Whitley, administrator […]

Becoming a Successful Female Mentor in Male-Centric Industries

Becoming a Successful Female Mentor in Male-Centric Industries

Countless published articles talk about the importance and value of mentorship, and we heard many of these voices during Women’s History Month in March. Many of these articles strike home at the essence and reasons why mentorship is especially critical for professional women in the workforce.

The Future of the Supply Chain is Cloudy

The Future of the Supply Chain is Cloudy

We hear a lot about the cloud these days. The cloud (public or private) refers to software and services that run on the Internet instead of locally on your computer. There is a good chance that the majority of business data will eventually reside in the cloud.

You Can Add Value to Your Brand Through Last-Mile Delivery

You Can Add Value to Your Brand Through Last-Mile Delivery

Retailers in a post-COVID world know better than anyone that growing their business by diversifying what they offer is a surefire way to solidify customer loyalty. In today’s highly competitive retail environment, delivery as a brand extension is a critical differentiator.

Moving to a Cloud-First Strategy

Moving to a Cloud-First Strategy

The benefits of cloud computing are driving many companies to adopt a cloud-first strategy. System migrations can be complex and intimidating, but with some preparation, your transition can be straightforward. Here’s how to start your cloud journey.

Anne Meyrose: Filling the Gap

Anne Meyrose: Filling the Gap

Anne Meyrose is vice president, logistics control tower with Gap Inc., the apparel company behind the Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, and Old Navy brands.

Tackling Trucking Turnover

Tackling Trucking Turnover

Conventional wisdom says that the trucking industry suffers from a driver shortage; however, the real issue might not be a lack of drivers willing to take the job, but rather those who stick with it. Low pay, long hours, compliance concerns, out-of-pocket expenses, and parking scarcity can combine to lead established drivers to say enough is enough and look for new job opportunities.

Top 12 Importing Do’s and Don’ts

Top 12 Importing Do’s and Don’ts

To operate a supply chain that meets today’s global logistics challenges, importers need to rethink some approaches. These 12 strategies can be key components of a comprehensive plan.

Energizing Site Selection

Energizing Site Selection

What sparks site selection decisions? From strategic locations to tax incentives to organizations that develop custom solutions, these factors juice the site selection process.

What Is Intermodal Transportation? History, Benefits, Examples

What Is Intermodal Transportation? History, Benefits, Examples

Intermodal transportation is not as mysterious or complicated as the name would have it sound. It simply means transporting one set of goods in a steel container using two or more modes of transportation, such as rail and truck. Rail and trucks are not the only means of transit that intermodal utilizes.  Intermodal falls into […]

Why IoT is Not the Answer

Why IoT is Not the Answer

Global supply chain disruption is not caused by a lack of data—more than 10 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices deployed worldwide add more data every second to already overflowing data stores, yet disruption persists. More IoT is not the answer. The real challenge is creating effective connections between numerous stakeholders performing a range of functions, across multiple enterprise platforms and in different jurisdictions.

Blanket Purchase Order: Definition, Benefits, and When to Use

Blanket Purchase Order: Definition, Benefits, and When to Use

A Blanket Purchase Order is a legally binding agreement between you, a buyer, and a supplier who has come to a long-term deal to deliver goods or services for a specified period. But what does that actually mean? What are the benefits of using this kind of agreement? And when is a good time to […]

What is FOB Destination? Meaning, Terms, Who Pays?

What is FOB Destination? Meaning, Terms, Who Pays?

If you’re in the shipping industry, you need to be familiar with the shipping term FOB destination and all it implies. FOB is an acronym that means “free on board,” so FOB destination means free on board destination.   What is FOB Destination The term “FOB” is used in international and freight shipping. Shipping contracts and […]

Materials Management: Definition, Process, Benefits

Materials Management: Definition, Process, Benefits

Materials management is an aspect of supply chain management and planning. The primary purpose of materials management is to ensure that manufacturers have all the raw materials they need to make goods. Materials management also focuses on ensuring that no components are wasted and optimizing  inventory maintenance and management. While materials management requires understanding what […]

Global Cold Chain Outlook: Cold Is Hot

Global Cold Chain Outlook: Cold Is Hot

The global cold chain market is a bright spot in the perishables business landscape. It was valued at $253 billion in 2021, and is projected to reach $437 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 8.1%, according to a SkyQuest Technology Consulting report.

WMS Guide 2022

WMS Guide 2022

This short list of leading WMS solutions can help your enterprise react agilely and quickly to meet today’s new customer demands.

Inflation Innovation Stagnation

Inflation Innovation Stagnation

Achieving demand-driven enterprise status would have been impossible without the innovative technology-driven processes brought to bear on how we source, ship, and fulfill product, all while meeting evolving customer needs and demands.

Ensuring a Sustainable Supply Chain

Ensuring a Sustainable Supply Chain

The Ukraine conflict, COVID-19, and rising inflation have drawn attention to the fragility of global supply chains. With all eyes on logistics, operations leaders have additional reason to examine supply chains from the ground up. Here’s how to start.

5 Ways to Prepare for Supply Chain Disruptions

5 Ways to Prepare for Supply Chain Disruptions

If we’ve learned anything during the past two years, it has been about market disruptions—even to the point of the disruptions being disrupted. While accurate crystal balls are tough to come by, let’s explore five trends and how they may provide clues to solve for continued supply chain disruptions. 1. DEMAND FOR LARGE ITEMS WILL […]

Building Industry-Focused Solutions

Building Industry-Focused Solutions

Based on the magnitude of challenges that industries face, we need something that incorporates innovation and takes us from just-in-time to just-in-case strategies. It’s time for supply chain reimagination.

2022 Top 100 Truckers

2022 Top 100 Truckers

Find Trucking Solutions In today’s challenging and volatile business climate, it’s more important than ever to find carrier partners that best fuel your diverse and demanding needs. Inbound Logistics’ annual Top 100 Truckers list helps you find them. More than 200 trucking companies submitted their credentials to be considered for the list. IL editors evaluated […]

Top 5 Mistakes in Transportation RFPs

Top 5 Mistakes in Transportation RFPs

Executing a smart request-for-proposal (RFP) strategy enables shippers to manage costs, increase service levels, and meet capacity needs. Here’s what to avoid: Shippers can mitigate risk and successfully manage capacity needs by avoiding the most common pitfalls. 1. Unclear Carrier Strategy Instead of sending every lane to bid or rolling every lane over to your […]