Mike Glodziak

5 Ways to Improve and Optimize Driver Retention

COVID tightened up the supply chain with shortages of medical supplies, computer chips, consumer products, and household goods. Not only has demand increased relative to supply, but employee and customer satisfaction continue to be on the decline.

Wave of the Future: 5 Maritime Shipping Trends

From the time sea captains relied solely on celestial navigation to the smart ports of today, technology has continuously changed the shipping industry. Here are some of the biggest trends in maritime shipping to scope out, says a Thomasnet.com report: 1. Autonomous Ships In 2022, the U.S. Navy took over the Pentagon’s ghost fleet system, […]

IN BRIEF: New Services & Solutions

Services Gebruder Weiss opened a 65,900-square-foot warehouse in Conyers, Georgia. The new facility provides businesses with storage, pick and pack, retailer compliance capabilities, e-commerce solutions, and value-added services such as kitting. Companies will have rail-served distribution warehouse space in Q4 2022 with a new 393,680-square-foot warehouse located in Bloomingdale, Georgia, just off Exit 148 on […]

Vertical Focus: Luxury Goods

Vertical Focus: Luxury Goods

Shedding Animal Materials Fur Good Dolce & Gabbana joins several other luxury fashion brands in banning fur from all future collections starting in 2022. It will continue to work with fur artisans in its supply chain to incorporate into its designs sustainable faux fur made from recycled materials, the fashion house says. The company has […]

Ready to Live on the Edge?

Driven by evolving communications networks, such as 5G, 25% of supply chain decisions will be made across intelligent edge ecosystems by 2025, a Gartner report predicts. Edge ecosystems transform operations by bringing decision-making close to the original source of information. They help bring data processing, communications, and storage together to create even workflows and streamline […]

Direct-to-Consumer Gets Trendy

Direct-to-Consumer Gets Trendy

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) e-commerce has changed the way people shop for everything from razors to sofas, to the point where retailers with more traditional supply chains are catching on. New e-commerce brands and traditional retailers alike can follow these five DTC trends in 2022 to stay competitive, says a Forbes report: 1. Traditional retailers go DTC. […]

Top Supply Chain Disruptions in 2021

Supply chain disruptions increased 88% year over year in 2021, says data released by risk management platform Resilinc, with disruptions related to supply shortages increasing 452%, the largest increase across all event types. Although human health disruptions fell 68% year over year, 2021 saw the most factory fires ever recorded in a single year. The […]

Global Shipping Costs Break Records

Today’s disruptions are even more significant than those during the financial crisis of 2008, says the Thomas Index Report. Prices for ocean freight shifted more than 72 percentage points over the course of the pandemic starting in 2020 to a peak in Q3 2021, when prices were more than 50% higher than average container shipping […]

The Year of Capacity

The Year of Capacity

All signs indicate that 2022 will be the year of capacity—not just for air, ocean, ground, and final-mile parcel, but also in terms of labor and the customer experience, SEKO executives stressed in a media call discussing Chinese New Year’s impact on the supply chain. Delays are simply routine now, and have steadily increased on […]

Joey Rubinstein

Retail Inventory: Old Method, New Tricks

Toshifumi Suzuki led 7-Eleven Japan’s spectacular rise from small licensee to the highest-grossing retailer in Japan. At the heart of his strategy was a simple management framework called Tanpin Kanri. The idea is simple: Take an active, rather than reactive, approach to restocking shelves.

18 Quick Tips For 2022

18 Quick Tips For 2022

Looks like 2022 will be fraught with many of the same challenges as last year. But IL has your back. We collected 18 tips from our audience—the leaders in logistics—to help you navigate with certainty.

2022 Top 100 Logistics IT Providers

Each year, Inbound Logistics curates the coveted list of the Top 100 Logistics IT Providers, recognizing the best logistics solution providers and logistic software innovators. Our editors meticulously evaluate capabilities, drawing insights from submitted questionnaires and various sources to handpick 100 technology providers. These cutting-edge solutions are tailored to tackle the intricate supply chain challenges […]

3PL Partnership Turns Up the Heat

3PL Partnership Turns Up the Heat

BBQGrills.com, which offers premium grilling and outdoor kitchen products, launched in 2019 and quickly found a ready market. While its growth was largely a benefit, it also meant the company soon needed additional support in various functions, including transportation.

Evan Quasney

Evaluate Risk Before Critical Decisions

Disruption across global supply chains has always been present, but the ongoing pandemic has magnified the risks supply chain leaders face, while simultaneously limiting response options in an already high-pressure environment.

Where Do Consumer Loyalties Lie?

With 72% of consumers saying they will continue buying online via pickup or delivery, retailers need adequate local shipping processes as well as speedy delivery, says a recent report from SOTI. Highlights from the survey reveal: Shipping experience influences consumers’ purchase decisions: 56% of consumers find shipping time the most frustrating aspect of ordering goods […]

FedEx Aims for Anti-Missile Lasers

FedEx Aims for Anti-Missile Lasers

In a new move for a carrier, FedEx has requested permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to equip a fleet of its Airbus A321-200 aircraft with an anti-missile laser system that disrupts heat-seeking missile tracking. FedEx referenced prior incidents in which attackers used portable air defense systems against civilian aircraft, such as Iran shooting down […]

I, Robotics

I, Robotics

Productivity and employee job satisfaction are on the rise at Integrated Supply Network (ISN), an independent automotive tool and equipment specialist serving wholesalers and distributors throughout North America and Europe. Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) have rapidly become useful additions at the ISN distribution centers where they’ve been deployed.

Keith Biondo

Bullwhip or Just Bull?

Are shipping lines pricing themselves out of business? Blame the bullwhip effect, a distribution channel phenomenon in which demand forecasts yield increasing swings in inventory. Let’s take that idea a bit further. Financial pressures on publicly traded companies drive short-term policies that please The Street analysts to satisfy investor expectations. Yielding to those pressures sometimes […]

7 Biggest Robotics Predictions for 2022

7 Biggest Robotics Predictions for 2022

In the past five years, robots have moved from a developing technology to an indispensable tool for many businesses. With their ability to predict market change or supply chain disruptions, automation programs are increasingly adopted across many industries, says a report from software company Meili Robots. This will continue to change the way business is […]

Get into Outsourcing

Logistics outsourcing to third-party logistics (3PL) providers has been on the rise, and it won’t likely slow anytime soon, says a recent Gartner survey, with 66% of logistics leaders increasing their outsourcing budget in 2021 and 74% set to increase their budgets in the next two years. At the same time, nearly two-thirds of logistics […]

4 Trends for 3PLs in 2022

4 Trends for 3PLs in 2022

Order volumes grew for 79% of third-party logistics (3PL) providers in 2021, but that growth was tempered by inventory availability and disruptions that cost the U.S. economy $228 billion, says a report from 3PL Central. Disruptions, technology innovations, and consumer demands will persist in 2022. These are the four key trends impacting 3PLs in the […]

Toughest Job in the C-Suite

Although executives who dream up new products, market expansions, or patents typically get all the praise, the pandemic and its disruptions have made getting items to shoppers a more complex and crucial task, says a Fortune report. The fluctuating demand for consumer goods and ships idling in major West Coast ports have only added to […]

Port Everglades Sails Ahead

Port Everglades Sails Ahead

Port Everglades has broken several records in its cargo operations as the cargo trade rebounds. It recently welcomed Mediterranean Shipping Company’s Kotor Bay (pictured), the largest container ship ever to call on the South Florida port. Kotor Bay has a container handling capacity of 8,566 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), carrying a variety of cargo from […]

No Congestion Relief in Sight

No Congestion Relief in Sight

It’s shaping up to be another congested year for global supply chains as the ongoing pandemic keeps consumers from spending on services versus goods, exacerbating resource shortages and delays. Logistics services providers must view this as a longer-term situation and plan accordingly, says a recent report from Descartes Systems Group. U.S. ocean container import volumes […]

State of the North American Supply Chain

Most shippers responding to a survey by Averitt Express expect more delays, increased shipping volumes, and higher transport rates in 2022. Findings from the report reveal: 76% of shippers anticipate increased shipping volumes in 2022, the highest percentage recorded in the survey’s seven-year history. 37% struggled with capacity challenges within their supply chain in 2021 […]

Jeffrey G. Tucker

National Security Starts With Individual Manufacturers

Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies like pharmaceutical ingredients and materials used in key technologies during the earliest days of the pandemic prompted the Biden-Harris Administration in 2021 to outline steps strengthening critical supply chains. It’s a long-overdue move that to some transportation experts may not go far enough in protecting national security.

Vertical Focus: Consumer Packaged Goods

Vertical Focus: Consumer Packaged Goods

Green Things Come in Small Packages The Sustainability Consortium, a global nonprofit focused on transforming the consumer goods industry, formed a new recycling coalition to address small-format packaging, which is commonly used in cosmetics and food supply chains. Small-format packaging consists of items such as beverage bottle caps, lip balms, travel-size shampoo bottles, and other […]

Selecting a TMS

Given the large number of options available, it is critical to determine the best transportation management system (TMS) based on your operation’s unique needs. The goal is to maximize potential before making a decision.

Shippers Stock Up

Shippers Stock Up

As the pandemic continues to impact supply chains, retailers go shopping for third-party logistics providers to gain end-to-end control.

It’s a Small World

It’s a Small World

With a goal to get Wiliot’s products to customers around the world and make a big impact on them, Tony Small learned that you can usually move faster than you think possible.

Finding a Home for Holiday Returns

Finding a Home for Holiday Returns

Record retail sales, including a growing share of online purchases (see chart), mean that more returns than ever are flooding warehouses. U.S. holiday retail sales were up 8.5% compared to 2020, says data from Mastercard, and 66% of consumers will likely return at least one gift. At 18%, the e-commerce return rate is almost twice […]

TMS Keeps the Presses Running

TMS Keeps the Presses Running

OVOL USA is one of the world’s largest suppliers of paper, pulp, and specialty substrates. Eric Krizay, the company’s vice president of corporate logistics, had been searching for a transportation management system (TMS) that would meet the unique needs of all the company’s divisions. At the same time, he needed a solution that was straightforward to implement and use.

NOTED: The Supply Chain In Brief

NOTED: The Supply Chain In Brief

Green Seeds Container shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2040, one decade earlier than previously announced, as shipper demand for green transportation rises. The target now covers not only the company’s vessels, but its entire business, including indirect emissions. A.P. Moller-Maersk has ordered 12 vessels that run on carbon-neutral methanol […]

Bruce Orcutt

Digital Transformation: The Experience is King

A survey among supply chain leaders reveals that two-thirds of staff struggle to find the information they need to do their job. Alarmingly, 73% waste up to eight hours each week just trying to find data—leading to delays (46%), errors (28%), and bad customer experience (24%).

Drained Lithium Batteries Get a Life

Drained Lithium Batteries Get a Life

A team of scientists from the Department of Energy and Stanford found a way to revive dead lithium-ion batteries, extending their battery life up to 30%. The lithium-ion batteries found in most modern electric vehicles (EVs) tend to lose energy capacity as they get charged, spent, and re-charged. That happens because small bits of lithium […]

Dan Boaz

Expedited Shipping Can Save Money

As shipping delays and supply chain issues pile up across the country, more businesses struggle to ship and receive products on time. When companies fail to meet important deadlines, the results can be costly, leading to the loss of valuable customers and vendors.

Winter Reading Guide 2022

Winter Reading Guide 2022

Get cozy and boost your logistics knowledge. These latest resources cover everything from textile supply chain tactics to strategies for dominating in the digital age.

What is the biggest supply chain lesson you learned from the past two years?

The fragility or brittleness of a global marketplace so deeply dependent on just-in-time inventory. Any event, whether a pandemic, hurricane, or a container ship stuck in the Suez Canal, creates immediate disarray. In response, retailers have reverted to “just-in-case” practices, building up large safety stocks. It has become a choice between risking a stock-out or keeping costly excessive inventory. Where is the balance?

What’s The Word? The Language of Logistics

Upstream vs. Downstream Some organizations divide the supply chain into two parts to simplify management: upstream and downstream. The upstream supply chain includes all activities related to the organization’s suppliers, which source raw material inputs to send to the manufacturer. The downstream supply chain refers to activities post-manufacturing, namely distributing the product to the final […]

Jay Ganapathy

Is the Dynamic Unified Logical Data Model the Silver Bullet for Disruptions?

Q. Enterprises that are transforming their supply chain are slow to change. What roadblocks are impeding their efforts? A. Our supply chains of today were designed decades ago to achieve data uniformity across the supply chain ecosystems and not to deal with unwarranted supply chain disruptions. All SCM apps are designed for specific business functions […]

Retailers Brush Up on Returns

Retailers Brush Up on Returns

With increased e-commerce adoption, returns are set to grow exponentially in 2022 and beyond, says a recent report from Incisiv, and retailers’ digital experience plays a big part in both reducing returns and making the return experience seamless. Retailers can achieve significant savings and enhanced customer satisfaction if they look at returns as an integral […]

Most Read Logistics Articles of 2021

Cold Chain Innovations: Keep Your Cool DECEMBER 2021 Items that need to stay cool range from large containerloads of fish to vaccines, and each requires special techniques. Here’s how shippers stay chill. bit.ly/ColdChainInnovations Air Cargo Today: Buckle Up! NOVEMBER 2021 Despite tight capacity and rising rates, air cargo has become an even more critical part […]

Why Should Distributors Move to the Cloud in 2022?

Many distributors are pondering the question: To cloud or not to cloud? Is the disruption of moving my ERP and other tools worth the benefits and rewards? As we look back at the past few years, it is not difficult to find compelling reasons why a cloud move is beneficial. Let’s look at some of […]

Gregg Healy

Is There an End to Amazon’s Impact?

The absorption of industrial real estate is setting all-time highs as consumer demand, with COVID-19 as its catalyst, has shifted to a greater dependency on consumers having products shipped to them rather than them visiting brick-and-mortar retailers.

NOTED: The Supply Chain In Brief

Good Works Sunset Transportation volunteers worked with the Greater St. Louis Area Boy Scouts, scout leaders, and parents to execute Scouting for Food, the largest one-day food drive in the United States. The 2021 event was the most successful since 2016, collecting 653,026 pounds of donated food in one day. SEKO Logistics is partnering with […]

How to Use Canadian Fulfillment Services to Save on Import Costs

There’s a good reason Canadian fulfillment services have risen to prominence in the import sector over the past decade: They save you money—on import duties and their related costs, which can be considerable. Let’s look at this money-saving tactic that’s changed the importing landscape. Duty-free shipping made easy We can thank Section 321 for duty-free […]

IN BRIEF: New Services & Solutions

Services RK Logistics Group, a provider of warehousing, e-commerce fulfillment, and supply chain management services, opened a new facility in Hayward, California. The facility provides warehousing, product staging, and distribution services for Silicon Valley manufacturers, suppliers, and retail e-commerce shippers. BioCare, a therapeutics distributor, launched LogiCare3PL, a third-party logistics (3PL) offering that provides specialty pharmaceutical […]

Jeff Lokant

TMS Evolution: A Provider’s Perspective

Shippers have numerous Transportation Management System (TMS) options, but they are farther from feature and price parity than you may imagine. While many TMS core tenants are now commodities, there are significant gaps, strengths, and weaknesses across the main players.

10 Tips for Deploying a Robotics System

Automation is necessary to meet customer demand and companies have no other option but to deploy these technologies in their warehouses and fulfillment centers to remain competitive now and in the future. Here are 10 suggestions to help you get started.

The Future of Work in Logistics

The Future of Work in Logistics

To meet growing e-commerce demand, alleviate labor shortages, and build more supply chain resilience, businesses will need to deploy strategies to attract, retain, develop, and motivate workers in a digital era, says a report from DHL. Highlights from the report include: Millennials and Gen Zers seek jobs with more purpose, less repetitive tasks, and more […]

Stefany Martin

Bridging the Supply Chain Gender Gap

I wasn’t the first and I won’t be the last mom to pull into a parking spot on two wheels, late for a meeting, hair soaking wet and coffee spilled down the front of my shirt. Being a working mom in supply chain isn’t for the faint of heart. But I’m not alone and the growing number of women entering this industry is encouraging.

John O'Kelly

4 Tips to Master Reverse Logistics

Up to 40% of online purchases made in the past year were returned, finds recent research. Whether you’re diving into e-commerce for the first time or finding your footing after the accelerated industry growth amid the pandemic, mastering reverse logistics is an essential function of your operation, now more than ever.

Aaron Hageman

Last Mile Predictions and Priorities

Since COVID-19 shut down the world, the delivery industry as a whole experienced exponential growth. The rise of e-commerce platforms stretched last-mile delivery to its limits. The pandemic forced more people to consider delivery services and now consumers love the convenience. This preference for delivery over in-person shopping will continue into the future even after the pandemic.

Josh Jungwirth

How to Combat Logistics Logjams

Nearly two years into the pandemic, today’s congestion issues and logistics logjams are not expected to end anytime soon. It is imperative brands fortify their supply chains to best navigate the current environment and prepare for what unexpected challenges may lie ahead to limit future disruptions.

Keith Biondo

You Won’t Get Fooled Again

Sometimes a kick in the pants is a step forward. The past two years have certainly been kicking it, and not in a good way for many of you. Stress of the type we are still going through can be incentive to change business practices. Incremental changes are a normal part of standard business practices. […]

Brian Lawson

Why Expedited Is Not a Four-Letter Word

Q. Why is it more important than ever to establish a relationship with an expedited carrier? A. In today’s volatile transportation environment, capacity is king. As a result, securing TL or reliable LTL capacity comes at a significant cost. Even when a shipper is prepared to pay a premium, there is a lingering fear their […]

Clark Cassell

Right-Sizing and Leveraging Fulfillment Automation

Q. How can right-sizing automation addresslabor shortages? Does it lead to increased employee engagement? A. Automation, when correctly applied, should have two benefits: performing tasks with fewer people, and increasing the value of (remaining) employee tasks. Consider automation as a tool, doing the heavy lifting with repetitive tasks and the heavy thinking that goes into […]

Addressing Supply Chain Pain Points for Shippers

Addressing Supply Chain Pain Points for Shippers

Shippers must navigate a daunting array of complex challenges when operating in today’s often turbulent supply chain landscape. Potential pain points are rampant. Fortunately, shippers can turn to a variety of solutions and tools that can help drive capacity, control for rates, enable visibility, manage inbound and outbound execution of shipments, and improve the freight […]

Tim Smith

Reducing Small Parcel Shipping Costs: Here’s Where to Begin

Q. The cost of shipping small parcels is constantly increasing, so how can I reduce and control these expenses more easily? A. Global supply chains are still being impacted by COVID-19, and will likely remain volatile for the foreseeable future. Unprecedented volume is also a huge contributor to these costs. According to Statista.com, the global […]

Art Zipkin

DDC Sync Q&A: Supply Chain Efficiency Through Smart In-Cab BOL Capture

Q. DDC FPO just launched DDC Sync, which leverages intelligent automated capture. Why? How can companies gain supply chain efficiencies by automating data capture? A. We’ve been in this industry working with a large portion of leading motor carriers for a long time. One of the common, recurring challenges that we are always helping our […]

Christine Taylor

Parcel Is a Crucial Value-Add in the Evolution of the TMS

The growing requirements and demands placed on shippers and logistics service providers have pushed transportation management systems to become more agile and able to support greater service levels and cover multiple modes—especially parcel. Q. Why is parcel gaining attention now? A. Shippers and LSPs want to streamline connectivity and communications with their parcel providers. Accurate […]