Choose Empathetic Technology: Frontline Tech that Cares

The art of empathy isn’t easy to master. Neither is finding the right tools for your team. Now, these might seem like two disconnected statements but in my experience, they’re closely linked. Historically, the rollout of business software was largely down to whether a boss alone saw the value. We’re increasingly seeing the decision-making power […]

September 11, 2001

Originally posted in September 2001, Inbound Logistics looks back on the memories of 9/11 – 20 years later.

What’s the first thing you would do to address the truck driver shortage?

What’s the first thing you would do to address the truck driver shortage?

Improve the quality of life on the road. “Shipper of choice” and “broker of choice” wouldn’t be terms because they would be the norm, not the exception. Clean accommodations and safe resting/sleeping areas would be everywhere. Getting trucks loaded in under two hours would be the expectation everywhere in every sector. Higher standards for drivers from all partners = a better job = more drivers.

IN BRIEF: New Services & Solutions-September 2021

Technology CPG and brand manufacturers can more accurately predict supply chain trends with developer Deacom’s enhanced enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Its new forecasting methods allow users to take into consideration market volatility by weighing specific variables, measuring short-term demands, and applying multiple variables to a forecast. FourKites, a real-time supply chain visibility platform, released new capabilities […]

Vertical Focus | Agriculture

Vertical Focus | Agriculture

Unearthing the Land of Cotton You can sell unwanted cotton clothes at a garage sale or donate them to avoid landfills, but what about burying them in soil? The Goondiwindi Circular Cotton Project in Australia recently found that old cotton textiles can improve soil quality on farms, potentially unearthing a large-scale circular solution for textile […]

Michael Rabinowitz

Precision Starts with Visibility

The new must-have supply chain qualities are speed and accuracy—and the cost for not measuring up is unequivocally high. Manufacturers have been given a seemingly simple choice: maintain optimal levels of accuracy, dependability, and responsiveness, or pay the hefty price. Assuming success will be easy is a costly mistake.

How can brick-and-mortar retail make a comeback?

How can brick-and-mortar retail make a comeback?

Retailers are wise to prioritize flexibility rather than putting all their eggs into either in-store or online baskets. The future of retail may be brick-and-mortar for some, however many factors are still at play. It’s not a simple answer. The future is not one-size-fits-all. The ability to be nimble and proactive not only boosts efficiency, […]

Enabling Supply Chain Agility

The world is in the midst of mass disruption due to the global spread of the COVID-19. Entire industries face new challenges as a result of this pandemic. Workers are finding themselves having to perform jobs remotely, suppliers looking for new ways to connect, and logistics solutions are being put to the test. Unfortunately, it […]

Supply Chain Boot Camp

Supply Chain Boot Camp

Undercover Boots, based in Panama, has been designing and selling its colorful rain boots and shoes since its founding in 2014. Over the past seven years, it has expanded sales to 72 countries, even though only eight individuals are listed on its employee roster.

Supply Chain Predictions for 2021

I think we can all agree that 2020 is a year that we’ll be excited to leave behind. With a global pandemic, and all its associated side-effects, day-to-day life has been a challenge. But with every challenge comes an opportunity, and this has certainly been the case in the world of e-commerce. With millions homebound, […]

LeRoy Burcroff

Creating a Business-Friendly Environment

At the crux of Michigan’s central expressways, five Class A rail lines, and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, you’ll find the City of Romulus, which residents refer to as the “Home of Opportunity.” The city’s access to transportation and 3,146 acres of undeveloped land have positioned Romulus as a logistics hub for developers from Michigan and across the nation.

Ali Hasan R.

3 Ways to Bolster Your Supply Chain

Organizations across industries have spent decades optimizing supply chains for maximum profit, but the pandemic highlighted almost overnight how little attention these companies have paid to resilience. As production and mobility of goods experienced historic disruptions, demand quickly exceeded supply and forecasts have failed to produce reliable information for months.

Jan Hoppe

10 Ways to Improve Your Supply Contract

Brexit, COVID-19, and the Suez Canal congestion brought Force Majeure clauses in supply chain contracts into sharp focus. Force Majeure clauses seek to limit the liability of a party whose performance is affected by an unforeseen event beyond that party’s control.

For Beyond Meat and QSR Brands, Asking “What if?” Will Prevent “What Now?”

The supply chain disruptions of 2020 resulted in a highly challenging year for the quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry. Wendy’s, for instance, ran out of menu items containing beef in almost one-fifth of its restaurants. As a result of the beef shortage, Wendy’s, along with McDonald’s and Burger King, resorted to importing beef during the earlier […]

What is the secret to a successful shipper/3PL partnership?

What is the secret to a successful shipper/3PL partnership?

Three fundamental pillars define a successful partnership: a direct application programming interface (API) integration, a shared target customer, and a partnership mentality focused on solutions. When any one of these pillars falter, the client suffers and that is unacceptable. As a 3PL, it’s our responsibility to help clients mitigate pain points and enable growth.

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT | Robotics Solutions

AutoStore: The scalable storage and retrieval system from Swisslog uses robots and bins to quickly process small parts orders. In one use case, Arvato Supply Chain Solutions processes e-commerce orders for Rituals Cosmetics Enterprise (pictured). In 2020, Arvato scaled up as needed by adding 65 new robots to its initial deployment of 36 robots. Bolt: […]

10 Tips for Ensuring Trade Compliance

Many companies do not prioritize regular trade compliance check-ins until they’re dealing with a problem. Here’s how to manage and improve your international trade processes so you can catch a problem before it arises and remain compliant.

Handle with White Gloves

Handle with White Gloves

As consumers become increasingly comfortable buying over-sized goods online, manufacturers and retailers partner with white-glove, last-mile delivery services to make in-home set-up and assembly a first-class experience.

Acing Your Stress Test

Acing Your Stress Test

Facing more frequent disruptions—from natural disasters to the pandemic—supply chain professionals are shifting their focus to mitigate risk and assess resilience. Post-pandemic, 93% of executives responding to a McKinsey survey say they expect to increase resilience by rebalancing their supply chains, an increase from 70% before the pandemic. A supply chain resilience stress test is […]

Keith Biondo

Other Reasons Why Supply Chain Stress Won’t End Soon

Our "new normal" global consumption reality won’t be ending soon. It’s not just e-commerce, virus buying, and the resultant impact on transport lift availability that’s driving shortages. Other factors augment long-term stress on your ability to marshal supplies and source transport to serve customers. Millennials with buying power, and there are lots of them, will […]

Jackie Jacobs

It’s Time for Women in Transportation

When the pandemic first hit the United States, it wiped out millions of jobs, particularly among women who found themselves back home and coordinating everything from elderly parent medical issues to home-school activities for kids.

Florida: Logistics Coming in Hot

Florida: Logistics Coming in Hot

The Sunshine State is a logistics hotspot, offering sizzling transportation connections, blazing industrial real estate opportunities, and blisteringly efficient import/export capabilities.

Logistics Supports a Healthy Pharma Industry

Logistics Supports a Healthy Pharma Industry

From managing distribution channels to boosting visibility and security, the pharmaceutical and life sciences supply chain mixes complexity with risk. Here are the technologies and strategies that inject efficiency into supply chains.

Greg Price

There’s No Easy Button for AI and ML

It’s easy to get excited about using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to transform supply chain and logistics operations. Take a bunch of data, run it through a model, and uncover the hidden answers that take your business to the next level.

Incentives Brighten Site Selection Decisions

Incentives Brighten Site Selection Decisions

Tax, energy, and land incentives can turn a good location into a great one. Here’s what companies and the logistics providers who serve them need to consider as they explore locating, relocating, or expanding their businesses.

Dr. Chris Caplice

It’s Time to Rethink the Routing Guide

The routing guide is the manifestation of a shipper’s transportation strategy and a rough estimate of its budget for the upcoming year. It connects the annual bid with actual load tendering within a TMS, and strategically allocates and assigns each shipment to the appropriate carrier.

Pini Mandel

3 Ways Dynamic Pricing Helps Retailers

Dynamic pricing is everywhere. Just about anything purchased through Amazon has been impacted by some element of dynamic pricing. Surge pricing on Uber, toll road prices that rise as traffic builds up, and even concert tickets are using the technology.

EVs Get a Charge Out of Aluminum-Ion Batteries

EVs Get a Charge Out of Aluminum-Ion Batteries

Aluminum-ion rechargeable batteries charge 10 times faster than lithium-ion batteries, recent test results show in a study by Australia-based Graphene Manufacturing Group. Although their energy density is about 60% of the energy per weight of the best lithium-ion batteries, they provide other benefits: Speedy charge. A smartphone running an aluminum-ion battery could charge fully in […]

How to Import Duty-Free with Section 321

How to Import Duty-Free with Section 321

Running an e-commerce business can be a great source of income, but it can also be complicated. Ordering products from the other side of the world, navigating global logistics and even setting up successful sales channels are all a huge problem for retailers to overcome. Then throw into the mix of this a huge trade […]

Light Through the Cloud

Light Through the Cloud

Regina Andrew did more than survive the pandemic—it thrived. “If you didn’t do well in the home furnishing industry during the pandemic, then you were doing something wrong,” says Jim Bonomo, the company’s chief operating officer.

Nishith Rastogi

Navigating Unexpected Hiccups

Uncertainties and unexpected hiccups can hit businesses at any time. Without resilience and enough preparedness, a business can struggle to cope with these unforeseen events.

From Cornflakes and Cars to Logistics

In the transparent, open, and honest work environment Val Hoge created for DP DHL Supply Chain, teams are empowered, feedback is considered a gift, and even the coaches get coached.

NOTED: The Supply Chain In Brief-Aug 2021

Good Works Global logistics services provider DHL Express delivered the U.S. government’s donation of 1 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in collaboration with the COVAX global vaccine-sharing program. DHL arranged pickup of the vaccines from U.S. facilities before they were airlifted from its Cincinnati hub to the DHL Express Subang Gateway in Malaysia, where […]

IN BRIEF: New Services & Solutions-August 2021

Products Confidex released its new Ferrowave Micro on-metal label for use on retail items such as golf clubs, cosmetics, and metallic beverage containers that were once too small for RFID tagging. With an acrylic adhesive that securely attaches to painted or non-painted metal surfaces, the label also serves as brand authentication for high-value goods. The DuraLabel […]

Omer Abdullah

7 Critical Questions You Need to Ask

With a huge number of constantly shifting variables, suppliers, and other factors to consider, it’s easy to feel that managing supply chain risk is an unending battle that you’ll never win.

Streamlining Retail Logistics

Here are 10 ways for retailers to streamline logistics operations and implement best practices so you will have the right inventory at the right location.

E. Coli Eats Up Plastic and Churns Out Vanilla

U.K. scientists used E. coli to transform plastic waste into vanillin, the molecule responsible for the characteristic smell and taste of vanilla. This means it’s possible to transform plastic into a highly useful material for cosmetics manufacturing. Researchers used genetic engineering to create a strain of E. coli that converts one of the chemicals used […]

Tech Support

Tech Support

The need for supply chain resilience, visibility, agility, and control drives technology across multiple sectors.

Build an Agile and Resilient Supply Chain in 4 Steps

In an era when the most unpredictable challenge imaginable, a global pandemic, turned the business world upside down, the need for a reliable supply chain that can react quickly to any and all disruptions became the top priority for organizations. This is by no means an easy feat, and many are familiar with the concept […]

Fertilizer Company Launches Autonomous, Zero-Emission Vessel

Fertilizer Company Launches Autonomous, Zero-Emission Vessel

In an effort to reduce its reliance on diesel trucks, Norway-based fertilizer company Yara International has developed the first autonomous, zero-emission cargo ship. The Yara Birkeland is fully autonomous in piloting as well as port operations, allowing the vessel to dock, tether, and begin the cargo transfer process on its own. Yara relies on diesel […]

Plastic Pallets Stack Up Sustainability

Plastic Pallets Stack Up Sustainability

What’s in store for the pallet industry, and how will it affect retailers’ sustainability goals? Jeff Pepperworth, president and chief executive officer at iGPS Logistics, a national plastic pallet pooling services provider, shares his outlook. Q: What’s the state of the plastic pallet industry at the moment? Right now, the industry is robust. We see […]

2021 Summer Reading Guide

2021 Summer Reading Guide

When it’s time to absorb your next audiobook or crack open a book this summer, take a dip into this collection of fresh research, actionable advice, and best practices to refresh your supply chain knowledge.

Keith Biondo

Catch Me When I Fall

A trust fall is a team-building exercise where the one doing the falling willingly trusts that those standing behind will catch them before they hit bottom. We chose the trust fall as an apt theme for our annual third-party logistics edition. Whether you voluntarily fall or are shoved by business realities—pandemic, labor shortages, remote workforces, […]

3PLs Have Your Back

3PLs Have Your Back

Shippers trust their third-party logistics partners will be there for them—no matter what the business conditions.

Five Solutions to Costly Time-Critical Shipping Challenges

Delays in time-critical shipping can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars lost, missed opportunities, and even loss of life. Whether shipping critical manufacturing and airplane parts, vaccines, organs for transplant, or lab work, these important shipments must be picked up and arrive on time. However, industry statistics have shown that one in three time-critical shipments […]

2021 Top 100 3PLs

2021 Top 100 3PLs

When your enterprise faces supply chain and logistics challenges, these partners won’t let you fall. In alphabetical order, here are the 100 third-party logistics providers deemed best of the best by Inbound Logistics editors.

Paul A. Myerson

Demand Accuracy In Your Supply Chain

During the pandemic, a lot of the focus on supply chain tended to be on the supply side, and rightly so, due to the highly publicized sourcing, production, distribution, and transportation issues. As a result, organizations continue to look to increase productivity, flexibility, and agility through programs such as Lean, increased automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and others.

From Robots to Running Shoes

From Robots to Running Shoes

With homebound consumers buying new shoes and gear like never before, DHL Supply Chain and Locus Robotics helped Brooks Running race to meet consumer demand and prepare for future growth.

Matthew Telesca

Technology Can Supercharge Your Supply Chain, Here’s Where to Start

Q: What are the most important technology trends in the supply chain? A: With the COVID-19 pandemic still impacting global supply chains, real-time product and shipment visibility has become paramount to disruption planning and customer expectations. According to the most recent Gartner study, "By 2023, 50% of enterprises will have invested in a real-time transportation […]

Dave Maddox

Adopt an Integrated TMS to Tackle Supply Chain Complexity

Q: Why should I consider a transportation management system (TMS) now? A: Rates and capacity in all modes will be volatile for months to come. Without the ability to manage rates and carriers, you’ll likely pay more for shipping than you should. Manual tracking or relying on forwarders, brokers, or carriers for updates means you’ll […]

Canada-U.S. Trade: Connections

Canada-U.S. Trade: Connections

The tight relationship between the United States and its northern neighbor makes cross-border trade seamless and efficient. Logistics professionals leverage these connections to keep goods flowing and supply chains humming.

Currin McCarty

Deploy a Robotics-Driven Fulfillment Solution to Reach Peak Productivity

Q: 3PLs and retailers are planning for volume surges ahead of peak season. What is driving this? A: This peak season, as consumers regain financial confidence, e-commerce is expected to exceed a level of volume that exacerbated the supply chain the previous year. Warehouses are already experiencing painful labor challenges including high turnover and shortages […]

Nick Fisher

Reducing Inbound Freight Costs and Improving Accounting

Q: How can our company account for inbound freight costs on our month-end accrual reports? We prefer to route our own freight and use our own third-party carriers for these collect orders. A: Unfortunately, you are experiencing an industry-wide issue. Pre-rating based on purchase order information can pose a real risk. Your purchase order may […]

Bob Tuchek

Rail Transportation: What Shippers Need to Focus On

Q: How have the recent rail mergers changed the rail landscape for shippers? A: Shippers have been averse to rail mergers due to concerns of a reduction in competition, imposed routing limitations, and an increase in service disruptions. The two most recent mergers between the CSXT-Pan Am Railway and Canadian National-Kansas City Southern are still […]

NOTED: The Supply Chain In Brief-July 2021

Green Seeds Leonard’s Express adopted a new source of alternative energy for its national fleet of long-haul diesel trucks by using the SPI Energy Reaction System. The system alters the chemistry of combustion by reusing the exhaust gases that are being wasted. To reduce pollution and noise disturbance, GEODIS invested in a green fleet for […]

IN BRIEF: New Services & Solutions-July 2021

Technology BookYourCargo launched the Digital Drayage Platform to provide shippers with instant quotes and shipment visibility. Featuring machine learning engines, the platform integrates API/EDIs with existing third-party software platforms. Customers and vendors can search and compare rates by location, move type, and driver availability through access to a mobile device app. Shippers gain end-to-end digitization with […]

People Aren’t Going Anywhere

People Aren’t Going Anywhere

Although automation helps shippers meet unprecedented demand for faster and cheaper delivery, people are essential for a well-functioning network, says a Coyote Logistics report. As supply chains grow increasingly complex, technology is more efficient at sifting through large data sets in real time and running scenario analyses. However, people aren’t going anywhere (see chart). No […]

Vertical Focus | Energy, Oil & Gas

Vertical Focus | Energy, Oil & Gas

Offshore Wind Project Isn’t a Breeze President Biden recently approved the Vineyard Wind project—the first major U.S. offshore wind farm—off the coast of Massachusetts. The project, which would generate up to 800 megawatts of electricity from 62 giant wind turbines, is expected to produce enough electricity to power 400,000 businesses and homes in New England […]

How has the pandemic affected supply chain partnerships?

How has the pandemic affected supply chain partnerships?

The pandemic magnified the need for collaborative partnerships between service providers and customers. We have seen things happening in the market you almost couldn’t make up in Hollywood, and those that have remained transparent and collaborative in navigating these challenges have succeeded. —Matt Friedman Vice President, Sales, Warehousing Mainfreight Fluctuating production and consumer demand, coupled […]

Smart Clothes Hit the Rack

Smart Clothes Hit the Rack

Will warehouse workers suit up in electronic clothing? Possibly. MIT researchers released a line of smart clothes that can track physical movement, and Fudan University researchers in China unveiled state-of-the-art electronic textiles that can produce visual displays. This is all happening as wearable devices continue to streamline supply chain operations and provide critical feedback in […]

Nikolaus Sievers

Solving the Global Data Dilemma

For as much time and effort spent trying to perfect the systems and technologies we rely on for global logistics, it seems the industry has lost sight of how people actually get work done.

G75: Inbound Logistics’ 75 Green Supply Chain Partners

G75: Inbound Logistics’ 75 Green Supply Chain Partners

Inbound Logistics’ annual G75 is an editors’ choice list of 75 companies that go above and beyond to ensure their global supply chains are sustainable, and that their operations are socially and environmentally friendly. These companies are dedicated to developing and implementing best practices that leave a positive footprint on the world.

Designers Cultivate Plant-Based Leather

Designers Cultivate Plant-Based Leather

Fashion designers branch out to plant-based textiles in response to growing demand for sustainable and cruelty-free products, and as supply chains seek to lower their carbon footprint. These leather alternatives are heating up: Cactus: Fast fashion company H&M is partnering with Mexico-based Desserto to create a new collection, including shoes made from cactus leather. Desserto […]

Keith Biondo

EV Power Play

The U.S. electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing sector is about to get a sales boost from the Biden Administration. The EV market has been rocking because of the continued growing interest in sustainability, especially now that the bleeding-edge vehicle phase is behind us. President Biden confirmed that EVs would get a stimulus in the not-yet-passed multi-trillion-dollar […]

Cisco Snags Top Supply Chain Spot

Cisco Systems earned the number-one spot in Gartner’s ranking of the 2021 top 25 supply chains. The technology company’s agility and strength in environmental, social, and governance initiatives helped prioritize critical infrastructure for hospitals and vaccine research, Gartner says. Four new companies on this year’s list include Dell Technologies, Pfizer, General Mills, and Bristol Myers […]

Chemical Logistics on a Roll

Chemical Logistics on a Roll

Overcoming capacity constraints, severe weather, and cyberattacks, chemical logistics service providers combine expertise and dedication to keep shipments moving safely and efficiently.