Could Self-Driving Ships Become Reality by 2020?

Could Self-Driving Ships Become Reality by 2020?

"This is happening. It’s not if, it’s when. The technologies needed to make remote and autonomous ships a reality exist." So said Oskar Levander, vice president of innovation for Rolls Royce, at Amsterdam’s Autonomous Ship Technology Symposium in 2016. He wasn’t wrong about the technology, considering the United States and China already have unmanned naval […]

Supply Chains Double Down on Climate Change

Supply Chains Double Down on Climate Change

President Donald Trump pledged to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, but stakeholders involved with the American supply chain—often supportive of the President’s business-friendly policies—aren’t so ready to fall in line this time. Rather than push American businesses away from sustainable initiatives, many companies seem to have reaffirmed their commitments. A few […]

Manufacturing, Logistics Grew Dramatically Over Last Generation

Contrary to public perception, U.S. manufacturing and logistics experienced dramatic growth over the past generation, says a study by the Ball State Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) and Conexus Indiana. U.S. manufacturing production grew 11 percent since the 2000-2003 dot.com bust and ensuing economic turbulence of the 2001 and 2007-2009 recessions, reports Manufacturing […]

Retailers Struggle to Control Fulfillment Costs

Retailers Struggle to Control Fulfillment Costs

Walmart’s recent announcement that it is testing a delivery system where its associates will deliver online orders to customers’ doors makes sense in light of a new study by Radial, in partnership with EKN Research, which finds the average cost for a company to fulfill an order is 70 percent of the average order value. […]

How to Make Your Region a Logistics Hotspot

How does a region become a logistics hotspot? Take Southern Arizona, for example: The region’s national economic impact has grown by $18.7 billion over the past decade, helping to revitalize the area, grow the population, and create thousands of jobs. Southern Arizona, with a population of 1.6 million, is one of the fastest growing mega-regions […]

Amazon Files Patent To Parachute Packages

Amazon Files Patent To Parachute Packages

Amazon teased consumers with drone delivery during a 2017 Super Bowl commercial, though the ad bore a disclaimer: "Prime Air is not available in some states (or any really). Yet." Back in December 2016, Amazon made its first successful customer delivery in a trial area in the United Kingdom; in March 2017, the online retail […]

Empowering the Shipper

Empowering the Shipper

After more than 14 years in the trucking industry—at USF Group and Central Freight Lines—Dan Clark decided it was time for a change, both for himself and for the shipping community. MORE TO THE STORY: The Parking Spot Lesson Trucking companies were depending on legacy information systems, often inherited through corporate acquisitions, that couldn’t share […]

Freight Management and Route Optimization: A Critical Combination

There are significant opportunities for fleets to improve their operational efficiency with a combination of freight management and route optimization. The definition of freight management has transitioned over time, but whether your primary method of transport is via a freight broker, third-party integrated logistics provider, or your own private fleet, the problem is generally the […]

Making Sense of the $13B SCM Software Space

Gartner’s recent report that the supply chain management (SCM) software market will be worth more than $13 billion in the U.S. by the end of 2017 has likely turned many heads – both within the manufacturing and supply chain spaces, as well as with external audiences. In reality, this news that expenditures in this space […]

Choosing a Freight Auditing and Payment Vendor

If you’re a freight shipper who is thinking about using a freight auditing and payment service, what should you look for in choosing the best vendor for your organization? These seven selection criteria present a straightforward process to penetrate beyond a company’s sales brochure and determine how well a service company can actually do the […]

How Walmart’s OTIF Policy Creates New Baselines for Suppliers

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. caught many shipping companies off guard when it released its new “On-Time In-Full” (OTIF) policy. This program mandates that if any shipment arrives early, late, or on-time but not packaged properly, the shipper will be charged 3 percent of the total items’ value. It was only a few months ago that Walmart […]

5 Ways Automated Dimensioning Helps Optimize First Mile Logistics

E-commerce is not just changing the retail industry, but significantly impacting logistics as well. Reaching $394.86 billion last year, e-commerce has increased 15.6% compared with $341.70 billion in 2015. With such an increase in e-commerce sales, the need for an efficient delivery service has never been so high. Customers are greatly influencing the delivery of […]

Report: Multimodal Transportation Has a Future in Europe

Multimodal logistics moves freight by combining two or more transport modes. In this area, Europe still lags the more advanced U.S. market but has made steady progress. In its latest industrial research for the EMEA region Colliers International highlights a number of examples of established and emerging European multimodal platforms and discusses the drivers and […]

Supply Chain Commentary: Customer Loyalty Hinges on Quality of Product Information

Knowledge is power, and today, consumers are demanding to know more about products they buy before making a purchasing decision. The internet and online shopping have helped fuel their appetites for more product details, driving big changes across all industries. In the food industry, for example, new legislation like the GMO labeling law and Nutrition […]

The Key to Lasting Supply Chain Innovation: Get Real

Managing a business for sustained growth often means finding and implementing innovative solutions to the challenges of complex supply chain logistics. Yet, when it comes to achieving lasting, repeatable innovation, it’s the real-world solutions that win out time and time again in leading logistics facilities. In his book Moneyball, Michael Lewis detailed how an analytical, […]

Discovering Eight Truths of the New Era of Retail

Over the past 20 years many retailers have had the dream of entering the food retail business. The appeal is undeniable huge revenues, repeat business and in-store traffic. The fascination has resulted in a proliferation of food retail models ranging from dollar stores, off-price stores, convenience stores, drug stores, supermarkets, discount supermarkets, premium supermarkets, farmers […]

Why Onshoring Manufacturing Requires Offshoring IT

Despite a slowing economy, U.S. manufacturers continue to add capacity stateside. According to a 2015 Boston Consulting Group survey, 31 percent of U.S. manufacturing executives said they were most likely to add capacity within the U.S., compared to only 20 percent opting to do so in China. This marks a stark reversal from 2013, when […]

Are Warehouse Insurance Policies Covering Today’s Emerging Risks?

Warehouse legal liability insurance has always been one of the most misunderstood insurance contracts in existence. In general, insurance companies and brokers have limited industry knowledge and understanding of what warehouse operations entail. Not only that, but warehouse risks and vulnerabilities are increasingly complex, and many policies simply aren’t keeping up with today’s sophisticated new […]

Fleets Must Be Hyper Vigilant About Securing Telematics

The broad deployment of telematics has driven unprecedented efficiencies in fleets by providing greater visibility into the location, movement, status, and behavior of every mobile asset. This level of connectivity and communication between assets has alleviated many of the pain points associated with day-to-day fleet management operations, on the road, and back at the office. […]

Bad News, Good News

Why does logistics giant XPO Logistics invest $500 million annually on IT to drive its business? The explosion in e-commerce, according to Brad Jacobs, CEO of XPO. But it’s not only consumers who have been acculturated to supply chain impatience. Purchasing, buyers, and supply managers in industrial sectors also feel the need for speed—and for […]

Updating Einstein?

Einstein said the faster an object moves, the slower time seems to pass. Well, not for me. The increased speed at which products now move through the supply chain seems to have the same impact on my calendar. I can’t believe half the year is gone, and in the blink of an eye it will […]

Making Vendor Managed Inventory Work

Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) lets suppliers manage re-supply by monitoring customer stock levels and forward demand that optimizes working capital with service levels. This gives suppliers better visibility into forward demand, allowing them to produce, ship, and store more efficiently. As a result, customers have a smooth supply of product delivered at the right time […]

Joe Bobko: Not Boxed In

Joe Bobko: Not Boxed In

Joe Bobko is vice president of transportation with Boxed Wholesale, an online wholesale shopping club. He has held this position since January 2015. Responsibilities: All aspects of inbound and outbound transportation. Experience: Managing director with Bobko Consulting Group; director of e-commerce transportation with Toys "R" Us; executive positions in transportation with AmerisourceBergen, Grainger, FreshDirect, and […]

Alex Khan

Optimizing Inbound Freight Beyond the Shipment Level – Schneider Logistics

In this era of omni-channel fulfillment, supply chain visibility is more important than ever. Yet many shippers are still in the dark when it comes to visibility to a significant portion of their supply chain cost: their inbound freight spend. Many inbound shipments are supplier-controlled with prepaid terms in which suppliers are adding in the […]

Rob Kriewaldt

Need Flexibility? Seek Out Full-Service 3PLs – WSI

The retail and supply chain worlds have changed—and are changing—rapidly. Soaring end-user consumer demand for same-day delivery of goods and companies’ desire for increased visibility of their supply chains are two instrumental factors in the ever-morphing industrial real estate industry. Companies want and need instant, flexible warehousing options with skilled, efficient labor to handle and […]

Todd Benge

Sweep the Dock for E-Commerce Insight – Transportation Insight

An e-commerce epiphany is speeding through the global supply chain from the shipping dock to the boardroom. Consumers have seized control of logistics spending, and "supply chain as we’ve known it" is not coming back. According to the 28th Annual CSCMP State of Logistics Report, "Accelerating into Uncertainty," for the first time, parcel and express […]

Krista Browning

The Power of Transparency: Technology and Your Supply Chain – RPM

In a world driven by new technology, industries are finding ways to work faster and smarter. Tech breakthroughs have provided businesses with new processes and improved systems that have helped to maintain or increase efficiency in one way or another. It’s time to see these same improvements in supply chain management. The transportation industry has […]

Why GRIs From LTL Carriers May Not Be So General This Year

Less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers have reported challenged earnings for quite some time now. Capacity has generally been pretty loose, service levels have been generally pretty high, and prices have generally stayed pretty competitive across the industry—all creating an advantage for shippers. This all may be changing. Many LTL carriers are signaling some strain in their networks […]

Autonomous Vehicle Revolution Is Upon Us

Self-driving or autonomous vehicles are progressing quickly past the testing phase. This technology is a world-changing innovation—a revolution well underway—that may surpass the discovery of electricity and the invention of the automobile. What sets this revolution apart is how technologies will combine to help save lives, money, time, and resources. It could mean a near […]

Leverage Your Freight Forwarder to Boost Your Compliance Program

In trade compliance, we find ourselves needing to overhaul or develop trade compliance controls within our company, often alone. Executing a classification/licensing process, recordkeeping methodology, auditing calendar, or automation solution can be overwhelming. Whether you are in the position of establishing trade compliance controls, or looking to strengthen an existing compliance program, don’t overlook your […]

5 Steps to Preventing Brand Damage When Your Product Fails

A poorly handled product recall can devastate your company’s reputation, market share, and bottom line. With proper planning and systems in place, however, companies can effectively manage recalls to mitigate risk, as well as prevent brand damage. The key is not to think of a product recall as a singular event, but rather as a […]

How to Grow a Green Supply Chain

Sustainability impacts everything from how companies approach product design all the way through to customer delivery. In today’s competitive environment, sustainability must improve profitability and reduce risk. An industry standard for what constitutes a sustainable supply chain does not exist. Is being eco-friendly in transportation or manufacturing enough to qualify your company as green? As […]

Why Aren’t There More Veterans in Logistics?

Approximately 200,000 people transition out of the military each year. Reintegrating into the civilian workforce can be a challenging experience. While many of their skills directly apply to a career in logistics, veterans remain a largely untapped resource for this field. Every position in every branch of the military—from weapons deployment, to combat training, to […]

Stay Competitive with a Flexible TMS

Lean principles, when used in conjunction with a transportation management system (TMS), can deliver lower transportation costs, reduced inventory levels, and progress toward business goals. New technology is emerging to further improve the efficiency of transportation systems. You must manage and properly control—with complete visibility and great communication between partners—the transportation systems that connect your […]

How New Technology is Boosting Human Potential in the Supply Chain

Advances in automation are liberating untapped human potential in the supply chain. A new opportunity to significantly improve operational performance is emerging due to advances in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and prescriptive analytics. These advances are not about technology versus humans, but about how technology will supplement and augment humans in knowledge-intensive areas such as […]

Updated Uniform Bill Of Lading Changes: Are You at Risk?

Key components of the bill of lading unexpectedly changed in August 2016. While the changes may appear subtle, the implications sent shockwaves through the transportation industry. As the new standard approaches one year, it is important to re-visit the newly adopted terms to mitigate potential pitfalls. The uniform bill of lading is the default form […]

3 Ways Your 3PL Can Help You Overcome E-commerce Challenges

To meet consumer demands, e-commerce requires adaptable and flexible supply chains, no matter how short the lead time. Companies can support this fast-moving supply chain by leveraging a collaborative 3PL relationship. By collaborating with a knowledgeable third-party logistics (3PL) provider, shippers can add both scale and visibility to their supply chain. With greater control, companies […]

Nick Boland

Learning from the Fast Fashion Groundbreakers – Amber Road

Q: Speed-to-market has become the top market pressure for retailers. What can other industries or CPG manufacturers learn from "fast fashion" leaders like H&M, Uniqlo, and Zara who are able to go from concept to shelf in weeks? A: Attaining raw speed requires an overhaul of your supply chain. To truly match the clock speed […]

George Kontoravdis, PhD

How to Choose a TMS Vendor That’s Right for Your Company – Fortigo

Q: What are some important things to consider when selecting a TMS solution? A: Deploying a Transportation Management System (TMS) can be complicated, time-consuming, and expensive. Fortunately, this does not need to be true, thanks to systems with a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model, which help you navigate the process of selecting and deploying a TMS […]

Ian Tsai

Today’s Options in Technology To Improve Your Transportation Program – KDL

Q: What have been the technology changes in transportation? A: As we have seen in other industries like Netflix with entertainment content or Airbnb with hospitality, we are also seeing innovative technology, i.e. Uber Freight, trying to disrupt the transportation industry. All of these technology advancements benefit everyone that is in our industry. For a […]

Direct Hit

Direct Hit

E-commerce has forever changed the way people shop. Now businesses of all sizes must reassess their supply chains to go direct to the consumer with faster-than-fast delivery and free shipping.

Supply Chain Collaboration: It Works Both Ways

Supply Chain Collaboration: It Works Both Ways

Successful supply chain collaboration between shippers and their third-party logistics providers requires transparency, honest communication, and a commitment to forming a true partnership with shared goals and values. Come along for the ride.

3PL Change Agents

3PL Change Agents

Trying to plot a different course? Figuring out how to spread your wings? A third-party partner might offer…just the kind of help you need.

3PL Perspectives 2017

3PL Perspectives 2017

Inbound Logistics’ 12th annual 3PL market research report provides a highlight reel of the trends and tribulations shaping logistics outsourcing strategy for both providers and shippers.

Summer Reading Guide 2017

Summer Reading Guide 2017

Add these books to your summer reading list to keep your logistics and supply chain skills sharp, even while you enjoy some time away from the office.

Readers’ Choice: Top 10 3PL Excellence Awards 2017

Readers’ Choice: Top 10 3PL Excellence Awards 2017

MORE TO THE STORY: TOP 10 TO WATCH About the Survey Respondents In Their Own Words: A Sampling of Reader Comments What Is More Important? Find 3PL Partners What makes a third-party logistics (3PL) provider a blockbuster partner? We asked readers to vote for the 3PL partners they deem most award-worthy, and they revealed the […]

Secrets to Today’s Digital Age Supply Chain

The rate of evolution of the supply chain today is staggering. Both retailers and restaurants have had to shift their strategy more quickly to remain relevant and competitive amidst rising digital trends. Increasingly, consumers are altering their habits and how they buy products and services. Supply chain leadership should embrace the opportunity to adapt and […]

Supply Chain Security: Defending Against a Data Breach

What a wonderful world this would be if protection from cybersecurity threats were contained within the four walls of your business. But the hard truth is every entity on your company’s supply chain list – from the most active vendor account to the least – must be fully vetted to ensure they are protecting theirs […]

Five Ways to Simplify Your Supply Chain Design with Analytics

Ask a supply chain pro to name the biggest problem their organization faces and chances are “effectively using data” will be at the top of the list. While no one understates the importance of data, supply chain professionals now have access to more data from more sources than ever before, making the effective application of […]

Supply Chain Commentary: Get Ready for a Shortened Path to Purchase

Google quietly introduced the beta version of Purchases on Google in the middle of May 2017 to users in the United States. The feature allows users to click a ‘Buy on Google’ call-to-action on product ads within the search engine results page and directs them to a purchasing page created and hosted by Google. Right […]

Clean Diesel Truck Engines Yield Significant Emission Reductions

Introduction of new technology clean diesel truck engines equipped with advanced emissions control systems into the nation’s trucking fleet over the last five years is now at a 30 percent level and has yielded significant emission reductions and substantial fuel savings, according to new research commissioned by the Diesel Technology Forum. “Almost 3 million heavy-duty diesel […]

June Caps Off Hot Stretch for Spot TL Freight

Spot truckload freight activity in June rallied to record highs for the number of available loads while rates rose to their highest points in nearly two years, according to the DAT North American Freight Index. The June Freight Index increased 24 percent compared to May and was up 57 percent year over year, capping a robust […]

Bruce Orcutt

6 Information Management Trends Redefining Transportation and Logistics

While we usually think of challenges in the transportation and logistics industry as being the physical mechanics of transporting an item from point A to point B, the new reality is that information management – and how quickly data can be put into action – offers the biggest challenges. Fortunately, the digital transformation movement offers […]

Route Planning: How Good Logistics Makes E-commerce Companies Great

The e-commerce industry is growing at an incredible rate, according to Route4Me. Consumer expectations are growing as well. A decade or two ago, people were happy as long as their orders got to their house within a day or two of the scheduled arrival date. Now, people expect retailers to offer next-day or even same-day shipping. Also, […]

Consumers: No Patience For Supply Chain Fails

Consumers: No Patience For Supply Chain Fails

Seventy-eight percent of consumers want to receive updates on the status of their orders when purchasing goods, and they won’t hesitate to switch brands if supply chain performance fails to meet their expectations, according to a global survey conducted by YouGov and sponsored by Infor, a provider of industry-specific cloud applications. The survey polled 6,285 […]

How to Find Your Next Supplier in Europe

Small businesses seeking a competitive advantage in the global marketplace would be remiss if they ignored the power of working with a supplier in the European Union (EU). Not only is the EU the largest manufacturer of exported goods and services, its 28 member countries account for 16% of the world’s imports and exports. The […]

Supply Chain Commentary:
The Battle of Retail Titans

Technology is ever-changing and recently, has been advancing at an extraordinary rate and providing accessible capital with highly valued stock prices. These prices are enabling acquisitions that have the ability to change the competitive landscape overnight. Exhibit A: Amazon’s deal with Whole Foods Market. Many recent acquisitions can be attributed to companies with aggressive growth […]

Study: Traditional Industrial Distributors Face Mounting Risk

Asset-light e-marketplaces and other non-traditional shopping channels, combined with shifting demographics, are upending industrial distributors’ inventory-heavy model more rapidly than previously thought. As a result, distributors must quickly adapt and address threats with everything from sharper mobile offerings to upgraded customer service, a UPS white paper shows.   According to the UPS Industrial Buying Dynamics […]

3 Ways to Reduce Food Waste in the Supply Chain

The UN Food and Agriculture organization estimates 30-40% of food production is lost before it reaches the market. While a great deal of this is lost in agriculture, there is a significant amount of food waste in the supply chain. In 2012, food waste costs in the EU alone were estimated at 143 billion euros. […]

Choosing a TMS Today: Measure Five Times, Cut Once?

We’ve all heard the adage “Measure twice, cut once.” Of course, the intent of this proverb suggests it is best to be sure you are cutting the wood in the right place before using your saw. Since the creation of supply chain software, this advice has largely been followed when it comes to software selection. […]

7 Tips to Driving a Strong Safety Culture

A USA Today article reported that Tesla’s worker injury rate was 31% higher than the industry average in 2015. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has pledged to change this, and in an email to his employees, he stated that he will personally carry out the job of an injured employee to assess the dangers first-hand. He […]

Is Your Supply Chain Cyber Secure?
5 Tips for Keeping Viruses Away

On May 12, 2017, the WannaCry Ransomware attack affected hundreds of thousands of computers in 150 countries. By far the hardest hit in the attack was UK’s National Health Service. Businesses are starting to reevaluate their cyber security measures, and for organizations in the supply chain sector, there’s too much at stake to simply delete […]

High Value, High Risk: How to Make Sure Your Cargo is Protected

If your company is shipping a load valued at $100,000 or more, you should take every step possible to make sure your cargo is protected. Here are five ways you can greatly lower the risk of losing hundreds of thousands of dollars from a failed shipment. 1. Check your insurance coverage. First, you need to […]

Report: Retailers are Hemorrhaging Costs from Premium Delivery Services

2017 brings unprecedented competition for retailers. Not only has Amazon set the standard for how to do retail well, it’s set the new consumer standard on shipping. Prime-like shopping is the new benchmark with Americans demanding ultimate convenience and immediacy at a low cost. Temando’s, a shipping and fulfillment software platform for commerce, 2017 State of […]

No-show Fine Could Cause Nightmares for Freight Forwarders

The recent implementation of no-shows fine by shipping liners could potentially cause ‘nightmares’ for freight forwarders, says online freight forwarding company iContainers. In recent months, shipping liners including Maersk, CMA CGM, and Hapag-Lloyd have begun implementing no-shows fines on shipments that fail to show up on vessels. iContainers warns that such a fee, while the […]

How Will Amazon Buying Whole Foods Affect The Delivery Industry?

It’s hard to imagine now, but Amazon used to be nothing more than an online bookstore. That was back in 1994. Since then, Amazon has started selling DVDs, clothes, furniture, and just about everything else you can imagine. They do more than just sell stuff online now, too. Amazon has become a big player in […]

Manufacturing is Returning to the United States

In 2016, leading technology brands collectively announced billions of dollars in investments in US manufacturing, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and supporting reshoring. But manufacturing today is not the same as when it left: Gone are many of the large steel mills, auto plants and computer factories and in their place a greater volume […]

Supply Chain and Logistics Services Delivery: Study Reveals Future Trends

KPMG and HfS Research recently released their annual market study on the State of the Outsourcing, Shared Services, and Operations Industry. This study examines topics such as changes to organizational operating and service delivery models and adoption levels, challenges, and opportunities related to process and cognitive automation. The report also provides some interesting insights into […]

Repositioning Inventory to Better Respond to Natural Disasters

Immediately following a natural disaster that outpaces a community’s ability to respond, various outside organizations rush to provide life-saving commodities to meet health, water, food, shelter, or other needs. That response is expedited by inventory prepositioned independently by governmental and non-governmental organizations.
 Research co-authored by Jason Acimovic, assistant professor of supply chain and information systems […]

President Trump’s Trade Policy To-Do List: Top 10 Priorities

President Trump’s Trade Policy To-Do List: Top 10 Priorities

President Donald Trump’s early days in office have been busy ones for trade policy. It is too early, however, to assess the impact of these changes, according to global trade data company Panjiva. Here’s how Panjiva prioritizes the President’s trade policy task list. 1. Light up Lighthizer. Senate approval for Robert Lighthizer’s appointment as U.S. […]

Top 5 Things to Know About IoT

The Internet of Things is still in its infancy, and can be confusing to supply chain and logistics managers. Greg Braun, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Montreal-based logistics IT company C3 Solutions, shares some advice. 1. IoT technologies promise vastly improved visibility into supply chain operations. The ready availability of connected devices […]

Supply Chain Visibility: Closer Than You Think

Running a sustainable company isn’t as simple as it looks. "Compliance and recycle/reuse is about knowing what’s in your product—materials, chemicals, substances," says Christoph Wilfert, CEO of London-based everycs, developer of a technology solution—currently in beta testing—that screens global supply chains for risks and impacts. "But suppliers, like chemical companies, hate formula or percentage composition […]

Transportation Industry Leads the Way in Preventive Maintenance

Trucks need to keep rolling. Conveyor belts aren’t much good if they don’t convey anything. Cargo planes don’t move freight if they can’t fly. Ships don’t deliver from under the water. Business logistics managers can’t ignore the importance of preventive maintenance because the costs of reactive maintenance can have a heavy impact on the bottom […]