NOTED: The Supply Chain In Brief

NOTED: The Supply Chain In Brief

Green Seeds Maersk will add 300 electric trucks to its North America network—the largest heavy-duty electric truck deployment to date. The trucks will be delivered between 2023 and 2025 for use by Performance Team, Maersk’s North American warehousing, distribution, and transportation business. The trucks will be operated using technology company Einride’s digital road freight operating […]

Shipping Lines Skip a Beat

Global ports lost more than one-third of their expected capacity to ship containers in 2021, causing economic trouble for some smaller developing nations, among others, finds research commissioned by the Global Shippers Forum (GSF). The study, which was conducted by MDS Transmodal, identifies the extent of capacity restriction in 2021 that resulted from scheduled port […]

Mark Haslam

Out of Stock? Hoarding is Not a Solution

Investing time and money in making products available is more important today than ever before, thanks to the ripple effects of COVID-19. Capacity constraints and delivery agents have been upended, and product availability is at risk. Rising digital trends and changing consumer behavior and spending habits have also led to an urgency to respond to market conditions quickly.

Consumers Have the Last (Mile) Laugh

While the use of last-mile delivery has increased in the pandemic era, the process has experienced various growing pains. A new consumer survey shows customers have encountered regular delays and would like to have greater visibility of their deliveries. The survey, conducted for Anyline by Researchscape, examines the extent to which consumers have turned to […]

Geoff Kelley

Manage Supply and Demand Swings with a Digital Logistics Platform

Q. Capacity constraints, labor shortages, rising shipping costs, and growing shipping volumes are making it difficult to find carriers to cover freight. How can shippers, logistics providers, and carriers become more efficient amidst fluctuating market conditions? A. A digital logistics platform with intelligence AND execution capabilities from a proven partner drives efficient collaboration between shippers, […]

Keith Biondo

Artificial and Human Intelligence: An Unbeatable Combination

Investment in logistics technology—$26 billion in the past seven years—is white hot right now. Here’s a small sampling of the types of solutions that venture capitalists arefinancing: An artificial intelligence (AI)-driven demand-prediction engine that helps lifestyle brands forecast how many units of a particular item will sell. The mission? To better match global inventory levels […]

E-commerce Growth: Slower but Hefty

E-commerce Growth: Slower but Hefty

Even as growth slowed from 2020’s pandemic-fueled explosion in activity, the global e-commerce market still grew a robust 19.9% in 2021, according to Transport Intelligence (Ti). Indications are growth will slow but remain hefty. Ti’s market sizing and forecast data and analysis shows a projected annual growth rate of 11.8% in the global e-commerce logistics […]

Google Searches for Last-Mile Market

Google Searches for Last-Mile Market

Google is getting into the last-mile game with the launch of two new solutions to help fleet operators improve delivery success and optimize fleet performance through an integrated suite of mapping, routing, and analytics capabilities—Cloud Fleet Routing API from Google Cloud and Last Mile Fleet Solution from Google Maps Platform. Cloud Fleet Routing API focuses […]

Alaska: Inspiring Awe and Innovation

Alaska: Inspiring Awe and Innovation

In this 10th edition of our Alaska supplement, we explore the state’s beauty, resources, and the challenges presented by its location, geography, and climate. The logistics providers that excel in this state rely on grit, dedication, and expertise to move products to, from, and within the state safely and efficiently.

Russia-Ukraine Supply Chain Strain

Russia-Ukraine Supply Chain Strain

The commodities markets are the industry category that is experiencing the greatest strain as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a Dun & Bradstreet briefing report released in March 2022. The report, which assesses the global business impact of the crisis, focuses on the businesses and countries that work with Russian and […]

2022 Logistics IT Perspectives

Companies rely on logistics technology to help navigate a landscape reshaped by a pandemic and evolving customer demand. Our annual logistics IT market research report explores the challenges these companies face and the latest trends in IT solutions designed to meet that need.

Consumers Catch Cold

Growing consumer demand in the United States is impacting the storage and distribution of frozen foods and other products that depend on cold environments, finds the Thomas Index Report. The report examines the shift to buying groceries online during the pandemic, as consumers embraced online ordering and fully filled pantries and freezers. The increased demand […]

Frank Dreischarf

How Collaboration and Technology Create Efficiencies for SMB’s

One of the things people are starting to realize is that relationships and collaboration matter. Many shippers have long viewed their relationships with their transportation providers as tactical rather than strategic, and they’re the ones suffering the most with today’s supply chain challenges. Simply taking the time to develop meaningful and long-term relationships can eliminate […]

Technology Soups Up the Supply Chain

Technology Soups Up the Supply Chain

Consumers slurped up e-commerce with gusto amidst boiling disruption in 2021. To sate that appetite, supply chain professionals can serve up technology that aids with visibility, intelligence, and efficiency.

NOTED: The Supply Chain In Brief

NOTED: The Supply Chain In Brief

Green Seeds CMA CGM Group will no longer transport plastic waste aboard its ships. Ten million tons of plastic waste end up in the sea each year due in part to open-air storage and the absence of processing infrastructure for plastic waste that does not get recycled. CMA CGM’s move prevents this type of waste […]

Vertical Focus: Toys

Vertical Focus: Toys

Do You Want Sustainability with That? McDonald’s is making its supply chain more sustainable by manufacturing its Happy Meal toys with significantly less plastic by the end of 2025. The fast food chain will make some toys, such as board game pieces, with plant-derived or recycled material. Super heroes and movie characters will be 3-D […]

IN BRIEF: New Services & Solutions

IN BRIEF: New Services & Solutions

Transportation ZIM Integrated Shipping Services introduced the ZIM Ecommerce Baltimore Express (ZXB) service, which offers a fast transit time to Baltimore from Asia, calling on Yantian, Cai Mep, New York, and Boston. Starting as a bi-weekly service, it will become weekly within a few months, offering shippers dedicated out-of-gate lanes to avoid queues in Baltimore; […]

Two Generations with a Drive to Serve, Grow and Innovate

Two Generations with a Drive to Serve, Grow and Innovate

When Dave Cox (pictured) joined Polaris Transportation Group in 1998, the trucking company was still finding its footing. Founded four years earlier by his parents, Larry and Geri, Polaris had just four employees with Dave’s addition – and only one was not a family member. However, the Ontario-based company already had something invaluable: a growing […]

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT | AMRs and AGVs

inVia Robotics Picker Robot: Through a robotics-as-a-service (RaaS) model, inVia Robotics combines its picker robots with AI-powered software to optimize warehouse operations. The solution uses algorithms to calculate inventory location, the optimal labor needed to complete fulfillment tasks, and the most efficient paths to take items from storage shelves to the central inVia PickerWall where […]

Digital Businesses Look At the Bright Side

Digital Businesses Look At the Bright Side

Digitized businesses report even higher levels of optimism than their offline peers, says a report from Alibaba.com, bolstered by stronger sales performance, larger anticipated investments, and more global exports. Key findings from the report reveal: Digitized SMBs far outperformed businesses still operating offline in terms of sales and sourcing: 61% of digitized businesses saw increases […]

Why Should You Attend Connections 2022?

Why Should You Attend Connections 2022?

Connections 2022, an SMC³ event, offers collaborative supply chain intelligence, covering the year’s most pertinent topics and trend forecasting for the rest of the year. Take a second to think about everything that’s changed in the supply chain over the past two years. Dramatic changes in automation, driver shortages, dynamic pricing, new legislation and regulations, […]

Electric Trucks Save the Planet…and Some Cash

Electric Trucks Save the Planet…and Some Cash

By 2027, electric freight trucks and buses will become less expensive to purchase and operate than their combustion engine counterparts, says a study by Roush Industries for Environmental Defense Fund, with lower maintenance and energy costs. These electric vehicles will not only help save truckers and fleets money, but also provide substantial health and welfare […]

What’s your best reverse logistics tip?

According to the National Retail Federation, the total rate of returns was 16.6% in 2021, up from 10.6% in 2020. The best way to reduce returns is to understand the total cost of your returns and to make sure your reverse supply chain is optimized along with the rest of your supply chain.

George Kontoravdis, PhD

Optimizing Multimodal Shipping with a One-Stop Solution

Q. What does multimodal shipping look like in 2022? A. Historically, companies have relied on third-party freight brokers to handle complex shipments that include multiple modes, geographies, and freight characteristics. Planning and executing these shipments requires careful planning and coordination with various transportation providers for efficient freight hand-off. Industry experts agree that multimodal transport can […]

4 Tech Predictions that Came True

From companies spending billions on cybersecurity to the cloud becoming the biggest thing in desktop applications, some of the top tech predictions from those in the know in various tech fields were proved right in 2021. Here are four trends that came true: 1. Natural Language Processing The branch of artificial intelligence that helps computers […]

10 Tips: Choosing a 3PL

10 Tips: Choosing a 3PL

Selecting a third-party logistics (3PL) provider is a strategic business decision so treat it that way. Your 3PL should be a catalyst for producing unmatched retail logistics performance levels and total supply chain optimization. Here’s how to choose the right partner.

Global Trade Management Systems Guide 2022

Global Trade Management Systems Guide 2022

In today’s complex and unsettled business environment, global trade management (GTM) systems are more important than ever. They can connect sourcing and logistics to make global trade more transparent and efficient. From resource planning and transportation management to data analytics, these GTM providers can help take some of the stress out of managing a global supply chain.

Shan Haq

Why Logistics Managers Should Care About AP

Regardless of industry, logistics managers are charged with establishing and maintaining strong relationships with their suppliers. Good logistics managers strive to be easy to work with so their supply chain runs smoothly. However, with so much on their plates, developing relationships with suppliers may not be their top priority. In 2020, logistics managers’ jobs became […]

Troy Prothero

How to Ensure Delight in the Grocery Aisle

Fulfilling customer needs and maintaining their ongoing satisfaction remains a critical priority. Disappointing a customer doesn’t sit well with a retailer or store associate, and that sense of frustration is something retailers should be working to prevent, starting with the following strategic supply chain enhancements. Improve demand forecasting to reduce unwelcome surprises. Typical seasonal products, […]

Keith Biondo

Rowenta Irons Out Inventory Challenges

Where do I go when it is too painful to watch TV? To my garage workbench. As it happens, my daughter had a project for me. Her pricey Rowenta iron was staining and scorching clothes. I can’t fix what’s going on in the world, but I’ll try my hand at this! Having broken several appliances […]

David L. Buss

Using Digitalization to Navigate Through Disruptions

Industry 4.0 is a revolution in manufacturing and holds promise for improving supply chain efficiency and flexibility. The convergence of technology disruptions—automation, analytics, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality—drives this revolution. Why is digitization important and what key technologies are fueling the shift? Intelligent supply chains. Intelligent technologies, such as automation, remote fleet management, and cargo […]

The Georgia Connection(s)

The Georgia Connection(s)

The essence of logistics is making connections. No surprise, then, that Georgia—a state where connectivity is a way of life—is a shining star on the logistics land (and air and sea) scape.

Trucking Influencers Take Over

Trucking influencers on social media, especially women truckers and drivers, are gaining traction and changing up transportation, says a PartCatalog.com report. They teach beginners about their unique experiences of life on the road, review products such as truck bed covers and floor mats, and show off their truck driving skills. Take a look at the […]

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

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 develops a list of the Top 100 Logistics IT Providers. IL editors research capabilities based on submitted questionnaires and other sources, then select 100 technology providers offering solutions designed to meet business logistics managers’ supply chain challenges. Inbound Logistics’ editors place value on choosing providers whose solutions are central to solving transportation, logistics, and supply […]

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 […]