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?

The first thing that needs to be addressed is driver pay. Other industries offer higher wages for workers with similar skillsets, so we need to ensure that driving is economically competitive in the marketplace. Secondly, we need to tap into the next generation and let them know that transportation is a viable profession. Steve Pitt […]

Optimizing Freight Spend

Managing your transportation budget is the key to shedding excess cost. Working in today’s competitive market provides many options to help slim down freight spend. As freight transportation continues to change, service providers are using technology to improve and meet the dynamics of the supply chain. Tim Quinn, director of procurement for Freightquote, offers the […]

Michael Fries: No Small Potatoes

Michael Fries: No Small Potatoes

Michael Fries is senior business intelligence logistics analyst at U.S. Foods in Rosemont, Ill. He has held this position since 2014. Responsibilities: Analyzing data on inbound operations and carrier performance to support process improvement. Experience: Member service representative, Alliant Credit Union; project coordinator, Best Messenger Service; supply chain coordinator, CF Industries; logistics sourcing analyst, ITW. […]

Trends—February 2016

Trends—February 2016

UAV Operators Wait As FAA Guidelines Drone On Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced in 2013 that Amazon Prime Air would use unmanned drones to deliver packages to your door in 30 minutes or less. The online retailer has since claimed that it is only waiting for the government to make drone package delivery legal. Unfortunately, […]

Global Logistics—February 2016

Global Logistics—February 2016

Global Infrastructure Projects: Building for the Future A $305-billion transportation infrastructure bill passed the U.S. Congress at the end of 2015, but the United States isn’t the only country looking to spend big money on infrastructure projects, according to the 2016 Global Infrastructure Report from CG/LA Infrastructure. The report details 100 infrastructure projects in 71 […]

Sheik M. Ayube

Corporate Citizenship Starts With the Supply Chain 

In recent years, a noticeable paradigm shift has taken place in the business world. Driven by the realization that business and society can no longer intersect at the crossroads of profits first and society second, business is adopting a new order that puts the interests of society on a level that is at par with […]

Jannine Miller

Georgia: Enabling Business Growth Through Collaboration

The business environment in Georgia is rich in everything a shipper might seek for responding to customers and competing in the global marketplace. From well-designed redundancies across intermodal shipping methods to creative solutions when the unexpected happens, Georgia’s logistics advantages can help shippers of all sizes and industries connect and grow. Shippers are the lifeblood […]

Chase Sowden

Tapping the Power of Performance Management

In today’s workplace, performance improvement and the role of performance management are increasingly important. Organizations are under more pressure than ever to become more efficient and improve business strategies to remain competitive. Consider, for instance, a manufacturer with five warehouses that decides to implement a new enterprise resource planning system. The goal is to increase […]

Nick Cicero

Leverage Dashboard Technology to Improve Decision-Making Capabilities

As a logistics professional, you’re familiar with the value of high-quality data. Experienced supply chain practitioners recognize that the value of data is directly related to its utility: Raw data without context or consequence is virtually meaningless. With even more tracking systems contributing to a dramatic increase in the volume of available data, companies are […]

Jon M. Van Winkle

Getting Fleets Mobile Ready

Many transportation fleets are now embracing mobile technologies, and there are clear reasons why. Today’s smartphones and tablet computers put more computing power in the palm of a driver’s hand than what was available in the earliest NASA computers that put man on the moon. Furthermore, the ongoing R&D investments by chip and device makers […]

Clint Lasher

Fine-tuning the Modern Distribution Center

Not long ago, people changed their own oil and did other maintenance on their vehicles. To be sure, some auto buffs still enjoy the thrill of DIY on their cars, but many are content with letting experienced professionals handle the job. After all, vehicles and the technologies behind them are a lot more complex than […]

Raymond G. Monteith

Is Your Business Prepared for the Worst?

Disasters and tragedy happen every day. From fires and theft to severe weather events, we experience disruptive incidents on a regular basis. So how prepared is your business to withstand a crisis? How well have you incorporated risk analysis and crisis preparation into your business operations? Effective risk assessment depends on using our imagination to […]

Keith Biondo

The Supply Chain of the Future?

We have achieved a good measure of being able to match demand to supply, and have aligned enterprise operations to support that purpose. But now that we have achieved that goal, we begin again—with a new global supply chain metastructure that is always on, never off. Consumer impatience drives supply chain impatience. For example, Adidas […]

Felecia Stratton

The Supply Chain of the Past

The publisher talks about a coming global supply chain metastructure, citing an Adidas “speedfactory” where robots manufacture running shoes. Is this the supply chain of the future? Maybe. But let’s take a look at an imaginary supply chain of the past Meet Gan McManus, the hero of Strikepoint, a logistics novella we originally published in […]

Who’s more important—your customers or your employees?

Who’s more important—your customers or your employees?

This one is easy for me: employees every time. Customers come and go, but it’s employees who determine the frequency. Treat your employees well, invest in their skills, promote and reward customer-centric behaviors, and you’ll never need to answer this question again. Nick Foy Director of Operations, ModusLink Whether they are your employees or your […]

Becoming a Shipper of Choice

Supply chain partners are instrumental to business success. Taking steps to become a shipper of choice delivers benefits across the supply chain, and helps sustain and grow your bottom line. Greg Braun, senior vice president of sales and marketing at C3 Solutions, offers these tips for becoming carrier friendly. 1. Offer a flexible delivery window. […]

Al Morris: Perfect for the Part

Al Morris: Perfect for the Part

Al Morris is director, global supply chain, at TERiX Computer Service in Sunnyvale, Calif. He has worked for the company since 2004. Responsibilities: Procurement and logistics. Experience: Procurement manager, Marathon International Group. Education: BS, Private and Commercial Recreation, San Jose State University, 1991. I graduated college during a recession, and was glad when a friend […]

Trends—January 2016

Trends—January 2016

Of Potholes and Politics Transportation infrastructure became a hot topic at the end of 2014. So hot, in fact, that it was on the short list of items that had Congress prepared to shut down the government again. This was an interesting development for those who depend on our nation’s highways and waterways—especially because there […]

Global Logistics—January 2016

Global Logistics—January 2016

It’s Not Easy Beijing Green China reached its highest level of air pollution on record in December 2015. The smog in Beijing was so bad that the government issued a series of red alerts (the highest alert on a four-tier scale) spanning days. The alerts forced more than 2,000 factories to reduce or shut down […]

Doug Waggoner

Advantages of Partial Truckload Shipping

Less-than-truckload (LTL) and full truckload transportation are regularly discussed, but an often overlooked mode is partial truckload, or volume LTL. This mode has benefits shippers should consider when looking for faster transit times, less handling, and a more cost-effective solution. Logistics professionals begin to look at partial truckload or volume LTL as an option when […]

Ken Wacker

Accelerating Enterprise Logistics With Top-Tier Multi-Modal Solutions

Logistics has evolved into a strategic business concern—from a back office function to a boardroom agenda item—and as a result, enterprises now seek 3PLs with multi-modal capabilities for complete end-to-end integration. By linking all transportation modes, enterprise shippers leverage the entirety of the supply chain to achieve economical logistics performance. Today, it is important for […]

George Prest

Education, Outreach Keys to Changing the Face of Supply Chain

The supply chain has an image problem. Although modern operations no longer resemble the dark, dirty, stagnant facilities of the past, we’re still challenged by that popular perception. In reality, supply chains are global enterprises led by a diverse group of professionals who routinely utilize innovation, creativity and smart thinking to drive operational efficiency as […]

Tom Heine

It’s All About Risk: The Case for the Cloud

Use cloud software, buy enterprise software, or write your own—which is the best choice for your company? Companies in the transportation business traditionally bought enterprise software or built their own. That has changed. Over the last 10 years, cloud software has become a popular alternative, and for good reason. It’s the choice that exposes your […]

Jim Hoefflin

A Five-Step Blueprint for 3PL Success

Companies are always on the lookout for ways to enhance their supply chain operations and make them more efficient. But 3PLs, in particular, face the unique challenge of regularly improving how they work with shippers, and, in the face of regular rate increases, finding new ways to reduce freight costs to keep prices down for […]

Radek Maly

Multinational Diversity Drives Measurable Success in Logistics Operations

The logistics industry is international by its very nature. Logistics providers—particularly freight forwarders—manage relationships with companies around the world as shipments are moved globally. As a result, the United States is more diverse than ever before, which presents an opportunity for companies to partner with a logistics provider that hires staff from many countries and […]

Andrew Reiff

Using Data Analysis to Minimize Transportation Costs

In today’s data-rich world, the logistics industry as a whole is surprisingly behind the times. It’s been said that there are two ways to increase profits: raise prices or reduce expenses. Moving product around spends money. Whether a shipper is taking inbound deliveries of raw materials or sending a finished product to an end user, […]

Jeff Siewert

Spring Clean Your Trade and Compliance Processes

This is the time of year when many of us begin our spring-cleaning projects around the home. Yet it is a good idea to also consider some spring cleaning of your organization’s trade compliance processes, perhaps dusting off some plans set earlier and readying programs for developments coming in the remainder of the year. Prep […]

Tom Madzy

So You’ve Decided to Invest in a Global TMS – Now What?

The benefits of a Transport Management System (TMS) are well recognized, allowing users to replace separate management systems for their different logistical needs with an end-to-end solution that allows shipments to be booked in just a few clicks, saving vast amounts of time and money. It’s no wonder then, that so many companies are moving […]

Cindi Hane

Transportation 2016 (And Beyond): The Old Rules Don’t Apply

Transportation is ever-evolving with current shipper concerns of growing truck driver shortages, severe capacity crunches, supply chain talent shortfalls, and tenuous customer service levels. Traditionally, shippers would pick up the phone to call a favorite carrier who would carry the load for an acceptable rate at the day and time requested. These manual transactions were […]

Jimmy Shafer

What Effect Will 3D Printing Have on Logistics and SCM?

The worldwide market for 3D printing grew at a compound annual growth rate of 35.2% to $4.1 billion (USD) in 2014, according to Wohlers Report 2015. The industry expanded by more than $1 billion with 49 manufacturers producing and selling industrial-grade 3D machines. If 3D printing is going to have a major impact on how […]

Maria Baker

Thoughts on Independent Contractor Pitfalls

Hire. Employ. Train. These are a few words that can cost you dearly, should a governing entity decide it wants to look at your business model and how you utilize independent contractors (ICs). Do they wait at your location for their next job? Are your drivers in uniform? Do their vehicles have your logo on […]

Robert Walters

Inbound Vendor Programs

A lot of attention is paid to the control and management of outbound shipping to someone’s customers, but many times the expense of inbound vendor traffic and its impact on landed cost is overlooked. Sometimes because the buyers get no credit for managing freight costs of inbound shipping and expertise of the shipping staff is […]

Henry Kardonski

Panama’s SEA Change Boosts Access to Global Markets

Panama is quickly becoming the business capital of Latin America. The country is an attractive location to the international business community due to the $5.25-billion expansion of the Panama Canal, allowing for increased access to global markets. In addition, the country’s economy is surging, and the Panamanian government is attracting foreign direct investment through the […]

Richard Newbold

Five Driving Forces Behind Driverless Trucks

The introduction of driverless trucks could be the biggest change the transportation industry will ever see, and the concept is closer to reality than you might think. Vehicle manufacturers say drivers will still be essential in the next 10 years, and the technology will be there to assist drivers rather than take their jobs. Daimler, […]

Chris Cotter

Driver Coercion Rule: What Shippers And Carriers Need to Know

As a new truck driver coercion rule goes into effect, the need for communication with drivers is greater than ever. Motor carriers, shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries need to train drivers on the updated policies and procedures. In November 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) adopted regulations that prohibit drivers from being coerced […]

Dave Silva

Shedding Light on DIM Weight Returns

Volume shippers who send most of their goods to customers via parcel carriers know that a pound is not always a pound. Dimensional, or DIM, weight is a significant issue that can add up to millions of dollars in shipping expenses. For e-commerce shippers, customer returns are inevitable. Without a clear understanding and plan for […]

Steve Wood

Serialization: It’s the Real Thing

To help combat counterfeiting, the premium beverage industry is taking advantage of serial numbers on product packages to uniquely identify products for increased connectivity throughout packaging operations and the supply chain. Premium beverages such as expensive wine, whiskey, and cognac have become an increasingly active market for counterfeiters in China, India, and Russia. It’s easy […]

Mark Morley

Greening Your Supply Chain With B2B Automation

Today’s businesses are under increasing pressure to develop more sustainable supply chains, typically part of a broader Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative. With reducing carbon emissions a cornerstone of many CSR-related programs, developing greener logistics and supply chain networks is key. Replacing manual, paper-based processes with fully automated systems that use electronic business-to-business (B2B) transactions […]

Shay Scott

Eight Ways to Find and Retain Qualified Supply Chain Talent

The burgeoning need for talent to operate today’s complex supply chains has begun to garner significant attention. Not only are supply chain management roles expanding at a rate outpacing qualified new graduates, but supply chain is also rapidly becoming more complex, creating the need for existing personnel to dramatically retool their skill sets. These trends […]

Jim Barnes

Building Strong Supplier Relationships: Procurement Takes the Lead

As external forces change the expectation of procurement to be more than just the cost police, it’s up to procurement professionals to embrace the role as strategists and advisors. As a leader, it is important to cultivate and maintain good supplier relationships to ensure profitability. Companies struggle in relationships with suppliers for many reasons. For […]

Steve Leavitt

How to Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace

Whatever your business, the success of any company depends on its ability to define its value proposition, and then execute the vision precisely and consistently throughout the organization. Defining a company’s core value proposition requires patience, as well as a deep understanding and appreciation of your customers’ needs and your core competencies. Nearly 30 years […]

The Automotive Aftermarket: Time for a Tuneup?

The Automotive Aftermarket: Time for a Tuneup?

By diagnosing and responding to three service alerts—omni-channel retail migration, Mexican plant expansions, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership—automakers, parts suppliers, and 3PLs keep the aftermarket engine purring like a kitten.

FSMA: How to Avoid the Compliance Cops

FSMA: How to Avoid the Compliance Cops

HALT! Be on the lookout for the Food Safety Modernization Act, which will impact all food shippers and carriers. We rounded up some expert advice, because if you don’t know the new rules, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

SWISH! Shippers Score with Small Box Deliveries

SWISH! Shippers Score with Small Box Deliveries

E-commerce got game in the retail arena, driving a sharp increase in small package volumes and netting more demanding consumers. Winning retailers are playing offense to meet these new challenges…before the clock runs out.

The Science Behind Site Selection

The Science Behind Site Selection

Industry leaders test their theories about new distribution and fulfillment center locations, and—Eureka!—discover the elements of successful site selection decisions.

IoT in the Supply Chain

IoT in the Supply Chain

The Internet of Things will make the supply chain as we know it a thing of the past. Let our experts plug you in to the latest IoT know-how.

Winter Reading Guide 2016

Winter Reading Guide 2016

Don’t let winter put a deep freeze on your logistics learning. Keep your knowledge evergreen by cozying up to books on wide-ranging topics, from food logistics to procurement practices.

Fred Guelen

The Future Is Now: Strategic Technology Thinking for Shipping and Logistics Facility Managers

All over the world, forward-thinking shipping and logistics facility management (FM) professionals are frequently turning to next-generation, FM software to efficiently manage their facilities and real estate portfolios. It’s being used to streamline business processes, reduce facility costs, and simplify space and maintenance management. Simply put, it is revolutionizing overall workplace performance and helping businesses […]

Candace Sider

Get Ready for Trade Developments

Major developments in global trade, broad in scope and substance, are expected to play a significant role in 2016 and affect nearly every business that imports or exports. Many of these developments represent several years of negotiation or implementation phases. To stay competitive this year, companies should start planning for their implications now. To prepare, […]

Greg Braun

How “Chain of Responsibility” Affects the Supply Chain

Public concern over highway safety has never been more in the spotlight than it is today. In particular, increased scrutiny came about after the June 2014 traffic accident involving the vehicle of well-known actor Tracy Morgan and a Walmart tractor-trailer. Walmart agreed to provide generous civil settlements to the damaged parties, even though its driver […]

Malysa O’Connor

The Perfect Order Has Evolved—Has Your Workforce Management Strategy?

If you’re like most shippers, maximizing customer satisfaction and loyalty is at the top of your list of business goals. To accomplish these objectives, your organization must be dedicated to the pursuit of the “perfect order.” The question remains: What really is a perfect order? The perception of the perfect order continues to evolve and […]

Global Logistics—October 2015

Global Logistics—October 2015

Today’s Digital Economy: What’s in Store for Retailers? Retailers are currently pressured to adjust their internal and customer-facing strategies to meet consumer demands, which are evolving at a rapid pace. But they must be willing to evolve as well, according to SAP’s inaugural Retail Index survey conducted in partnership with global forecasting firm Oxford Economics. The survey […]

Felecia Stratton

Whatever It Takes

So you’re a retailer, and out of stock on a particular item. Then, of course, a customer orders it. What do you do? When outdoor gear retailer Backcountry was faced with an out of stock that would disappoint a customer, an employee went shopping on a competitor’s website, purchased the item with a personal credit […]

Supporting Sustainability Throughout the Supply Chain

Companies can support sustainability throughout their supply chains with many different approaches. Reducing paper by automating manual business processes, optimizing shipments and loads with end-to-end visibility, saving fuel and lowering emissions by avoiding supply chain disruptions, and sourcing materials from suppliers with like-minded sustainability goals are just a few examples. Ed Rusch, vice president of […]

Lin Ding: A Healthy Perspective on Procurement

Lin Ding: A Healthy Perspective on Procurement

Lin Ding is procurement manager at Ultimate Medical Academy in Tampa, Fla. She has held this position since May 2015. Responsibilities: Overseeing procurement, supplier management, and contract management; creating a framework to support the department’s procurement activities; implementing purchasing policies and improvement strategies. Experience: Financial advisor, Yuebao Investment Co.; purchasing and sourcing coordinator, Seven Halos; […]

Trends—December 2015

Trends—December 2015

Data Capture Technology Ripe for Picking Reducing picking errors remains a high priority for distribution center operators, especially as customer expectations, particularly for faster and more accurate delivery, continue to increase, according to a recent Honeywell survey. Distribution centers are currently losing an average of more than $400,000 annually to picking errors, the survey finds. […]

Chuck Fattore

Realizing the Power of a Leveraged Platform

Q: How can today’s manufacturers deal with increasing regulations, demand volatility, and shifting global trade currents? A: One way a manufacturer can mitigate the effects of increasing regulations and demand volatility is by working with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider with a leveraged platform. When a 3PL provider utilizes a leveraged platform, it is employing […]

Rob Kriewaldt

Free Trade – Vital to Our Industry

Free trade has been a pillar of the U.S. economy for much of our nation’s history. Over the past several decades, the United States has negotiated many bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) to increase access to other countries’ markets while opening the U.S. market and benefiting consumers. In addition to membership in the […]

The Value of a Positive Customer Experience

We have all been there—we purchase a product and something about it doesn’t meet our expectations. While many companies have figured out that an "easy return" goes a long way in customer satisfaction, there are still those that make it challenging. Let’s be honest, we have avoided ordering from companies that don’t make this process […]

Sid Geddam

Building the Connected Warehouse

Boxes, pallets, and forklifts aren’t the only things that move throughout a warehouse. Data also flows across a range of warehouse business processes, from the receipt of goods to storage and tracking, picking and packing, and outbound transportation. How effectively a business utilizes that information has a massive impact on warehouse and supply chain performance. […]

Cheryl Citrone

Attracting More Women to the Transportation Profession

More than 13 million Americans comprise the transportation workforce, and nearly half of them are eligible for retirement within the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Not only is this particular workforce an older population, it’s also male dominated, as women account for as little as 13 percent of transportation occupations […]

Paul A. Myerson

RFID: More Than Just a Better Barcode

Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID) offers a multitude of benefits that can significantly reduce and eliminate waste in the extended supply chain. RFID, an automatic identification method using electronic tags that have a microchip and printed antenna, is a lot more than just a small improvement from barcode technology. Barcodes offer a status report at […]

Jerry Stoll

Dimensioning on the Move

Growing fuel costs and capital expenses paired with a driver shortage have left companies shipping less-than-truckload (LTL) freight scrambling for ways to cut costs. Unfortunately, opportunities to counter fuel costs, eliminate capital investments, and reduce the manpower required to keep business moving are limited. That’s why many shippers are turning to dimensioning technology to gain […]

James Kilkelly

IT Asset Disposition Is the Future of Reverse Logistics

While forward logistics optimizes the flow of goods from the producer to the consumer, reverse logistics inverts that flow from the consumer back to the producer. Most often, this includes warranty recovery, value recovery, repair, redistribution, product recalls, used parts, and replacement materials for refurbishment, service, or product contract returns, and end-of-life recycling. In a […]

Jim Hayden

Optimizing the Holiday Supply Chain With Reliable ETA

Timeliness is top of mind during the holiday season. As Santa prepares for his ride around the world to give every child a gift by Christmas morning, manufacturers and retailers are also busy planning to meet increasing customer delivery demands during the holidays. Santa has his magic and his elves, but companies must find other […]

People Person

People Person

Bobby Harris, President and CEO of BlueGrace Logistics, discusses the talent gap, entrepreneurship, the importance of keeping employees happy, and more.

Felecia Stratton

Keep the Change

When developing content for Inbound Logistics, I often ask readers what issues and challenges they face. Dealing with constant change in supply chain management is one hot-button topic that arises repeatedly. Efficient change management is critical in the supply chain because it touches every function within an enterprise. And, as I recently discovered, managing change […]

Selecting a Global Trade Management Tool

Selecting the right global trade management system is an important factor in growing your business. Analyzing features such as customization and security can help you determine which solution best meets your company’s needs. Ron Atapattu, president and founder of Overseas Cargo Inc., offers the following recommendations for selecting global trade management software that can take […]

Sean Smith: Ingredients for a Great Career

Sean Smith: Ingredients for a Great Career

Sean Smith is supply chain director at Agropur Ingredients in La Crosse, Wis. He has worked for the company since 2013. Responsibilities: Purchasing, inbound and outbound logistics, production planning, inventory management, analytics, and warehouse operations. Experience: Supply chain manager, U.S. Army; strategic sourcing manager—facilities, Citigroup; supply chain manager—contracting and sourcing, Adventist Health Systems. Education: Diploma, […]

Trends—November 2015

Trends—November 2015

GHS: Label It a Problem Fewer than 50 percent of the nearly 150 supply chain professionals from internationally based chemical companies responding to Loftware Inc.’s recent GHS Readiness Survey have met the latest Globally Harmonized System of Classification (GHS) labeling requirements. The United Nations originally adopted the GHS in 2002 to ensure hazardous materials are […]

Refugees Cause Price Hike for EU Shippers

Refugees Cause Price Hike for EU Shippers

Refugees Displace EU Supply Chain In many cases, even under the best circumstances, border crossings can be rife with paperwork, passports, and delays. But Europe has streamlined the process, with free and open border crossings between most of its member states that eliminate many of these hassles. That is, until recently. More than nine million […]

Andreas Pohl

What Trends are Shaping the Global Air Freight Market?

New research by SandlerResearch.org has predicted that the worldwide air cargo logistics market will experience a 5.97% compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2014 to 2019. Increased research into this market is welcome, but this report attributes most of the annual growth to an increase in online retail store sales. Consumers are ordering more products […]