Tom Heine

Using Technology to Maximize Value Chain Partnerships

Q: How can value chain partners cooperate to create and share efficiencies? A: You just have to use your imagination and dig in. There are so many ways you can help your customers. You just need to ask and listen. Some third-party logistics (3PL) providers get deeply involved to provide technology so they stand out […]

Nathan Harris

Improving Operations With a Yard Management System

Q: What is the role of a yard management system? A: Two main roles come to mind—visibility and communication. Today’s best systems offer visibility into basic information including the location, status, and contents of assets on the yard. They are also able to offer more detailed information including historical data, load detail down to the […]

Bill Ansley

Five Customs Compliance Tips for Aerospace Companies

Aerospace manufacturers and distributors who move shipments across international borders face an often-complicated, high-stakes process as they navigate export rules and local customs regulations. Fines for non-compliance can amount to millions of dollars. That makes understanding guidelines a vital business priority. For some companies, the hassles associated with customs can dissuade them from expanding into […]

Michelle Coleman

Best Practices for Preventing Pallet Rack Damage

Warehouses and distribution centers can be hectic, and it is essential to have solid damage prevention practices in effect to prevent employee injury and minimize loss. However, in an environment where workers are maneuvering heavy equipment and heavy loads in confined spaces, accidents are bound to happen. Even the best driver occasionally has a collision, […]

Felecia Stratton

A Supply Chain World Tour

Demand-driven logistics spans the world…in practice and in print. For a host of reasons, U.S. shippers and consignees are taking control of how they pull—and push—global product to market. Shifting demand dynamics, geopolitical volatility, currency fluctuations, government interference, lengthening and deepening supply networks, and cost reduction directives have conflated to consternate even the best supply […]

Supporting a Multilingual Workforce

As today’s workforce becomes increasingly multilingual and diverse, employers are focusing on ways to effectively communicate with their staff. Open lines of communication are key to avoiding confusion, mistakes, and accidents. While it is not necessary for managers to be fluent in every language the staff speaks, it is important to take steps to make […]

Jim Young: Sourcing for a Startup

Jim Young: Sourcing for a Startup

Jim Young is senior supply chain manager at Applied Microstructures, Inc. in San Jose, Calif. He has held this position since 2011. Responsibilities: All supply chain activities required to support product development, configuration, and production, as well as shipment of products to customers. Experience: Variety of positions in materials and manufacturing support; materials planning and […]

Trends—March 2015

Trends—March 2015

Learning the ABCs of DCs To be competitive in today’s dynamic retail space, online companies need to rethink distribution networks that were built to serve the brick-and-mortar store model, suggests research conducted by supply chain faculty at the University of Tennessee’s (UT) Haslam College of Business. Supply chain faculty surveyed more than 200 companies, and […]

Global Logistics—March 2015

Global Logistics—March 2015

Hong Kong: A Space Odyssey Hong Kong is one of the world’s most densely populated cities. Remarkably, only 30 percent of its land is actually developed—a reflection of the area’s mountainous terrain. Hong Kong historically has focused much of its infrastructure development on costly projects to reclaim land from the sea. Accordingly, these constraints have […]

David Bouchard

What is Globalization Doing to the World of Logistics?

Since the early 1990s, global trade agreements have divided the world up into larger and larger chunks of trading blocks where goods can flow virtually unimpeded across national borders that once protected their precious industries from outside competition with tariffs, duties and penalties. The Free Trade Agreement between the U.S., Canada and Mexico was signed […]

Charlie Saffro

Preparing Your Company Today to Hire for Tomorrow

The logistics sector will create more than one million jobs through 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. To complicate matters, there is a skills gap in logistics, so recruiting proven and experienced professionals has become a priority for many companies. With competition for talent increasing, organizations must attract candidates who will be the […]

Doug Pasquale

Unlocking the Hidden Green Value in Mobile Devices

Reverse logistics for mobile devices is more important than ever. Mobile-connected devices exceeded the world’s population in 2014. Wearable technology sales will hit 22 million in 2015, and reach 370 million devices over the next five years, according to analyst CCS Insight. Imagine landfills piled high with smartwatches and connected egg trays, instead of smartphones […]

Greg Cronin

Is Your Warehouse Software Holding You Back?

Change is underway in warehouse management and fulfillment operations. Driven by e-commerce and omni-channel demand, and enabled by innovative automation and software solutions, the fulfillment execution model is ushering in an era of real-time adaptive workflow for optimized fulfillment. When warehouse management systems (WMS) replaced paper-based systems in the mid-1980s, they marked a fundamental shift […]

Joseph Hoban

The Value of a Freight Forwarder

Q: How do you define a freight forwarder? A: A freight forwarder is a full-service provider offering multiple levels of transportation and logistics services. It combines the assets of airlines, steamship lines, and trucking companies around the world to build remarkable service and price solutions for a variety of clients—even for individual customers or shipments. […]

Bob Richard

USPS Publishes a Battery of New Shipping Regulations

Q: The United States Postal Service (USPS) published changes for shipping lithium batteries. How will that affect my shipments? A: On Jan. 26, 2015, the USPS published revisions to the domestic mail regulations that more closely align USPS requirements for shipping lithium batteries with those found in both the U.S. DOT and international regulations. The […]

John Sell

How Omni-Channel Commerce Is Changing Traditional Supply Chains

With the introduction of online (e) and mobile (m) commerce, consumers are now more comfortable than ever making purchases from any place, at any time, on virtually any device. This shift in consumer behavior has changed how goods and products flow through the supply chain to the end user. As a result, supply chain partners […]

Mike Udermann

Accommodating Disabled Colleagues in Your Workforce

Michael J. Fox has had Parkinson’s disease now for more than 20 years.  Look at his successes and failures in that time, and the way society has accepted him. Would you do the same for someone on your staff? Would you embrace them with the kindness, courtesy, and respect that they deserve? Five months ago, a […]

Global Logistics—August 2014

Global Logistics—August 2014

Only the Good Drive Young With all the talk about the U.S. driver shortage, it’s easy to forget that similar labor constraints exist elsewhere around the world. For example, recruiting younger people into the trucking industry has become a challenge in the United Kingdom, according to Barriers to Youth Employment in the Freight Transport Sector, […]

Felecia Stratton

Supply Chain Education and the Integration of Things

You’ve heard about the Internet of Things? Well, today’s supply chain education is about the Integration of Things. Integration is a buzzword you’re used to hearing nearly everywhere you turn in today’s supply chain—in the context of technology deployment, data validation, business process change, or logistics outsourcing. Enabling systems and solutions to perform seamlessly when […]

Lauren Corbett: Help is on the Way

Lauren Corbett: Help is on the Way

Lauren Corbett is program assistant, acquisitions and logistics, at International Relief and Development (IRD), a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization in Arlington, Va. She joined IRD in 2014. Responsibilities: Working with donors to obtain in-kind donations and arranging to ship them to consignees for use in programs around the world. Experience: Teaching assistant, Aldea Yanapay, Peru; intern, […]

Trends—February 2015

Trends—February 2015

The Jones Act: Time to Change Course? Debate over the Keystone XL Pipeline Act has raised a new regulatory specter. The U.S. maritime industry fears that an amendment recently introduced by U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) will counter the pro-jobs pipeline bill by gutting the Jones Act and existing cabotage regs. The senator’s amendment seeks […]

Paul A. Myerson

Designing a New Strategy for a New Year

With the New Year upon us, retailers and manufacturers need to rethink their supply chains and find new ways to work together, according to the 2016 Future Supply Chain, a report from the Global Commerce Initiative and Capgemini. Here’s a look at some external and internal industry trends from a Lean perspective. It’s not hard […]

Erez Schanin

Seven Common Shipping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Moving cargo is part of daily operations for a wide array of industry sectors worldwide, and processes to maximize time and cost-efficiency can be surprisingly detail-oriented. When moving freight is an every day operation, proper execution is a must. It can be easy to overlook the following mistakes, resulting in unwanted and unnecessary organizational spends […]

Mark Burstein

Protecting Your Brand With Product Lifecycle Management

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and supply chain management traditionally focus on metrics such as speed to market, cost reduction, consumer trend response times, and supply chain agility. But there’s a new imperative: ensuring ethical sourcing and social compliance. Designing and delivering great brands means ensuring products are safe, manufactured responsibly, and comply with myriad complex […]

The Kings of ACE

The Kings of ACE

When it came time to face the ACE, HW St. John bet on an automated solution that streamlines processes and deals customers a winning hand.

Bruce Horan

Improving Your Fleet With Telematics

Recent research shows that 20 percent of the North American fleet market has implemented telematics. While that number may seem low for a technology that’s been in the market for just over a decade, it is likely that the number will double to 40 percent within the next few years. Telematics allow users to gain […]

Peter Zaballos

Searching For the New Perfect Order

The growth of omni-channel retailing has driven a shift in what constitutes the “perfect order” — from a traditional, sequentially linear design to an exponentially more complex, interconnected model. It’s a shift driven by customer demand that requires the retailer to manage orders, shipments, payments, and returns within the retailing organization and across a vast […]

Brandon Levey

How to Make Physical Inventory Counts Less Stressful

Small business owners may struggle finding time to interact with customers, let alone counting inventory and checking for inaccuracies in the warehouse. Although technology tools can help manage inventory, you must implement systems in-house that account for physical stock counting. Many product-based businesses will ditch the annual inventory count and opt for something a little […]

Keith Biondo

Talent Gap: How Did We Get Here?

How did we get here? By "here" I mean the supply chain talent gap that many companies are struggling to fill. In "Talent Gap: Where Are We Going?", the editor lauds the 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars who represent the bright future of our practice. But, as you’ll see in the chart at the bottom […]

Felecia Stratton

Talent Gap: Where Are We Going?

I am always pleased when the annual Logistics Planner issue publishes, but this year I’m doubly excited. This issue marks a new milestone as we introduce and celebrate the 30 best and brightest supply chain practitioners under the age of 30—a group of individuals who are familiar with producing extraordinary results in a short period […]

Choosing a Route Planning System

Time is money, and a route planning system can drastically reduce the time it takes to plan your transportation schedule. Not only do route planning systems lower mileage, they also help cut fuel usage, decrease carbon emissions, improve asset utilization, and increase customer service. William Salter, CEO and president of Paragon Software Systems, recommends choosing […]

Eelco de Graaf: Four-Continent Career

Eelco de Graaf: Four-Continent Career

Eelco de Graaf is vice president, supply chain operations at Lewis-Goetz and Company’s corporate headquarters in Pittsburgh. He has held this position since August 2014. Responsibilities: Purchasing, shipping, manufacturing, and operational excellence. Experience: Management trainee, Fortis Financial Group; distribution channel manager, Fortis Investments; key account manager, Fortis ASR; assistant to chairman, executive board of directors, […]

Trends—January 2015

Trends—January 2015

Truck Sizes and Weight: The Long and the Short of It Truck size and weight has long been a sensitive and divisive issue, pitting railroads and the motoring public against a trucking industry already beset by the full heft of regulatory burden. Proponents favor increasing the scale and scope of what trucks and trailers can […]

Global Logistics—January 2015

Global Logistics—January 2015

Uber Hails Hong Kong Cargo Pilot While analysts continue to speculate about how the "Uber model" will translate to parcel and small shipment movements, especially in densely populated areas, the San Francisco-based taxi/technology company has begun testing its platform in Hong Kong. Its latest incarnation, UberCARGO, promises to deliver the same cashless convenience that has […]

Laura Easley

Leverage Data to Navigate Uncertain Times

If you’re tracking the Producer Price Index, consumer spending surveys and driver shortage statistics, you know that the economy and the global supply chain are becoming more and more complicated. Increasing volatility in operating costs, capacity, consumer demands, technology evolution and government regulations are producing a blinding effect on many shippers. To restore insight and […]

Scott Nelson

Supply-chain Visibility: Why It Still Leaves Decision Makers in the Dark

Everyone who manages logistics operations or relies upon logistics information wants better supply-chain visibility.The phrase "supply-chain visibility" means many things. To some, it means knowing where in-transit goods are. To others, it means understanding how much an organization spends for logistics services—by business unit, department, product line, etc. To still others, it means understanding the […]

George Prest

Traditional Supply Chain Models Will Be Extinct in 2025, Thanks to These 10 Disruptors

When 2025 rolls around, traditional supply chain models will be extinct, according to the 100-plus thought leaders and partners behind the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics. This open community spearheaded by MHI includes material handling and logistics practitioners, suppliers, academia, associations, publications and government. Each has a stake in the future of the […]

Capacity Crunch

No, capacity crunch is not a cereal. It’s what almost every third-party logistics company (3PL) is dealing with today. It’s a shortage of trucks. Why are trucks in short supply? Let’s start with the economy. It’s pretty good right now. When the economy is good, it’s good for truckers. There are lots of goods to […]

Bob Richard

Changing Regulations Regarding Shipping Lithium Batteries Present Unique Hazards for Shippers, Carriers and Receivers

The world of Dangerous Goods (DG) shipping is complex and ever-changing. Take for example the changing regulations regarding shipping lithium batteries. While lithium batteries have delivered superior performance and reliability in an endless array of applications, the same technology that makes them so useful also presents unique hazards for shippers, carriers and receivers. Several significant […]

Tom Patterson

Six Secrets to Controlling Supply Chain Costs Without Sacrificing Service

It’s Monday morning. Your boss knocks on your office door to tell you to cut five percent of your supply chain costs in the next six months, while improving performance on customer service scorecards by three percent. This balancing act between cost and service is becoming more common as companies seek ways to do more […]

James Min

Customs Compliance: Small Mistakes Can Lead to Big Problems

Diverse, evolving global trade regulations require companies to implement systems and procedures that ensure strict adherence. Large businesses have in-house compliance staff, but those responsibilities might hold a more vague spot in small enterprises. With stiff penalties at stake—penalties that could put some organizations out of business—small companies must take an aggressive stance on compliance. […]

Rex Beck

The Human Factor: What is Technology Without Leadership?

As its cost declines, supply chain technology continues to improve. Technology implementation depends upon it being economically feasible compared to other solutions, such as deploying equipment or increasing labor. Technology will likely be increasingly used in place of both solutions. This leaves many envisioning a future driven almost exclusively by technology, but nothing could be […]

John Lloyd

How to Close the Supply Chain Talent Gap

A career in logistics is a career working at the heart of world trade. Most of us could not get through a single day of our lives without relying on some aspect of the supply chain. Products move between manufacturers and retailers, or growers and consumers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 […]

Rich Becks

Supply Chain Resilience: Turning Risk Into Opportunity

In today’s global economy, risk is unavoidable. But it also provides opportunity, as a company’s ability to adapt in difficult circumstances is a true source of competitive advantage and precisely defines a winning approach to risk responsiveness. Is your business prepared to mitigate the effects of operational risks, such as Mother Nature throwing a curveball […]

Chris Miget

Reimagining Molded Pulp Packaging: It’s Not Just For Eggs Anymore

As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, industry leaders continually find ways to make operations more sustainable. This can mean anything from recycling more around the office to adopting Lean principles. Some companies are even thinking green when it comes to packaging. Years of using plastics and foam packing peanuts have made it necessary for […]

Lake Ray

How to Choose a Business-Friendly Site

The U.S. manufacturing resurgence can largely be attributed to companies reshoring operations. With its low-cost, abundant energy resources, the United States has once again become a cost-effective siting option for energy-intensive manufacturers. As the energy boom brings companies back to the United States, they must decide where to locate. A number of factors make a […]

VMI 2.0: A Whole New Game

VMI 2.0: A Whole New Game

Vendor Managed Inventory is shaking off its old-school image and regaining popularity thanks to improved technology, robust communication, tighter demand signal linkage, and a new openness to collaboration that has turbo-charged enterprise benefits.

Breaking Down Big Data

Breaking Down Big Data

Big data is a big deal, but what is it? Inbound Logistics asks four industry experts to file their report on big data and its benefits.

A DIM Future for Packaging

A DIM Future for Packaging

Trying to wrap your head around Dimensional (DIM)Weight Pricing and how it affects your shipping and logistics operations? Asked and answered! Here’s some expert advice on understanding the new models, and how to mitigate the costs.

U.S. Manufacturing: All Systems Grow

U.S. Manufacturing: All Systems Grow

North America’s manufacturing sector is on an upward trajectory. But, will a shortage of young talent, compounded by baby boomers’ negative perceptions about millennials, impact continued expansion? ThomasNet’s latest Industry Market Barometer research provides the answer.

Adding Resilience to Your Supply Chain

Adding Resilience to Your Supply Chain

MORE TO THE STORY: 4 Tools That Support Supply Chain Resiliency Questions to Answer to Add Resilience to the Supply Chain Natural disasters and other events have exposed weaknesses in lean global, regional, and domestic supply chains, disrupting connections between companies, their suppliers, and their customers. In the next phase of supply chain development, companies […]

The Luxury of Logistics Excellence

The Luxury of Logistics Excellence

To expand its footprint in the luxury accessories market, Royce Leather indulged in a solution that connects it to new customers and streamlines fulfillment. That’s how Royce rolls.

Joe Langner

Filling the Manufacturing Skills Gap With Technology

Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are growing at an accelerated rate. This is all good news for manufacturers as they are seeing an increase in orders. But along with the growth, there’s the reality that manufacturers are dealing with a skills gap. Its tough to attract and retain the kind of talent they need to […]

Thierry Tosi

Managing the Aerospace Supply Chain

Today’s aftermarket aerospace and defense supply chain requirements are changing how companies secure the critical spare parts needed to improve customer service, enhance product uptime and profitability, and increase customer loyalty and retention. It’s nothing short of a global logistical transformation. Budget cuts are helping fuel the transformation, with the need to maintain existing military […]

Marcia Faschingbauer

Contingency Planning Keeps Freight Moving

In the last few years, everything from a massive earthquake in Japan, to hurricanes on the East Coast threatened our supply chain – a supply chain that increasingly knows no international borders. Whether operations are focused in a small geographic area or span countries and modes, all disruptions have the potential to ripple through our […]

Sonal Sinha

Keeping Vendor Risk Under Control During the Holiday Season

‘Tis the season to be jolly. Yet, for logistics managers, ‘tis perhaps the most stressful time of the year. With businesses offering customers attractive deals and promises of just-in-time delivery, logistics managers are under tremendous pressure to make sure that customer orders are fulfilled in time. Nobody wants to see their name in front-page headline […]

Roy Burton

Five LED Lighting Myths Debunked

In an effort to run greener and leaner, many companies have considered making the switch to LED lighting in their industrial and hazardous facilities. In fact, interest in and adoption rate of LED for both new construction and retrofit has been growing rapidly in many applications, including light industrial, such as warehousing, packaging, shipping, and […]

Felecia Stratton

Service With A Demand-driven Smile

What does it mean for retailers to deliver exceptional customer service? Is it matching expectations? Cost-competitive pricing? Dependability? Options? Most consumers expect "all of the above" and then some from their retailers and e-tailers. Demand expectations are also hyper-sensitized because consumers are faced with infinite choices. SKU proliferation extends beyond the store shelf. However demand […]

Reducing Freight Costs

Transportation prices have risen over the past year, but shippers can cut those costs through smart planning. Tim Benedict, senior director of transportation at APL Logistics, offers the following tips for reducing freight costs. 1. Don’t wing it. Electing to use international air instead of expedited ocean for the majority of hot shipments could leave […]

Christopher McGovern: Watch Him Soar

Christopher McGovern: Watch Him Soar

Christopher McGovern is vice president, supply chain management at Aero Precision, a Greenwich AeroGroup company, headquartered in Livermore, Calif. He has held this position since 2014. Responsibilities: Inventory management, sourcing, procurement, and OEM relationships. Experience: Analyst, political/economic department, U.S. Embassy, Oslo, Norway; product researcher, OEM product research leader, program manager—U.S. government, OEM product manager—marketing, manager— […]

Trends—December 2014

Trends—December 2014

10 Best Practices Of SmartWay Shippers Since 2004, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) SmartWay Transport Partnership has given organizations that ship freight a set of tools to measure their supply chain’s carbon footprint and make better decisions about how to reduce it. To mark SmartWay’s 10th anniversary, several shipper partners share their best tactics […]

Global Logistics—December 2014

Global Logistics—December 2014

As UK Port Capacity Heads South, Freight Moves North London’s notorious congestion issues extend beyond the city limits. A shortage of inland transport capacity and increasing truck idling times at ports in the south of England are pushing freight to the north. Over the past year, UK-based third-party logistics provider Metro Shipping has transferred several […]

Karl Swensen

Four Reasons Retailers Should Pay Attention to Reverse Logistics

Many retailers have long emphasized agility and cost-efficient movement of freight to stores or customers. However, they often neglect reverse logistics, resulting in missed opportunities for the entire consumer goods supply chain. The multi-channel model—which enables consumers to buy anytime, anywhere—has significantly impacted the retail industry and given rise to the following reasons why retailers […]

David Riffel

The Ins and Outs of Crossdocking Solutions

Crossdocking—immediately converting inbound deliveries to outbound shipments—has become popular among shippers and third-party logistics (3PL) providers, because it reduces inventory costs and improves delivery times by eliminating intermediate warehousing activity. Effective crossdocking requires continuous real-time visibility of shipments from supplier to end customer. Unfortunately, typical enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems don’t provide granular details specific […]

Customer Service: It’s the Thought That Counts

Customer Service: It’s the Thought That Counts

Technology is enabling an unprecedented level of transparency and communication to help shippers and their logistics providers understand each other’s operations, and collaborate in ways that were much more difficult in the past.

Delivering Reliability in a Challenging Market

Delivering Reliability in a Challenging Market

THE CUSTOMER: This global shipper is a leader in frozen and refrigerated (reefer) food products and logistics marketing. They work with supplier partners and customers in more than 140 countries on six continents. They’re one of Maersk Line North America’s top five refrigerated export customers. THE PARTNER: Maersk Line, Florham Park, NJ Founded in 1904, […]

Gene Gander

Five Key Questions to Ask a Vendor Before Buying Supply Chain Software

Cloud-based systems have changed the game for software in the supply chain, and their benefits are being applauded at every level of the spectrum. It puts software development into the hands of technology professionals and allows supply chain providers to continue focusing on their core competencies. This means that supply chain providers have access to […]

Kristi Montgomery

Ensuring Business Sustainability During Disasters, Disruptions, and Service Failures

We have seen horrific natural disasters in recent years that taxed both supply chains and our core businesses. Approximately 85 percent of global supply chains experienced at least one significant disruption during 2013. This affects both an organization’s bottom line and its ability to be there for customers. Businesses that survive natural disasters, operational interruptions, […]