Creating the 2022 Logistics Planner issue was as interesting, as challenging, and as much fun as publishing our first Planner nearly a decade ago. The sheer size of this issue gives me the ability to cover a wide variety of topics impacting your job. I hope this issue provides the information you’ll need to help […]
Early Amazon Story Explains How to Create Resiliency
Early in Amazon’s history there is a famous story about a renegotiation of its UPS contract. It is one of the first examples of Amazon realizing its scale and utilizing and leveraging it for growth.
Amy Davis is vice president and president of the New Power segment of Cummins Inc.
Sideways Ships and Missing Chips: Overcoming E-Bike Blockages
Most businesses were impacted by the pandemic and the e-bike supply chain was no exception.
Old Processes Impede New Inventory Strategies
Few businesses use new technologies to tackle supply chain issues caused by the pandemic due to tighter costs and dependence on legacy work processes, says a recent survey from intelligence platform Verusen. This results in lost revenue and increased inventory costs. Global supply chain executives responding to the survey cite poor data quality, siloed materials […]
Cultivating Supply Chain Talent
2021 was notable for labor challenges and shifts in thinking about employee engagement. Here’s how to attract supply chain talent and increase job satisfaction.
10 Tips for Advancing Your Supply Chain Career
Career opportunities in supply chain are practically limitless. To avoid career stagnation and advance with your evolving interests and desires, take a proactive approach.
Robots Do Yardwork, Too
Efficient warehouse operations provide the levels of service that customers demand as America’s economy scales up. In many instances, yard operations impede that efficiency. Safety, driver facilities, cooperation, and consideration for truckers’ time are ongoing challenges. One driver tells us that a yard he regularly serves is "like a moonscape." The confluence of e-commerce growth […]
Food Logistics: Let’s Eat!
The pandemic and shift to home dining and takeout changed the recipe for the food supply chain. Here’s how food companies are devouring new challenges.
How would you summarize the supply chain in 2021 in five words?
A never-ending game of whack-a-mole.
Cold Chain Innovations: Keep Your Cool
For some products, a few degrees more or less can spell the difference between successful delivery and catastrophic spoilage.
Choose a 3PL with a Culture and Vision that Match Your Own
Transportation has often been considered a commodity. Equipment, fuel, software, and wages are all very similar from a cost perspective. A 3PL’s culture can be a competitive advantage. Q: Why does culture matter? A: Today, cost is just one of many factors to consider when selecting a 3PL. A low-cost provider may produce short-term savings […]
What to Expect and How to Prepare for Peak Season
Expect a longer and more unpredictable peak season. Here’s how companies can get their logistics operations prepared for what’s to come.
Balancing Just-in-Time with Just-in-Case
Supply chain leaders must balance efficiency and cost, with inventory management strategies that incorporate the Lean efficiencies of Just-in-Time with the higher inventory levels of Just-in-Case.
Making Decisions and Adapting Warehouse Operations with WMS + MES
Q. How does adaptability in warehouse operations allow for a quick response to consumption changes? A. In the past two years the way consumers shop has changed. We witnessed 10 years’ worth of e-commerce growth in 3 months. It also caused a drastic change in consumption patterns where some products saw a 75-85% increase in […]
Improving CX: Going the Extra Mile
From e-commerce fulfillment strategies to warehouse layout to inventory approaches, here are the supply chain moves that go above and beyond to improve the customer experience.
Logistics Management & Chain of Custody: Securing IT Assets
Proper logistics management can be one of the most critical aspects of a successful IT asset disposition (ITAD) program.
Groceries Give Warehouse Automation A Lift
The global warehouse automation market will grow from $29.6 billion in 2020 to $69 billion in 2025 (see chart), says an Interact Analysis report, largely driven by e-commerce retailers that sell groceries and general merchandise, such as JD.com, Amazon, and Target. Fixed automation, such as automated storage and retrieval systems, conveyors, and conveyor-based sorters, will […]
Noted: The Supply Chain In Brief-Dec 2021
Good Works Participating in the Pink October global breast cancer initiative, Bollore Transport & Logistics provided free screenings to employees in Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, and Italy at partner health centers or in their workplace. The company is also working with Florida Mobile Mammography to offer 3D mammograms to employees. Ruan and Bobcat accepted an Outstanding Disability Employer Award from the […]
IN BRIEF: New Services & Solutions-December 2021
Technology TMS provider Axele upgraded its software to include new factoring and loadboard integrations and new dispatch and settlement features. The latest upgrades enable the software to optimize driver schedules with the most profitable loads. Shippers of all sizes get access to real-time supply chain data with the latest updates from Centerboard. The neutral, shipper-centric transportation management solution’s […]
Big Transportation Impacts Small and Mid-Size Businesses
One often overlooked budget item in growing companies is transportation and logistics. As companies focus on growth, the oversight of logistics programs frequently becomes a complimentary duty of employees whose primary focus might be in other company disciplines.
Follow the Sun
Arch Thomason basks in a mentor list 33 names long, lean principles, servant leadership, and a talented team to keep Sunland Logistics Solutions shining bright.
Vertical Focus | Home Improvement
Pre-Orders Build Up Home Improvement Inventory Many manufacturers have discontinued their less-popular products or increased prices across product categories as ships wait off the California coast, truck drivers face long wait times, and rail yards remain backed up. AAA Distributor, however, has all its kitchen cabinetry, shower doors, vanities, and flooring products ready to ship […]
6 Reasons You Should Control Inbound Logistics
If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s this—supply chains are brittle. If raw materials or parts don’t get to where they need to be on time, manufacturing plants grind to a halt, orders are not fulfilled, customers are unhappy, and the bottom line suffers. A pandemic—and its knock-on effects of shortages—is not something companies […]
What’s the most challenging time-critical shipment you ever pulled off? How?
I worked for a 3PL in Holland that distributed surgical products. A Luxembourg hospital contacted us after hours, after realizing they did not have the right-size heart valve for a patient needing immediate surgery. One of our employees delivered the valve there in his car, saving the patient’s life.
The Role of IoT in Keeping Vaccines Safe
The pandemic made clear the need for equity in access to vaccines. In fact, G7 leaders met earlier this year to discuss just that. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “leaders recognized that no country can be safe until every country committed to develop and distribute effective tests, treatments, and vaccines around the world.” […]
Pulling Levers and Finding Value in Transportation
Value is not always easy to measure. It’s the same when discussing transportation costs. Lowest cost is not always the best, as poor quality can cost you much more. Corporate supply chain managers need to understand which levers to pull so they can get the best value for every transportation dollar spent.
Is the Healthcare Supply Chain Ready for the Netflix Effect?
Have you ever marveled at how Netflix seems to know what you want to watch, when you want to watch it, and sets expectations with a high percentage of likelihood that you’ll enjoy their recommendation? What if we could apply that same degree of accuracy to the healthcare supply chain? Armed with the right information, we could know who needs which supplies and when, down to the patient level. The result would be a more resilient supply chain and better patient outcomes.
Unleash Short Sea?
The ports around the Great Lakes would love to help offset some of the pain of the horror show called the "shipping crisis." Guess what. They can’t by law. Thank the Harbor Maintenance Fee (HMF), a well-intended policy perfect for the 1980s, along with related regulations, for sidelining port capacity around the Great Lakes. The […]
Air Cargo Today: Buckle Up!
Experts offer tips and advice for riding out the turbulent airfreight market.
Survival of Companies Depends Entirely on Managing Supply Chain’s 5 V’s
They include: visibility, volatility, velocity, vulnerability, and viability.
10 Tips for Optimizing Your Routes
This list of tips covers three critical phases: planning (1 to 3), implementation (4 to 7), and program optimization (7 to 10). Each phase calls on different teams to be involved and pursues discrete goals.
Expedited Transport Quick Tips
How to keep freight moving when it seems like the whole world is conspiring to slow it down.
Expedited Carriers Guide 2021
In today’s e-commerce-driven supply chains, speed is practically a given. Whether same-day, next-day, two-day, express, expedited, priority, or standard, consumers want their orders fast. That demand has accelerated even quicker during the pandemic, motivating shippers to find ways to optimize transportation to be fast and affordable. To help make sense of the expedited delivery options, […]
Boosting DC Productivity
Faced with increasing e-commerce complexity, distribution centers have to balance flexibility with efficiency. Here are the products, equipment, and systems that streamline DC operations.
Driving Growth Without Boundaries
When Advanced Drainage Systems needed to expand its distribution footprint amid a building boom, DHL Supply Chain helped the company scale its supply chain and position itself for future growth.
Survive or Thrive? How Did Your Supply Chain Weather the COVID Pandemic?
What distinguishes companies that thrived from those that barely survived? The eighth MHI Annual Industry Report uncovers the answers.
Filling the Supply Chain Education Gap with LTL Education Courses
LTL is not an industry of broad brush strokes; supply chain professionals need a pointillistic understanding of the logistics of LTL in order to excel in the industry.
How Can Recommerce Benefit Your Supply Chain?
Priorities for global commerce and consumerism continue to evolve, and retail companies are turning to recommerce to reduce their carbon footprint while managing the cost of returns. Recommerce is a fast-growing service focused on reselling problem inventory to extract value from existing products and reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing and transportation. Companies spend an […]
How to Manage Global Specialty Cargo Supply Chains
Not all cargo fits the traditional dock-to-dock standard delivery service. Some loads require specialized equipment and additional labor to perform the delivery and meet the customer’s expectations. Shippers in this situation may overlook the unique experience of a van line carrier, some of which are best known for moving household goods. Van line carriers have […]
IN BRIEF: New Services & Solutions-November 2021
Technology Shippers can get estimated times of arrival (ETAs) for their ocean shipments with FourKites‘ Dynamic ETA for Ocean, a new AI-powered tool in its Dynamic Ocean offering. The tool integrates voyage/routing and captain data with more than 5TB of vessel data and 6 million port-to-port trips across 100,000 lanes worldwide over the past two years. […]
Allen Company Selects nVision Global Supply Chain Services IMPACT TMS / Freight Audit & Payment
Shipment planning, optimization, spot auction, carrier data integration with a centralized track & trace visibility platform and freight audit and payment, will enable Allen Company, Inc.’s overall growth strategy.
Dashing Through Soaring Holiday Sales
E-commerce holiday sales will grow 11% to 15% in 2021 versus 2020, says Deloitte’s forecast, with e-commerce sales growing 34.8% in November 2020 to January 2021. E-commerce sales will keep growing as consumers continue to buy online across all categories, the report says. Deloitte predicts a 7% to 9% increase in overall holiday sales compared […]
Idaho Sprouts Its First Intermodal Terminal
Pocatello, Idaho, recently welcomed the Savage Rail Port of Southern Idaho, the state’s first intermodal hub, to the area. The new terminal helps local farmers export their goods to global markets. Agricultural products, such as hay and produce, are loaded into shipping containers and brought to the rail yard, where a machine stacks them on […]
Vertical Focus | Sustainable Fashion
Dyeing for Sustainable Denim Researchers from the University of Georgia developed an eco-friendly, non-toxic dyeing technology for denim that could make the textile supply chain significantly more sustainable, as indigo dyeing is a significant source of pollution in the fashion industry. Most indigo is produced synthetically and must be reduced with chemicals. The denim industry […]
Best Practices to Protect Supply Chains
With the rapid adoption of cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), the supply chain has many new entry points and attack surfaces for cybercriminals to infiltrate. Implementing these best practices help manufacturers continue to innovate, create new products and services, and increase profitability, while maintaining a competitive edge.
Unlock Potential With Buy Anywhere, Deliver Anywhere
E-commerce sales have surged as a result of the pandemic, forever changing the way consumers shop and receive orders. As a result, shoppers demand faster and more convenient delivery options that get their orders in their hands, when and where they want them.
Young Professionals Remain Positive
About 99% of professionals aged 30 and younger say that working in supply chain is a quality career choice, according to a Penske survey, with 58% pursuing a supply chain career due to its beneficial societal impact delivering essential goods during the pandemic. Key findings from the survey reveal: 95% of young professionals express excitement […]
What spot shortage do you predict next?
Good luck finding a truck!
10 Tips for Managing Inbound Transportation
Whether it’s raw materials or popular holiday products, your primary objective is to get goods to your customers exactly when and where they need them. Here’s how to manage your inbound transportation process.
Don’t Say No and Never Give Up
Lisa Mernin is director of operations with ADS, Inc., a military equipment and tactical gear supplier.
ERP Makes the Grass Greener
Since its founding more than five decades ago, Lawn Equipment Parts Company (LEPCO), a family-owned wholesale distributor of outdoor power equipment, parts, and accessories, has grown to handle six brands of power equipment and aftermarket parts for more than 1,300 dealers in the northeastern United States. LEPCO is based in Marietta, Pennsylvania.
North American Ports Runneth Over
With consumer confidence increasing and economies opening, goods are moving through North American ports at an unprecedented rate, with imports through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach swelling 41.1% year over year through the first half of 2021 (see chart). Delays continue. Due to pent-up demand, major ports such as New York/New Jersey […]
Powerful Ways Employee Ownership Can Impact Your Business
With labor shortages continuing to rise across the country, the driver shortage in the freight industry looms larger than ever and at Long Haul Trucking we struggle to find high-quality drivers as well. However, we have a silver bullet in that struggle that I want to share with you—employee ownership. Our status as a 100% […]
Twinning Your Supply Chain from Google
Google once again is helping to democratize business solutions that were previously available only to the Fortune 1000. Its two new supply chain management solutions—Supply Chain Twin and Supply Chain Pulse—provide a powerful business tool for small and mid-size enterprises. “Siloed and incomplete data is limiting the visibility companies have into their supply chains,” says […]
Supply-Side Accuracy and Timeliness in Volatile Times
While improved demand accuracy in your supply chain is critical, it is equally important to have supply-side accuracy and timeliness, especially now. The disruption the pandemic caused for global supply chains is getting worse, creating shortages of consumer products and making it more expensive for companies to ship goods where they’re needed.
Port Services and Solutions
To address the multiple challenges of rising container volume, larger ships, and the need for more sustainable operations, many ports are embarking on substantial capital improvement projects. Here’s what’s on deck.
3PLs Drive Logistics IT Solutions
Massive shifts in consumer expectations and e-commerce acceleration signal a new direction and new challenges. Shippers are turning to 3PLs’ technology expertise to meet service expectations in an ever-changing marketplace.
Great Logistics Sites Shaping the Future
From access to ports and infrastructure, readily available workers, and proximity to millions of consumers, logistics sites deliver and build on advantages. Here’s how organizations support their continued success.
Reframing Reverse Logistics: Better Business, Better World
Q: How can reverse logistics help provide a balance between profit maximization and sustainability? A: The moment a product reaches its buyer, the job of the forward supply chain is done. Everything after that point,including aftersales service, warranty management, defective repairs, spare parts management, returns bring-back—as well as the associated transportation, liquidation/disposition including recycling, and […]
Train or Truck? Ocean or Air? Choosing the Right Mode
Here’s some practical advice for deciding how to ship your load, in normal and new normal times.
DAT iQ Optimizes the RFP Process
Analytics from DAT iQ take the uncertainty out of every step of the RFP process.
Network Analysis Reveals Supply Chain Optimization Opportunities
A network optimization study with Odyssey Logistics & Technology gave a global manufacturer, which spent more than $1 billion annually on shipping, the insight to optimize its global supply chain network.
4 Supply Chain and Logistics Trends to Watch in 2022
It’s been a historic and challenging couple years in supply chain and logistics. As we approach 2022, we’re still facing extraordinary demand, fleets are doing the best they can short-handed, and the current infrastructure is backed up, leading to delays and rising prices. I wish I could say we’ll round the corner once we get […]
NOTED: The Supply Chain In Brief-Oct 2021
Good Works Through support from Penske Truck Leasing and Lineage Logistics and a $2 million grant from the Darden Restaurants Foundation, Feeding America added refrigerated trucks for 10 food banks to support mobile pantry programs and food distribution for communities in need. Each food bank receives a 26-foot vehicle that can transport 12,000 pounds of […]
IN BRIEF: New Services & Solutions-October 2021
Technology Arvato Supply Chain Solutions deployed the AutoStore order fulfillment system in a new facility in Dortmund, Germany, to support international customers in the fashion industry. The system has a capacity of approximately 180,000 bins and 280 robots, automating processing, storage, and picking of incoming goods. DAT Freight & Analytics introduced Loadsure, a pay-as-you-go digital insurance solution […]
When Every Product Tells a Story
What makes Amazon so successful? How has the company turned retail (and logistics, for that matter) on its head? The answer is intelligence. Thanks to digital technology and an expansive network infrastructure, Amazon knows more about the demand chain it’s built between brands and consumers than most traditional companies can possibly grasp. But that’s changing. […]
How to Optimize Your Supply Chain Before the Holidays
As the holidays quickly approach, retailers are feeling the strain brought on by global supply chain issues. Between port closures, labor shortages, and delayed shipping times, it is more important than ever that retailers optimize their supply chains before going into the busiest time of the year. Especially since customers expect (and demand) positive experiences […]
Vertical Focus | Beer, Wine & Spirits
Some States in Low Spirits Liquor shortages in several U.S. states will likely continue into 2022, local news outlets report. Bars and restaurants struggle to stock their shelves now that some COVID-19 mandates are lifted and consumers venture back out, and the high demand is straining supply. Three reasons why: 1. State limitations: North Carolina […]
IL Exclusive Report: 5 Significant Service Trends
Which services are shippers buying, and what does that say about the current supply chain landscape? Take a look at five significant trends based on data from shippers responding to Inbound Logistics’ audience survey from July 2016 to July 2021: 1. Drop in site selection: The number of respondents making site, port, and facility selection […]
10 Tips for Improving Packaging Performance
The packaging used throughout the supply chain, and its management, plays a crucial role in optimizing your operation. Reusable packaging can’t be considered on its own, and it must be evaluated in the context of the entire supply chain system.
3 Ways AI Can Reap Benefits
Set to generate more than $550 billion in revenue by 2024, arguably no sector in the technology world is growing more rapidly than artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). And while AI may be experiencing well-known impacts on industries such as healthcare and retail, it’s also quietly affecting logistics and shipping, particularly freight procurement.
Eastman Alert: What’s Your Emergency?
October 4, 2017 was a scary day at Eastman Chemical Company’s Kingsport, Tennessee, headquarters.
Efficiency Lives Where Technology and Human Intelligence Intersect
Technology can make a difference in every aspect of the supply chain when used correctly. The combination of quality talent, technology, and the human touch quickly brings about improved efficiency, increased transparency, and limited freight damage.
Preparing for the Next Big Disruption
Supply chains are rarely at the forefront of everyday discourse—until a problem arises. Empty shelves that normally hold ample supplies of toilet paper, cleaning products, or even meat and poultry, provide just a glimpse of the massive impact the pandemic had on international supply chains.
Retailers, Suppliers, and the Ties that Bind
From leading new data technology efforts to recruiting and cultivating top talent, Kevin Williamson’s days are filled. When he does find spare time, he spends it focusing on innovations that will improve his company even more.
Retail Gets Back to Work
As workplaces re-open on varying schedules, e-commerce retailers flex to accommodate new trends in consumer and business spending.
9 WMS Must-Haves
When shopping for a warehouse management system (WMS), one size doesn’t fit all. To narrow your search, look for solutions with these must-have features to meet your current and future business demands.
Trucking Strategies to Keep Your Freight Moving
With capacity tight and trucker employment stretched thin, carriers can be selective about who they work with, so it’s important for shippers to have a game plan. Here are practical ways to ensure your freight gets where it needs to go.
Dollar Tree—Winning Through Logistics
What can a great logistics operation do for a company in this economy? Lots more than move boxes around, as it turns out. Take the logistics team at Dollar Tree as an example. Over the years, the discount variety store has invested in the kind of logistics operations associates who keep the company financially sound […]
What Retailers Should Add to their Holiday Checklist to Avoid E-Commerce Disruptions
Right now, brands are preparing for another year of record-breaking e-commerce sales during the holidays. After more than a year of lockdowns and shifting masking recommendations, consumers who once preferred the typical brick-and-mortar shopping experience have moved online, solidifying the need for digital retailers to cater to multiple generations of shoppers. With more buyers seeking […]
WMS Guide 2021
Warehouse management systems are coveted now more than ever as consumer behaviors continue to shift. This short list of leading solutions can help your business stay agile to meet surging fulfillment demands.
Freight Bill Audit & Payment: Sparking Supply Chain Synapses
Supply chain analysis and insight have become top of mind over the past 18 months. These freight bill audit and payment (FBAP) firms conceive solutions and activate process improvements for shippers’ transportation networks and strategies.
Syfan Logistics ‘Goes to College’ to Solve Labor Challenge
Syfan worked with colleges and universities around its headquarters to develop a program to meet current hiring needs as well as build a foundation for the future.
2021 Trucking Perspectives
Through its exclusive annual survey of motor carriers and shippers, Inbound Logistics offers a picture of the trucking industry in an economy distorted by supply chain disruptions.
2021 Top 100 Truckers
Inbound Logistics‘ annual Top 100 Truckers directory offers a comprehensive guide to help you find carrier partners that best fuel your diverse and demanding needs, especially in today’s challenging and volatile business climate. More than 200 trucking companies submitted their credentials to be considered for the list. IL editors evaluated surveys and questionnaires, conducted online […]
Leveraging 3PLs to Ease COVID Business Growing Pains
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation, a second and unexpected problem emerged along with it: A shortage of toilet paper. Panic-buying and hoarding left store shelves empty. New deliveries routinely were sold out within minutes. And toilet paper manufacturers, who had long ago leaned out their operations in an effort to maximize profit, found […]
How to Avoid Fragile Supply Chains
Supply chains breakdown in different ways, and each type of risk needs its own mitigation strategy. External shocks Supply and demand shocks and shifts are one reason why supply chains break down. One example of a supply shock would be a supplier delivering late or not at all, which frequently happened in 2020. A demand […]
How Preventive Business Models in Logistics Can Add Value to Companies
In business, it is always better to be proactive than reactive. In logistics, this is even more vital, as unanticipated reactions quickly become costly outcomes—making or breaking supply chains in today’s fast-moving world. Let’s take a look at how preventive business models on the front end and back end of the supply chain can help […]
White Glove Services: When It’s Time to Call In a Specialist
Q: When and why would someone need a special commodities carrier? A: Special commodities carriers are experts at performing complex, often delicate, moves that most freight carriers would not typically handle. Customers that utilize special commodities carriers expect an extra level of care, professionalism, and quality of service. Special commodities carriers are selected when the transport […]
Choose Empathetic Technology: Frontline Tech that Cares
The art of empathy isn’t easy to master. Neither is finding the right tools for your team. Now, these might seem like two disconnected statements but in my experience, they’re closely linked. Historically, the rollout of business software was largely down to whether a boss alone saw the value. We’re increasingly seeing the decision-making power […]
September 11, 2001
Originally posted in September 2001, Inbound Logistics looks back on the memories of 9/11 – 20 years later.
What’s the first thing you would do to address the truck driver shortage?
Improve the quality of life on the road. “Shipper of choice” and “broker of choice” wouldn’t be terms because they would be the norm, not the exception. Clean accommodations and safe resting/sleeping areas would be everywhere. Getting trucks loaded in under two hours would be the expectation everywhere in every sector. Higher standards for drivers from all partners = a better job = more drivers.
IN BRIEF: New Services & Solutions-September 2021
Technology CPG and brand manufacturers can more accurately predict supply chain trends with developer Deacom’s enhanced enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. Its new forecasting methods allow users to take into consideration market volatility by weighing specific variables, measuring short-term demands, and applying multiple variables to a forecast. FourKites, a real-time supply chain visibility platform, released new capabilities […]
Vertical Focus | Agriculture
Unearthing the Land of Cotton You can sell unwanted cotton clothes at a garage sale or donate them to avoid landfills, but what about burying them in soil? The Goondiwindi Circular Cotton Project in Australia recently found that old cotton textiles can improve soil quality on farms, potentially unearthing a large-scale circular solution for textile […]