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.” […]

Phil Schmidbauer

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.

CJ Singh

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.

Keith Biondo

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 […]

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 Carriers Guide 2021

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, […]

Driving Growth Without Boundaries

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.

Boosting DC Productivity

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.

How Can Recommerce Benefit Your Supply Chain?

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

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. […]

Dashing Through Soaring Holiday Sales

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

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

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 […]

Bindu Sundaresan

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.

Brenda Stoner

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

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 […]

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.

ERP Makes the Grass Greener

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

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% […]

Keith Biondo

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 […]

Paul A. Myerson

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

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

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

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.

Todd Zegers

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 […]

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

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

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.

Oleg Yanchyk

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.

Suzanne Offerman

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

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

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

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

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.

Keith Biondo

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

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.

2021 Trucking Perspectives

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

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 […]

Julie Colona

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?

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

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 […]

Michael Rabinowitz

Precision Starts with Visibility

The new must-have supply chain qualities are speed and accuracy—and the cost for not measuring up is unequivocally high. Manufacturers have been given a seemingly simple choice: maintain optimal levels of accuracy, dependability, and responsiveness, or pay the hefty price. Assuming success will be easy is a costly mistake.

How can brick-and-mortar retail make a comeback?

How can brick-and-mortar retail make a comeback?

Retailers are wise to prioritize flexibility rather than putting all their eggs into either in-store or online baskets. The future of retail may be brick-and-mortar for some, however many factors are still at play. It’s not a simple answer. The future is not one-size-fits-all. The ability to be nimble and proactive not only boosts efficiency, […]

Enabling Supply Chain Agility

The world is in the midst of mass disruption due to the global spread of the COVID-19. Entire industries face new challenges as a result of this pandemic. Workers are finding themselves having to perform jobs remotely, suppliers looking for new ways to connect, and logistics solutions are being put to the test. Unfortunately, it […]

Supply Chain Boot Camp

Supply Chain Boot Camp

Undercover Boots, based in Panama, has been designing and selling its colorful rain boots and shoes since its founding in 2014. Over the past seven years, it has expanded sales to 72 countries, even though only eight individuals are listed on its employee roster.

Supply Chain Predictions for 2021

I think we can all agree that 2020 is a year that we’ll be excited to leave behind. With a global pandemic, and all its associated side-effects, day-to-day life has been a challenge. But with every challenge comes an opportunity, and this has certainly been the case in the world of e-commerce. With millions homebound, […]

Ali Hasan R.

3 Ways to Bolster Your Supply Chain

Organizations across industries have spent decades optimizing supply chains for maximum profit, but the pandemic highlighted almost overnight how little attention these companies have paid to resilience. As production and mobility of goods experienced historic disruptions, demand quickly exceeded supply and forecasts have failed to produce reliable information for months.

Jan Hoppe

10 Ways to Improve Your Supply Contract

Brexit, COVID-19, and the Suez Canal congestion brought Force Majeure clauses in supply chain contracts into sharp focus. Force Majeure clauses seek to limit the liability of a party whose performance is affected by an unforeseen event beyond that party’s control.

LeRoy Burcroff

Creating a Business-Friendly Environment

At the crux of Michigan’s central expressways, five Class A rail lines, and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport, you’ll find the City of Romulus, which residents refer to as the “Home of Opportunity.” The city’s access to transportation and 3,146 acres of undeveloped land have positioned Romulus as a logistics hub for developers from Michigan and across the nation.

For Beyond Meat and QSR Brands, Asking “What if?” Will Prevent “What Now?”

The supply chain disruptions of 2020 resulted in a highly challenging year for the quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry. Wendy’s, for instance, ran out of menu items containing beef in almost one-fifth of its restaurants. As a result of the beef shortage, Wendy’s, along with McDonald’s and Burger King, resorted to importing beef during the earlier […]

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT | Robotics Solutions

AutoStore: The scalable storage and retrieval system from Swisslog uses robots and bins to quickly process small parts orders. In one use case, Arvato Supply Chain Solutions processes e-commerce orders for Rituals Cosmetics Enterprise (pictured). In 2020, Arvato scaled up as needed by adding 65 new robots to its initial deployment of 36 robots. Bolt: […]

What is the secret to a successful shipper/3PL partnership?

What is the secret to a successful shipper/3PL partnership?

Three fundamental pillars define a successful partnership: a direct application programming interface (API) integration, a shared target customer, and a partnership mentality focused on solutions. When any one of these pillars falter, the client suffers and that is unacceptable. As a 3PL, it’s our responsibility to help clients mitigate pain points and enable growth.

10 Tips for Ensuring Trade Compliance

Many companies do not prioritize regular trade compliance check-ins until they’re dealing with a problem. Here’s how to manage and improve your international trade processes so you can catch a problem before it arises and remain compliant.

Handle with White Gloves

Handle with White Gloves

As consumers become increasingly comfortable buying over-sized goods online, manufacturers and retailers partner with white-glove, last-mile delivery services to make in-home set-up and assembly a first-class experience.

Acing Your Stress Test

Acing Your Stress Test

Facing more frequent disruptions—from natural disasters to the pandemic—supply chain professionals are shifting their focus to mitigate risk and assess resilience. Post-pandemic, 93% of executives responding to a McKinsey survey say they expect to increase resilience by rebalancing their supply chains, an increase from 70% before the pandemic. A supply chain resilience stress test is […]

Keith Biondo

Other Reasons Why Supply Chain Stress Won’t End Soon

Our "new normal" global consumption reality won’t be ending soon. It’s not just e-commerce, virus buying, and the resultant impact on transport lift availability that’s driving shortages. Other factors augment long-term stress on your ability to marshal supplies and source transport to serve customers. Millennials with buying power, and there are lots of them, will […]

Jackie Jacobs

It’s Time for Women in Transportation

When the pandemic first hit the United States, it wiped out millions of jobs, particularly among women who found themselves back home and coordinating everything from elderly parent medical issues to home-school activities for kids.

Florida: Logistics Coming in Hot

Florida: Logistics Coming in Hot

The Sunshine State is a logistics hotspot, offering sizzling transportation connections, blazing industrial real estate opportunities, and blisteringly efficient import/export capabilities.