Articles

Checking In

NITL: A League All Their Own

The discussions at last month’s TransComp in Anaheim were wide ranging, covering port lockouts, homeland security, and globalization. But there was also a hint of what we might expect in 2003, and lest we grow too optimistic, economic recovery is not near at hand. A conversation I had with David Stubblefield, outgoing president of ABF, […]

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Are You a Logistics Laggard?

Logisticians get saddled with lots of responsibility when things go wrong—the shipment is late, the shipment is lost, the carrier filed Chapter 11, the ports are closed. Now we learn that we are not practicing “socially responsible logistics.” Talk about piling on! “The logistics discipline appears to be more of a laggard with respect to […]

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CLM: The Rules are Changing

The rules are changing? I wish somebody would tell that to the longshoreman’s union. I was recently in the center of the dock lockout imbroglio in San Francisco, having made the trip to attend the Council of Logistics Management’s 2002 conference. Business as usual for dockworkers apparently means a 70+ percent increase over three years, […]

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CF Bankruptcy: Labor Day

Consolidated Freightways files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Labor Day. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Can part of the reason for the demise of this once great carrier be laid at organized labor’s door? I remember meeting with two highly-placed CF executives six years ago. They were making the rounds, explaining to the press […]

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Food Retail: It’s a Jungle Out There

I was watching The Discovery Channel with my son the other day and saw a program about a group of cheetah hunting a lone springbok. Menaced from the front, sides, and rear the antelope leapt high in the air, and dodged from side to side to escape the jaws and claws of its larger, faster […]

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3PL Growth: Strange But True

In any field, find the strangest thing and explore it,” said renowned physicist John Wheeler. “You can learn a lot about your world if you take that approach.” Well, perhaps the strangest thing in our world of transportation is the advent of the 3PL. Many say buying transportation is just about buying a commodity—”I don’t […]

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Inbound Logistics: Playing the Name Game

“You are so much more than just inbound.” “Inbound Logistics…is this a magazine about importing?” “Why do you cover only inbound transportation?” So why do we call the magazine Inbound Logistics? Over the years, I have been asked this question, and at a logistics trade show in Chicago last month, I was asked it repeatedly. […]

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Material Handling Automation: Money for Nothing, Clicks for Free

Necessity is the mother of invention but in a down economy it may be the mother of companies giving things away to make the sale. Sales of large-ticket capital expenditures are down, including warehouse automation and materials handling systems. At the NA2002 Material Handling Industry (MHI) conference, held in Detroit last month, exhibitor after exhibitor […]

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Logistics IT: Opening the Flood Gates

Eight years ago, Barbara Barnhill, transportation supervisor for Elizabeth Arden, excitedly shared her story with Inbound Logistics. She had started a revolutionary program that was racking up annual million-dollar savings by taking control of her inbound transportation. She did it using the latest technology—a fax machine. Today, fax machines have given way to web and […]

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Economic Recovery: Grains of Sand

It is as if grains of sand had been sprinkled in the mechanism of the American economy in the aftermath of Sept. 11, a skilled writer in Business Week wrote recently. But sand eventually grinds machinery to a halt, so perhaps that was a little overstated. While the costs of 9/11 are great, there is […]

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Logistics Education: Homegrown Distance Learning

Today’s business logistics professionals need to continually upgrade and improve their supply chain skillsets. Besides the expected benefit of administering logistics responsibilities more effectively, the effect on your paycheck’s bottom line will be dramatic. Yet who among us has the luxury to stop work and take off for the nearest college campus, whatever the personal […]

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Producing the January Issue: Making Planners

While the publisher is thinking about making waves, I am busy editing and producing this Logistics Planner issue. It’s what I look forward to most each year. I guess I love pain, because I am writing this—the last page to go to the printer—in the office late Sunday afternoon. But it’s worth the effort. My […]

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How Logistics Shaped Our Nation: Making Waves

New York, it turns out, achieved its “Empire State” status, at least in part, because of the canals that linked New York City to the Midwest and the west. That point was made in a recent PBS special on New York State and the integral role transportation played. Products, people and ambition flowed west. Raw […]

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A 2001 Supply Chain Odyssey

Had science-fiction guru Stanley Kubrick been a logistician, even he would have been hard-pressed to envision or even script an odyssey as surreal and unimaginable as 2001. Californians spent the beginning of the year in the dark—literally—as gas and oil prices skyrocketed and fuel surcharges became an added burden. If ever there was a doubt […]

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Ports Play Role in Homeland Defense

Rizak Amid Farid was arrested in Italy on Oct. 18 after police found him hiding in a container bound for Canada. The container was equipped with a satellite phone, two cell phones, a laptop, a bed, a bathroom, and enough food for an extended trip. Farid carried falsified passports, and documents identifying him as an […]

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CLM Shows Resolve

Shortly after the tragic events of Sept. 11, we received reports of several logistics industry events being cancelled. There was also some question as to whether one of the most important logistics meetings of the year would take place. The Council of Logistics Management made the right call deciding to proceed with its annual conference. […]

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September 11, 2001

I don’t have the ability or, at this time, the inclination to craft the correct words that describe to you what happened on September 11, 2001 in New York City. Let me just relate what I saw, thought, and felt on that day. The morning was clear and bright, with perfect weather. My routine was […]

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On the Economy: Good Thing Johnny Can’t Read

It’s back to school time, when some folks’ thoughts turn to the lack of educational excellence in America: “Why Johnny can’t read.” But there could be a side benefit: “Johnny” is not reading the bad press about the economy. He and Mrs. Johnny keep right on going to the mall. While it’s true certain segments […]

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Jack the Giant Killer

In the fabled tale of old, Jack the Giant Killer, a smaller, more wily competitor (who also has a friend with special powers) whips a larger, more powerful foe. It can happen in modern times too, logistically speaking. Let’s consider a real-world example of how using a 3PL helps a company operate successfully against competitors […]

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Gan’s the Man

As editor of Inbound Logistics, I get plenty of mail from readers. This month, I was bypassed. All your mail went straight to Gan McManus, the fictional hero of Strikepoint . It’s only fair to turn this column over to Gan and let him talk to you directly. —Felecia Stratton, Editor Wow. I want to […]

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