Articles

Checking In

Keith Biondo

A Lost Art?

Strength of will. Toughness. The refusal to be deterred from the goal no matter what impediments stand in the way. Do we have much of that in our culture today? In our leaders? In our own businesses? Retracing the Trails of the Iron Horse takes us back to a simpler time in America’s past, where […]

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Felecia Stratton

The Art of Integration

When supply chain disruptions occur, as they did last year during the Thailand floods, Japan earthquake and tsunami, and more, integration grows more important and grabs more attention. But the readers of this magazine have been practicing a higher form of integration for quite some time—demand-driven logistics. You try new modal mixes, new technologies, blending […]

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Keith Biondo

Delivering the Final Smile

It’s dangerous to take a "hands-off" approach to customer service. That’s the conclusion of a recent CAPS Research report authored by Mei Li, PhD at Lehigh University. Relying only on carriers and service providers to drive the final customer service experience, warns Dr. Li, puts you at risk of having service failures that can trash […]

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Keith Biondo

@Home With Demand-Driven Logistics 

I recently got into a discussion with a reader about the most important developments in logistics during the past decade. “Mainstreaming of the term ‘logistics’ by UPS ranks right up there,” he said. “Civilians” just don’t understand what you do, the complexity of the challenges you face, or the intelligence, dedication, and hard work you […]

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Felecia Stratton

Intermodal: A Means, Not an End 

Intermodal transportation has always been an integral part of the supply chain. Around U.S. ports, it’s a capacity aggregator and transshipment accelerator for imports and exports flowing through congested hubs. On the domestic side, intermodal is a freight economizer, reducing transport costs by rationalizing long-haul bulk moves between road, barge, rail—and occasionally air. For many […]

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Felecia Stratton

Freight at Rest is Freight at Risk

Today’s stressful economic conditions are driving thieves to steal everything that’s not nailed down—from railroad tracks to copper wiring. Truckers and their customers have had to deal with the cargo security issue for as long as the five-finger discount has been around. As part of our special Trucking Safety issue, we asked motor freight carriers […]

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Keith Biondo

A Career That’s Never Boring

Supply chain professionals are increasingly being asked to drive change outside their daily responsibilities of expanding to new countries, overcoming current economic challenges, and satisfying customers while keeping inventory and transportation costs low. Here are two examples. A recent article described the closing of Chrysler Plant 6 in Windsor, Ontario. This could be one more […]

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Keith Biondo

Using a 3PL: Are You Getting Your Money’s Worth?

If you are using a 3PL for truck brokerage alone, you could be leaving money on the table. Why? Because logistics providers have evolved and developed an array of solutions that bring extra value to their customers. Fuel price increases, stringent regulations, higher taxes, sustainability issues, and government labor intervention add costs to transportation. All […]

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Felecia Stratton

Close Encounters of the Third-Party Kind 

There is no other issue in the transportation and logistics trade press that gets as up close and personal with the 3PL industry as Inbound Logistics’ annual July issue. Our yearly compendium of outsourcing case studies, thought leadership, market research, and 3PL awards presents a thorough representation of the market from both shipper and service […]

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Felecia Stratton

For the Love of the Green

Everyone wants to be green. But no one wants to let go of their own green. The cost of living in a more sustainable way when the cost of living continues to rise is inevitably changing consumer buying habits. Walfried Lassar, director of the Ryder Center at Florida International University, raised an intriguing question at […]

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Keith Biondo

Who Says You Can Never Go Home?

Are we headed for a resurgence in U.S.-based manufacturing? Could be, according to a recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report that finds the United States, in some instances, holds a productivity advantage over China. If this trend is real, can business logistics practitioners help guide us to greater economic recovery by supporting growth in domestic […]

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Keith Biondo

The Future Ain’t What It Used to Be

As baseball’s Bard of Brooklyn, Yogi Berra, once said, “It is tough making predictions, especially about the future.” Those who orchestrate supply networks and supporting transportation and logistics operations in volatile economic times face stark reminders of how difficult predicting future product flow requirements can be. As if that weren’t true enough, Yogi also said, […]

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Felecia Stratton

Managing Risk in a Chain of Fire

Supply chain dominoes keep falling far and wide. In addition to man-made disruptions such as political instability, piracy, terrorism, and war, natural disasters such as the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011, and the tidal waves that rippled throughout the Pacific ring including Alaska and Hawaii, have rattled the world over […]

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Keith Biondo

Gaining Ground

The fortunes of many companies were balanced on the backs of their supply chain, logistics, and transportation managers during the past year. In concert with their carriers, and technology and logistics partners, business logistics professionals across the country produced real supply chain gain by aligning demand to supply. That’s why we chose “Supply Chain Gain” […]

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Felecia Stratton

Gaining Even More Ground

Building the January Logistics Planner is always a process of incremental addition. That’s the only way you can even approach, let alone execute, a 528-page issue during the busy holiday season. Along the way, there are measured benchmarks: meetings, deadlines, rough drafts, edits, designed proofs, polished articles, then a print date. The final product, which […]

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Felecia Stratton

Customer Service: Who Needs it?

Last weekend, I finally compiled my holiday shopping list and headed out to brave the crowds. I live within 10 miles of Kmart, Walmart, and Target, but I will never again set foot in one of those. I usually have patience when shopping, but several bad customer service experiences— long checkout lines, unhelpful help, and […]

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Keith Biondo

Elephants Chasing TIGERs

It wasn’t that long ago that Rajahs in India used elephants to hunt tigers. It seems the hunt is on again. The recent Republican resurgence is hunting for a very specific type of TIGER: Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants as part of the TARP fund. The latest round of grants continues the spending […]

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Keith Biondo

Currency Events

Recent actions by the U.S. House of Representatives and calls from the Obama administration may impact global trading patterns next year. One such resolution — H.R. 2378, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act passed in early October 2010 — allows the United States to peg import tariffs directly to what is determined to be […]

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Keith Biondo

First They Came For Our Trucks

The War on Trucking. Are You Prepared? That’s the headline of the ad on page 111 of this issue, sponsored by NASSTRAC, an association comprised of a cross-section of shippers. Citing the challenges posed by CSA 2010, cap and trade, and Hours-of-Service changes, NASSTRAC is undertaking advocacy to guard the interests of anyone using trucks […]

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