Articles

Commentary

Jeremy Bodenhamer

Shipping for the Digital Age

Robots, autonomous vehicles, and other fancy hardware like drones are the cool new toys in logistics. Although logistics and transportation is one of the largest markets on the planet, the relative lack of innovation in the sector is surprising. Marty McFly and the rest of the “Back to the Future” crew predicted that this year—2015—would […]

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Doug Mattoon

Pioneer Ports Drive Economic Development in the Inland Northwest

The Port of Lewiston, Port of Clarkston, and Port of Whitman County—also known as the Pioneer Ports—are the most inland seaports on the West Coast, located 465 river miles from the ocean in the Inland Northwest. These three ports play a critical role in driving economic vitality in the Lewis-Clark Valley and Palouse areas of […]

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Gary C. Smith

Product Philanthropy: An Efficient Way to Move Unwanted Inventory

While businesses have made great strides in inventory management, many have yet to adopt a truly efficient, cost-effective process for moving unprofitable stock. Discounting merchandise eats into profits and devalues the corporate brand. Liquidating is even less profitable and more laborious. As a result, many otherwise efficient operations end up housing idle stock far longer […]

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Keith Biondo

Timely Timeline Reminder 

In the past 30 days, I heard and saw much that reminded me why so many IL readers tell me they love working in logistics. My travels included 30 site visits and two industry conferences. Here’s part of my timeline: At an early morning meeting, I spoke with one visionary who is forging public-private partnerships […]

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Paul A. Myerson

Measuring to Manage or Barely Managing to Measure

Respondents to a Bain & Company survey say they run their supply chains only half as efficiently as top supply chain performers such as Toyota, Dell, and Home Depot. In fact, top-quartile performers spend just 4.2 percent of revenue on supply chain costs, compared to almost 10 percent for average performers in the same industry. […]

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Ryan Repich

Building Bench Strength With Supply Chain Graduates

Gripped by financial pain in 2008, organizations across all industries cut labor to keep the lights on. While this approach provided short-term relief, many businesses were left with a resource plan that was thin. Within the past year, the economy has improved and across most industries, organizational growth has translated into increased pressure for businesses’ […]

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Steve Johnson

Missouri Gets Shipping

Missouri’s central location, sixth-largest public road and highway system, service by all seven Class I railroads, third-largest inland port in the nation, and major airfreight centers in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Springfield might be enough to attract the attention of most nationwide shippers looking for a strategic Midwest location. But Total Quality Logistics (TQL) […]

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Jeff Metersky

Use Supply Chain Modeling to Mitigate Port Shutdowns and Other Risks

Recent massive strikes among dockworkers on the California coast brought the reality of supply chain continuity planning to the forefront once again for global businesses. The Los Angeles and Long Beach ports handle nearly half of the nation’s cargo, and are the main gateway for imports from Asia, including automobiles, furniture, clothing, electronic products, and […]

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Jack Rosenberg

When Real Estate Intersects With Logistics

Fulfillment centers across the globe are adapting to better suit customer demands. We’re seeing increased automation and robotics, more office improvements, higher levels of complexity, greater security, and stepped-up employee workplace amenities, among others. In short, businesses are expecting more. And they want more now. Leasing new property is an important part of expanding or […]

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Keith Biondo

XPO Goes Long with Con-way Play

Merger and acquisition activity in the transportation and logistics sector has been fast and furious over the past few months. Still, it’s hard to imagine that UPS’s acquisition of Coyote Logistics ($1.8 billion) and Infor’s GT Nexus move ($675 million) have become little more than sidebars to this summer’s blockbuster feature—XPO Logistics’ bookended $3 billion-plus […]

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Thomas W. Derry

Why Excellence in Supply Management Matters More Than Ever

In today’s competitive business environment, having visionary leaders and great products is not enough. In the past 20 years, companies have experienced a profound shift, and have dramatically increased their spending on external suppliers. This places the supply management function in the spotlight as a key driver of profitability. The better supply management teams are […]

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Improving Fleet Safety with On-Board Video

Transportation is vital to a supply chain that efficiently manages the flow of goods—physically connecting manufacturers to their customers to provide them access to their favorite products. A break in that link—such as late deliveries, or damaged or stolen goods—can be detrimental to the success of a business, negatively impacting supply chain relationships and, in […]

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Felecia Stratton

Just Another Brick in the Mall 

Travel around the world, and you see up-and-coming economies sporting many shiny new buildings, airports, ports, and factories, while more mature economies display aging legacy infrastructure. It’s the nature of progress. You see the same parallel in retail operations, where newer e-commerce models seem to overcome legacy brick-and-mortar models. But not entirely. Yes, e-commerce is […]

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