Articles

Commentary

Jeff Vielhaber

Intermodal Transportation’s Solution to Our Evolving Supply Chain Demands

One of the top supply chain trends impacting the transportation industry today is intermodal transportation. Over the past few years, capacity has been squeezed with driver shortages, increased demand, increased fuel prices, and heightened government oversight. All these extenuating circumstances affect everything from pricing to timing of loads, and executives are looking for the answer […]

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Felecia Stratton

Modal Harmony in a Discordant Market

When U.S. gas prices hit all-time highs in summer 2008, surpassing $4 per gallon and $140 per barrel, shippers felt the pinch. For some, it pushed the needle in a new direction. Shippers such as Welch’s used the 2008 gas crisis as a burning platform to test intermodal solutions in certain lanes. It was a […]

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Paul A. Myerson

A Lean and Agile Supply Chain: Not an Option, But a Necessity

In today’s global, dynamic economy, it is beneficial for companies to operate a supply chain that is both Lean and agile. Using Lean and agile in combination is known as having a hybrid supply chain strategy. A hybrid supply chain strategy may be appropriate for a company attempting to become a "mass customizer"—producing progressively smaller […]

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Forest Himmelfarb

Making Hazmat Regulation Compliance Less Hazardous

Hazardous material (hazmat) transport regulations can often seem like a foreign language. An abundance of unique terms leaves many shippers perplexed. Even the phrase "hazardous materials" can be confusing because the term "dangerous goods" is standard outside the United States. And with regulations constantly shifting and changing, it gets increasingly harder for shippers to remain […]

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Tim Taylor

The Spot Market – And How Not to Use It

Many shippers don’t realize that they are sabotaging themselves in the spot freight market. It is standard rationale that competitive bidding achieves a lower price. However, our application of that principle distorts Adam Smith’s law of supply and demand by creating a false demand “bubble” that results in higher prices and less profit for shippers. […]

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Scott Swartz

Challenges for Today’s Global Supply Chain: Cost, Profitability and Personalization

When market research firm PWC put out its Global Supply Study in 2013, the concerns of the 500 surveyed executives were mostly what one would expect: profitability, cost management, and customer satisfaction. A fourth concern, however, indicates a shift in global supply chain realities. PWC’s study participants are worried about flexibility – and they should […]

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Par Wetterlof

Regulation as an Opportunity

Manufacturers are facing an increasing number of regulations in a variety of areas from increasing food safety to meeting specific ground-level ozone policies. The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010, signed into law in 2011, is just one example of recent legislation. Resulting from widespread cases of tainted eggs and peanut butter, the sweeping […]

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Keith Biondo

Build Your Driver-Friendly Brand

Companies spend tons of money building brand equity, but sometimes risk having it washed away in a flood of bad reviews on social media sites such as Yelp. The same thing can happen to shippers when they are evaluated by drivers serving their facilities. Drivers have always shared their experiences; some may even have reviewed […]

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Curtis Greve

Product Returns: 5 Myths Busted

Retailers and manufacturers often avoid dealing with product returns until returned inventory clogs up the warehouse or write-offs hit their P&L. When the returns problem gets big enough to force action, they attempt to deal with it as quickly and cheaply as possible. Executives often avoid returns issues because they believe in one or more […]

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Mike Mulqueen

Transportation Modeling: Is There Ever an Average Day?

Most large shippers spend a great deal of time and money collecting, analyzing, and maintaining the data used to drive daily transportation planning and execution. When codified and integrated into the shipper’s transportation system, this data becomes the organization’s transportation policy. This policy is comprised of lanes, modes, rates, service levels, capacity, and a multitude […]

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Tom Flies

Electronic On-board Recorders: The Gateway to Intelligent Fleet Management

As the transportation industry continues to evolve, more fleets are reverting from commercial on-board computers back to running fleet management software on drivers’ personal devices. The main reason for this is cost, as companies generally view the hardware as free. Personal devices frequently break and need replacement, however, because they aren’t designed for the rugged […]

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Ronald Leibman

House Members Seek to Set Due Diligence Standards for Motor Carrier Hiring

On May 22, 2014, Representatives Duncan (R-Tenn.), Paulsen (R-Minn.), and Davis (R-Ill.) introduced legislation in the United States House of Representatives entitled “To enhance interstate commerce by creating a National Hiring Standard for Motor Carriers,” H.R. 4727 (the “Bill”). If the Bill were to be enacted into law, the states would be prohibited from imposing […]

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Keith Biondo

The New Retail: Three Legs to Stand On

Did you ever read a magazine or newspaper article and get the feeling that something was missing? It happened to me when I read several business press articles touting e-commerce as the savior of retailers. That "something’s missing" feeling bothered me as I read various vague descriptions of how e-commerce is the driving force behind […]

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Paul A. Myerson

Selecting the Right Technology to Support Your Lean Operations

Technology plays a key role in enabling Lean supply chain operations. For example, connecting to suppliers in real time facilitates re-supplying parts and materials for a just-in-time production environment. But choosing the wrong software can create waste in terms of the time, effort, and money spent evaluating, selecting, implementing, and using the system. Surveys commonly […]

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