Articles

Commentary

Joel Anderson

3PLs Create a Unified Supply Chain Voice

The International Warehouse Logistics Association (IWLA) created its new Public Policy Center to ensure third-party logistics (3PL) providers are knowledgeable players in the public policy arena. Its goal is policy creation that makes sense and benefits all businesses, employers, and employees throughout the supply chain. The IWLA and its active, policy-aware members have experience leading […]

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Felecia Stratton

What Sandy Showed Me

As the editor of Inbound Logistics, my job is to provide information about keeping product moving from source to selling point. In my nearly 30 years in the industry, I have read, written, and edited many articles about supply chain disruptions. But words are just words. It was quite different to experience disruption with my […]

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Tim Eusterman

Why Innovation Matters for Rugged Mobile Technology

The proliferation of smartphones and tablets is giving many logistics IT and operations leaders pause. They are questioning what these mobile computing trends mean to their operations, and their potential impact on traditional rugged mobile computing for supply chain and logistics applications. Behind the innovation in smartphones and tablets is a deep understanding of how […]

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Malysa O’Connor

Are You in the Dark About Labor Visibility?

This is an extremely challenging time for logistics companies. Margins that were already razor-thin continue to be squeezed due to rising costs and constant pressure to cut prices to stay competitive. At the same time, customer expectations are higher than ever as they demand faster delivery requirements and shorter lead times. In logistics — already […]

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Horst Von Kanel

Air Freight Collaboration and Agility

In response to a sluggish airfreight market and generally lower cargo volumes and capacity, airfreight forwarders (AFF) are using strategic business practices and concepts to assist them in effectively managing airfreight shipments for optimal efficiency, performance, and results. By implementing collaborative and flexible logistics practices and remaining agile, managing air freight today can be a […]

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Steve Dowse

Why Supply Chains Need Business Intelligence

Companies that want to effectively manage their supply chain must invest in business intelligence (BI) software, according to a recent Aberdeen Group survey of supply chain professionals. Survey respondents reported the main issues that drive BI initiatives include increased global operations complexity; lack of visibility into the supply chain; a need to improve top-line revenue; […]

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Keith Biondo

Retailers Rebalance Time vs. Cost?

For retailers and their value chain partners, practicing inbound logistics provides two competitive advantages—the ability to keep prices low, because matching demand to supply optimizes inventory-to-sales ratios and creates other economies; and the agility to use time as a competitive advantage by serving customers faster and more completely. In the past, retailers emphasized keeping costs […]

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Pablo Ciano

International Shipping: Moving at the Speed of Technology

New technologies for planning, managing, tracking, and securing shipments are continually evolving. With new digital options always just around the corner, organizations of all sizes must stay informed of the latest advances. When it comes to international shipping, technology is especially important—not only because tremendous growth is expected, but also because the processes involved are […]

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Gary Hanifan

4 Steps to Reducing Emissions in the Supply Chain

Businesses around the world have increased efforts to manage and reduce their carbon footprint. These companies also realize that carbon management in the supply chain is an essential capability—the next great step in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. By collaboratively engaging with their supplier networks, companies can mitigate GHG emissions and improve supplier relationships, while […]

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Lorcan Sheehan

Holiday Rush Planning: How to Mitigate Risk in a Volatile Market

In today’s globalized supply chain, extended manufacturing and transportation lead times dictate that retailers complete most holiday season planning in June and July. These plans are based on the best available intelligence at the time, including consumer forecasts, retailer promotions, and the competitive landscape. Within the build window for seasonal holiday demand, the industry is […]

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Jay Moris

Sorting Out Savings Opportunities in Your E-Commerce Warehouse

The continuing growth of e-commerce has created challenges for distribution centers (DCs). Parcels are smaller, lighter, and harder to handle on the same conveyors and sorters. And shipping and logistics firms have amped up the pressure, adding dimensional charges as a penalty to those that ship lightweight goods. But from the shipper’s perspective, the less […]

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Steve Biondi

Embarking On an IT Modernization Journey

Planes, trains, and automobiles represent just a few possibilities to consider when moving an object from Point A to Point B. To secure a competitive advantage, shippers must ensure the transportation services they buy are safe, modern, reliable, and competitively priced. Many transportation providers have realized these goals by investing in an information technology (IT) […]

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Michael E. Burke

Mitigating Facilitation Risk

Facilitation is a unique risk for logistics professionals and companies. It is unlawful for logistics professionals or providers to facilitate transactions with any person or entity sanctioned by the U.S. government. The U.S. Justice Department has pursued facilitation cases against half a dozen logistics companies in recent months, and penalties include up to 10 years […]

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Greg White

3PL Value-Adds Mean Millions

You hate to say it, but everyone knows it: Today’s third-party logistics (3PL) relationship is transitional. Many 3PLs live and die by the freight rates they offer clients. Why? Because your shippers see the relationship as transactional, and trucking-focused. Shippers write checks for shipping expenses nearly every day, and freight is in the forefront of […]

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David J. DiSanto

Crossdocking Streamlines Freight Movement

How can an organization eliminate or reduce waste and increase speed in their supply chain? One answer is to replace warehouses and/or manufacturing locations with crossdock facilities or “landing pads.” Tremendous pressure from global competition and just-in-time (JIT) operations in the marketplace has spurred many manufacturers to adopt a lean production philosophy—and a lean supply […]

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Felecia Stratton

The Future of Predictive Analytics Looks Certain

One recurring talking point at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professional’s (CSCMP) September 2012 conference in Atlanta was the importance of predictive analytics. This subset of statistics captures patterns within large volumes of information to predict supply chain behavior and events—in effect, forecasting future demand based on past demand. The emergence of cloud networking […]

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Paul Galpin

Return to Sender: Managing Reverse Logistics

Most e-commerce businesses focus time and money on providing customers with efficient and flexible delivery options. Many companies, however, neglect to extend this attention to the return of unwanted goods. While many factors influence customer loyalty, a well-run returns process drives repeat orders and improves consumer satisfaction. Eighty-five percent of consumers surveyed by research firm […]

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Paul A. Myerson

Eliminating Wasted Motion

At some point in our careers, most of us have felt we’ve wasted time or effort accomplishing a job that should have been easier, more efficient, and possibly safer to do. One way to help workers make better use of their time and effort is to identify and eliminate sources of wasted motion. In a […]

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