Articles

Commentary

Wringing Benefits from New Hazmat Regulations

With the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Hazmat Threat Assessment Program firmly in place, motor freight carriers and drivers face a new reality. While the program itself grew from provisions in the federal Patriot Act, and requires states to impose tighter oversight of security risks, the ultimate responsibility for fulfilling its demands falls squarely on carriers […]

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Expect the Unexpected: 5 Steps for Retail Supply Chain Preparedness

Unpredictable consumers, demand for low prices, and an ever-quickening pace make the retail/consumer package goods supply chain difficult on a good day. Large-scale interruptions—such as the recent dock workers’ strike and overactive hurricane season—further exacerbate an already challenging landscape. While many interruptions are unavoidable, manufacturers and retailers can—and should—take steps to create more agile supply […]

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Following the Retail Trail

Where consumer demand goes, retailers follow. They’ve progressed in tune and in time with customer needs—from the general stores of the Old West, to turn-of-the-century catalogers, to urban centers and department stores, to suburban shopping malls, and now to web retailing. As the fight for customers grows increasingly more competitive, retailers seek any logistics advantage […]

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Inside the Automated Warehouse

The traditional functions of a warehouse are well known. Unlike its predecessors, however, the modern warehouse is an assemblage of highly evolved automation technologies, making it a core part of the supply chain. Today’s warehouse activities include crossdocking, palletizing, kitting, tagging, and identifying products, as well as storing them in the most time- and space-efficient […]

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Building a Better Warehouse

Choosing the right site for locating a warehouse or distribution center (DC) is a key challenge for any business. Numerous factors—such as access to transportation, an available worker pool, community support, and environmental regulations—converge to make a certain location a prime spot for meeting one company’s transportation and distribution goals, while sounding a death knell […]

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When Good Warehouses Go Bad

“Our revenues and earnings were negatively affected by the January implementation of our new Warehouse Management System. Revenues were down approximately six percent compared to the first quarter of 2004. During the latter half of January, and through the month of February, we experienced significant difficulty in shipping customer orders. As a result, sales for […]

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The Three Sides of SCE Implementation

In part one of this two-part article (April 2005), we explored relationship building among partners in a Supply Chain Execution (SCE) software implementation. The players in that successful SCE implementation included: Major Brands, an alcoholic beverage distributor that sought an SCE system to cut costs by improving inbound and outbound shipment processing, and refining picking […]

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Premium Freight: Costly Expense or Strategic Initiative?

Today’s lean manufacturing environment, shaped by just-in-time stocking and razor-thin margins, has made the use of premium freight a daily reality for manufacturers. Though once used only on occasion to protect plants, shipping goods via premium freight is now a regular occurrence. While this shipping method can be expensive, manufacturers that incorporate premium freight as […]

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Automate, Optimize, Audit for Smart Supply Chains

While politicians argue about the domestic effects of outsourcing manufacturing operations, logistics professionals know the practice only increases our responsibilities. The frenetic pace of global trade, coupled with the impact of outsourced manufacturing around the world, has transformed delivery of products into a complex engineering task that is quickly creating new jobs. Academia is already […]

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Stick to the Core When Playing IT Pong

Do any of you old-timers recall the first Atari video game, Pong? It was the only video game in the world back then. You just hit a video puck back and forth, forth and back, no matter how long you played it. One reader told us that evaluating the myriad logistics IT choices sometimes feels […]

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Plugging Cargo Liability Leaks

Q: I own a fleet of tank containers. A customer recently used one of my tanks for a shipment of concentrated juice. During transit, the tank developed a leak and a significant amount of concentrate was lost. The customer filed a claim against me, but my insurance company—which covers my cargo liability—says I may not […]

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Collaborate for All-Star SCE Implementation

Building relationships among partners in a Supply Chain Execution (SCE) software implementation is like getting an all-star team to work together. Each player can be great, but it is the combined teamwork that makes the difference when the game begins. To achieve success, roles and objectives have to be clearly defined, and teams must work […]

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Flying Under the Global Radar

Earlier this month, billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer completed the first round-the-world flight in 67 hours, two minutes, and 38 seconds. Four days later, and to considerably less fanfare but arguably greater importance, Boeing’s 777-200 LR Worldliner, the longest-range commercial airplane in the world, completed a three-hour test flight from Everett, Wash., to […]

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RFID: Setting the Standards

Anyone who thinks RFID and all it entails will quietly fade away is going to be terribly disappointed. Any new technology or strategy operates like a dog preparing to lie down—it goes in circles. First we circled around Wal-Mart and the Department of Defense mandates. Now we are circling around establishing standards for the RFID […]

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5 Best Practices to Boost Import Efficiency

In today’s heightened security environment, where cargo entering the United States faces ever-increasing scrutiny, importers must tackle many challenges to keep goods flowing through international trade. The complexity of moving commerce in a safe, quick, efficient, and compliant manner is frequently overlooked. The processes behind importing often cause confusion and frustration for all parties involved, […]

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