Articles

Commentary

Can Collaboration Cure the Capacity Crunch?

Today’s capacity crisis is a perfect storm of volume limitations spanning three major modes of transportation: truck, rail, and ocean. Driver pay and work/life balance are key issues affecting capacity in the trucking industry. The industry is losing drivers to careers with higher pay and more attractive lifestyles. Carriers today are also more disciplined about […]

Read More

Keeping an Eye on RFID Challenges

In The Prince, savvy politician Machiavelli asserts, “there is nothing more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than taking the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” That 16th-century admonition should serve as warning to those who espouse the advancement of RFID. The swirling hype, promises of opportunity, and […]

Read More

Power to Our People

Have you seen Wal-Mart’s new supply chain commercial yet? It’s exciting for this industry because it builds on what UPS started with its “What can Brown do for you?” ad campaign: an attempt to make consumers more aware of the complex logistics behind everyday purchases. The commercial starts with a two-liter bottle of ginger ale […]

Read More

RFID Mandates: Gorillas in the Mist

Embracing a new technology can sometimes feel about as good as a hug from an angry gorilla. Implementing RFID within a customer-mandated time frame is a good case in point. Rushing to implement is less wise than doing finely tuned planning, regardless of the scale of the demand. RFID is not just about tags, readers, […]

Read More

Choosing a Warehouse Location: Look for More than Just Price

The pressure on corporate supply chains has never been greater. Major supply chain glitches can impact a company’s shareholder value by as much as 20 percent or more within six months—regardless of who is at fault—according to industry estimates. Companies feel increasing pressure to reduce inventories and increase inventory turns. And, in a post-Sept. 11 […]

Read More

Short Sea Shipping: Long On Benefits

To help meet the current congestion crisis on U.S. highway systems and rail networks, the Department of Transportation and the U.S. Maritime Administration are promoting short sea shipping as an environmentally friendly, timely, and cost-effective way to expand freight capacity. The practice uses existing vessels and infrastructure to move freight between coastal ports, and between […]

Read More

Multi-Enterprise Computing: Competitive Advantage for Those Who Do it Well

Logistics managers know how vital it is to keep things moving. Failure to deliver products on time, in the proper quantities, and to the right place carries very real consequences: assembly lines halt, shelves lie empty, perishable goods grow stale, and the window of business opportunity slams shut. Tangible, bottom-line metrics back up these anecdotal […]

Read More

Distribution Takes Center Stage

A paradigm shift has occurred within the supply chain, and distribution is taking center stage. In the midst of a total revival from its undistinguished past, distribution is now more instrumental than ever to an organization’s success. Traditionally, distribution took a back seat to manufacturing and other supply chain activities—not surprising given its historical perception […]

Read More

Building a Better Mousetrap (Felecia Stratton)

Striving to build a better logistics mousetrap—changing and tuning your process to balance competing demands within your supply chain system—is a tough game. It requires skill and split-second timing to orchestrate ever-morphing variables to exceed your logistics goals. And it is growing increasingly difficult. But stasis is not an option. Not with growing and changing […]

Read More

Tipping Point, Again? (Keith Biondo)

We are at a tipping point in terms of America’s ability to compete globally. Go one way and we can expand our economic growth and leverage the trend toward globalization. Go the other and we may reach a point where others drive the well-being of our economy and workers. And if it is now true […]

Read More

Talking Tactics with IBM

The global outsourcing trend has generated enough excitement in the media and the business community to heat a small Midwest city for a year. At issue is the concern that outsourcing strips away many U.S. jobs, and does detriment to America’s general long-term economic well being. The fact that outsourcing is by no means new […]

Read More

Freight Forwarding Goes Native

The future of international freight forwarding technology lies in the adoption of Internet-based solutions. To date, however, most freight forwarders have lagged behind when it comes to embracing this technology and making it part of their work processes. An Internet-native international freight forwarding system offers the ability to utilize electronic data exchanges, and is easily […]

Read More

Turning Returns Into a Competitive Advantage

Growth of direct-to-consumer sales through catalogs, television, and the Internet continues to explode. Business-to-consumer retail e-commerce sales in the third quarter of 2003 totaled $13.3 billion, a 27-percent increase over 2002, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While direct shopping makes it easy and convenient for customers to buy merchandise, it does not allow them […]

Read More

Outer Limits

“We’ve reached the limit of what our grandfathers invested in infrastructure.” So says one top rail executive. If you manage supply lines originating overseas, you already know that port and intermodal capacity are sorely strained. An unexpected uptick in imports caused many to come up holding the short end of the intermodal capacity stick. Worse, […]

Read More

Compliance the Top Concern of 2004

Q: Looking back at 2004, regulatory compliance issues posed a big concern for my business. Am I facing this challenge alone? What were the biggest issues logistics professionals faced this year, from a liability standpoint? A: Security issues dominated the news in the supply chain industry throughout 2004, as various government agencies took steps to […]

Read More

Sensing the Future

If you think that RFID and its tempestuous application is the only game in town, think again. It isn’t. Bar codes are still everywhere, and in most cases are doing a fine job. Remember, bar codes and RFID can, and will, work in tandem, with each serving the application it fits best. Nevertheless we may […]

Read More

Protecting Your Assets While Maximizing Efficiencies

Think about this scenario: Your leased distribution center is part of an industrial park consisting of millions of square feet of warehouse space, thousands of trailers and containers, and hundreds of millions of dollars of entrusted products. On weekends, the operation often goes unmanned for periods, but much of the perimeter is protected by natural […]

Read More

Attracting Hi-Tech DCs to Your Community

As consumers continue to drive the supply chain, the role of technology in providing better collaboration between the manufacturer and the retail outlet has increased. To stay competitive, public entities—cities, counties, economic development districts—must be able to accommodate the needs of high-tech distribution centers. Economic development commissions and other public entities seeking to attract new, […]

Read More