Articles

Commentary

Reducing the Cost of Cross-Border Compliance

In a global economy, the cost, speed, and certainty of crossing borders are all vital to maintaining competitiveness. Falling tariff rates and vanishing trade barriers create the illusion that customs compliance is now simpler. In reality, complex procedures, innumerable conditions set by free trade agreements, stringent security regulations and stricter enforcement, among other issues, result […]

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Flynn’s Folly

I am on my supply chain security rant again, but it’s not my fault. Someone recommended I read a new book that is touted as “riveting, chilling and gripping” by a segment of the media. America the Vulnerable: How Our Government is Failing to Protect Us from Terrorism was written by Stephen Flynn, a retired […]

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Reconsidering the Role of RFID

Is RFID the best thing since sliced bread, another Y2K, or something in between? Is it yet another technology fix on top of all the others or is it a new and essential tool for doing business? Is it a go or a no go? Regardless of your attitude toward RFID, the talk surrounding it […]

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Making a Bid for Real Estate Auctions

Over the past several years, millions of square feet of manufacturing and distribution space have been rendered obsolete as technology advances create the need for new production facilities, and the economy continues consolidation and repositioning of corporate-owned real estate. Consequently, the need to accelerate the sale of large surplus assets has created a surge in […]

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IT Doesn’t Matter? Better Run That By Wal-Mart

In his May 2003 Harvard Business Review article, “IT Doesn’t Matter,” Nicholas Carr famously claims that information technology, much like the railroad and the electricity grid before it, has become an infrastructure tool that doesn’t confer any strategic benefit. Carr’s main point is that because IT is ubiquitous and increasingly less costly than in previous […]

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Easing Your LTL Carrier’s Burden

Managing transportation costs is more important today than ever before. With the new Hours-of-Service rules, shippers will likely look to LTL carriers to play an increasing role in their supply chains, particularly handling a portion of their previously truckload multi-stop shipments. These volume shifts will likely lead to LTL capacity issues, and shippers may find […]

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Traveling the 3PL Continuum

Grab your Star Trek mug and take another look at this magazine’s cover. Then come back because I want to talk to you about parallel 3PL continuums. Yikes! Back? What did you see? Don’t worry, the cover is not a Rorschachian intrusion into your childhood. Rather it is meant to represent the continuing evolution—from infancy […]

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Achieving Success with AS/RS

Storage is one area of the supply chain that can provide increased efficiency, cost savings, and other benefits. In fact, automated storage/retrieval systems (AS/RS) can eliminate the need for physical inventory, according to Jurgen Conrad, CEO and president of Viastore Systems Inc., which develops and implements AS/RS and other automated material handling systems. “Correlating equipment […]

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Rethinking the Role of Public Incentives

When you consider changing a logistics center location, or expanding an existing logistics network, a myriad of crucial factors influence and shape the decisions your logistics team makes. Traditionally, the availability and applicability of local and state incentives is not a make-or-break factor in logistics placement decisions, but perhaps the time has come to elevate […]

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Not Your Father’s Airfreight Forwarder

“We’ve been using airfreight forwarders since the beginning of time,” says Andy Bordash, head of the logistics and operations team at Bayer Health Care. Many IL readers can say the same thing, but times have changed. As we report in The Plane Truth About Airfreight Forwarding, written by Leslie Hansen Harps, smart forwarders, both large […]

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Throw Off Your Chains, Take Up Nets

Driving business these days is the production of increased profit to the enterprise. Other drivers—globalization, outsourcing, customer satisfaction, RFID—pale in comparison to a positive profit picture. So, how can we look at the supply chain from a profit perspective? First, we must ask ourselves, where is the profit in the supply chain? This sounds like […]

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Someone is After Your Job…

And they want it to relocate it—no, not to Mumbai or China, but right here in the United States. Cities, states, and regions are increasingly competing to attract logistics and transportation jobs. Why? Because U.S. manufacturing jobs, and more recently, service sector jobs, continue to migrate to lower wage, lower tax, lower liability, lower regulation […]

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