Articles

How-To

Clearing Customs Quickly and Efficiently

Efficient customs clearance requires technical knowledge and respect for procedure, as well as an ability to understand the game, speak the language, and build good relationships throughout the supply chain. Mike McCarron, managing partner, MSM Transportation, offers 10 tips for fast, reliable customs clearance. 1. Focus on what you can control. When you ship globally, […]

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Shipping Hazardous Materials Safely

Shipping hazardous materials requires more attention to detail than transporting regular goods. The changes in paperwork and procedures since Sept. 11 have further complicated an already convoluted process. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the International Air Transport Association govern hazmat shipping at the federal and global levels, but transport buyers may encounter additional […]

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Selecting a Global Trade Management Provider

Language barriers, distance and time differences, security issues, and customs rules make global sourcing difficult to manage. Selecting the right global trade management (GTM) solution can help. Here’s some advice from Graham Napier, CEO of TradeBeam Technologies. 1. Look for immediate value. Identify a GTM provider with solutions that deliver immediate impact in core areas. […]

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Managing Warehouse Labor Costs

Ask any warehouse manager, “what is the most difficult cost to control?” and the answer will invariably be labor. Labor costs comprise the largest part of a warehouse’s operating expenses. The ongoing challenge is managing those costs without jeopardizing customer service and reducing productivity. Tim Wills, vice president of PEAK Technologies, Columbia, Md., offers these […]

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Managing Expedited Freight Costs

Too much expedited freight can turn profitable sales into losses. While most shippers expect to use some expedited service to meet customer requirements, the ultimate goal is to reduce that need. Thomas Phelps, president, Alloquor Consulting, Los Angeles, Calif., offers these tips for managing expedited freight costs. 1. Determine why you need to expedite. Take […]

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Selecting a DC Location

With the growth in global trade, deciding where to locate your distribution centers is an increasingly challenging process. Dr. Jeffrey Karrenbauer, president and co-founder of INSIGHT Inc., offers these tips for selecting the best sites. 1. Evaluate your supply chain network and create a plan.Look at what you are doing now and where you want […]

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Securing Your Loading Dock

Securing your warehouse starts at the loading dock. A secure loading dock protects your warehouse, and expedites the flow of incoming and outgoing trailers. Walt Swietlik, customer relations manager for Rite-Hite Products Corporation, Milwaukee, Wis., offers these tips to help button up your loading dock. 1. Realize the loading dock is more than a dock. […]

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Negotiating Rail Contracts

Negotiating with rail carriers has moved beyond difficult. Demand for rail services is high, and capacity constraints have caused carriers to pursue yield over volume. As a result, some shippers are experiencing sticker shock, with transportation rates increasing between 20 and 30 percent. If your rail freight moves on mostly “closed” lanes (no rail competition […]

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Getting Involved in Transloading

When executed correctly, transloading goods from one transport mode to another can help shippers increase flexibility and supply chain velocity, reduce cycle times, effectively plan distribution to meet market demands, and reduce shipping costs. But transloading can be a tricky practice, warns Dan Bourcier, deconsolidation manager for APL Logistics, a logistics provider based in Oakland, […]

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Leaning Out Your Supply Chain

Moving toward a lean supply chain means eliminating waste in three ways: reducing working capital; enhancing operational productivity; and improving “build-in” quality and reliability (implementing quality controls on the front end of any process or procedure). Here are 10 ways to get lean, according to Ian Truesdale and Glen Clark of CEVA Logistics, a Jacksonville, […]

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