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U.S. Policies That Can Strengthen Recovery

The Biden-Harris administration will have an opportunity to strengthen supply chains and position the United States as a go-to partner for COVID-19 recovery, says a report from Baker McKenzie and Atlantic Council. This is how they can advance policies that help supply chains withstand major disruptions, the report says: Expand U.S. commercial ties in Latin […]

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IN BRIEF: New Services & Solutions-April 2021

Technology Shippers with a network of brokers and freight forwarders can benefit from BluJay Solutions’ new Augmented Global Trade platform, which streamlines workflow and accelerates efficiency for international trade operations. The multi-tenant SaaS platform automates end-to-end customs and compliance requirements. IFCO Systems, a provider of reusable plastic containers (RPCs) for fresh food packaging, added track-and-trace technology to […]

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50 Orders in 6 Minutes

50 Orders in 6 Minutes

Kroger continues to invest in its digital business. By opening America’s first automated warehouse with digital and robotic capabilities in Monroe, Ohio, the supermarket chain can assemble a 50-item order in just six minutes. Comparatively, a Kroger employee takes 30 to 45 minutes to pick items from various areas of the store. The $55-million, 335,000-square-foot […]

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NOTED: The Supply Chain In Brief-Apr 2021

Good Works PLS Logistics Services, a third-party logistics provider, raised more than $5,000 to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank by hosting a virtual fund drive, providing more than 26,900 meals to those in need in the community. Local PLS employees also volunteered at two food bank distribution locations (pictured). Energy manufacturing and logistics […]

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USPS Steps Up Its Fleet Game

USPS Steps Up Its Fleet Game

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) invested in the most significant modernization of its fleet in three decades. It recently awarded a 10-year contract to Oshkosh Defense to manufacture a new generation of U.S.-built delivery vehicles as part of a multi-billion-dollar effort to replace the entire fleet. The new vehicles will be equipped with either fuel-efficient […]

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PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT | Tracking Solutions

HasciSE Backhand Scanner: This lightweight wearable device from ACD Group integrates a 2D scanner into the housing. Supporting fast product tracking, the configurable infrared proximity sensor, scan button, and hand strap finger switch trigger the scanning function. The scanner can be combined with mobile workstations for easy asset tracking throughout warehouses. CL6NX Plus: This thermal […]

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Vertical Focus: Healthcare

Vertical Focus: Healthcare

Vaccines Prepare for Liftoff Ghana is the first country in the world to use drones to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare facilities. COVAX, an initiative led by UNICEF, shipped 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine from its facility in India to Ghana, using Zipline’s national drone delivery service. The goal is to deliver at […]

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Nonautomotive Robot Orders Rove Ahead

Nonautomotive Robot Orders Rove Ahead

Supply chain disruptions and workforce challenges are causing industries to accelerate their automation strategies (see chart). For example, yearly robot orders from nonautomotive sectors surpassed automotive robot orders for the first time, with sales of robotic units in North America increasing 3.5% in 2020 from 2019, according to the Robotic Industries Association. Growth was driven […]

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Walmart Goes Local

Walmart Goes Local

Walmart plans to increase the number of local fulfillment centers across the United States, which it will build inside or near existing retail locations. This localized approach mirrors Amazon’s strategy, as both companies face off amid surging demand for online orders. Walmart opened its first fulfillment center in 2019 in New Hampshire when the retail […]

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Port of Long Beach Loads Up on Business

Port of Long Beach Loads Up on Business

As cargo volumes surged in the second half of 2020, essential workers at the Port of Long Beach in California moved 8.1 million cargo containers—its busiest year on record. The port ended the year with a 6.3% increase from 2019. Imports rose 6.4% to more than 3.9 million TEUs, exports increased 0.2% to 475,888 TEUs, […]

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Neiman Marcus Splurges on Digitization

Luxury department store Neiman Marcus is banking on a digital future, investing $85 million to make immediate changes to its supply chain and technology operations after erasing more than $4 billion in debt with a successful bankruptcy. To help improve its digital customer service, the retailer hired Apple veteran Bob Kupbens as its new chief […]

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You’ve Got Drone Mail

Many drone delivery services involve dropping packages on the ground outside of homes and businesses, making them vulnerable to theft and bad weather. That’s where the smart drone mailbox comes in. These new mailbox concepts, developed by startups Valqari and DRONEDEK, involve a technology-enabled container that receives and stores packages in a secure, climate-controlled box […]

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Sail Like the Wind

Sail Like the Wind

The Frisian Sea, a Dutch cargo ship, made its maiden voyage using two compact wind-assisted propulsion units that can be easily moved into position or stowed. The technology has the potential to improve operating efficiency and environmental performance in the shipping industry. The 388-foot vessel, owned by Boomsma Shipping, was retrofitted with eConowind’s VentiFoils wind […]

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Coping With Blank Sailings, Surcharges & Spikes

Coping With Blank Sailings, Surcharges & Spikes

From its position as a global third-party logistics provider, SEKO has unique insight into air and ocean trends. For one, global restocking is lowering the odds of a slack season in 2021, says Brian Bourke, the company’s chief growth officer. In a media call, SEKO execs shared their perspective on the following challenges facing manufacturers […]

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4 New Rules for Retail

4 New Rules for Retail

While the grocery and home improvement sectors benefited from changes in consumer behavior during the pandemic, apparel and department stores struggled. Consequently, the following new rules will come into play for retailers in 2021, says a Deloitte report: 1. Digital investment should go beyond differentiation. Many retailers have jumped on the digital bandwagon (see chart), […]

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Vertical Focus: Automotive

Vertical Focus: Automotive

From iPads to e-Cars Apple is moving forward with self-driving car technology and plans to produce a passenger vehicle equipped with its own battery technology by 2024, Reuters reports. Central to the company’s strategy is a new “monocell” battery design that could radically reduce costs and increase the vehicle’s range, the report says. However, making […]

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Cold Chain Takes a Shot

The freight industry is tasked with transporting an average of 271 million ultracold and cold COVID-19 vaccine doses per month. At least 857 temperature-controlled trucks will leave Pfizer and Moderna manufacturing facilities or distribution centers each month, says an ABI Research report, and delivery will get more complicated after large urban and suburban areas are […]

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Freight Spending Soars to Record Highs

Freight Spending Soars to Record Highs

Truck freight spending in the United States reached record highs in Q2 of 2021, jumping 10.1% over Q1 levels, says a recent U.S. Bank report. While all regions experienced double-digit growth in spend, different geographic areas and industries emerge from the pandemic at different paces, the report shows: Northeast: Freight shipments rose 1.5% in Q2 […]

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NOTED: The Supply Chain In Brief March 2021

Sealed Deals Lifestyle products and services company Urban Outfitters selected TGW to design and implement an automation solution for its new fulfillment center in Kansas City, Kansas. TGW’s FlashPick system uses the smart robot Rovolution, which picks orders automatically and ensures the next phase of picking is being addressed. FlashPick allows Urban Outfitters to use […]

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