Articles

Ten Tips

Choosing Voice-Directed Technology

Voice-based warehousing can result in high productivity and accuracy rates, safe working conditions, and a boost in worker morale. It can also have a positive impact on your organization’s bottom line. Paul Lightfoot, CEO and president of Rockaway, N.J.-based solutions provider AL Systems Inc., offers advice for selecting a voice-directed technology vendor. 1. Analyze your […]

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Selecting Pallets: Wood vs. Plastic

Wood remains the most common pallet material used in the United States. But for about five percent of shippers, plastic is a better choice for moving goods. How does a shipper choose? Should you change to a new pallet material? Steven Mazza, president of S&B Pallet Co., Plainfield, N.J., and member of the board of […]

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Keeping Expedited Costs Down

While expedited shipping can be expensive, it doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little thought and planning, shippers can control the factors driving expedited shipping costs by following these tips from Dave Quinn, president of Belleville, Mich.-based Active On-Demand. 1. Choose the right mode. Utilizing the wrong mode costs shippers the most when […]

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Importing Food Safely

With recent incidents of food contamination making headline news, tracking the food supply chain has never been more important. Here are some tips on ensuring food import safety and accountability from Michael Lahar, food and drug administration team leader for A.N. Deringer Inc., a St. Alban’s, Vt.-based third-party logistics provider. 1. Verify your trading partners […]

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Selecting Global Trade Management Software

Looking for guidance on selecting a flexible global trade management software (GTM) package that easily integrates into your supply chain strategy? Here’s some advice from Brian Hodgson, vice president of marketing and business development for Kewill Americas, Marlborough, Mass. 1. Set clear requirements and well-defined scope. Determine, for example, whether you need import or export […]

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How to Request 3PL Proposals

Thoroughness and honesty are the keys to a successful 3PL request for proposal (RFP) bid process, according to Will O’Shea, chief sales and marketing officer for Atlanta, Ga.-based logistics provider 3PD Inc. Here are his tips for getting the best results from your 3PL RFP. 1. Be selective. If you send out RFPs in a […]

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Managing Expedited Shipments

There are two kinds of expedited shipments: critical and time-sensitive. Knowing the difference between the two and understanding your customers’ supply chains can help you make decisions that translate into cost-effective expedited shipment strategies. Here’s some advice from Greg Humes, president of Detroit-based third-party logistics provider NLM. 1. Hire the right people. Employing a staff […]

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Boosting Supply Chain Visibility

Improving supply chain visibility is a top priority of companies striving to maximize global operations performance. Nathan Pieri, senior vice president of marketing and product management for East Rutherford, N.J.-based Management Dynamics, a global trade management solutions provider, offers these tips for using technology to increase visibility. 1. Look at the big picture.Make sure your […]

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Generating Accurate Global Documentation

Improper documentation can stop import shipments dead in their tracks and you may not even know they are stuck. Beth Peterson, president of BPE Global, offers advice for achieving fast, reliable customs clearance.

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Easy Come, Easy Go: Keeping the Yard Running Smoothly

Some companies consider yard management a low priority, but an inefficient strategy can bleed dollars from the bottom line. Wilson Rothschild, industry and product marketing supply chain manager for Infor, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based warehouse management software company, offers these tips for making yard management a strategic imperative. 1. Lead an initiative to review yard management […]

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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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