Updating Einstein?

Einstein said the faster an object moves, the slower time seems to pass. Well, not for me. The increased speed at which products now move through the supply chain seems to have the same impact on my calendar. I can’t believe half the year is gone, and in the blink of an eye it will be 2018.

Everything moves super fast for you, too, as supply chain performance builds brand recognition and enhances customer service. We had that in mind when we planned this annual Third-Party Logistics issue (were those planning meetings really six months ago?). You’ll find interesting and informative case histories about the important work third-party logistics providers do to speed your supply chain to drive competitiveness and growth.

Here is quick look at what’s on tap for you in this edition.

In his editorial Bad News, Good News Publisher Keith Biondo refers to the key drivers of success: having a close integrated bond with your customers means that as their business evolves, logistics solutions match that transformation. That also feeds specialization of solutions and diversity of choice when considering logistics partners—a business co-evolution if you will.

Our cover story, 3PL Change Agents, offers several in-depth examples of how logistics partners can do more than solve transportation, warehousing, and supply chain challenges. If you let them, 3PLs can drive change across your entire enterprise, positioning you to compete and scale for growth. And do it quickly.

Indeed, logistics partners are enabling success for many of the thousands of readers who voted in our Top 10 3PL Excellence Awards. Which 3PLs came out on top? Check the results.

It’s not only 3PLs that are enabling success. Distributors also are dealing with the new challenges e-commerce creates. In Distributors Step Up Their Game, you’ll find perfect examples of how customer demands can quickly transform—or trash—your business if you’re not proactive. Demand-driven logistics practices, technology, and adaptive logistics partners are the real game changers here.

The game is changing in the cold storage industry as well. For a very long time, cold storage facilities served a single purpose: to hold inventory. Today, scope evolution, closer collaboration for business change, and other trends are transforming logistics solutions. Given changing consumer buying and eating habits, and the need for speed, smaller shipments, and efficiency, cold chain solutions are blossoming. You’ll find compelling examples in License To Chill, which offers 12 cool trends that are turning cold storage into today’s hottest solution set.

If you want to explore how e-commerce and the digital supply chain is impacted by the change in consumer consumption, the feature article about direct-to-consumer logistics, Direct Hit, is one to set your sights on. No one expected the rapid change and adoption of the buying of the Online of Everything. Well perhaps Amazon did, and yes, we cover them in this article.

What happens when Cuba’s 1950’s environment calls for today’s world-class logistics requirements? More change agents? Maybe. Find out in the fun project logistics feature, Special Delivery, which follows Vin Diesel and company as they tear up the roads in Cuba for the next installment of the exciting The Fast & the Furious franchise.

Fast and furious is a great way to describe today’s supply chains. I wonder what Einstein would have thought about the speed at which products now move. Would he have updated his Theory of Relativity?

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