This Week in Logistics News (December 7 – 13)

It’s hard to believe that we have reached the end again. And by that, I mean the last Logistics Viewpoints news round-up of the year. It’s been another great year bringing you the news. It’s also been another great year of learning. I’ve learned so much from reading and researching so many supply chain news topics (in fact, I have more talking points at parties than I can shake a stick at), attending supply chain […]

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How Much is it Worth to Steer Customers’ Delivery Appointment Choices?

Over the last 10 years, I’ve had the chance to work with companies that have turned home delivery into a competitive advantage or reduced their costs by using counterintuitive strategies and tactics. On a recent trip to Europe, I had a chance to catch up with a customer who, for several years, has been using the concept called the “eco-friendly” delivery option to steer its customers’ delivery choices to improve productivity. The results they shared […]

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The 2019 Holiday Logistics Guide

And like that, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday are in the books. This means we have hit peak holiday shopping and shipping season. This year, however, there is an added wrinkle for retailers. Namely, with Thanksgiving being so late this year, retailers are left with six less days of holiday shopping after Black Friday. As a result, Black Friday saw record traffic in the way of online activity, with 10 million more shoppers […]

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Value Beyond the Task: The Benefits of Robotics Outside Immediate Workflows

What’s the operational and strategic value of robotics? This question is more important now than ever, as businesses look to robotics to overcome labor challenges and increase operational flexibility. Flexibility is a strategic concept summarizing the elasticity a warehouse needs to adapt to market changes and skyrocketing consumer expectations. Helping to address flexibility in the warehouse is the newer robotics market for autonomous mobile robots (AMR). This technology is extending the capabilities of warehouses, people, […]

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A New Approach to Supply Chain Planning Software: Try Before You Buy!

While the SaaS era is better for customers, nothing beats a try before you buy program. Indeed, when it comes to enterprise software this is so rare it counts as radical business innovation. But that is exactly the deal Mayne Pharma got from Vanguard Software for their demand planning application.

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This Week in Logistics News (November 30 – December 6)

It was such a surprising victory, that my wife and I were actually giddy. Now, neither one of us are what I would call “dog people.” However, we put on the replay of the National Dog Show on Thanksgiving night mostly to crack jokes about how much the movie Best in Show rings true. Additionally, we only saw the very end of the replay, meaning we just saw the individual category winners compete for the […]

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Savings Through Container Transport Planning

The use of standardized steel shipping containers, or intermodal containers, started late in the 1940s as commercial shipping operators started employing them for ocean carrier, truck, and rail transport. It wasn’t until 2005 when the International Maritime Office (IMO) established industry standards for more consistent loading, transporting, and unloading of goods in ports throughout the world, saving time and resources. Regular, dry freight containers typically cost between $1750 and $2000 and are owned by either […]

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The Logistics Economy: An Update

There have been recent signs of macroeconomic weakness. Let’s take this opportunity to review some of the data and dig a little deeper into the area relevant to the logistics sector. Are the concerns simply related to US-China trade, or are there signs that that trade difficulties are impacting other areas of the economy that in turn impact the broader logistics sector?

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Winning at Buzzword Bingo (even when the board keeps changing)

Analytics, big data, data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, heuristics, optimization – do you feel beaten down playing buzz word bingo on a constantly changing board? It can be hard to understand which new buzzwords bring business value and which are best left in the lab to mature. And yet this barrier hasn’t stopped many companies from adopting corporate initiatives around data science or artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML). To keep it simple, I […]

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Finding Alternatives to Sourcing in China Can be Difficult

In early November, the Northeast Cargo Symposium had a series of presentations and panels focused on how trade disputes are affecting companies that source from abroad. One session was called “Alternatives to Trading with China.” The key conclusions were that diversification from sourcing with China was already occurring before the trade war began, that in certain industries the transition will be very difficult, and that trading with other nations presents challenges in figuring out just […]

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