This Week in Logistics News (November 26 – December 2)

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the books. And by all accounts, Americans spent a lot of money. Call it the Amazon effect if you want, but more and more consumers are flocking to the Web for holiday deals than in stores. And traditional retailers are pushing their online inventory to keep up with customer demand. According to a survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF), an estimated 108.5 million Americans shopped online […]

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8 Things Keeping Supply Chain Professionals up at Night

As 2017 fast approaches, shippers are hard at work forecasting what the new year may bring. Unfortunately, with this planning comes a host of trends and challenges that leave supply chain professionals feeling uneasy. Pressure to reduce transportation costs, adapt to changing customer demands and a constantly changing, uncertain market are constantly on the minds of shippers, but here are a few trends and challenges that are keeping supply chain professionals up at night. The […]

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Let the Holiday Rush Begin (or Continue)!

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the rear view mirror, the holiday shopping season, and the rush to deliver packages, is in full swing. The last few years of holiday shopping, and the shipping crunch associated with e-commerce orders, has produced its share of ups and downs. Late packages will never be eliminated fully, but retailers and shippers alike have taken steps to ensure that a holiday meltdown similar to 2013, where an estimated […]

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You can’t really count on cycle counting.

Whether we like it or not, every company on the planet with any significant supply chain operation has an inventory reconciliation problem. It doesn’t matter if you are a retailer, manufacturer or logistics service provider, or if you have the latest and greatest warehouse management system. The fact is, if humans have to physically touch or scan inventory in the put away, inventory check or pick process, then errors will occur. The only debate will be the […]

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Robust Routing Plays a Critical Role in Omni-channel Fulfillment

The most dynamic form of routing is focused on e-commerce home deliveries. The importance of routing starts right at the point of purchase on a web site. The choices given to consumers from the routing engine should help to maximize profitability for the retailer.

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Mexico – The Land of Sunshine, Tequila, and.…Automated Warehouses?

During my discussions with warehouse automation suppliers and WMS suppliers, Mexico was frequently noted as a strong spot within an otherwise weak Latin America region. Warehouse automation vendors didn’t really point to an overarching factor driving sales to companies in Mexico. But WMS suppliers informed ARC that the WMS selling environment in Mexico remains favorable due to increased nearshoring efforts by US companies. Multinationals care more than ever about agility in their supply chain, as China’s costs increase, Mexico’s proximity is becoming more appealing. I dug further into macroeconomic reports to see if there were additional insights to be obtained. I came across the Department of Commerce 2016 Top Markets Report on the Cold Chain in Mexico. This report states that Mexico’s supermarkets have been growing at a rapid pace.

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Key Considerations When Shipping from Multiple Sites

Many of our enterprise retail customers are challenged with how to optimize leveraging both their brick and mortar stores and warehouse locations for fulfilling product to consumers.  By being able to leverage multi-site shipping with UPS®, FedEx®, DHL®, or regional carriers across multiple sites, retailers are in an optimal position to meet varied objectives: satisfy the highest tiers in their carrier contracts to justify the largest discounts, and serve up the lowest costs for shipping […]

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UPS and Additive Manufacturing: Managing a Megatrend

UPS Invests in a 3D Printing Firm to Learn UPS actively monitors emerging technologies including 3D Printing. 3D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing, was not that interesting to UPS initially. But as industrial manufacturers began making components, not prototypes for R&D, but direct material components used in finished products, UPS began to become interested. In time, they realized that this could be a megatrend that could reshape the face of the logistics industry. Alan […]

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This Week in Logistics News (November 12 – 18)

As hard as it is to believe, next Thursday is Thanksgiving. I’ve written before about the intricacies of the Thanksgiving supply chain, and how over 730 million pounds of turkey will be consumed in the United States during Thanksgiving (or about 45 million individual turkeys). The bigger story, however, is the fact that the holiday shopping season technically kicks off a week from today, as Black Friday deals roll out nationwide. This, of course, is […]

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Is Your Routing Guide Ready for a Tune Up?

Asking, “What’s the point of conducting regular procurement events?” is just like asking, “What’s the point of conducting routine car maintenance?” You could skip some maintenance, but you’d probably pay for it in the end. And the same goes for procurement events. Whether it’s your supply chain or your car, regular “maintenance” can keep things running smoothly and save you money. To stick with my metaphor, all the parts in your car need to run […]

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