This Week in Logistics News (June 17 – 23)

It’s been a busy week in the battle between Amazon and Walmart. Late last week, Amazon made a lot of noise with the announcement that it had agreed to acquire Whole Foods for nearly $14 billion in cash. This move is an obvious effort to bolster Amazon’s lagging grocery business, while hopefully making a dent in Walmart’s stronghold on the grocery business. Walmart had its turn as well with the announcement that it was acquiring […]

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Why Your Supply Chain Should Be Riding the Dynamic Waves Trend

Online retail has rocked order processing to its core. Large, pre-determined replenishment orders are the past. The amount of unique, one-off orders from consumers from anywhere at any time is constantly increasing. As a result, order sizes are consistently shrinking down to single unit fulfillment. Order cycle times are also waning. Twenty-four hour shipping is no longer the expectation. Customers expect same-day delivery. What does this mean for the distribution center (DC)? All aspects of […]

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Do You Buy American Made Cars? Consider the Supply Chain.

I believe that the average American over the last three decades has become progressively more aware of global supply chains and the distinction between an American company and an American made product. However, I also believe that information on country-of-origin is still very opaque in many cases. But the automotive supply chain is an exception due to the regulations and reporting required. In 2006 I engaged in a conversation with a friend from high school, […]

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3PLs to Move Data Along in Transportation

There’s no denying that there’s an endless amount of data available in the supply chain. Yet, even when segmented – for instance, to just transportation – it is often underutilized. The logistics industry has made significant progress utilizing data in recent years; transportation management systems have brought order to the chaos. Data is more organized and available in historical and real-time formats. Management has become automated and visualization tools make it simpler to understand. Yet, […]

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Leveraging Network Effects to Improve Managed Transportation

Jeff McDermott, the Sr. Vice President of Transportation at GEODIS, made the point in a conversation with me that there have been several new entrants providing managed transportation services. “Cloud-based transportation management systems (TMS) have lowered the barriers of entry in this field. But small players don’t have the economies of scale.” By economies of scale, Mr. McDermott is referring to network effects; being able to leverage visibility to large numbers of transportation moves and […]

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This Week in Logistics News (June 10 – 16)

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Americans are anticipating spending more on Father’s Day gifts this year than any other year. So just how much are Americans looking to spend? Let’s just say that the amount is insane. To be more specific, the NRF is expecting total spending to hit $15.5 billion this year, which is $1.2 billion more than last year. This isn’t overly surprising given the fact that Americans seem to spend […]

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Are Your Yards Connected to the Supply Chain Ecosystem?

By definition, an ecosystem is a group of interconnected elements, formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment. The same concept applies in the supply chain, where networks of organizations—including manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, retailers, customers, and carriers—are all involved in the hands-on delivery of a specific product or service. While few would argue the important role that the manufacturing plant, warehouse, distribution center, and transportation channel play in getting goods from […]

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Exoskeletons: The Next Generation of Warehouse Safety

At the beginning of the year, Steve Banker and I launched a survey with DC Velocity to examine best practices for achieving excellence in warehouse operations. The research employs the balanced scorecard strategic planning management system. The resulting report looks at what high-performing warehouses are doing differently than other distribution operations. The big question then is what exactly is a “high-performing warehouse?” The survey looked at a number of metrics and best practices that warehouses […]

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Bid Activity Strategies and Trends

Bid optimization and procurement are truly foundational for companies to achieve supply chain excellence and drive value. Procurement process and bid activities have a significant impact on shippers and carriers, making it critical for companies to establish good sourcing practices. With 2016 being a record year in terms of bid activities for shippers – due to an industry-wide desire to align shipper and carrier networks in the anticipation of an uncertain 2017 – we wanted […]

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What’s New in Transportation Management?

Europeans and North Americans talk about this managed transportation in different ways. In Europe, they often refer to this as a 4PL (fourth party logistics) service. When Europeans talk about a 4PL arrangement, what they are referring to tends to be more tightly defined and less flexible than what North Americans mean by “managed transportation.”

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