The Logistics Viewpoints year has come to an end. It was certainly a very busy year for us covering all the top supply chain and logistics news stories. Like in years past, we wanted to look back at the top 10 most popular articles written this year and see what our readers found to be the most interesting. The most read story from this year was Steve Banker’s Key Supply Chain Trends to Follow in 2017; however, we are not including it on the list as a trends piece from January of 2017 is dated. But, you can read the updated version on top trends to watch in 2018 and check back to see if we were right. Without further ado, here are Logistics Viewpoints’ most popular articles for 2017.
- Supply Chain 2017: Important Transportation Trends and Challenges Frank McGuigan, Transplace
There’s never a dull moment in the supply chain. That statement seems especially true thus far in 2017. We’re just over two months into the new year and there is already a myriad of questions about the market, the business landscape and how companies will be affected going forward. With issues such as changes to global trade deals, regulations and fluctuating capacity, we are quite certain that there will be an impact on the supply chain in 2017, and beyond, making it is vital for shippers, carriers and logistics service providers to keep a pulse on what’s going on in the industry.
- Amazon’s Latest Take on Drone Deliveries: Fantasy or Reality Chris Cunnane
Amazon has won a patent for a flying warehouse or fulfillment center that will deploy drones to deliver parcels. Basically, the plan for Amazon is to have a blimp or airship of some sort hovering at an altitude of around 45,000 feet, stocked with lots of products. When an order is placed, a drone will fly down from the floating fulfillment center and deliver the item within 10 minutes. A couple of other features of the patent include the use of shuttles. These shuttles would serve a few purposes. First, they would be used to re-stock the airship. Second, they would be used to re-fuel the airship. And finally, they would be used to return the drones to the airship after deliveries.
- Amazon Launches Trucking App Chris Cunnane
Amazon is no stranger to innovation; we need to look no further than its investment in drone technology, warehouse robots, robotic picking competitions, the Prime program, dash buttons, cloud services, and a host of others. Often times, the company will quietly launch one its new services as a test run before making any major announcements or grand roll-outs. Last month, Amazon did it again with the launch of its first trucking app. Named Relay, the app was launched in typical Amazon fashion (quietly) and is available for both Apple and Android devices.
- JDA’s Exciting New Supply Chain Product Strategy Steve Banker
JDA Software is a leading provider of supply chain software. Last week, JDA’s user conference – JDA Focus – took place. Usually, the first thing I do when I get to a big supply chain show like this is pull out the agenda and look for well-known companies that are speaking on how they are using supply chain solutions to improve their capabilities.
- 8 Best Ways to Boost Warehouse Performance Steve Banker
What practices contribute to stellar warehouse performance? To determine this, ARC in conjunction with DC Velocity, did a survey designed to tease out the key factors that drive warehouse performance. A successful warehouse is a warehouse that is productive, safe, contributes to high customer service, and retains its employees. Excellence was defined for each of these areas. In looking for best practices surrounding warehouse performance, we were looking at what high-performing warehouses were doing that is different from other distribution operations. The best warehouses perform well in all these dimensions. This is a follow up to an article published last week on the best ways to retain warehouse workers.
- ELD Mandate and Capacity Impacts Andrew Lynch, Zipline Logistics
What will happen to truck capacity when the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate is finally enforced this coming December? The ELD mandate will help to standardize Hours of Service (HOS). Paper logs can be manipulated easily, with some drivers running multiple books or delaying start times, to drive more hours than legally allowed. This would help a driver deliver loads more quickly and move more loads over a given timeframe.
- 2017 Regulations Update: Top 4 Issues Affecting Trucking this Year Jason Craig, CH Robinson
Recently, I had the pleasure of being a guest on Dave Nemo’s Road Dog radio show. We recapped some of the big stories in trucking regulations in 2016 and discussed the issues coming up in 2017. Here are the top four issues I will be following in 2017…
- Why Supply Chain Talent Management Needs to Be a Top Priority Angie Freeman, CH Robinson
The well-known business adage that people are a company’s most important asset has taken on new significance in the supply chain industry over recent years. Companies have always needed smart, motivated professionals to design, build, and manage their supply chains. But in today’s ever-changing, complex global landscape, professional talent has become even more important as a competitive differentiator.
- Amazon to Take On FedEx and UPS Steve Banker
The flying warehouse patent that Amazon recently announced is pie in the sky. Nor does much progress appear to being made toward drone deliveries. But the news that Amazon plans to build its first air cargo hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport is based on sound economics. When the 2-million-square-foot facility opens, it will reduce the company’s dependence on UPS and FedEx. But Amazon was already moving away from reliance on the parcel giants by giving an increasing share of its parcel business to lower cost regional providers. And many e-commerce shoppers have seen their orders delivered by the company’s fleet of private trucks.
- A Distribution Revolution in the Making: A Wholesaler Uses Mobile, Picking Robots Steve Banker
A revolution in robotic automation for the piece picking warehouse is emerging – mobile picking robots! The combination of mobile robots and picking arms is potentially revolutionary. These solutions are just beginning to emerge. Rochester Drug Coop (RDC) has implemented a solution from IAM Robotics with future phases already planned.
There you have it – the most popular articles for 2017. And with that, we are done for the year. We are going to take a few weeks off to refresh and re-energize so we can continue to bring you the best supply chain and logistics stories in 2018.