Archive for Guest Commentary

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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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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Supply Chain Visibility: Every “Cloud” Has Its Silver Lining

Supply chain visibility hinges upon knowing the location, quantity and availability of raw materials and inventory at any moment in time. This information needs to be acted upon and applied across all touch points in the supply chain — from supplier, to end customer — in order to maximize supply chain performance. The Challenges of Diverse Partners and Disparate Systems Achieving this clarity within the four walls of an enterprise is difficult enough, but it […]

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Why You Need Technology to Optimize Your Parcel Spend in a Constantly Changing World

Traditional parcel delivery business models have always revolved around the pricing and service level capabilities offered by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), DHL, FedEx, Purolator, or UPS–not necessarily around the changing needs of the shippers who purchase and use these services to meet their customer demands. As a shipper, you literally have to keep your eye on the pricing ball: Most of these large parcel providers are asset-based, have shareholders to report to and government […]

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Are We at a Tipping Point for Logistics Technology Value?

I’m beginning to wonder if we have hit an inflection point where investment in logistics technology will broadly create business performance gaps. We recently partnered with several organizations to look at business strategies, tactics and logistics technology. The message was clear – investing in technology was the number one strategy. However, success doesn’t necessarily look so certain as there was clearly a difference in spending between the “haves” and “have nots”. Will we see a […]

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Lost in Deployment Model Jargon?

The logistics world is full of jargon and sometimes we only have a vague understanding of what certain terms mean, especially when it comes to software. Some of the most confusing ones pop up in conversations about transportation management system (TMS) deployment model options: SaaS, private cloud, or on-premise are common ones. These terms are understandably confusing to the “normal” person who doesn’t live and breathe software every day. The best model for your organization […]

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3PL Market Witnesses Slight Recovery in Q4 2016

The third-party logistics (3PL) market – encompassing non-asset-based transportation, warehousing, and integrated supply chain services – experienced a year-over-year growth of 2.8 percent in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2016.  This growth was primarily driven by acquisitions.  Organic growth (without the effect of acquisitions) of 3PL market grew by 0.7 percent in Q4 16 but declined by 5.3 percent in the FY16. Categories of 3PLs The scope of coverage includes the following non-asset-based transportation […]

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#1 Way to Save on Global Forwarding

Want a quick “win” in global forwarding costs? Look at ocean cargo consolidation (less than container load, or LCL). It enables you to take the best advantage of space. But you’ll need to work with a forwarder that has specific LCL capabilities to get the greatest possible savings. The third party logistics (3PL) provider you choose with LCL capabilities will combine complementary freight from multiple shippers into a single container. The idea is to use […]

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3 Ways to Plug Supply Chain Revenue Leaks

Do any of these situations sound familiar? The salesperson that expedites an order to overnight airfreight because a customer calls to see why it hasn’t arrived yet. The supplier that isn’t being held accountable for its inability to fulfill an order on time. The carrier that consistently fails to meet shipment delivery expectations. What do all three have in common? Each one is adding costs to their companies’ supply chains and eating up profits in […]

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Is Your Yard Ready to Join the Digital Revolution?

With the millions of trailers nationwide sitting idle and unhooked 80% of the time, it’s time to take your yard out of the dark ages and into the digital world. When it comes to the warehouse or DC yard, traditional supply chain management software tools like Transportation Management Systems (TMS), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) have failed the very shippers that rely on them. And while some “add-on” Yard Management Systems (YMS) […]

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