Archive for Guest Commentary

Open Up a Whole New World of Competitive Differentiation with Transportation Optimization

Transportation optimization tools enable efficient load and route plans in today’s high pressure omnichannel and ecommerce distribution environment. The best optimization tools allow companies to look at freight movements holistically, analyzing shipments, rates, and constraints, and ultimately improve decision making. In environments such as the recent capacity crunch, load optimization across all modes can help transportation managers fully load their trucks, which means fewer loads that need coverage and fewer drivers. Those who have already implemented a transportation management system (TMS) have at least one advantage

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TMS Visibility? INCONCEIVABLE!

Transportation management systems (TMS) have been around for a good 25-30 years, but they’ve struggled with visibility for most of that lifetime. Sure, the TMS industry has long talked about the visibility of their systems. But it’s only been in the last two or three years that we’ve seen measurable leaps forward in visibility capabilities. Like the Princess Bride scene where one character questions another’s constant use of the word “inconceivable,” the term “visibility” is […]

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The Forces Driving the Need for Employee Engagement in the Warehouse

ARC Advisory Group recently did a survey that yielded some interesting findings of the current labor situation in warehouses and distribution centers. For instance, 50% of all warehouse job openings have five or fewer applicants, which is up from 32% five years ago. Of that smaller pool of applicants, half have no prior experience. At the same time, the survey found that turnover is higher than ever before. Also, a healthy overall economy, and a […]

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Sustainability in the Supply Chain

Over the past several years, companies have been incorporating sustainability in the supply chain, thanks in part to younger consumers who place a higher premium on environmentally-friendly practices. In fact, according to a Nielsen study, 81 percent of global consumers feel strongly that it’s a company’s duty to help improve the environment, making “going green” a must for many organizations. Of those organizations that have embraced green initiatives successfully, many have seen not only improved […]

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Food Safety Compliance & Inspections: What Shippers Need to Know

Sanitary Transport of Human and Animal Food (STHAF) Rules, of the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, are subject to much confusion and faulty interpretation, resulting in inspection delays, unnecessary fees, and supply chain disruptions.

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Look Upstream to Mitigate Transportation Spend

Transportation budget performance hangovers from 2018 have motivated logistics leaders to expand transportation cost-saving opportunities further upstream in the supply chain. Trailer utilization, lead time, and detention costs are three avenues to mitigate additional cost

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Looking Ahead at Global Trade in 2019

Protectionist trade policies are leading to shifts in country sourcing practices and investments in automation and technology to help keep goods moving and visible. And there is no reason to believe that in the coming twelve months we will see a waning of geo-political posturing along the trade front. As we move into 2019, there are six major areas of concern for anyone playing a part in global trade. 

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The State of Parcel TMS Technology

There was a time when even the largest shippers employed clerks to look up rates on wall charts and handwrite ship-to addresses into logs. Then came manifest systems that printed reports and labels, and after that, multi-carrier shipping systems.  Those days are long gone, as eCommerce has caused an explosion in parcel volumes worldwide and an expansion of carrier services to meet the delivery demands of consumers.  Parcel shipping technology has evolved in lockstep with […]

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Tariff Impact: What You Can Do Now to Manage Risk

As U.S. importers, we live in interesting times. It can seem overwhelming just to keep up with what’s changing in tariffs, let alone know the full impact of those changes on your business. This quick summary brings you up to date on what’s happened in U.S. tariffs this year so far. It also provides ideas that can help you manage potential disruptions to your supply chain as developments continue to unfold. First, a quick recap […]

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Put Your Best e-Fulfillment Foot Forward with Dynamic Slotting

Two Kardashians just Tweeted and Instagrammed a photo of your product. A tidal wave of online orders spiked your system. Is your warehouse ready? Is it ready to deliver same-day? This might sound extreme, but it’s exactly where we are today in supply chain. Agility and rapid fulfillment no longer fall into the “buzzword” category—they’re the expectations of your customers. The key to delivering next-day or same-day fulfillment effectively and profitably is cut differently for […]

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