Archive for Guest Commentary

Fleet Management Strategies of Top Performers

Fleets are a double-edged sword. On one hand, they can be a competitive differentiator for companies that compete on delivery service. On the other hand, they can be expensive to operate. So, what makes for a successful fleet operator? In our Fleet Management Strategies of Top Performers, Descartes recently surveyed 130 companies with fleets across the globe to determine how leaders think differently. Some of the results are simple but surprising, and the charts tell […]

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TMS Implementation Drives Long-Term ROI

Selecting a transportation management system (TMS) is no easy feat. In other articles, my colleagues have discussed key considerations when choosing a TMS, such as why RFPs aren’t generally helpful and the difference between deployment options. After the work of selecting a TMS comes the no less rigorous step: implementation. During a TMS implementation, there are some phases during which an organization can set itself up for an improved ROI down the road. Initial steps […]

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Is Your Supply Chain Ready for Reverse Logistics? Three Critical Questions to Ask to Reach Your Goals in 2018

Two steps forward – one step back. This old catchphrase is fitting for the current state of ecommerce and reverse logistics. The constant growth and rapid evolution of ecommerce is heightening the volume of returns. In 2016 alone, the ecommerce return rate was 30 percent, compared to under 10 percent of brick and mortar sales (Invesp). Retailers recognize that this number is quickly, and inevitably, rising.  Yet, most treat reverse logistics as an afterthought, focusing […]

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The Road Ahead with Exports

The United States exported $2.2 trillion dollars of product in 2016, making it the third largest world exporter after China and the European Union.[i] Much of this is due to the easing of export controls over the past five years by the Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in cooperation with other federal agencies. That’s great news for US companies seeking to expand their sales beyond the domestic market. Yet still, the […]

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Palletization Software Can Help LTL Shippers Avoid Potential $6b in Space-based Rating Adjustments

Taking their lead from UPS, FedEx, and other parcel carriers, LTL freight carriers are starting to supplement traditional NMFC class-based rating and are applying space-based (also referred to as “dimensional” or “dim weight”) rating to freight in an effort to maximize the cubic utilization of vehicles. This change has many shippers guessing about what to quote for shipping costs because they don’t know what the weight and dimensions of a shipment will be until they […]

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ELD Mandate and Capacity Impacts

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. There will be many drivers […]

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Omni-Channel Profitability Through Inventory Optimization

The challenges involved in achieving omni-channel profitability are not new. By now, the difficulties of executing on the omni-channel retail promise are well-known, as is the importance of delivering on this promise for consumers whose demands continue to rise. E-commerce advances, both in terms of market share and technology, have created the expectation that consumers can receive their purchases when and how they want them, no matter what they’re after – “out of stock” is […]

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Business Intelligence Can Deliver Positive Supply Chain and Business Results, Using Information Already Being Captured Through Existing Processes

Logistics professionals have access to tons of data. However, it may be challenging to get the exact information needed quickly so that it becomes actionable, driving strategic decision making, rather than a historical review of tactical actions and transactions. To seek a better understanding of daily transportation operations, an important first step is implementing a supply chain business intelligence (BI) solution that offers greater insight and helps drive strategic, proactive decision making. If a company currently […]

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Are You Prepared for Tight Truckload Capacity?

In the aftermath of Harvey and Irma, truckload capacity is tighter than it has been for years, giving some shippers challenges in covering freight. Here are the factors at work, along with some suggestions for what you can do now to prepare yourself for the market ahead. What’s causing tight truckload capacity Keep in mind, these are only some of the factors contributing to the tight market, but enough to give you a clear picture: […]

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The Real Value of Logistics Solutions May Not Be in Logistics

Most logistics technology projects have their return-on-investment (ROI) center around the benefit they provide to the logistics organization. That is far from the complete picture.

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