Archive for Guest Commentary

Top 10 Things to Consider When Evaluating Enterprise Shipping Technology

The hyper-competitive world of eCommerce has come down to this:  it’s my supply chain against your supply chain.   If I can ship better, cheaper, and faster than you, I win.   For that to happen, I need to provide my customers with more choices and better visibility when they need it.  And, of course, easy and free returns.   In the meantime, Amazon continues to raise the bar. For eCommerce businesses (who isn’t one these days?) to […]

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America’s Infrastructure Remains a Topic of Spirited Debate: How Can TMS Help Users of the Nation’s Highways Avoid Potholes?

Infrastructure is a topic most of us don’t think about. We just expect it to work in the same way we expect the lights to come on when we flip a switch. However, there has been increasing concern by trucking companies, shippers, and even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that the infrastructure we all count on – safe roads, bridges, waterways–  is showing its age and in need of repair. That is not surprising when […]

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Most Popular Articles of 2017

As hard as it is to believe, the year is already more than half-way over. Which makes this the perfect time to look back at what have been the most popular Logistics Viewpoints articles for the first half of the year. It’s nice to see a wide range of topics on the list, as well as the variety of authors on the list. All three regular contributors (Steve Banker, Clint Reiser, and myself) are included, […]

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Collaborating Across Supply Chains Is Here. I’ll Show You How.

We’re all operating in a social world and communicating through software. It’s what we do. So where the old days of logistics management were focused on getting cheaper carrier rates, companies operating in today’s freight environment must focus on collaboration—both with carriers and with one another. So how can a company go about gaining new efficiencies by collaborating across supply chains without disrupting current logistics processes? The Answer Lies in the Cloud Cloud-based transportation software […]

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5 Reasons Why LTL Rates Are Changing & What to Expect

If you’ve been in transportation or logistics for any length of time, you already know that nothing stays the same for long. Recent less than truckload (LTL) rates and capacity levels have been below the historical levels we saw from 2005-2010. But that could change—and it’s already started. Most general rate increases (GRIs) happened late last fall. They’re typically on an annual cycle, so we expected to see them come this fall. But they’re here […]

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Getting Paid: Why AR Matters in your TMS

Figuring out the right TMS for your business typically boils down to your vendor’s data structure, which affects every facet of the software. One way to know whether the TMS will work for your needs is to look at its accounts receivable capabilities (AR). This is where the data structure really comes to light. What’s so important about AR? Think of an AR record as a sell-side load. While a load is essentially an intermediate […]

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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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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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