Archive for Transportation

Editor’s Choice: What Early Holiday Shopping Means for Parcel Shipping

Regardless of whether consumers and retailers are ready, holiday shopping – and shipping – season is here! With carriers announcing capacity shortages and major headlines advertising “Shipageddon,” consumers have been encouraged to start shopping for the holidays NOW.  While this elongated holiday shopping season can certainly create new revenue opportunities for retailers, retailers can only capitalize on the opportunity if their parcel shipping operations are prepared to execute.

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Coronavirus Vaccine: Development and Distribution Logistics

The election is behind us (well, maybe not), and during the campaign COVID-19 was a key talking point for both President Trump and former Vice President Biden. One of the biggest questions that still does not have an answer is when a coronavirus vaccine will be ready. Beyond that, there are all the logistical hurdles of producing enough coronavirus vaccines which will then need to be stored, distributed, and administered. As pharmaceutical companies around the […]

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5 Challenges Retailers Face This Holiday Shopping Season

My to-do list has included one incomplete item since mid-September, one glaring blank spot where a big green checkmark belongs. That to-do item is “Start Christmas shopping.” Typically, my efforts toward buying holiday gifts for friends and family begin near the end of November, coinciding with the American Thanksgiving holiday. Rarely have I attended a Black Friday event on the day, but the commercials and promotions really get me into the holiday shopping mood. This […]

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Tech Integration Keeps Shippers in Step with Customers

The exponential growth of e-commerce in 2020 has brought peak-like levels of order volume for many retailers since as early as March. Looking to the quickly approaching actual peak season, volumes are predicted to hit unprecedented levels, and carriers have been warning shippers for months to expect capacity crunches, increased surcharges/fees and other challenges. Shippers must overcome these challenges without sacrificing customer service, competitive pricing or margins to be successful and satisfy consumers, who still expect […]

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Editor’s Choice – FMCSA HOS Final Rule: What to Know

On June 1, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revised the hours of service (HOS) regulations for motor carriers. The HOS final rule will go into effect on September 29th, 2020.
The FMCSA HOS final rule is intended to provide drivers flexibility while promoting safety for drivers on the road. As shippers contend with rising freight rates and managing heightened shipment volumes, while at the same time preparing for retail peak season, understanding the potential impact of the new ruling on truckload capacity is critical to success now and through the end of 2020.

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Transportation 101: Understanding How to Manage Your Freight Spend

When it comes to managing your freight spend, there are a few options to consider. The three traditional methods are the use of a transportation management system (TMS), transportation execution system (TES), and managed transportation services (MTS). Ultimately it comes down to whether shippers want to manage their freight spend in-house or outsource it. We have created a handy Supply Chain 101 cheat sheet, but this article will go into a little more depth. The […]

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E-Commerce Is Booming: Is Your Final Mile Strategy Up to The Challenge?

While retailers welcome the surge of online orders, the increased sales of big and bulky items pose unique final mile delivery changes. As the name implies, final mile (also known as last mile) logistics is a specialized mode focused squarely on the final leg of a shipment’s journey to its destination. Final mile arose as a standalone mode due to the complexities in delivering to locations that lack loading docks and other receiving and storage infrastructure.

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Class 1 Railroads Need to Invest to Improve their Performance

Class 1 Railroads Have Been Charged with Unfair and Arbitrary Demurrage Fines My colleague Muhammad Wasay Rashid has just completed a market study on the adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies by the global rail industry, including the freight segment. Mr. Rashid reports that sales of IoT technologies for Rail are bigger, and growing faster, in Asia and Europe. This article will explain why there are good reasons why North American Class 1 Railroads […]

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Descartes Evolution 2020: Emerging Stronger

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the nature of my job quite a bit. The pandemic hit just as we were heading into our busy conference season. So instead of traveling across the country attending conferences, networking with peers, and in most cases, enjoying a bit of sunshine either by the pool or on the beach, I was attending these events from the friendly confines of my home office. The good news is that the virtual […]

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COVID-19 Disrupts an Efficient Supply Chain

There was a time when Mumbai’s dabbawalas (lunchbox carriers) were known for their efficient supply chain and logistics.  But the COVID-19 incursion changed the lives and livelihoods of Mumbai’s dabbawalas.  Their lives can neatly be compartmentalized into BC and AC – before COVID-19 and after COVID-19. Scenario Before COVID-19 Mumbai’s dabbawala service was legendary for its reliability.  This service was started in 1890 by a Parsi banker who wanted to have home-cooked food in office […]

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