News

Maintaining Global Visibility of Freight

I have read many articles that hypothesize and project how technology will disrupt the supply chain industry in 2017.  I can’t help but reflect on a few technology applications that Unyson have deployed which accomplish quite the opposite.  Today, more…

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Supply Chain Best Practices – When to Engage a Pop Up Supply Chain

As a logistics professional responsible for setting up the supply chain, you can spend years developing solutions for the unique challenges that occur within your operation.  Whether it involves understanding the complexity of your operation, the potential for increased efficiency…

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Engineering the Solution: Developing Customized Solutions for the Ever-Changing Supply Chain

I am one of the very fortunate to say that I truly love my job. The reason for this, I believe, is due to its ever changing nature. As an analyst on the Engineered Solutions team at Unyson, we not…

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2017 Rate Outlook: Changing political landscapes may be reflected in pricing

Trade and transport analysts see a turnaround in last year’s negative market outlook, but as global GDP continues to gradually strengthen, carriers in all modes will be challenged to manage capacity

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5 tech trends that transformed retail in 2016

Artificial intelligence and related breakthroughs steered retailers toward more effective customer engagement, while virtual reality and augmented reality redefined how shoppers experience the world.

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ISM: US Manufacturing Should See Rising Profit in 2017

U.S. manufacturing and services firms expect to see rising revenues and profits next year, amid a stronger economy and only modest increases in costs, according to the Institute of Supply Management.

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3PLs & Carriers: At Your Service

Shippers don’t always measure the ‘softer’ aspects of the service they receive from carriers and 3PLs. But those metrics can make all the difference for your supply chain and your company’s brand.

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Angry protests erupt across Mexico after 20% hike in gasoline prices

Demonstrators have blockaded highways, looted shops and forced service stations across Mexico to close in a wave of angry protest triggered by a hike of more than 20% in the government-set price of gasoline.

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Supply Chain Sustainability: The New Green Lean Money Machine

From R&D to product design, to manufacturing, packaging, shipment and consumption, even when factoring in the after-use value chain, today’s sustainability thought leaders are thinking more inclusively.

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Four Technologies Set to Change the Future of Logistics

Technology historically plays the role of a disruptor, the means to newer and better things, and the destruction of old ways of life. The following four technologies are sure to disrupt the business of logistics.

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The Cybersecurity Gap: Businesses Need To Step Up Their Game

Despite our best efforts to guard against them, cyberattacks are getting more malicious, damaging and frequent.

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34-hour restart’s future clearer than before, but uncertainty lingers

Congress acted last week to ensure the 34-hour restart would remain a tool for truckers to use to manage their weekly on-duty time, but the future of the 34-hour restart and truckers’ ability to use it without restrictions still aren’t…

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Why shipment visibility is critical for retailers, carriers and customers

Carriers powering through that last mile, the final delivery approach to the customer’s front porch with their order, can be the bane of existence for retailers. A wet package, a missed delivery appointment, or even a cold pizza can crush…

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10 innovations that could disrupt grocery in 2017

Few times in history have rapid advancements in technology and breakthrough innovations had the ability to disrupt the grocery business model in such fast and all-encompassing ways. Retailers find themselves challenged by everything from changing consumer shopping patterns and mobile…

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The Unyson Early Warning System: Working to Ensure Your Christmas Presents Arrive on Time

When we talk about best practices, there are few better examples than the Unyson Early Warning System (EWS), a great product and an equally great service solution for our customers. EWS is a proprietary tool we created to proactively alert…

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Nike stumbles as rivals capture attention of younger consumers

Nike remains the most popular athletic brand among U.S. consumers, but its lead is slipping, according to a new survey conducted by Cowen & Co. and cited by MarketWatch.

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Fix for Hours-of-Service Glitch in the Works

Special legislation, in the form of a Continuing Resolution, introduced in Congress in hopes of averting a year-end government shutdown contains language that would permanently fix the glitch in previous legislation that threatened the use of a 34-hour restart as…

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Volatility Continues to Define International Logistics

Looking ahead to 2017, it is important for logistics managers to consider their supply chain strategy, logistics infrastructure and provider relationships, and risk mitigation in the face of increasing complexity

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Inbound Terms Conversion Best Practices

Inbound Terms Conversion Best Practices When a large nutritional supplements retailer with over 300 vendors utilizing prepaid payment terms contacted Unyson, they had no visibility to their freight spend. As a result, they also had a limited ability to determine…

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Energy Department Project Aims for Fuel Efficiency Gains Through Platooning

Peloton Technology announced its participation in the Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Autonomous On-Road Vehicles program, or Nextcar, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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How Supply Chain Strategies Impact E-commerce Success

Many e-commerce companies sell a variety of products, and each type of product establishes different strategic needs. For example, functional products require lean and flexible network strategies, while innovative products require more responsive or agile strategies.

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5 mistakes from Black Fridays past — and how retailers can avoid them

A projected 137 million consumers will shop between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation. It certainly won’t all be sales and smiles. The holiday season, and Black Friday weekend in particular, is often fraught with…

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Driver training rule set for publication

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rule to implement driver training standards for new truck drivers has cleared its final hurdle before publication.

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Fall freight season spreading out beyond Thanksgiving? Spot market update illustrates e-commerce trends

After a strong start for vans in November, notes DAT’s Ken Harper, “van freight volumes were down last week …, although the load-to-truck ratios strongly favor carriers in the Western states,” indicating good negotiation leverage for owner-operators in many markets.

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3 Ways to Handle Ecommerce Peak Season Demand

Data from eMarketer’s holiday sales preview forecast indicates ecommerce sales will jump 17.2% this holiday season. It’s a favorable outlook for certain, but unless e-tailers are perfectly prepared to handle the influx in demand it could be a long couple…

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The Benefits of an Inbound Web Portal

“Adding an inbound web portal to our supply chain has given us greater visibility to our shipments and enhanced purchasing due to improved forecasting.”  -VP of Transportation, Fortune 500 Retailer    Recently, a leader in specialty retail approached Unyson after…

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Featured Whitepaper: “On-Time Delivery in a JIT Environment”

Adopting just-in-time (JIT) inventory principles has enhanced production operational efficiency, cost effectiveness and customer responsiveness for many organizations. But the real key to success is providing a solution that applies JIT principles to the specifics of each client’s industry and accurately tracks…

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How technology will shape the future of retail loss prevention

Innovations in technology are rapidly evolving the stealth and skills of cybercriminals. But merchant loss prevention strategies are making dramatic strides as well.

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What Does Uber’s Latest Deal Mean for the Logistics Industry?

The idea of Uber entering the trucking world is no longer a matter of speculation. With Uber’s mid-August acquisition of the self-driving trucking platform Otto, it’s reality.

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Use Global TMS Technology to Connect Your Supply Chain

Changing business models in an increasingly globalized world are only a few reasons it can become difficult to manage supply chains across regions and business units.

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2016 Trucking Perspectives

Inbound Logistics’ exclusive trucking market research report delivers shipper and trucker insights into the industry’s challenges and trends.

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3PLs Transition from Providers to Collaborative Partners, Study Says

Today’s rapid pace of change is adding complexity to the roles of shippers and their logistics providers, so many 3PLs have evolved from tactical service providers to collaborative partners that take on greater accountability and control. Providers have also increased…

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Establishing Best in Class Practices Ensures a Peaceful Night Sleep

“Unyson is the best decision I’ve made in the last eight years. I sleep easier at night knowing they’re my partner.”   A large, just-in-time (JIT) beverage industry company made that statement in a recent conversation, and I couldn’t have…

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Survey Analysis: Women in Supply Chain Survey, 2016

Gartner’s first Women in Supply Chain Survey, conducted with AWESOME, an executive women’s leadership group, compares the representation of women in supply chain leadership roles, it also identifies practices that are increasing the engagement with and success of women in…

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Hanjin Collapse Sends Shock Waves Globally – and Spot Rates Soaring

Spot container freight rates on the major routes from Asia soared by up to 42 percent following the collapse of Hanjin Shipping, data from the World Container Index reveals.

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5 trends reshaping back-to-school shopping in 2016

The retail industry’s annual rite of passage is shaping up as a windfall for merchants: Parents are expected to shell out an average $1,642 on student expenses this year, up 33% from 2015’s average of $1,239, according to the latest…

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A Sincere Thank You

Unyson has already earned five significant awards in 2016, and we truly could not have done it without the support of our clients. Their partnership throughout the process has been a consistent element and fundamental to our success. The entire leadership team…

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Featured Whitepaper: “Inbound Terms Conversion Best Practices”

Many companies remain unaware of just how much their inbound freight costs them because these charges are “buried” in the prices they pay for the goods. “Collect” payment terms allow companies to pay for their won inbound transportation costs rather…

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Four Trends in Food & Beverage Consumption Drive Retail Center Expansion, Study Says

With food-and-beverage outlets now among the fastest-growing categories in retail centers, a CBRE Group, Inc., report identifies four formats poised for significant expansion: food trucks, food halls, celebrity-chef restaurants and “grocerants.”

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Top 3PLs Must Create “Incentive Based Continuous Improvement”

July and August logistics industry publications historically reflect on the top third-party logistics service providers (3PLs) in the industry. I personally am thankful to be part of an award-winning 3PL that has been recognized by both Inbound Logistics and Logistics…

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California Launches Study to Look at Mileage-Based Tax

The California Department of Transportation has launched a nine-month pilot program to test a pay-by-the-mile financing model to possibly replace the gas tax in the state.

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Featured Whitepaper: “Examination of an Inbound Web Portal”

Regardless of the size of a business, everyone is looking to save money and streamline processes. However, often companies overlook the cost of their supply chain, particularly their inbound transportation. Inbound web portals have the ability to bring several companies together…

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Keeping It Lean…and Responsive

As part of the Sales team, I have the opportunity to interact with a wide array of companies and see best practices in action. The hot topic in logistics is incorporating lean principles. Our lives do not lack opportunities for…

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Is Flowcasting the Supply Chain Only for the Few?

The perception that Flowcasting, a process to slash inventories, out-of-stocks, and costs across the supply chain, is a manufacturing solution has led many people to conclude that it’s really applicable to only a few companies.

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AAR’s State of the Industry Report focuses on impact of railroads on U.S. economy

The financial impact of the United States railroad industry on all facets of the nation’s economy cannot even come close to being understated based on research. View key findings of the report.

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Staples Tests Same-Day Delivery in Some U.S. Cities

Shoppers who place orders by 3 p.m. Monday through Friday will be able to select an option at checkout to have orders delivered by 7 p.m. There’s a fee of $14.99, but this amount could change, as the project is…

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U.S. Retail Sales Point to Strong Domestic Demand

U.S. retail sales rose strongly in May as Americans bought automobiles and a range of other goods, even as they paid more for gasoline, suggesting that economic growth was gaining steam despite a sharp slowdown in job creation.

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California Clean Air Plan Calls for Further NOx, PM Reductions

As part of a broad-reaching clean air program, California has proposed a low-NOx engine standard for heavy trucks. Another part of its plan is to push the Environmental Protection Agency for a nationwide low-NOx engine standard. But truck and engine…

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New home sales in April could benefit trucking volumes and logistics activity

Amid the many worrisome economic indicators kicking around of late, something along the lines of good news came about this week in the form of United States new home sales data, issued by the United States Department of Commerce this…

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Defying economic gravity, US LTL truck rates rise

At a time when many transport operators say prices are being beaten down, less-than-truckload freight haulers in the U.S. are winning rate increases in annual contract bids. That’s largely because unlike their truckload counterparts, or ocean shipping lines, LTL trucking…

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The Architect Behind the Technology: The Unsung Hero

On an annual basis there are many articles, features and rankings published that list the best technology, best practices and latest innovations. However, it’s rare that I see write-ups regarding the people behind the scenes. Before a technology is marketed…

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The Food Industry Is the Next Frontier for Startups

Supported by both crowdfunding and accelerators, innovative food business startups in hydroponics and other growing technologies, robotics, delivery, meal-kits, and even how people eat out, are knocking on the doors of the traditionalists. Add to that the technology that enables…

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Analyst: One-third of malls will shutter in upcoming years

Retail analyst Jan Kniffen Thursday said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that e-commerce sales will reach 50% of apparel sales in a dozen years or so, and that brick and mortar retail will have to adjust by closing stores. He called…

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US consumer confidence rallies in May

Consumer confidence scores published Friday show a burst of positive consumer sentiment in May that bodes well for the economy, according to the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers.

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Five Ways to Optimize Your DC for E-Commerce Fulfillment

The rise of e-commerce and multi-channel fulfillment has caused distribution centers (DCs) to experience ever-growing numbers of stock-keeping units (SKUs) and more inventory turns, up to an average of nine in 2015.

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The Dawn of the Age of the 3D Printer

It seems as though 3D printing today is everywhere. We hear of applications related to toys, medical devices, automotive parts, even food items such as personalized chocolates. Whether all of those categories constitute actual 3D printing, versus traditional mold making,…

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Freight Shipments, Rates Well Below Year Earlier Levels

The amount of North America freight shipments and freight spending remain below levels from a year ago despite monthly gains, according to the latest Cass Freight Index report, and there is a concern conditions could get worse.

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Can Tire Balancing Save Fuel?

The way IMI explains it, properly balanced tires require less energy to keep in motion, and dynamic balancing can help reduce vibration that contributes to rolling resistance.

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Retailers Get Help With New DOT “Reverse Logistics” Rules

The U.S. Department of Transportation has finalized new shipping requirements aimed at retail stores that return hazmat products to a supplier or manufacturer for a refund.

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Hypermodal Systems Will Bring IoT to Logistics

Transportation and logistics, among the slowest-changing industries, is inefficient in time, energy, labor, and capital – as well as dirty and grotesquely underutilized in terms of capacity.

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Cross-Border Truck Freight Rises, Overall Value Declines

Trucking was only one of two transportation modes that carried more U.S. freight by value with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners Canada and Mexico in February than a year ago, increasing 4.7%.

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U.S. economy expands at weakest pace in two years

Gross domestic product rose at a 0.5 percent annualized rate after a 1.4 percent fourth-quarter advance, less than the 0.7 percent median projection in a Bloomberg survey, Commerce Department data showed Thursday.

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Strategic View: The relevance of rail

Almost everything that affects domestic freight flows has been changing. U.S. imports have continued to grow, but some of their sources have shifted away from China to Western Asia and they are arriving on larger vessels that can be accommodated…

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March retail sales data is sluggish to end the first quarter

Much like the economy, the pace of retail sales growth to close the first quarter out in March could be described as sluggish, based on data issued by the United States Department of Commerce and the National Retail Federation (NRF)…

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Evolving Sustainability in Supply Chain Management

This whitepaper, the first from the Supply Chain Management: Beyond the Horizon project, reviews the research findings on current supply chain sustainability practices as well as the methods for implementing improved sustainability practices.

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Top Trucking Trends for 2016

The trucking industry is shaping up to have a banner year in 2016. This is good news for the United States as a whole, and the economy in particular. As the entity that literally keeping the country operates smoothly, the…

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Big Data Breakdown in Logistics

Big data is a popular buzz word right now – many companies are talking about it but very few have adopted a strategy around it. By definition, big data is a very large collection of structured and unstructured data that…

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Mondelēz, Nestlé, Mars And Lindt Pledge To Use ‘Sustainable Cocoa’ For Australian-Made Chocolate

Australia’s leading chocolate companies such as Mondelēz, Nestlé, Mars and Lindt have all pledged to source only “sustainable” cocoa for domestically manufactured goods, says the Australian Industry Group.

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Trucking Moves America Forward Reports on Image Movement Progress

Trucking Moves America Forward, the industry-wide image and education movement, reported significant achievements in the past year in its mission to change the public perception of the trucking industry.

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How Last Mile Delivery Affects the Supply Chain

For last mile fulfillment, true convergence is still a work in progress, and more established players will continue to close the gap while smaller, niche players will continue to require supply chain execution integration.

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Consumer spending in U.S. continues to be strong

“The US is a bright spot in the global economy,” says IHS chief economist Dr. Nariman Behravesh, “ and within the U.S. it’s the consumer that is the bright spot.”

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2016 March Trends

Only one-third of carriers expect to have any increase in freight volume in 2016, according to the Business Expectations Survey by Transport Capital Partners (TCP). About half of those surveyed expect freight levels to remain unchanged, and only one-sixth of…

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Daimler outlines vision for the future of vehicle connectivity, announces platooning system

At a global press event in Dusseldorf, Germany, Daimler Trucks announced its ambitions to leverage existing technologies to improve truck connectivity beyond today’s capabilities and drive efficiencies throughout the logistics supply chain. – See more at: http://www.ccjdigital.com/daimler-outlines-vision-for-the-future-of-vehicle-connectivity/#sthash.ZjSvG7PS.dpuf

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Rough Seas Ahead: How Changes to a Maritime Treaty May Affect Trucking

A storm brewing at the waterfront over containerized cargo may have a substantial impact on trucking interests further inland. The disagreement centers on the Coast Guard’s proposed implementation of major changes to an international treaty and pits two trucking customer…

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The Online Grocery Opportunity for Retailers and Consumer Packaged Goods Companies

After years of promise fueled by stellar growth in European markets, but limited success here in the U.S., online grocery is finally reaching an inflection point: American shoppers are finally warming to buying food and beverages online.

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Drayage Provider Total Transportation Services Files For Bankruptcy

Premium Transportation Services Inc., known locally as Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI), one of Southern California’s largest port trucking companies, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday in federal court in Delaware.

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Trucking From the Driver’s Seat

From first mile to last mile, and every mile in between, truck drivers are the lifeblood of your supply chain. Meet some of these dedicated professionals.

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3PLs and Logistics Service Providers—Is the Future Changing?

Reverse outsourcing. Cutting out the middle man. Not using the usual suspects. These are what shippers—retailers, manufacturers, and others—are doing. At the same time, 3PLs and logistics service providers (LSPs) are dealing with and competing in a commoditized industry where…

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What Apple’s Reuse Robot Says About Sustainability and Technology

Somewhere in between the technicolor iWatches, cheaper iPhones and the revamped iPads, a relatively run-of-the-mill Apple i-device showcase Monday briefly veered into the company’s vision for high-tech sustainability.

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Comparing Past March Madness Upsets to Supply Chain Disruptions

Supply chain professionals compete with upsets in the form of supply chain disruptions such as inclement weather, labor disputes, capacity crunches and rising costs, not just every spring, but every day, month and year.

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ATA, DOT working to fix “technical glitch” in HOS restart law

A law of unintended consequences is alive and well. Just ask trucking lobbyists and those inside the Department of Transportation working feverishly to fix what they describe as a “technical glitch” that threatens to scrap the entire law covering truck…

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Will Disruption Take a Bite Out of Logistics Jobs?

Rather than eliminating jobs, it’s far more likely that technologies and trends like 3D printing and crowdsourcing will have a positive impact on logistics and supply chain jobs.

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What’s Driving Change in Supply-Chain Planning?

The big unifying trend in supply-chain planning, according to Greenbaum, can be summed up thusly: “data and information.” Enormous quantities of it are residing inside and outside the organization, whether automated, human-generated or emanating from social media.

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Cross-Border Freight Posts 7.2% Annual Decline

All five major transportation modes, including trucking, carried less freight between the U.S. and its neighbors of Canada and Mexico last year than in 2014, but big-rigs continue to dominate such cargo movements, according to new U.S. Transportation Department figures.

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Dollar-an-Hour Wage Increase Can Add $1M to DC Operation Costs

In a recent report, analysts with real-estate brokerage firm CBRE Inc. estimated a $1 increase in average hourly wages could add more than $1m in annual costs to a warehouse operation employing 500 people. For e-commerce facilities, which can be…

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7 Characteristics of A Best In Class Supply Chain

Today’s supply chains function as a result of extensive research into how a supply chain behaves, its chief concerns, successful risk management, diverse markets, widespread collaboration, and technological advances.

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Navigating Through the Unpredictable LTL Market

There are many questions surrounding whether rates will hold in a soft economy from a shipper’s perspective. This includes speculation about larger acquisitions and the impacts they may have, along with an overarching question on LTL’s long-term strategy to thrive…

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Consumer confidence drops on economic insecurities

Consumer confidence declined in the last week of February to the lowest level in the year so far, according to Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index, falling to 43.6 from 44.2 the week before.

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Sustainable Reverse Logistics: Reducing Waste and Emissions in the Retail Supply Chain

Every year, consumers return 3.5 billion products, resulting in a significant amount of financial and environmental waste. Retailers have a tremendous opportunity to recoup lost revenue by capitalizing on the value of returned and excess inventory. But savvy retailers can…

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Amazon targets San Diego for second brick-and-mortar store

After a report (since walked back) that Amazon plans to open as many as 400 physical bookstores rippled through the retail industry last month, it’s now certain the e-retail giant will be opening at least a second physical store.

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CRM Is Dead – Long Live CRM

CRM as we know it has been turned on its head, but its importance has never been greater. In the late 1990s, CRM systems such as Onyx and Seibel were state of the art and were built to better organize…

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Personalized Multichannel Logistics

Your target customers have completed their research and are ready to purchase your product. Then comes the final step in the purchasing process – selecting the delivery method (logistics channel) that best fits their immediate needs. In today’s world, whether…

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DOT expands Mexican-U.S. border freight zones in Texas, New Mexico

Cross-border freight haulers now have new access points to carry loads to and from Mexico, according to a pre-published rule issued Feb. 23 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

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Nearly 59,000 Bridges Listed as Structurally Deficient

There are still 58,500 structurally deficient bridges in the U.S. according to a review of the 2015 National Bridge Inventory database conducted by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.

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Economic Watch: New Reports Raise Concerns About a Recession

A glimmer of hope that U.S. manufacturing was starting to rebound at the start of the year may have been quickly been dashed, leading to increasing concerns about the state of the overall economy, while separate reports show consumers don’t…

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Increased Capacity Hurts Truckload Rates, Low Fuel Prices Hit Intermodal

Truckload rates grew at a weaker pace for the fifth consecutive month in January, according to newly released numbers, while intermodal rates are expected to continue a drop that started a year ago.

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Amazon Is Using Logistics To Lead A Retail Revolution

Amazon is on the path to fundamentally changing the way you shop with a few, quiet experiments in logistics. For customers, delivery is becoming a when-I-want-it-where-I-want-it service.

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New Electric Tanker “To Revolutionise UK Dairy Industry”

Logistics management firm Wincanton has rolled out a new electric dairy tanker to serve the distribution network of its customers in the dairy industry.

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Evaluating a New WMS System?

Whether you’re in the process of evaluating a new WMS system now or have plans to in 2016, this new WMS RFP template can help you make a truly informed decision.

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Economic, Currency Factors Have Worst Effects on Business, Survey Finds

The manufacturing world is being shaped by technological, demographic, and market megatrends and how companies respond will define their future performance.

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Unprepared Supply Chains Are ‘Driving Blindfold’ Toward Disaster

For all the talk of heightened supply-chain risk today, nearly one in 10 organizations don’t even know who their key suppliers are. And seven in 10 lack full visibility over their supply chains.

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What Are Companies Looking for in GTM in 2016?

Maintaining transparent relationships with suppliers will be key this year, as strategic sourcing increases and customers express interest in where their products come from.

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State of TMS 2016: ROI is in the cloud

TMS users achieve an average freight savings of 7.5 percent thanks to increased usage of preferred carriers, better procurement negotiations, and use of lower-cost mode selections. Now the cloud is making it easier than ever for midsized businesses to reap…

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10 Tips to Mitigate Supply Chain Risk

Supply chain risk comes from many areas, including natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism, supplier bankruptcy, theft, damage and data breaches. In a recent survey*, more than 75% of companies reported at least one supply chain disruption in the…

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Agreement Reached on 5 Year Transportation Bill

Congress ended weeks of contentious negotiation Tuesday, agreeing to a five-year $281 billion transportation bill that will boost spending on roads and transit systems by billions each year.

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General Mills Inc. Seeks To Cut Greenhouse Gas 28% By 2025

General Mills Inc. announced a commitment to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent across its full value chain – from farm to fork to landfill – over the next 10 years.

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12 Charts that Explain This Year’s Holiday Shopping Trends

Many analysts are predicting a drop in retail sales this holiday season as consumers shift their demand from goods to services. NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz told Bloomberg that the retail trade association is seeing consumers spend more on travel…

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Global 3PL Mergers & Acquisitions Examined by Armstrong & Associates

For the third straight year, Armstrong & Associates, Inc. (A&A) convened its Annual 3PL Value Creation Summit in Chicago recently to identify key global industry trends. Investment specialists were also part of the blend, and contributed insights on how merger…

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Global Logistics: Managing the freight forwarder maze

Global logistics managers have always been under pressure to find the right balance of specialized intermediaries matched with the markets they want to serve. That challenge is becoming increasingly complex, however, as mega-brokerage enterprises capture more share.

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24th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Serving up friendly freight

Current conditions have rendered the primary pursuit to reduce transportation costs ineffective. A cure for the “cost savings addiction” is a collaborative partnership that has an aligned long-term view of mutual success.

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BREAKING THE MOLD

What a 100-year-old foundry shows us about how 3D printing will shape the future of manufacturing

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The rising relevance of brick-and-mortar stores

For the past five years, the growth of online sales has significantly outpaced that of comparable-store sales for brick-and-mortar stores, a trend that is anticipated to continue. The difference is significant: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2014, e-commerce…

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2014: A Rewarding Year for U.S. Logistics

Demand for freight and logistics services in 2014 reached record levels in some sectors. If growth continues as expected, then tighter capacity—and higher rates—are likely to follow.

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Dollar Tree shows strength after Family Dollar merger

Dollar Tree reported an earnings miss Tuesday, due mostly to the costs of its merger last month with dollar-store rival Family Dollar. Q2 same-store sales increased 4.5% with more customers coming in and spending more on average.With Canadian currency exchange…

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Delivery startup mania: Where is this all going?

When Amazon announced last week that it would launch one and two-hour alcohol and restaurant delivery in Seattle, there was something of a collective yawn, considering that Amazon, usually a first-out-of-the-gate retail disruptor, in this case has entered an increasingly…

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Technology’s Role in Improving the Supply Chain

In today’s supply chain landscape, technology is becoming the key driver of an organization’s success, innovation and competitive edge, because of this, many companies are investing in transportation management software (TMS) systems.

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Canada-U.S. Truck Border Crossing Figures Reveal Surprises

The Journal of Commerce reports U.S. Transportation Department figures show since the second quarter of 2005, truck crossings between Canada and the U.S. decreased 16 percent but grew 19 percent between the U.S. and its neighbor to the south.

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A few more words about the strength of the truckload brokerage market

Last week in the news section of this site, I filed a story about how M&A activity is running at a very brisk pace, with an emphasis on large truckload brokerages that typically are widely viewed in the industry as…

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What Does the Future Hold for the Supply Chain Work Force?

As the national economy continues to improve and organizations strive to minimize risk, improve customer service, adopt solid omni-channel processes, and gain competitive advantage, supply chain talent is becoming increasingly difficult to find and retain. Add to the equation the…

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Supply Chain Metrics That Matter: A Focus on the Chemical Industry-2015

Over the last year, BASF performance has declined, and the best results are PPG and Eastman. In this report, we share both performance and improvement ratings as well as details on the Supply Chain Index methodology.

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Manufacturing to Create 700,000 Jobs This Year – Report Asks How Many Will Go to Women

Manufacturing is expected to yield approximately 700,000 new jobs in 2015, according to a report from APICS Supply Chain Council, which urges the industry to recruit women for those positions.

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Nike getting assertive about cybersecurity recruitment

Like organizations as diverse as PepsiCo, Microsoft, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, retailers are increasingly getting more serious about cybersecurity, and Nike is proving to be especially assertive about bulking up its expertise.

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Target is running digitally interactive print ads in Vogue’s September issue

Making use of visual recognition technology from Shazam, Target is running ads in the print edition of Vogue’s September issue, sending users into an interactive online experience.

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Global Trade Technology

In addition to the economic benefits, 3pls can also deliver improved technical proficiency, through sophisticated IT systems that are often more advanced than those of the production or selling companies they serve. Since logistics is not a core business for…

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Peak Season still a factor but to what degree is the question

As has been noted in recent coverage on this site in regards to Peak Season, one underlying theme has been, and remains, how Peak Season is not what it used to be. That is not to say there will not…

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3PLS DOING WELL SO FAR THIS YEAR

“The report shows that 3PLs continue to grow, expand, and change their businesses,” said TIA president and CEO Robert Voltmann. “3PLs continue to broaden their services. The percent of 3PLs offering intermodal and LTL continues to increase each quarter and…

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26th Annual State of Logistics: Freight moves the economy

In the best year for the freight transportation industry since the Great Recession, logistics managers chalk up efficiencies that drive further U.S. economic growth. However, capacity issues persist, causing shippers to worry about rate hikes as carriers continue to be…

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How to Cut Seven Non-Traditional Wastes

By focusing on adding value to the customer, you can significantly affect the financial bottom line, which is something that you must not lose sight of. As a result, identifying and eliminating all kinds of waste is a long-term battle…

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Gamification: A New Way of Tracking and Improving KPIs

Harnessing and optimizing new technology has always been a cornerstone of the logistics sector. Dating back to 1781, when James Watt patented the first continuously rotating steam combustion engine, logistics has evolved by capitalizing on technological breakthroughs and innovations. So,…

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G75: Inbound Logistics’ 75 Green Supply Chain Partners

If you want your carbon footprint to be as small as possible, and your business to be sustainable, then make sure you are doing business with supply chain partners who feel the same way. Inbound Logistics’ annual 75 Green Supply…

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Despite May volume dip, IANA remains bullish on future intermodal growth

Even with a bit of a lull in overall growth in May, intermodal volumes remain in a decent place, according to data from the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA). For the month of May, IANA reported that total intermodal…

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Legislation from Nebraska Senator looks to lower federal age limits for truck drivers

For those still not sold on how serious the current situation is, consider this: the American Trucking Associations (ATA) has said it estimates the current driver shortage is in the 35,000-to-40,000 range, and with a combination of retirements and people…

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Transportation and logistics M&A traction remains brisk

In the third-party logistics (3PL) sector, the ongoing trend of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity never seems to take a break. That is apparent in recent weeks alone, with XPO Logistics recent acquisition of Norbert Dentressangle for $3.53 billion, Echo…

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Improving Your Fleet With Telematics

Telematics allow users to gain deeper insight and visibility into fleet operations, and can assist your company, regardless of industry or type of fleet, and can help you execute on scalable improvement plans, change driver behavior – which is key…

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Third-Party Logistics Firms see Fast Growth as Trucker Shortage, Improving Economy Drive Companies to Outsource

Business keeps getting better for third-party-logistics companies.Revenues for U.S. 3PLs, which provide services ranging from booking truck drivers to managing warehouses, rose 7.4% to $157.2 billion last year, according to data from Armstrong and Associates, a research firm.

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Meet the New Generation of Robots for Manufacturing

A new generation of robots is on the way—smarter, more mobile, more collaborative and more adaptable. They promise to bring major changes to the factory floor, as well as potentially to the global competitive landscape.

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Viewpoint: Rail/intermodal investment is paying off

Even casual observers of the freight transportation market are finding it difficult to avoid the success that the rail intermodal sector is experiencing. In fact, most of America is catching sporadic television advertising showcasing the sustainability and productivity benefits the…

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Understanding The Process U.S. Businesses Must Follow To Ship Goods Into Canada

The complexity of the U.S./Canada border clearance process surprises many people, who assume that because of the two countries’ strong relationship and shared border, that cross border trade must be a relatively easy process.

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May carload and intermodal volumes are mixed compared to 2014, reports AAR

In what has tuned into more than a common theme, carload volumes in May were down annually, while intermodal volumes were up, according to data issued this week by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

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U.S. Cars, Trucks Require Collision Prevention Systems U.S. Safety Officials Say

In 2012 alone, more than 1.7 million rear-end crashes occurred on our nation’s highways, resulting in more than 1,700 fatalities and 500,000 injured people, many of these crashes could have been mitigated, or possibly even prevented, had rear-end collision avoidance…

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Trucking industry applauds NHTSA requirement for electronic stability controls

Starting with the 2017 model year, new Class 8 truck configurations will have to be outfitted with electronic stability controls (ESC) that backers and regulators say will sharply curtail truck rollovers. New buses will be outfitted similarly in 2018.

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General Mills latest to join ‘Mediapalooza’ frenzy of media reviews

General Mills is launching a review of its media business for the first time in 14 years.

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Why omnichannel as you know it is ‘dead’

Ever since shoppers could access inventory and compare store prices with a few clicks on their phone, omnichannel sales have become a big focus for brick-and-mortar retailers. But while retailers are focusing on driving consumers to buy across all channels,…

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UNICEF Distribution Facility

UNICEF’s main distribution facility in Copenhagen is the most technologically advanced facility in the world for humanitarian work. Thanks to the use of sophisticated systems, supplies can be made ready quickly to support disaster response worldwide.

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Why wellness in trucking needs to go the extra mile

Every trucking firm understands the importance of a wellness program for its trucks and trailers: Preventative maintenance is essential to keeping assets on the road for as long as possible and minimizing operating costs. At the same time, the problem…

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Top 20 U.S. Ports: Competition heats up for discretionary cargo

At this time last year, West Coast port congestion was a speculative concern. Now that shippers have seen the worst case scenario unfold, many analysts feel that Gulf and East Coast ports are ready to pull in more vessel calls…

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Environmental benefit of natural-gas–powered trucks comes with a catch

Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions achieved by switching commercial trucks from diesel to natural gas engines will be effective only if fuel providers find a way to plug methane gas leaks in the natural gas supply chain, according to a…

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Forecast Bleak for Return to Profitability in Dry Bulk Shipping Sector

The dry bulk shipping market is not expected to return to profitability until 2017, despite a modest recovery in earnings anticipated over the next two years, according to the latest edition of the Dry Bulk Forecaster, published by global shipping…

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Truck tonnage volumes dip in April, reports American Trucking Associations

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in April dropped 3 percent in April on the heels of a revised gain of 0.4 percent (down from 1.1 percent) in March, while the SA index of 128.6 (2000=100) came in at its lowest…

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Tracking isn’t just tracking anymore

In the 1990s, carriers, shippers, and third-party logistics providers were always asking: “Where’s my truck?” In response, automatic tracking systems grew rapidly as the Global Positioning System (GPS) became available for commercial use, and expanding satellite and cellular networks increased…

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3PLs Put Technology Front and Center

What’s the difference between a third-party logistics (3PL) provider and a logistics technology vendor? Certainly, many respected 3PLs use software developed by other firms to help run their businesses, and run them well. But some 3PLs have brought the technology…

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Freight Condition Index Signals New Challenges for Supply Chain Managers

FTR describes the SCI as an indicator that sums up all market influences that affect shippers, with a reading above zero being favorable and a reading below zero being unfavorable and a “less-than-ideal environment for shippers.”

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Another Round of Price Hikes for Gasoline, Diesel

Another round of fuel price hikes greeted motorists this morning as petroleum companies implement the second upward adjustment on their products this month to track movements in the world market

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7 ways 3PLs Support Warehousing & Distribution

Initially focused on the transportation component of the supply chain, the modern day 3PL offers a range of services to support warehousing and distribution. As the companies that manage the logistics operations of a variety of facilities, third-party logistics providers,…

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Packaging Grows Green

Many shippers are looking to replace fossil fuel-based packaging materials with more sustainable options. But they must do their homework to find the best—and greenest—fit.

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3PL Service Providers: Weighing Transactional Costs vs. Supply Chain Value

Today’s supply chain leaders are challenged with increased information and complexity when planning and executing, and over the past fifteen years global trade activity has increased over 60%

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Earth Day and the Sustainable Supply Chain

Whether for cause marketing purposes or out of the goodness of their own hearts, corporations are paying more attention to our planet and the topic of sustainability.

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Top 50 in Trucking: Great management, even better operations

Analysts say our annual listing reflects the management teams that are willing to get their hands dirty in order to compete in the cutthroat world of deregulated trucking. Here are the carriers that are leverage rolling assets and technology to…

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What is the future of brick-and-mortar retail stores?

Brick-and-mortar still dominates the retail landscape today. Online retail made up just 8% of total U.S. retail sales in 2013, and Forrester Research predicts it will account for only 11% of total U.S. retail sales by 2018.

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DAT reports spot market volumes rise 34 percent in March

March was a good month for the spot market, with spot market freight volume climbing 34 percent compared to February, according to recent data issued by Portland, Oregon-based freight marketplace platform and information provider DAT, a subsidiary of Roper Industries,…

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Drivers skeptical as FMCSA releases HOS study details

In the first comprehensive scientific study on the subject involving real-world truck drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has posted details of its $4 million plan for the congressionally mandated naturalistic study of the operational, safety, health, and…

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Unlocking the Hidden Green Value in Mobile Devices

Reverse logistics for mobile devices is more important than ever. Mobile-connected devices exceeded the world’s population in 2014. Wearable technology sales will hit 22 million in 2015, and reach 370 million devices over the next five years, according to analyst…

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Searching For the New Perfect Order

The growth of omni-channel retailing has driven a shift in what constitutes the “perfect order” — from a traditional, sequentially linear design to an exponentially more complex, interconnected model. It’s a shift driven by customer demand that requires the retailer…

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Improving Your Fleet With Telematics

Recent research shows that 20 percent of the North American fleet market has implemented telematics. While that number may seem low for a technology that’s been in the market for just over a decade, it is likely that the number…

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Best Practices for Preventing Pallet Rack Damage

Warehouses and distribution centers can be hectic, and it is essential to have solid damage prevention practices in effect to prevent employee injury and minimize loss. However, in an environment where workers are maneuvering heavy equipment and heavy loads in…

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Consumer spending slows in February

U.S. consumers seem to be using any savings from lower gas prices to pay off debt and pad their savings accounts, with spending rising just .1% in February after a .2% drop in January, according to the Commerce Department’s consumer…

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The accidental discovery of ‘lean retail’

About a decade ago Universal Music, one of the world’s largest recorded-music distributors, realized that a small chain of record stores in Maine had a much lower return percentage than other independent retailers and a high coverage ratio.

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Five Keys to Transportation Planning and Optimization Success

Reducing freight costs continues to be a primary motivation for investing in Transportation Management Systems (TMS), but securing capacity and improving overall transportation operating efficiency are becoming strong motivators, too.

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Rethinking the Global Supply Chain

Shifting global dynamics and internal business process changes are compelling manufacturers and retailers to challenge the status quo and reinvent their supply chains.

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Last-mile logistics looks to change going forward as omnichannel supply chain matures

The wave that heavy e-commerce activity currently rides is not close to crashing anytime all that soon. And with that comes a heightened focus on the logistics-related aspects of e-commerce, specifically on the last-mile side of things.

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DOT unveils new version of GROW AMERICA Act

DOT officials said this legislation aims to provide funding growth and also certainty that allows state and local governments to remain on track with their myriad projects and invest in modernizing the nation’s infrastructure.

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Protecting Your Brand With Product Lifecycle Management

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and supply chain management traditionally focus on metrics such as speed to market, cost reduction, consumer trend response times, and supply chain agility. But there’s a new imperative: ensuring ethical sourcing and social compliance.

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North American industrial property market to see strong growth through 2017, report says

The U.S. warehouse vacancy rate currently stands at 6.7 percent and is in its 19th consecutive quarter of decline, the firm said. By the end of 2015, the warehouse vacancy rate will drop to 6.3 percent, despite a considerable amount…

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JDA launches “control tower” software tool to help companies manage supply chain disruptions

Control tower software allows a business to draft a playbook of appropriate reactions to a potential supply chain crisis. The software diagnoses the cause of the disruption and allows the company to simulate the effects of a range of preselected…

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US regulators order leaky valves on oil railcars be replaced

The U.S. Federal Railroad Commission said about 6,000 tank railcars that carry crude oil and other hazardous materials have valves that can leak and must be replaced within 60 days.

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‘Smart’ containers signal another new trend

We recently learned that French liner CMA CGM has increased its capital investment in the TRAXENS startup as it strives to introduce the industry’s first containers equipped with tracking sensors.

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Sizing up the logistics and supply chain marketplace

With the first quarter of 2015 officially beginning the homestretch, it seems like a good time to take a look at some of the key themes impacting the freight transportation and logistics market.

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4 Steps to Great Truckload and LTL Rates

A dismayed shipper called me when one of the big LTL carriers “demanded”—his words—a 25% increase. When the shipper balked and complained, the carrier basically said: “Take it or leave it.” So the shipper is now looking to replace a…

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YRC offers to expedite shipments delayed at West Coast ports

Less-than-truckload carrier YRC Freight said today it has established a hotline aimed at expediting shipments for businesses whose shipments have been delayed at West Coast ports due to the impasse between the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the…

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Inventory Counting on the Go

Inventory accuracy has always been critical to the smooth operation of a distribution center. Without reliable and up-to-date information, DCs face significant hurdles in their quest to fill orders swiftly and accurately, or achieve much success with their demand planning.

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Panama Canal Expansion: Questions mount as time draws near

The much anticipated Panama Canal expansion has promised a great many enhancements for U.S. shippers waiting to book cargo on the new generation of “mega” container vessels. But a few lingering questions are also troubling some industry analysts who question…

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13 Key Considerations When Selecting a 3PL and The Difference Between a 3PL & 4PL

When it comes to efficient and cost-effective over the road transportation management, it is absolutely crucial that you be working with a trustworthy 3PL, and understanding the potential value of a 3PL early in the process is crucial.

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Study: Marketers making big investments in Big Data Study predicts $11.5 billion in 2015 spending

Thanks in part to a jump in email and display ad spending, U.S. marketers will spend $11.5 billion in 2015 on data and data-related solutions, a new survey indicates.

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Target to shift grocery, appeal to millennials

Yet another company is targeting millennials: Target. The chain is looking to harness seven grocery departments, among them granola and yogurt and beer and wine, to appeal to younger customers and have a less Wal-Mart-like feeling, reports The Wall Street…

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Free shipping is fixing to be a permanent fixture for online shopping

As e-commerce has gotten bigger and bigger in recent years, consumers have become more comfortable shopping online, whether it be out of necessity or convenience. The numbers bear that out, too, as the percentage of goods ordered online has made…

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Reverse Logistics: Time to clean up the mess

Reverse logistics can represent a significant chunk of supply chain cost—and it’s typically not very well managed. Our resident consultant suggests that it’s time for savvy logistics operations to manage reverse as an integral part of supply chain management to…

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West Coast truckload rates in quiet before the expected demand storm

Spot truckload rates off the West Coast will remain depressed for at least the next few weeks as labor and management working the 29 ports impacted by a recently ended nine-month contract impasse struggle to reduce immense backlogs of idled…

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Chassis-provisioning model takes wing at Southern California port complex

A long-awaited plan to resolve the persistent problem of truck chassis availability at the country’s busiest container seaport took effect yesterday: Three chassis pool providers began allowing truckers to pick up and drop off equipment at multiple locations at the…

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Executing the omnichannel vision

Omnichannel retailing, or using store inventory to fill e-commerce orders, is one of today’s hottest trends. Here are two technologies that can help companies operate in this new environment.

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Tentative five-year labor pact paves way to ease congestion at West Coast ports

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) on Friday announced they reached a tentative five-year agreement covering dock workers at all 29 West Coast ports.

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Crews complete portions of elevated guideway for Honolulu light-rail project

The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) recently completed the first two miles of elevated guideway for the Honolulu transit-rail project, the agency announced yesterday.

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Seven technology trends shaping the future of material handling

Many of the disruptive technologies that are changing our society are making their way into warehouses and distribution centers. What are they, and how will they influence the way products move through the supply chain?

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U.S. Port Dispute Causes Meat Oversupply

U.S. meat exporters caught in the middle of the West Coast port labor standoff diverted millions of pounds of chilled pork and beef into cold storage facilities over the last few weeks, creating an oversupply of meat, analysts said.

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6 Tips for Optimizing Your Distribution Network

According to Marc Wulfraat, the key question many companies are now evaluating is: At what point does it make economic sense to add more distribution facilities to reduce inbound and outbound miles?

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The Problem with Traditional Inventory Management

Traditional inventory systems have always focused on improving forecasting, while the forecast is only a small part of the overall inventory management problem, most of the issues occur at the retail store shelf, which aren’t included in forecasts

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West Coast port shutdown could cost retailers billions

While only a few retailers have cited West Coast port congestion as a bottom-line problem, that is set to change, experts say. Fast-fashion retailers may be especially vulnerable because of their dependence on constant shipments.

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Four Reasons Retailers Should Pay Attention to Reverse Logistics

Many retailers have long emphasized agility and cost-efficient movement of freight to stores or customers. However, they often neglect reverse logistics, resulting in missed opportunities for the entire consumer goods supply chain.

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The Ins and Outs of Crossdocking Solutions

Crossdocking—immediately converting inbound deliveries to outbound shipments—has become popular among shippers and third-party logistics (3PL) providers, because it reduces inventory costs and improves delivery times by eliminating intermediate warehousing activity.

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Manufacturers Beef Up Efforts to Hire More Women

Manufacturers are courting more women by promising well-paying positions that are both interesting and challenging, and women who have been educated in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—are particularly in demand.

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What the Transportation Industry is Telling Us about the Economy Now

The supply chain may not be glamorous, but it is a powerful indicator of the state of the economy. During the recessions of 1992, 2001 and 2008, the transportation sector was among the first to plummet, and in turn was…

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Hub Group Q4 2014 Earnings

Hub Group reported net income of $16.4 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2014.

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Trucking freight volumes look good going into 2015

Compared with December 2013, the SA index increased 5.2%, which was the largest year-over-year gain in 2014. For the entire year, tonnage was up 3.5%.

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Rail Still Dominates the Logistics Landscape

From the incorporation of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad to the modern freight-moving workhorses of CSX and Norfolk Southern and dozens of regional “short-line” railroads, trains have played a central role in bringing goods to market.

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Food for thought: How should FDA regulate practices governing safe shipping of human, animal edibles?

It is one of those regulatory scenarios that companies pay trade associations good money to identify, monitor, and, if necessary, head off before it becomes another well-intentioned government rule that spawns unintended consequences.

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Truckload contract rates strong in December; intermodal rates going lower, index projects

Cass-Avondale monthly report sees average 4–9 percent gain in 2015 truck contract pricing; fuel surcharge declines to drive conversion from rail to over-the-road

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UPS hikes fuel surcharges despite dramatic declines in oil, fuel prices

UPS Inc. today implemented a round of increases in fuel surcharges for its air, ground, and international services, the same day that rival FedEx Corp. put its own fuel surcharge hikes into effect.

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How Bad Weather Can Take Supply Chains by Storm – and How You Can Prepare

Bad weather is brutal for shippers, developing a proactive plan to deal with it is the best way to prepare yourself for whatever happens.

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Highway safety starts with the shippers

Courtesy of an amendment tucked into the $1.1 trillion fiscal year 2015 federal spending bill, the two most contentious aspects of the government’s truck driver hours of service regulations have been shelved until Sept. 30. Until then, drivers are not…

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DOT finalizes U.S.-Mexico truck access pact after three-year pilot program expires

The Department of Transportation (DOT) said late Friday it will give qualified Mexican truckers permanent authority to serve the U.S. market after a three-year pilot program that expired in October showed Mexican carriers’ safety records are comparable to those of…

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Spending in the storm

Intermodal traffic grew in 2014 despite a bad year on the rails. Will 2015 bring more of the same, or will it bring an end to shippers’ patience?

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Weak links, strong links: Who is taking over the supply chain?

There have been rumblings that the procurement function is “taking over” supply chain management. That kind of thinking is shaky on its best day and destructive in the long run. Here’s why.

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Lowe’s begins seasonal hiring of 30,000 associates

The seasonal workers hired for the busy spring and summer months, from February to September, will work about 20 hours per week.

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More FDA food inspections, penalties, requests senator

U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is asking the FDA for more inspections and harsher penalties for unsanitary food facilities as well as a searchable database of these problematic facilities.

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Tyson Foods to pay up after polluting Missouri creek

Attorney General Chris Koster said he had reached a $539,000 settlement deal with Tyson Foods over the pollution of Clear Creek in Barry County, MO.

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Family Dollar shareholders approve merger with Dollar Tree

After months of negotiations, rejected deals, and talks with the Federal Trade Commission, Family Dollar’s shareholders have approved the discount retailer’s sale to rival Dollar Tree at a price of $74.50 per share. The two companies said the deal could…

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Rail carload and intermodal volumes are mixed for week ending January 17, reports AAR

On a year-to-date basis, carloads are up 3.7 percent at 567,536 carloads, and intermodal is down 0.3 percent at 501,840 intermodal units.

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Now we’re talking: West Coast port labor negotiations get a middleman

West Coast ports will have to do much to recover from this prolonged episode and part of their mission will require innovation.

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2015 Rate Outlook: Rates to keep pace with U.S. growth

The global economic recovery moves sluggishly forward, while the domestic picture has brightened considerably. Our leading market analysts explain how shippers should ready themselves for sustainable demand and plan for incremental rate hikes.

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Food Safety Modernization Act: Safe Travels

Forty-eight million people get sick annually from eating tainted food, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. After reports of a food- borne illness surface, the faster the source can be found and a recall issued, the better the…

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Customer Service: It’s the Thought That Counts

Technology and social media are the brains behind an unprecedented level of transparency and communication that helps shippers and logistics providers understand each other’s operations, and collaborate in ways unimaginable in the past.

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6 Companies Using Big Data to Change Business

You know there’s a lot of good stuff in big data, but how can you sort out what’s relevant to you from all that white noise? Plus, who has time for all that?

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Retail cyber attacks fewer, but more damaging: report

Despite a dip of more than 50% in the number of cyber-attacks between 2012 and 2014, retailers in 2014 suffered the theft of more than 61 million customer records

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6 challenges retailers will face in 2015

The retail consumer remains powerful in 2015, and there are many retailers still struggling to meet their customers’ expectations when it comes to fulfillment, mobile and e-commerce, and other technology-driven capabilities.

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Holiday sales growth was best in 9 years: ShopperTrak

U.S. retailers saw their best holiday season in nearly ten years, thanks to a healthier economy, cheap fuel, and starting things early, according to the holiday report by analytics firm ShopperTrak.

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Looking ahead: Retailers to keep an eye on this year

Last year was a bit of a bumpy ride for many retailers as consumers kept a finicky attitude toward spending. The year ended with the strongest economic news in a long while, though, and a sense that consumers may loosen…

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ADM and Unilever pursue joint business development endeavors

With a new joint business development plan (JBDP), Archer Daniels Midland Co. has agreed to strengthen its ongoing partnership with Unilever as the company’s oils and fat supplier in North America, Europe, and Africa.

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Keurig inks deal for Dr Pepper soda machine products

Keurig Green Mountain, maker of at-home beverage machines and pods, has signed a deal with Dr Pepper Snapple to sell pods of the company’s soft drinks and non-carbonated beverages.

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Meat producers are uneasy awaiting new USDA dietary guidelines

Reports have surfaced that the advisory panel for the USDA’s upcoming dietary guidelines may recommend less meat consumption, to the dismay of meat producers.

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A DOT rule for musicians to sing about

The U.S. Transportation Department issued a rule requiring U.S. airlines to accept musical instruments as carry-on or checked baggage on commercial passenger flights.

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Another drayage company makes drivers employees

Another major drayage company in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area has reclassified its drivers as employees rather than independent contractors and they are expected to vote for Teamster representation.

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The real impact of high transportation costs

High transportation costs are driving three main shifts in supply chain strategies. These changes are having a beneficial impact not just on transportation budgets but also on broader supply chain and financial performance.

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Combo of reducing carbon pollution and supply chain efficiency remains in a tight spot

Somewhat lost in the logistics shuffle was the news last month that the United States and China jointly announced their respective targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change for post-2020.

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Sustainable logistics is more than getting the numbers right

Within the logistics industry, sustainability is often still perceived from the narrow perspective of just reducing carbon dioxide emissions. In that view, the role of a logistics provider is limited to providing accurate data about these emissions.

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USDA expects record agricultural imports in fiscal 2015

The federal agency expects fresh produce exports to reach $7.9 billion for the fiscal year, which runs through September 2015. That would represent a rise of 6.4%.

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Appropriations bill will rollback HOS restart rule

Congress unveiled Wednesday night an appropriations bill that includes a provision suspending some aspects of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s hours of service regulations. If passed, the FMCSA’s 34-hour restart provisions for truck drivers would be suspended.

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Build a Better Loyalty Program in the Digital Age

Any retail marketer today understands that the value of a loyalty program lies in the data it collects and the ability to target consumers based on that data. But in today’s omnichannel environment, consumers have expectations on how retailers are…

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The big question: Can you do more with less?

BRG Sports wondered whether reducing its number of distribution centers would let it cut costs but still improve customer service. The company conducted a software analysis to find out.

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The case for front-end vertical integration

Companies that outsource manufacturing can better control process, product quality, flexibility, and delivery if they have a higher degree of integration with their suppliers.

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Millennials most likely to spend more this holiday season

The group of Americans most likely to say they’ll spend more this season are millennials ages 18 to 29. Some 28% of them say they’ll spend more at the holidays, though 20% rejected lower gas prices as the reason.

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DAT Integrates MacroPoint Tracking Solution for Brokers

The third-party freight tracking software MacroPoint has partnered with DAT Keypoint to integrate MacroPoint’s tracking technology into DAT’s broker-based transportation management system. The integration allows DAT’s TMS broker users to track freight carried by third-party drivers and for-hire carriers.

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Leading Organizations Produce Superior Results from Procurement, Others Are Lagging

A.T. Kearney’s 2014 AEP Study finds that the best procurement organizations are at the top of their game. Meanwhile, the rest of the pack is treading water and wondering what’s next for procurement.

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Intermodal Rail Traffic Hits New Record High

New figures show intermodal rail freight traffic continued surging last week hitting a record high, while major railroads in November posted another year-over-year increase in total traffic.

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America’s healthy freight rail system is vital to the economy

Brian O’Neill in his column on rail transportation (“Patience Is Helpful Virtue Among Amtrak’s Riders,” Nov. 23) pointed out that “America has some of the best railroads for moving freight” and that Europeans “envy America’s rail freight system.”

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A Quick Glance Into The Logistics Market – November 2014

Facts and figures for the month of November on the overall U.S. market – plus data on key industries including multimodal, rail, trucking, ocean, air and more.

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SAP survey: Omnichannel increases customer expectations

Omnichannel is increasing the reach retailers have to their customers, but also increasing customer expectations. According to a survey of marketing decision-makers in omnichannel consumer products organizations from SAP, 86% of respondents agree that omnichannel has meant that customer and…

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To Maintain Current Highway Conditions, AASHTO Says $120 Billion Is Needed Annually

Local, state and federal governments need to spend a combined $120 billion annually for the next six years just to bring highways and bridges to a condition that meets today’s traffic demands, said a new report from the American Association…

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NAM/IndustryWeek 4Q Survey: Manufacturers Had a Good Year and Expect 2015 to Be Better

Recent data show relative strength in demand and output in the manufacturing sector, with activity levels reflecting improvements since earlier in the year. In particular, the latest Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers’ index has reflected robust growth in new…

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Consumers Demand More from Retailers as Technology Makes More Possible

Eighty-six percent of respondents agree that omnichannel has meant that customer and consumer expectations of the organization have increased, according to a recent SAP survey. So, as consumers increasingly use new technologies and channels to guide their purchase decisions, consumer…

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Survey: CFOs confident about economy

Nearly half of CFOs expect the U.S. economy to improve during the next six months and only 9% expect it to worsen, according to the Grant Thornton LLP 2014 Fall CFO Survey. The biannual survey reflects the insights of more…

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What's the best feature of having a dedicated account team?

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