It looks like 2017 is going to be a stable, but not spectacular, year for apparel retail. According to a report released by Moody’s in mid-December, the sector can expect sales growth of 6% to 8%, led primarily by direct-to-consumer…Read more.
The fed is still hitting truckers with a barrage of costly regulations in an era of scant profits, everything from emissions, training standards, electronic onboard recorders, fuel mileage standards and speed limiters are in play – and it’s only going…Read more.
Network design, network planning, network analysis, network optimization, or network studies – these terms have been used over the past 25 years to represent the work to determine how to set up logistics networks, how to analyze them for cost…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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 capacityRead more.
Artificial intelligence and related breakthroughs steered retailers toward more effective customer engagement, while virtual reality and augmented reality redefined how shoppers experience the world.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
Despite our best efforts to guard against them, cyberattacks are getting more malicious, damaging and frequent.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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 complexityRead more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rule to implement driver training standards for new truck drivers has cleared its final hurdle before publication.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
“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…Read more.
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…Read more.
Innovations in technology are rapidly evolving the stealth and skills of cybercriminals. But merchant loss prevention strategies are making dramatic strides as well.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
Inbound Logistics’ exclusive trucking market research report delivers shipper and trucker insights into the industry’s challenges and trends.Read more.
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…Read more.
“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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.”Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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,…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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%.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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)…Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
“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.”Read more.
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…Read more.
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.dpufRead more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
Logistics management firm Wincanton has rolled out a new electric dairy tanker to serve the distribution network of its customers in the dairy industry.Read more.
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.Read more.
The manufacturing world is being shaped by technological, demographic, and market megatrends and how companies respond will define their future performance.Read more.
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.Read more.
Maintaining transparent relationships with suppliers will be key this year, as strategic sourcing increases and customers express interest in where their products come from.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
What a 100-year-old foundry shows us about how 3D printing will shape the future of manufacturingRead more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
“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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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,…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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).Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
General Mills is launching a review of its media business for the first time in 14 years.Read more.
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,…Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.”Read more.
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 marketRead more.
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,…Read more.
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.Read more.
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%Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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,…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
Shifting global dynamics and internal business process changes are compelling manufacturers and retailers to challenge the status quo and reinvent their supply chains.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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?Read more.
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.Read more.
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?Read more.
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 forecastsRead more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
Hub Group reported net income of $16.4 million for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2014.Read more.
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%.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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-roadRead more.
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.Read more.
Bad weather is brutal for shippers, developing a proactive plan to deal with it is the best way to prepare yourself for whatever happens.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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?Read more.
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.Read more.
The seasonal workers hired for the busy spring and summer months, from February to September, will work about 20 hours per week.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
West Coast ports will have to do much to recover from this prolonged episode and part of their mission will require innovation.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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?Read more.
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 recordsRead more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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%.Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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.Read more.
Companies that outsource manufacturing can better control process, product quality, flexibility, and delivery if they have a higher degree of integration with their suppliers.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.Read more.
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.”Read more.
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.Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.
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…Read more.