• The Fastest Route to Better Efficiency Starts with a Modern TMS

    Every day, many medium to large shippers face a challenge. At any given moment, they have a fortune on the highway, with significant capital in materials and inventory at stake. And yet, they don’t have the means to know where it all is located.  Meanwhile, fuel costs are up, and delayed shipments can have a significant negative economic effect on shippers and receivers. The lack of visibility from a legacy transportation management system (TMS) only […]
    The post The Fastest Ro
  • The Year of the Supply Chain Control Tower

    LLamasoft has developed a new supply chain control tower. What makes is so interesting is it's engine. It is built on top of a supply chain reference model that contains supply chain policies. Once I peeked under the hood at this reference model, it became clear to me this could be a very robust solution.
    The post The Year of the Supply Chain Control Tower appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
  • This Week in Logistics News (June 15 – 21)

    I saw an article earlier this week that detailed how Amazon has gone about testing its delivery robots. The robot revolution is gaining a lot of traction and lots of companies are looking at how they can use robots to make last mile deliveries (see Dominos Pizza article below). Many companies have done initial testing in dense, urban locations to see how their robots handle the changing nature of the physical environment. But not Amazon. […]
    The post This Week in Logistics News (June 15 &
  • What happens When Everyone is the “Shipper of Choice”?

    The over-the-road capacity challenges of the last year have caused a lot of shippers to rethink their carrier acquisition and retention strategies. While the capacity situation is better than in 2018, the capacity challenge never goes away and carriers across the board have learned to become more particular about which shippers they will do business with. Leading shippers and logistics services providers (LSPs) have realized that price beat down, erratic volumes and poor coordination dramaticall
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  • The Managed Transportation Services Outlook

    I recently wrapped up my Managed Transportation Services market study which looks at the total size of the market, the forecasted growth through 2023, and the leading suppliers across a number of categories including industry, region, and customer size. In an MTS arrangement, a shipper contracts with a third party to plan and execute their moves for them.  In other words, instead of having internal planners plan and execute moves, those planners are employed by […]
    The post The Manag
  • Shippers Claim Class One Railroads Fines are Unfair, Illogical, and Arbitrary

    Railroad customers objected to escalating fines across the country’s seven Class I carriers and referred to monopolistic, unfair, illogical, and arbitrary actions by most of the railroads.
    The post Shippers Claim Class One Railroads Fines are Unfair, Illogical, and Arbitrary appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
  • This Week in Logistics News (June 8 – 14)

    So close, yet so far away. I actually can’t believe that I am not writing an intro to the news round-up about Boston sports and our monopoly on titles. Unfortunately, after a valiant run, and a decisive game 6 victory to force a game 7, the Bruins were unable to bring the Stanley Cup home. Of course, I just assumed Boston would win, as it is what our sports teams do these days. For the […]
    The post This Week in Logistics News (June 8 – 14) appeared first on Logistics Viewpoint
  • Status Update: Warehouse Automation Market

    The 2018 growth of the global warehouse automation market was a full 2 percent greater than my prior year’s forecast had projected. There weren’t any “big bang” acquisitions (like KION’s acquisition of Dematic in 2016), but there were a number of transactions that expanded the acquirer’s solution set or geographic presence.
    The post Status Update: Warehouse Automation Market appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
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  • What is a Supply Chain Control Tower?

    The term supply chain control tower is being used more frequently.  Some think it is being overused.  What is a supply chain control tower? From my perspective it must be a holistic supply chain solution. What does that mean? For me, it means the following ten things.
    The post What is a Supply Chain Control Tower? appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
  • This Week in Logistics News (June 1 – 7)

    After 32 victories and $2,462,216 in earnings, the run is finally over. Of course, I am talking about James Holzhauer’s Jeopardy win streak, which ended earlier this week, about $60,000 shy of Ken Jennings’s record of $2,522,700 in a 74-game winning streak in 2004. And while the big loss was not much of a surprise based on leaked information, many people thought he may have thrown the round, considering that he bet just $1,399 in […]
    The post This Week in Logistics News (June
  • The Right Technology for Inventory Management

    Managing inventory in 2019 has become an even more complex challenge according to our industry peers and PINC customers. In my previous article titled “The High Cost of The One Percent Inventory Accuracy in Your Supply Chain“, I explored significant challenges, costs associated to inventory management, and what one percent of inventory accuracy represents to your operation. In a recent podcast, an industry professional described how to better manage inventory in today’s dynamic
  • Ocean Spray Improves On-Time Delivery with Managed Transportation Services

    A few weeks ago, I spoke with Keli Sanford, Logistics Manager at Ocean Spray. In that role, Keli is responsible for inbound raw materials going into the plant and finished goods leaving the plant, as well as overseeing Canadian warehousing and transportation. In her years at Ocean Spray, Keli has had a lot of first-hand experience with their business relationship with CH Robinson. Ocean Spray has a two-fold relationship with CH Robinson. First, the company […]
    The post Ocean Spray Improve
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  • Robotic Process Automation Can Be Used to Automate Supply Chain Solutions

    Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is software that is used to automate high volume, repeatable tasks. RPA can be used to improve legacy supply chain software. Ryder is using it to reduce the work required to produce quality transportation plans.
    The post Robotic Process Automation Can Be Used to Automate Supply Chain Solutions appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
  • This Week in Logistics News (May 25 – 31)

    I was on the young side to fully understand how devastating the 1986 World Series loss to the Mets was for Red Sox fans, but I certainly couldn’t escape it growing up. And unfortunately, for one of baseball’s better players over the last 40 years, he couldn’t escape it either. Obviously, I am talking about Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner. He has forever been remembered as the guy who let the ball go through […]
    The post This Week in Logistics News (May 25 – 31)
  • Warehousing in China Displays Distinct Dynamics

    The industry dynamics of warehousing in China differ substantially from those in North America and Europe. My discussion with professor Xiande Zhao of CEIBS and his panel at a digital innovation forum organized by CEIBS and Z-Park provided me with the pulse of warehousing in China. The Suning.com insights were particularly informative.
    The post Warehousing in China Displays Distinct Dynamics appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
  • Manhattan Associates CEO Calls for a Sustainable Approach to Ecommerce

    Transportation produces large amounts of greenhouse gases. Ecommerce is inherently less green than traditional bricks and mortar retail supply chains; it contributes to larger transportation emissions than traditional retailing.Eddie Capel, CEO of Manhattan Associates, believes we need a more sustainable approach to Ecommerce supply chains.
    The post Manhattan Associates CEO Calls for a Sustainable Approach to Ecommerce appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
  • This Week in Logistics News (May 18 – 24)

    I was listening to the BBC Newshour earlier this week and heard an interesting story about the rise of a new class of race cars: Forumla E. This class, which uses only electric-powered cars, was conceived in 2011, and had its first championship in Beijing in 2014. Since the beginning of the series, the cars have certainly come a long way. Initially, the Formula E cars did not carry enough of a battery charge to […]
    The post This Week in Logistics News (May 18 – 24) appeared first on
  • How Full Freight Visibility Can Help Improve Customer Service

    Freight visibility is a hot topic these days. Companies are under greater pressure to know where their freight is at all time. As customer expectations for fast and low-cost shipping continue to rise, globalization is increasing, and we see ongoing fluctuations in freight capacity it’s more important than ever for companies to know where shipments are at every stage. But what does visibility really mean when it comes to a successful transportation strategy? And, how […]
    The post How
  • Manhattan Associates: Momentum in Progress

    Today’s posting comes to you from the 2019 Manhattan Momentum conference in Phoenix, AZ. The conference thus far has featured a proper balance of product roadmaps and customer success stories. Manhattan’s CEO, Eddie Capel, set the stage for the conference agenda with a presentation that framed the content for the next three days. For starters, 2019 marks the 25th year of Manhattan Associates’ user conference. I first attended 10 years ago, and the company and […]
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  • More than Software Provider, Think Partner

    Supply chain execution is complex, and the pace of change is rapid. Which is a big reason why companies continue to turn to software as a service (SaaS) solutions to help digitize and integrate their supply chains. In today’s environment where future-proof SCE technology leads the way, it’s also important to look beyond feature-function checklists and consider the long-term value of the partnership. Technology…and so much more Finding a software vendor that understands your bu
  • Do You Want Better Beef? Build a Better Supply Chain!

    PFG wanted to provide better selections of beef to selective restaurants. But the commodity beef supply chain made this very difficult. They built a new supply chain that included audits, DNA testing, and better pay for better quality products.
    The post Do You Want Better Beef? Build a Better Supply Chain! appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
  • This Week in Logistics News (May 11 – 17)

    It’s been a busy few weeks around these parts as the conference season winds down. Over the last few weeks I, along with my colleagues Steve Banker and Clint Reiser, have made the rounds on the conference scene. Our trips included HighJump Elevate, Oracle Modern Business Experience, Descartes Evolution, Promat, BluJay Soar, MercuryGate Velocity, Transplace Shipper Symposium, and JDA ICON. Plus, Steve and Clint will be at Manhattan Momentum next week. While I always miss […]
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  • How Amazon Changed Whole Foods

    It has been almost two years since Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in cash. And over these two years, changes have been made to Whole Foods, at the corporate level and down to the individual store as well. Some of these changes have been for the good, while others have left people questioning what has happened to Whole Foods. In the end, as part of Amazon, it is all about the bottom line, […]
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  • Inventory Optimization is the Lynchpin to Omnichannel Success

    Success in omnichannel commerce requires solutions designed for the way customers shop today. Retailers should look for a demand forecasting and inventory optimization solution that understands digital demand is now being fulfilled through physical stores and can account for channel demand patterns and emerging omni-fulfillment strategies.
    The post Inventory Optimization is the Lynchpin to Omnichannel Success appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
  • JDA Software Features Some Exciting New Products at their User Conference

    JDA Software introduced a robust new control tower solution at their user conference. This SaaS based solution provides real-time visibility to shipments, orders at risk of not being fulfilled, and several other supply chain issues. More importantly it is visibility and remediation. It is worth noting, that being able to tap into the supply chain plans provides a much richer predictive capability than control towers that only use execution data.The post JDA Software Features Some Exciting New Pr
  • This Week in Logistics News (May 4 – 10)

    This Sunday is Mother’s Day, a day to celebrate moms everywhere. According the NRF’s annual look into Mother’s Day spending, an estimated 84 percent of consumers are planning gift purchases for their mothers (or wives). And like most holiday spending trends, Mother’s Day spending has consistently grown over the last decade. And in 2019, consumers will once again set an all-time high, with total spending approaching $25 billion, up from $23.1 billion last year. The [&helli
  • How To Maximize the Value of Your Managed Transportation Services Partnership

    Managed Transportation Services (MTS) are being increasingly embraced by shippers, and with good reason: studies have shown that shippers can reduce costs, create visibility and drive efficiencies when they partner with an MTS solutions provider. A 2016 study by ARC Advisory Group indicated that 32 percent of respondents reported savings of 12 percent or more, a dramatic increase over the prior study in which only 9 percent of respondents reported a savings of 12 percent or […]
    The p
  • MercuryGate Velocity: Innovate Today, Own Tomorrow

    I spent the last three days in Las Vegas attending the MercuryGate Velocity user conference. This was my third time attending a MercuryGate conference and with over 450 attendees, this was the largest one yet. The theme of the conference this year was Innovate Today, Own Tomorrow. This was an extremely fitting theme for both the company and the changing nature of transportation today. MercuryGate CEO Joe Juliano kicked off the conference by talking about […]
    The post MercuryGate Velocity:
  • Subway Restaurants’ Journey to Improved Recalls

    Traceability is one supply chain application that many pundits argue is a perfect fit for blockchain technologies. Subway and its Franchisee-owned supply chain are on an ongoing journey to improve their recall and traceability capabilities. Not surprisingly, they have taken a hard look at blockchain as a solution for improved traceability. So, what the Subway Franchisee-owned supply chain group have to say about blockchain is worth paying attention to. For now, blockchain is at the back of the b
  • This Week in Logistics News (April 27 – May 3)

    As history tells us, following Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, John Wilkes Booth fled to southern Maryland and then Virginia. There, Union soldiers surrounded the barn where Booth and his co-conspirator were hiding out, set the barn on fire, and in the ensuing chaos, shot and killed Booth on April 26, 1865. Or did they? The Philadelphia Inquirer has a new story that follows the adventure of sleuths using facial recognition technology to figure out whether Booth’s […]
    The post
  • Keep Your Relationship Fresh – Succeed Beyond the RFP Process

    The relationship between a shipper and a logistics provider often begins as a result of a transactional buying process. The shipper often has an immediate business need, which leads to a Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Quotation (RFQ) process, then they ultimately select a third-party logistics (3PL) supplier to execute a solution for that need. It’s a standard industry practice that can produce immediate and significant results. However, the focus on executing the […]
    The
  • Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) Market Growth Remains Strong, Exceeds Expectations

    ARC Advisory Group just published an update to its annual warehouse management systems (WMS) market study. The recent analysis shows that e-commerce continues to exert its influence on WMS market growth. However, there is a notable shift in the market pressures and the profiles of companies purchasing WMS to support their fulfillment operations. For example, pressures from expedited delivery and the subtle shiftin demand from soft goods to hard line items, such as grocery, and particularly promi
  • Walmart Expands Use of Bossa Nova’s Robots from 50 to 350 Stores

    It was recently announced that Walmart has expanded its use of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) used for real-time, on-shelf product data. Walmart will put these AMRs in 350 stores. The robots come from Bossa Nova Robotics. I recently had the chance to talk to Sarjoun Skaff, the cofounder and chief technology officer at this San Francisco based company. I had seen AMRs with cameras designed to track inventory in stores before. The robots I saw […]
    The post Walmart Expands Use of Bossa Nova
  • When Real-time Visibility Isn’t

    Real-time visibility is a hot topic. Everyone seems to want it. But even if you buy this solution, you do not get 100% visibility. And the visibility has gotten worse because of recent regulatory changes. But you don't need total visibility to get good ROI.
    The post When Real-time Visibility Isn’t appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
  • When Real-time Shipment Visibility Isn’t

    Real-time visibility solutions don't deliver 100% visibility because of driver compliance issues. Nevertheless, the ROI can be strong. Providers of these solutions include project44, FourKites, Trimble, Descartes’ MacroPoint, and BluJay Solutions MobileSTAR.
    The post When Real-time Shipment Visibility Isn’t appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
  • This Week in Logistics News (April 20 – 26)

    Two of my all-time favorite musicians are Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townshend. Aside from being musical masterminds, these two had something else in common – smashing their guitars on stage. During the 60’s, Hendrix would often light his guitar on fire before smashing it to pieces; Townshend would often smash his guitar and amps before Keith Moon joined in on the destruction of this drum kit. This was the beginning of what has become a […]
    The post This Week in Logistics News (Apr
  • All is Not Quiet on the Western Front: Trade is Happening

    China is currently the EU’s second most significant source of imports, and trade volumes are positioned for growth.Italy and China recently signed an agreement to further solidify the Belt and Road Initiative, alarming Italy's US and European allies. This is only the first of many such concords President Xi hopes to execute for ongoing support to the multi-national plan to provide fast and efficient transportation options from inland China to Western Europe that is further affirmation of i
  • Managed Transportation Growth Drivers

    A while back, I wrote about the managed transportation services (MTS) market. According to ARC’s definition, in an MTS arrangement, a shipper contracts with a third party to plan and execute their moves for them. In other words, instead of having internal planners plan and execute moves, those planners are employed by the MTS supplier, but work on the shipper’s behalf. The market study I am wrapping up is restricted to revenues generated from control […]
    The post Managed Trans
  • Be Careful of the Term “Fail Fast” in Digital Transformations

    The phrase “fail fast” is increasingly finding its way into conversations about digital transformations.  The implication seems to be that fail-fast is a necessary component of a digital work culture. From an IT perspective, it makes sense. However, it really doesn’t align with how supply chain and plant operations need to evolve.The post Be Careful of the Term “Fail Fast” in Digital Transformations appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
  • What Uber’s IPO Reveals About Uber Freight’s Marketplace Opportunity is Highly Misleading

    Uber has a very powerful brand name. It undoubtedly contributed to Uber Freight’s growth. But if this was a stand-alone prospectus for just Uber Freight, and if the Freight division did not carry the name “Uber,” who would be foolish enough to invest in them?
    The post What Uber’s IPO Reveals About Uber Freight’s Marketplace Opportunity is Highly Misleading appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
  • This Week in Logistics News (April 13 – 19)

    He’s back! Eleven years after his last major win, Eldrick Tont “Tiger” Woods won the Masters for the fifth time, while notching his 15th total major victory. In doing so, Woods moved closer to Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 major wins. To put that in perspective, of all active golfers, Phil Mickelson is second in career major wins with 5. Surprisingly, this marked the first time that Tiger has won a major when failing to be […]
    The post This Week in Logistics News (April
  • Achieving Speed & Accuracy in the Last Mile

    For years, retailers have emphasized increasing delivery speed when it came to the last-mile delivery to differentiate with service. In 2005, Amazon revolutionized customer expectations when they launched their Amazon Prime service, which guaranteed two-day delivery to customers.  They did so with the primary goal of increasing market share, while delivery costs and how they impacted margin were often not considered.  Luckily, they had the financial backing and size to do so and quickl
  • Iconex Uses 3PL to Drive Business Benefits

    A few weeks ago, I spoke with Kim Harper-Gage, Senior Vice President, Operations and Supply Chain at Iconex. Iconex is the world’s largest maker of paper receipt rolls for the retail, banking, and restaurant industry. Additionally, the company makes custom labels for various industries such as logistics and retail. Iconex is a global company with operations in North America, Chile, and Europe. The basis of my conversation with Harper-Gage was about their relationship with managed […
  • Northeast States Address Emissions with Transport Cap-and-Invest Program

    Leaders of nine member-states of the Transportation & Climate Initiative have committed to create a regional transportation policy to drive down emissions and strengthen economies in the same stroke. The intention is to employ a market mechanism such as “cap-and-invest”. This device does two things: provides a mechanism to force emissions down and channels funding for transition to cleaner transport.The post Northeast States Address Emissions with Transport Cap-and-Invest Program
  • An Autonomous Mobile Robot Customer Speaks of Instantaneous Payback

    At HighJump’s Elevate show in March, one of their customers – Hollar – spoke about implementing an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) solution and getting an almost instantaneous payback. I have been covering supply chain solutions for a long time and I’ve never heard that claim made.  Really excellent payback can occur in six months, a two-year payback is about average, and some heavy forms of material handling pay back in four or five years. The […]
    The post An A
  • This Week in Logistics News (April 6 – 12)

    We are heading into what I can only call one of the single greatest days of the year in Boston: Patriots’ Day. The holiday officially commemorates the “shot heard round the world,” or the first shots fired at the battles of Lexington and Concord and the beginning of the American Revolutionary War. The region marks the occasion with Revolutionary War re-enactments, parades, and an unforgettable weekend of sports. The Red Sox hoisted the 2018 World […]
    The post This Week i
  • ProMat 2019 – Large Investments on Display

    The ProMat show hall had an elephant in the room - Toyota Industries and its companies were front and center, as a display of its recent strategic acquisitions into the warehouse automation world. Piece picking robots, shuttle system enhancements, collaborative robots, and the software that makes these systems "intelligent" were the highlights of my attendance at ProMat 2019. The following exhibits were the most infomative to me.The post ProMat 2019– Large Investments on Display appeared f
  • Test and Learn Digital Transformations

    Digitalization requires learning. Pilots of supply chain planning software can cost millions. How can companies test-and-learn cheaper and smarter? A conversation with the leadership team of Solvoyo suggests some answers. Solvoyo is in a test-and-learn with a very large consumer goods company.
    The post Test and Learn Digital Transformations appeared first on Logistics Viewpoints.
  • Furniture Retailer Runs an Orchestrated Supply Chain

    In March, Infor had a customer event at their headquarters called “The Journey to an Autonomous Supply Chain.”  “Autonomy” is their goal, but right now their GT Nexus product, recently renamed Infor Nexus, supports an orchestrated supply chain. If you look at the definition of orchestrated, you will see the word “arrangement.” And when the term orchestrated is applied to a music score, the arrangement is quite intricate. That certainly describes the suppl
  • This Week in Logistics News (March 30 – April 5)

    On April 1, I saw a very interesting piece of news that I just couldn’t believe. Passel, a sharing economy company that has shoppers (dubbed Passers) deliver goods to other shoppers, made a major announcement on how items would be delivered. The company’s R&D division announced that Passers would have the option of engaging drones to assist with delivery. According to a press release, “Drone Assisted Delivery is a Jet Optimized Kinetic Engagement System (DAD: […]
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