6 Common Supply Chain Disasters You Can Easily Avoid

Posted by PLS Logistics July 26, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Supply chain mistakes are costly. The smallest error is amplified due to the sheer size of a supply chain. It is crucial for companies to maintain best practices in supply chain management.

Most businesses make the same mistakes, which leads to disastrous supply chain performance. Companies that pay little attention to supply chain management see increased operating costs, poor customer service and supply chain disruptions.

There are 6 common mistakes that lead to terrible supply chain performance. Simply understanding the bad habits and simple slip ups and how they affect the supply chain can help you avoid making them:

Read More

CSA Scores to Make Early Comeback?

Posted by PLS Logistics July 21, 2016 at 8:00 AM

In 2015, the FAST Act required FMCSA to remove CSA (Compliance, Safety and Accountability) information from public view. It also mandated that FMCSA repair the CSA program so that scores can be used as a consistent, reliable safety measure.

Read More

2 Simple Reasons 3PLs Have Remained Extremely Popular

Posted by PLS Logistics July 19, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Despite the negative connotations of the terms ‘broker’ and ‘outsourced’, third-party logistics companies have gained popularity and are employed by nearly every industry in the U.S. How did this happen?

The Motor Carrier Act of 1980, which deregulated the trucking industry, allowed different types of businesses to fight for market share in transportation. Trucking companies bought warehouses, freight brokerage firms popped up, smaller carriers entered the industry more regularly –the structure of a traditional transportation company was shaken up and the industry was changed forever.

The 3PL as we know it today didn’t truly exist until after the 2000s tech explosion and the widespread availability of the internet. This opened up entirely new ways of managing transportation.

Read More

Competing for Customers? Improve the Last Mile

Posted by PLS Logistics July 14, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Last mile logistics refers to the movement of goods from a warehouse or distribution center to its final destination. To create customer loyalty, the last leg of transportation needs to be flawless.

The last mile of delivery, including returns, form a consumer’s shopping habits more than ever before. As a consumer, your primary concerns are delivery costs and schedules. 93% of shoppers have taken some type of action while shopping online to qualify for free shipping, and 58% of shoppers have abandoned their virtual shopping carts because shipping costs were higher than expected.

The last mile presents a unique set of challenges in the supply chain. The final delivery is increasingly difficult for retailers to manage. The last mile can account for up to 50% of the total logistics costs on a shipment and 28% of the total delivery cost.

Read More

Why Right Now is the Perfect Time to Invest in a TMS

Posted by PLS Logistics July 12, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Despite the rapid evolution of today’s supply chain and the proven cost-saving ability of a transportation management system (TMS), few shippers are using TMS software. In fact, only around 35% of shippers have a TMS.

Transportation management is gaining importance across all industries because of the wealth of opportunities available to reduce operating costs and improve service levels. Shippers who manually manage transportation are missing out on efficiency opportunities.

Why is Now the Time to Invest?

Every business is different and values certain technological investments over others. But due to several trends within the transportation industry, right now is the perfect time for shippers to successfully invest in and implement a TMS.

There are 3 main reasons why TMS investment makes sense in our current economic climate.

Read More

Panama Canal Expansion: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by PLS Logistics July 7, 2016 at 10:30 AM

History of the Panama Canal

During the 1800s, businessmen didn’t have an efficient or quick way to ship goods between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The British proposed a canal through Nicaragua that was never built and the French attempted to build a canal through Panama but evacuated the project due to fatal diseases. Despite the unsuccessful attempts, Americans were undeterred. In 1914, the United States began to build a canal in Panama. 

In 2006, the Panamanian government authorized the first major expansion of the Panama Canal since it opened in 1917. The expansion is set to be complete in 2016. (As of April 2016, the project was 98% completed). The expansion is expected to double the capacity of the canal.

The Panama Canal is an important link to global trade, accepting an estimated 5% of the world’s total cargo volume. It takes a ship about 8-10 hours to make its way through the canal. The canal serves over 140 maritime trade routes to over 80 countries. American ships use the canal the most, followed by China, Chile, Japan, Columbia and South Korea. Every vessel must pay a toll based on its size and cargo volume. Tolls for the largest ships can run as high as $450,000.

Read More

6 Trending Transportation News Stories: June 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics June 30, 2016 at 10:00 AM

  • Wal-Mart Testing Grocery Delivery + Drones. To compete with Amazon, Wal-Mart stores are testing a grocery-delivery service with Uber
    (in the Phoenix market) and Lyft (in the Denver market). Once a customer places a grocery order online, it will be filled and packaged by employees, then sent in an Uber or Lyft to the customer’s location. The retailer is also testing drone use at its warehouses. Drones capture real-time images and spot missing inventory. A drone can complete this task in about 1 day, but it would take a full month if done manually.
  • Volvo Concept Truck to Change Long-Haul Operations. Volvo developed a new concept vehicle that cuts fuel consumption by more than 30%. One of the key factors behind the low fuel consumption is its incredible 40% improvement in aerodynamic efficiency that has benefited both the tractor and trailer. The aim is to improve the efficiency of long-haul truck transportation by 50%.
Read More

Does Carrier Performance Improve When Shippers Pay More?

Posted by PLS Logistics June 28, 2016 at 10:00 AM

With industry experts predicting an increase in freight rates later this year, pressure is growing for shippers to reduce transportation spend. But, if a shipper pays lower freight rates than their peers, will it negatively affect the carrier’s performance? A recent study set out to answer this question.

Performance criteria in the study included metrics like transit time, technical competencies, flexibility in disruption, information, and claim history.

There was no absolute relationship between carrier performance and freight rate. But, when shippers paid below market average, there was a visible decrease in on time delivery. An average rate $50 below market price led to less than 40% on time delivery. A rate $20 below market price led to 40-70% on time delivery. Shippers with on time delivery between 80-90% paid just over the market standard. There was little to no rate incentive for achieving 90-100% on time delivery.

Read More

What Supply Chain Efficiency Will Mean in 2020

Posted by PLS Logistics June 23, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Supply chain efficiency is top of mind for companies in all sectors – efficiency means reduced costs and increased output. Today, tech
advancements like drone delivery, autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things enable supply chains to increase efficiency and productivity by connecting to smart components in the supply chain.

Supply chain management has experienced an accelerated rate of change - first, implementing machinery, followed by electronic inventory, routing and record keeping. Then, ERPs enabled better forecasting and management. These modifications were necessary with the growth of globalization, manufacturing and technology.

Supply chains will continue to evolve with technology and meet the growing needs of consumers.

What trends will affect future supply chains? 

  1. Declining Product Lifecycles
Read More

Are Railroads the Golden Standard of Real-Time Data?

Posted by PLS Logistics June 22, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Shippers and trucking companies alike could learn a few things from the ways rail companies, especially Union Pacific (UP), are implementing real-time, big data technology to overcome supply chain obstacles.

Union Pacific had several problems to address, and technology was the only solution.

UP’s Problems

Freight rail companies like UP face unique problems. There are 140,000 miles of railroad tracks across the U.S. that move 5 million tons of goods a day. Maintaining visibility into train and track conditions across this vast, high-traffic network is extremely difficult.

Adding to the challenge is the fact that most freight rail cars don’t have electric power. This means that RFID technology, which has been used by passenger trains since the early 90s, is not a viable means of visibility into train location.

The lack of electric power also means a lack of knowledge into train and track conditions. Heavy duty trucks have the capability to utilize technology which can notify a carrier of truck malfunctions so that a crash or delay can be avoided as best as possible. Freight train cars do not have this capability.

Read More
Camcode Top Logistics Blog

Follow Us