What Your Inventory Reveals about Your Reverse Logistics

Posted by PLS Logistics December 8, 2016 at 12:45 PM

Supply chains share common goals: increase productivity, reduce costs, mitigate risks. Common goals for reverse logistics are to improve customer satisfaction, cut costs, maximize return on assets. Reversing the supply chain means taking in returns, recalls, damaged goods and overstocked merchandise and recapturing its value or disposing of it. With the popularity of online shopping, the supply chain has become more multifaceted, increasing the importance of an organization’s reverse logistics strategy and inventory management practices.

The Importance of Reverse Logistics

Of all products sold, an average of 8%-12% are returned, and the cost to return those units is 2-3 times more than bringing them to market.

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7 Facts about Hazardous Freight Shipping

Posted by PLS Logistics December 7, 2016 at 11:50 AM

  1. Hazardous materials are substances that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has determined are capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety or property when transported.

  2. There is an assortment of items that can be listed as dangerous: batteries, lithium tanks, magnets, dry ice, bleach and perfume. There are 9 classes of dangerous materials:
    • Explosives
    • Gasses
    • Flammable liquids
    • Flammable solids
    • Oxidizing substances
    • Toxic and infectious substances
    • Radioactive material
    • Corrosives
    • Misc.

  3. Hazardous materials regulations are in Subtitle B, Chapter 1 in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 49, set by DOT. It lists more than 3,600 items as dangerous goods.
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Disruption from Your Supply Chain: Product Recalls

Posted by PLS Logistics December 6, 2016 at 10:30 AM

A product recall is the process of retrieving and replacing defective or unsafe consumer goods. When a company issues a recall, the company or manufacturer absorbs the cost of replacing and fixing those defective or unsafe products. Recalls create tension in the supply chain and test consumer relationships, affect sales, and can negatively affect a brand’s reputation.

Supply chain disruption, such as a product recall, is the fastest growing threat perceived by businesses, according to the annual Horizon Scan report. 49% of those polled identified increasing supply chain complexity as a trend, leaving their organization vulnerable to disruption from conflict or disaster.

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5 Common Problems Vendors Have with Routing Guides

Posted by PLS Logistics December 1, 2016 at 11:00 AM

What is a routing guide?

Routing guides contain routing instructions and an established set of guidelines and requirements for manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and distributors to follow when fulfilling orders and shipping products or materials to a specific location, warehouse or DC. A routing guide is the foundation of transportation management.

The purpose of a routing guide is to create a streamlined process for inbound shipment delivery – specific packaging, labeling and transporting – regardless of the vendor. The routing guide includes modes and carriers to use in specific lanes, it can contain rates and service requirements.

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7 Trending Transportation Updates: November 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics November 29, 2016 at 8:45 AM

  • Little Change in Economy, but Rate Increase Coming. Next year, the US economy won’t change much, growth expected to be about 2%. FTR predicts more of the same, but when you factor in low expectations, 2017 will feel like a good year. Shipping prices are expected to increase in 2017 and continue into 2018. FedEx, UPS and several LTL carriers have announced a series of rate increases effective in 2017.
  • Self-Created Holiday has Vigorous Delivery Window. Singles Day is the largest shopping day in the world, 4x bigger than Black Friday. Alibaba was expected to generate $20 billion in total transaction value. Last year, Alibaba did $9.3 billion in revenue on Singles Day, shipping 278 million orders in 24 hours. The same-day delivery window requires a new way of thinking about transportation and logistics. China struggles with delivery, mostly because of an underinvestment in infrastructure and inefficient regulation. So, Alibaba has pledged to invest billions of dollars in order to link third-parties to deliver shipments. (Source)

  • Busiest Thanksgiving Since 2007. 7 million Americans were expected to travel at least 50 miles for the Thanksgiving holiday, that’s 1 million more people compared to last year. This represents a 1.9% increase over 2015, and the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007. AAA credits the increase of travel to inexpensive fuel (the second-lowest in a decade for the holiday travel period), rising wages and increased consumer confidence. (Source)

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Market Update: Seasonal Freight Surge and Consumer Forecast

Posted by PLS Logistics November 21, 2016 at 11:25 AM

Adobe Digital Intelligence says that 31% of consumers start shopping before November 1, and 27% will start before Thanksgiving, so the supply chain plans for the holiday season for months and months in advance. So many of the year’s sales occur during the short two-month season, so the logistics process needs to be efficient enough to handle the increase of purchases. It’s estimated that retailers derive 20-30% of their annual profit during November and December. “The holiday season puts great pressure on supply chains because everyone peaks at the same time,” says NRS vice president of logistics and supply chain solutions.

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Omnichannel Takes on Food Industry, Gains Consumer Support

Posted by PLS Logistics November 17, 2016 at 7:50 AM

There is a shift in how consumers are approaching grocery shopping, using more channels than ever before. Grocery is an $800 billion market – online grocery sales are expected to grow, becoming a $24 billion industry in 2017.

“Retailers are grappling to not only understand consumers varied shopping patterns, but also capture shares of their increasingly fragmented shopping trips,” says Susan Viaman of IRI.

Although the food supply chain infrastructure is efficient, consumers are seeking home delivery and click-and-collect options, and grocery stores have to adjust, overhauling their fulfillment system to serve the omnichannel market

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Supply Chain Management Best Practices: Efficiency, Effectiveness

Posted by PLS Logistics November 15, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Supply chains are multifaceted and can be a noteworthy source of competitive advantage. To improve efficiency and effectiveness, companies have to improve predictability, optimize costs, minimize working capital, mitigate risk, and analyze data. Companies who strategically improve even one area of the supply chain create a ripple effect of operational advantages. A resourceful, successful supply chain helps businesses save money – from faster delivery time, shorter factory processing time, better inventory management.

What is supply chain efficiency?

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4 Common Misconceptions about Non-Asset Based 3PLs

Posted by PLS Logistics November 10, 2016 at 12:45 PM

Misconception 1: We don’t need to work with a logistics firm since we own our own fleet.

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8 Things We Know About Uber-Otto Technology

Posted by PLS Logistics November 9, 2016 at 10:00 AM

The trucking industry has a reputation for being low-margin, highly fragmented and cyclical. Many tech companies have interest in shaking up and rethinking the industry.

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