5 Direct Impacts the IoT will have on Transportation

Posted by PLS Logistics February 4, 2016 at 8:30 AM

The Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to disrupt transportation – reducing delays, predicting shortages of inbound materials and changing orders mid-production based on real-time demand data.

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4 Challenges in Supplier-Retailer Collaboration on Transportation

Posted by PLS Logistics February 3, 2016 at 10:30 AM

Retailers and their suppliers face difficult challenges in today’s economy. Consumers are more demanding than ever, and mistakes are more damaging than ever. Transportation is a key component in providing superior service levels and satisfying customers, but retailers and suppliers are often unable to effectively collaborate on transportation.

A recent study proves the value of a supplier-retailer collaboration: collaborative companies receive a 3.7% increase in revenue compared to those businesses who don’t work together. And, there’s a 5.4% decrease in costs on all initiatives that involve collaboration.

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The 3 Main Obstacles Manufacturers Face with Inbound Freight Management

Posted by PLS Logistics February 2, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Industrial manufacturers are being hit hard by the current economic conditions. Overall demand for manufacturing is down, profit margins are shrinking and manufacturers are looking for any way to reduce operating costs.

Take steel manufacturers, for example, a wealth of low priced Chinese imports are driving the price of steel down, at a time when steel prices are already low and demand is shrinking rapidly. On top of this, the upstream and midstream portions of the oil supply chain have scaled back greatly with the low price of oil, further damaging the price and demand for steel.

Manufacturers play an integral role in the economy and are particularly susceptible to backlashes, as we’re seeing now. Many companies turn to transportation for cost savings and efficiency, however, they only ever focus on outbound movement of goods. Inbound transportation management is neglected and companies pay the price for not taking control of this function.

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Trending Transportation News: January 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics January 28, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Here’s a recap of transportation news stories throughout the month:

Intermodal Decline for First Time Since ’09. Intermodal freight declined in Q4 for the first time since 2009 on a year-over-year basis. In 2015, intermodal accounted for 48% of all rail shipments and increased about 2% for the full year.

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Case Study: Manufacturer Reduces Freight Spend Through Automation

Posted by PLS Logistics January 27, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Situation

A North American producer of refractory bricks and mortars, with a network of over 30 plants and distribution centers throughout U.S. and Canada, was concerned about their transportation strategy. The company was apprehensive about their total freight spend, but didn’t know the best way to reduce costs.

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Lessons Learned from Supply Chain Disruption

Posted by PLS Logistics January 26, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Supply chain disruptions span from day-to-day risks like malfunctioning equipment to high-impact threats like natural disasters.

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How to Use Big Data in Freight Transportation

Posted by PLS Logistics January 21, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Big data has been a buzzword for some time, and for good reason. There are some pretty radical potential applications of big data, such as accurate demand forecasting or industry-wide real-time visibility. Oracle calls big data the “electricity of the twenty-first century – a new kind of power that transforms everything it touches in business, government and private life.”

But how does it apply to freight transportation?
Most transportation data revolves around operating a transportation management system (TMS), which tracks and analyzes freight performance. Implementing a big data initiative can be overwhelming and the return on investment is hard to predict.

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Addressing Customer Satisfaction with Freight Management

Posted by PLS Logistics January 20, 2016 at 9:30 AM

In a few years, 89% of companies will compete almost entirely on customer experience. “Options are no longer a privilege during the shopping experience,” says Christoph Stehmann, COO of Digital Commerce Solutions, Pitney Bowes. “Retailers must focus on offering diverse options in order to attract consumers throughout their shopping experiences.”

Consumers are demanding because they’re more informed than ever before. The popularity of online shopping has empowered consumers to expect low prices, multiple shipping options, free returns and quick, on-time delivery.

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4 Reasons Why Transportation is Crucial to Manufacturing Operations

Posted by PLS Logistics January 19, 2016 at 10:00 AM

The driver shortage, government regulations and rising operating costs are some of the biggest challenges facing the transportation industry. The number of drivers is quickly decreasing, and the remaining drivers are demanding a salary raise. Due to these challenges, higher shipping costs are anticipated.

Rate increases will prove troublesome for manufacturers who are already taking extensive steps to reduce shipping costs. Many manufacturers are nearshoring and reshoring operations to avoid the costs of international shipping. Some manufacturers are redesigning product packaging to make their freight more attractive and cheaper to transport.

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The Main Reason it’s Time to Throw Away Manual Processes

Posted by PLS Logistics January 14, 2016 at 10:00 AM

A 2015 Logistics Management survey shows that only 35% of shippers are using transportation management systems as part of their overall supply chain management strategies. Companies that rely on spreadsheets and manual interactions with suppliers are spending a lot of time on functions that can be automated by a transportation management system. With a TMS, companies can be active in pursuing lower costs, faster lanes and productive solutions.

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