Market Update: More Than Half of Shippers Look for Alternative Modes

Posted by PLS Logistics February 23, 2017 at 9:21 AM

The 2017 Capgemini Third-Party Logistics Study revealed that 3PLs and shippers are moving toward more meaningful relationships, where shippers rely on 3PLs to provide advanced solutions and real competitive advantages. One trend that emerged in the study is the shift from shippers using single-mode providers to using flexible solutions to utilize the most cost-effective method of moving freight.

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5 Secrets to Master Supply Chain Visibility

Posted by PLS Logistics February 21, 2017 at 9:39 AM

The 3 main goals of supply chain visibility are 1) to reduce business and supply chain threats, 2) to improve performance and service, 3) and to identify inefficiencies and opportunities in the supply chain.

Supply chain visibility refers to the knowing where products and materials are, at any point in time, in the supply chain. It's a fundamental part of enhancing logistics functions and results in monetary and time savings. However, supply chain visibility is limited.


41% of E2open survey respondents reported that their supply chain visibility extends as far as tier one relationships with contracted manufacturers. Supply Chain 24/7 supports that result, noting that about only 30% of companies have automated data and event monitoring and/or have optimized process capabilities in place.

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State of the Market: 3PL Relationships Focus on Adding Value

Posted by PLS Logistics February 16, 2017 at 9:30 AM

In the past, shippers and their third-party logistics providers stuck to a uniformly transactional relationship. This relationship was one of utility for both parties, and lacked any true value or longevity.

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Shipper Strategy: Flower Demand and Reefer Rates

Posted by PLS Logistics February 14, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Demand for reefers is not only seasonal, but regional.

In late November 2016, reefer load and truck posts rebounded after the Thanksgiving holiday. Load posts jumped 49%, yielding a 36% increase in the load-to-truck ratio. That's the highest reefer ratio since March 2015. Then, in January 2017, reefer load posts dropped 9%, compared to December 2016. From January 29 to February 4, DAT Trendlines show that reefer load posts dipped 5%, and the national average reefer rate fell 6 cents to $1.91 per mile to accommodate the loss in demand.

Despite fluctuating demand, reefer trailers can be expected to rise in February, thanks to Valentine’s Day, the biggest flower-selling holiday of the year.

For Valentine’s Day, fresh flowers have been arriving at sea ports and airports, where they are transferred to temperature-controlled warehouses and onto reefers for delivery to flower markets and distribution centers around the country.

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Data-Driven Decisions Rule the Modern Supply Chain

Posted by PLS Logistics February 9, 2017 at 10:04 AM

Shifting capacity, increased shipper demands and unpredictable disruptions make informed decision-making a top priority for logistics professionals. For shippers trying to optimize the supply chain, efficiency is the number one priority, and analytics drives results.

71% of shippers said real-time analytics from 3PLs help them better understand shipping alternatives.

The challenge? Data accuracy. An estimated 80% of relevant data is unstructured.

But, in transportation there are many sources of structured data to provide business intelligence. Costs, demand forecasts, bar code systems, claims data, RFIDs, mobile sources, surveys, and delivery performance are a few places for a shipper to collect data.

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Can Shippers Beat This Year’s Capacity Crunch?

Posted by PLS Logistics February 7, 2017 at 10:43 AM

From 2015 to 2016, freight declined hurriedly, by as much as 15% in the dry van sector. In 2016, freight volume and rates began to rise and shippers had consistent capacity. Freight demand was strong at the end of 2016; the DAT Freight Index revealed that spot market demand increased for 6 straight months, from June-December 2016. This year, analysts are predicting less capacity, steady freight volume and rising rates.

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Automakers Succeed with Lean and Resilient Supply Chains

Posted by PLS Logistics February 2, 2017 at 9:39 AM

The automotive industry has a lot of moving parts and experiences ebb and flow as demand and economic conditions shift. Most US automakers outperformed December expectations, selling 17.55 million new vehicles, ending 2016 on a high note. In 2015, US markets set a sales record of just under 17.5 million vehicles, up 5.7% from the year before.

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6 Trending Transportation Updates: January 2017

Posted by PLS Logistics January 31, 2017 at 9:30 AM

  1. US Manufacturing Expect Rising Profit in 2017. Manufacturing has expanded at the fastest pace in 2 years, and US manufacturing firms expect to see revenues accelerate 4.6% next year. (Blog: Manufacturing Productivity Generates Focus on Transportation)
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The Importance of Shipper's Insurance

Posted by PLS Logistics January 26, 2017 at 12:45 PM

  • Have you ever received damaged freight?
  • Has your cargo been lost or stolen?
  • Have you ever been denied on a claim settlement or paid significantly less than the value of your cargo?
  • Would you like to have your claims brought to resolution in a timelier manner?

All types of cargo are transported over-the-road. Shipping insurance provides protection against shipment damage or loss and a shippers’ exposure to financial loss.

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Market Update: $3+ Trillion to Keep Up with Infrastructure Repairs

Posted by PLS Logistics January 24, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Ports and surface transportation must be able to accommodate the country’s growing population and freight volumes. The US DOT predicts that by 2045, freight volume will increase 45% and America’s population will grow by 70 million people. America’s infrastructure has an average rating of a D+, ranking 12th worldwide in its health of infrastructure.

  • 65% of America’s major roads are rated “less than good condition”
  • In Pennsylvania, nearly 1 in 4 bridges are considered structurally deficient
  • Motorists spend $5.7 billion a year from driving on roads that need repair in Texas

As economic trends and federal policies change, so will the US freight market and infrastructure project prioritization. “Tax reform, trade, infrastructure: we have a role to play in all of those issues,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of the American Trucking Association (ATA).

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