Market Update: Secure Capacity with These 3 Tips

Posted by PLS Logistics March 14, 2017 at 9:03 AM

Shippers are expecting higher rates and less capacity this year, so many are trying to lock in contract rates and secure trucks before the spike. Carriers have been hammered by low fuel prices, strict regulations, and rising equipment costs.

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3 Global Supply Chain Issues Affecting Your Bottom Line

Posted by PLS Logistics March 9, 2017 at 9:04 AM

Large, and even medium-sized, companies that are strictly domestic are becoming increasingly less common. Today, the clear majority of enterprise-class companies are global because the benefits of low-cost sourcing into other countries and selling into new foreign markets cannot be passed up.

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Consider This When Choosing Your Next DC Location

Posted by PLS Logistics March 7, 2017 at 9:02 AM

When a company outgrows its distribution capacity, it expands by opening a new distribution center (DC). The best approach to choosing your new DC location is to evaluate your entire logistics strategy.

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Everything You Need to Know: Spot Market Freight

Posted by PLS Logistics March 2, 2017 at 9:12 AM

Have you ever wondered about how the product you buy from a store ended up there? The complexities of a supply chain and the steps for moving freight to its end location are often overlooked. But, for manufacturers, suppliers, and retailers, logistics is a top priority to business operations. Accurately planning for efficient transportation routes and potential delays comes with many challenges, which is why many shippers turn to a freight broker to ship goods.

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Trending Transportation Updates: February 2017

Posted by PLS Logistics February 28, 2017 at 9:29 AM

  1. “Trucking Futures Exchange” Could Launch This Summer: DAT Solutions and Transvix have teamed up to create a futures exchange that will allow trucking companies, 3PL’s, and shippers to better combat spot market rate uncertainty. The Exchange would use a similar process to the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade. Futures contracts will be bought and sold on commodities like fuel, oil, or grain. (Read more: The Interrelated Issues Facing the Trucking Industry)
  2. Diesel Inches Up 0.7 cents to $2.572 a Gallon: The stronger bite of OPEC production cuts lifted the price of crude to nearly $54 a barrel, analysts said. This is diesel’s second increase after four consecutive weeks of declines. Diesel now costs 58.9 cents more than it was a year ago, when the price was $1.983 a gallon, DOE said.
  3. UPS Moves Closer to Octocopter Drone Deliveries: On February 21, UPS launched an unmanned aerial vehicle from the roof of a UPS truck in Florida. The drone successfully dropped off a package at a home nearby, and then returned to the truck after it moved 2,000 feet from the launch location. UPS hopes the drone implementation will cut costs and ease delivery in complicated places, such as rural areas that have a large distance between stops. However, Mark Wallace, UPS Senior Vice President of Global Engineering and Sustainability, assures customers that the drones will not replace the brown-clad service providers we know and love. (Read more: 5 Common Problems Vendors Have with Routing Guides)
    1. UPS Moves Closer to Octocopter Drone Deliveries: On February 21, UPS launched an unmanned aerial vehicle from the roof of a UPS truck in Florida. The drone successfully dropped off a package at a home nearby, and then returned to the truck after it moved 2,000 feet from the launch location. UPS hopes the drone implementation will cut costs and ease delivery in complicated places, such as rural areas that have a large distance between stops. However, Mark Wallace, UPS Senior Vice President of Global Engineering and Sustainability, assures customers that the drones will not replace the brown-clad service providers we know and love.

Read Next: 6 Trending Transportation Updates: January 2017

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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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