Opinions on Outsourcing: Whose WMS Should Be Utilized When Outsourcing to a 3PL?

Posted by PLS Logistics April 6, 2017 at 9:02 AM

An efficient warehouse management system (WMS) is an invaluable part of a company’s distribution strategy. As omnichannel fulfillment becomes increasingly more popular and complex, WMS systems are too. Companies need to be able to plan and optimize orders quickly and accurately.

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8 Things to Know if You've Never Worked with a Freight Broker

Posted by PLS Logistics March 16, 2017 at 9:04 AM

A substantial amount of over-the-road freight transportation is handled by freight brokers.  A freight broker is a person or company that brings together a shipper (with freight to move) and a qualified carrier (who has capacity to move the freight).

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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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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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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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8 Fascinating Statistics from Shippers about 3PLs

Posted by PLS Logistics January 17, 2017 at 8:50 AM

3PLs have two fundamental responsibilities – leading customer relationships that focus on supply chain services and providing the management of those services. Most 3PLs have achieved a clear focus on what they do best, and on what expertise they can provide in order to enhance a shipper-client’s supply chain.

3PLs and customers are becoming more proficient at what they do (individually and together) which improves the quality of the relationship. 91% of 3PL users and 97% of 3PL providers report their relationships are successful and their work has positive results. Successful relationships are defined by openness, transparency and effective communication between the two parties.

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5 Trending Transportation Updates: December 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics December 30, 2016 at 9:00 AM

  1. Amazon Innovation: Grocery Stores. Amazon’s first big venture into brick-and-mortal is revolutionary: a grocery store with no cashiers or checkout lines. In the new store, shoppers will scan their Amazon Go app, and the technology will keep track of what you are picking up and add them to your virtual shopping cart. (Read: Omnichannel Takes on Food Industry & Gains Consumer Support)

  2. Elaine Chao to Lead Department of Transportation. President-elect Trump has chosen Chao, who has had experience in the White House under President George W. Bush, for Secretary of Transportation. Chao said that given the nation’s need to improve infrastructure, it’s important to find ways to expedite the process of making repairs and building new constructions and decreasing regulatory burdens.

  3. Post-Election Hope for Alaska Mines, Toll Supporters and Consumer Confidence. Miners expect the EPA to announce in Q1 that it will let the application process for a copper and gold mine in Alaska to proceed. The EPA has been blocking the mine project for nearly 3 years. (Source)
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PLS’ 11 Most Popular Blog Posts from 2016

Posted by PLS Logistics December 20, 2016 at 12:30 PM

(#11 Most Read Blog in 2016) Seasonal Freight Surge and Consumer Forecast
-Fuel prices, weather, capacity, and e-commerce are a few factors that determine truckload demand during the holiday season. Before Thanksgiving, reefer volumes increased and as December’s holiday shoppers start buying, more dry van loads were posted. UPS is expected Monday, December 19 to be the busiest shipping day, and for this year to have 14% more shipping volume than last year. (See the NRF predictions here.)

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Same-Day Delivery: 3 Logistics Questions Shippers Need to Answer

Posted by PLS Logistics December 12, 2016 at 2:45 PM

  1. Who is the Same-Day Delivery Consumer?

Consumer expectations are growing. Why? Since companies have tested the same-day delivery option, consumers expect it as the standard. Coldwell Banker says about 53% of US customers are more likely to make an online purchase if they are offered same-day delivery.

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